The relationship between schools and parents is a fascinating one. There's a plethora of websites and articles that give information and support to parents and schools.
You may already know that I write a regular article page for Teach Primary magazine - called 'Parent Trap'. I really enjoy passing on things I've been privileged to experience - and maybe causing some debate along the way! I write in direct response to teachers - always try to maintain a balanced view.
Teach Primary - October article >http://www.teachprimary.com/learning_resources/view/supporting-parents-with-maths
For any relationship to work it needs understanding and trust. The relationship between home and school certainly needs both of these when it comes to helping children learn more effectively.
I bet if you're a parent you've considered what your 'rights' are from time to time - and what you want for your child from the education system. Sometimes parents exercise those rights in ways that are not as diplomatic as the school might want.
Equally, I've known schools that can only be described as arrogant - dismissing the role of the parent as second best to them (the experts?) - treating them as unpaid school staff expected to merely complete literacy and numeracy worksheets - rather than supporting them with fun, active and motivational things to do at home.
An arrogant school fails to recognise that a child's curriculum goes way, way beyond the school gates.
So - what do you think?
What are the things that parents can reasonably and rightly expect from a school? Are there some fundamental things that a school should provide?
What is a 'supportive parent'? What do they look like and what should they be doing at home with their child?
What demands can or should a school make upon parents?
Who 'owns' the learning that a child does?
Who is ultimately responsible for a child's success?
These are BIG questions and they have been debated over the years in many and various ways. I'd love to hear what you think.
A child becomes the WINNER when parents and schools work in complementary ways - both understanding the other's role and expertise for that child - and providing the necessary information, support and respect for the other. Compromise and good communication.
When you sign up for the Thinking Child Newsletter you receive a 'Top Tips' - free download - meant to give everyone - teachers, headteachers and parents - a reminder of things we can all do to play our part to foster a positive relationship.
Let's make that commitment to work together more effectively - to produce Thinking Children who will, in turn, become great parents and teachers.
Two more back articles from Teach Primary: