Practical advice

Support of parental engagement by school leadership

It is important that the school leadership supports and initiates opportunities for parents to engage. The leadership has the responsibility for the budget, sharing of resources and setting new impulse. Equally the school staff must support the collaboration between school and parents. Training sessions and workshops are functioning tools to improved teachers’ competences in parental engagement.

Open mindedness of school staff

Open mindedness of school staff, a positive attitude for new ideas, and unconventional parent-teacher-meetings facilitate parent-teacher interaction and encourage parents for new inputs. 

Enshrine parents’ engagement in the school life

The creation of a fixed space, time and opportunity for parents’ engagement as part the school life can foster parents’ involvement.

Evaluation of parents’ engagement

Evaluating parental engagement can help the school to understand what can be improved and how. Integrating feedback from parents and teachers in the evaluation and resulting changes creates a sense of ownership, motivates teachers and parents for future involvement and contributes to an overall positive atmosphere at the school.

Language classes for parents 

Migrant parents’ engagement in school and education matters and their communication with school staff is facilitated by their knowledge of the German language. Translators, information material in different language or in easy understandable German can help migrant parents become and remain connected with the school and education matters and be included in school life. The school may also offer German language classes for parents; these may have a double effect: learning the German language and bridging the barrier between some parents and the school.

Informing parents

Informing parents, especially parents with a migration background, about their possibilities to engage in the school life helps them to understand the context of the school and makes it easier for them to become involved. Regular one-to-one talks between the teacher and parents about the pupils’ progress and challenges as well as the school system and upcoming school choices enables parents to remain connected with their children’s education, support them appropriately and act in time in the case of challenges.

Contacting parents directly

Some parents have no time to actively engage in school and education matters, but other parents are generally open for engagement but are either not informed about school activities or are not aware that the school expects them to engage. This may be due to parents’ experience in education systems in other countries that may not rely as much on parental involvement as the German education system. Communicating and consulting with parents directly on these matters can help to create a common understanding about parents’ and schools’ expectations for parental involvement.

Parent meetings for newly arrived families

Meetings for newly arrived families are a good opportunity to inform about the school, the school system, share expectations of parents and the school, and to start integrating parents in the school life. Such meetings are also an opportunity for parents to get in contact with other newly-arrived parents, exchange experience, create networks and make new friends, help each other and talk about the German school system, possibly in the mother tongue. Language facilitators can support the communication.



last modified: Fri, 10/12/2018 - 22:33