Parents as partners
Whilst it is important to emphasise the home–school partnership throughout the school, it is also vital for individual staff to see themselves as partners with parents when dealing with a particular situation. Indeed, taking the approach of treating parents as partners is a crucial basis for good communication with parents.
According to Module A Handbook: Working in partnership with parents (TDA, 2006), the basis of the partnership approach is recognising that both you and the parents need to contribute their expertise to achieve the best outcomes. For example, you may have more knowledge on aspects such as child development theory and education. However, parents are likely to have more knowledge of their own child and their everyday circumstances and experiences. By sharing this complementary information, there is a greater chance of overall success in supporting children.
The partnership approach is vital for sharing information. For example, some children behave and interact differently at home than they do at school. By sharing what works and what does not seem to work at school and at home with the parents, the child can receive common messages in both places and may improve their behaviour overall.
Being treated as a partner often makes parents more confident so that they feel able to sustain progress without school staff intervention.
This form can be used with other members of staff to discuss an area in which they might build better relationships with parents: