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Schools Really Need to Treat Parents as Partners

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Schools and parents have a symbiotic relationship where each depends on the other. Schools need support from parents to succeed in the education of the students in their care but parents could also do with some support from schools given the rapidly changing social environment.

Schools need the help of parents in fundraising, volunteer work with tuck shops, working bees, supervision on excursions and many other areas. Unfortunately, many families find that both parents need to contribute to earning family income and are less available for volunteering and participation.

The support schools need from parents is not just about fundraising and volunteering but also support for what schools are trying to do. Perhaps schools may not have been a place where some parents felt at home, but those parents can really help their children by encouraging them to listen to the teachers, to make an effort in their studies and to be open to all the learning that is available in the school environment.

However, it is not just about academic development but also the values and attitudes that children bring from home that influence a child’s school career and indeed how much the school can assist each child to maximize their potential.

Schools could reciprocate the support they receive from parents by providing input for parents on parenting. There are some great seminars in capital cities by an organization called Generation Next on issues of concern such as bullying, self-harm, youth suicide, drug use and underage drinking? Why not bring one of these to our local area or better still, why not design our own seminar with local doctors, psychologists and counsellors? This could be helpful to parents of all schools in meeting the challenges of a rapidly changing society.

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