Swotly - Parental Engagement and Schools

    Parental Engagement and Schools

    What’s in it for them?

    In our last article we focussed on what parental engagement is. Having identified the stakeholder triangle – schools, students and parents – it’s now time to look at the benefits for each stakeholder, starting with schools.

    In this article, we’re focussing on the relationship between parental engagement and schools. We’re specifically thinking about four key benefits schools can gain from engaging parents in their child’s education.

    1. Improved academic outcomes

    “Parental engagement in children’s learning is associated with improved academic outcomes at all ages” Axford et al, 2019.

    Improved academic outcomes have a wide-ranging impact for schools beyond knowing a student has achieved their potential including:

    • improved reputational standing in the local community

    • improved performance in league tables and Ofsted reports

    • increased levels of staff satisfaction rates and better staff retention

    2. A direct and beneficial effect on student behaviour

    “The Engaging Parents: Raising Achievement study found that parental engagement had a direct and beneficial effect on student behaviour” Harris et al, 2009

    It’s not just the Engaging Parents: Raising Achievement (EPRA) study that has shown a link between parental engagement and student behaviour. Virtually all reports and studies will mention this link. To quote one student in the EPRA study:

    “You can tell the difference between someone whose parents are involved and when they’re not. When they are involved you can see that, like, you work a bit harder, because you’ve got someone to realize that you are working harder.”

    3. Improved and sustained improvement for schools

    “Schools that improve and sustain improvement almost always have engaged the community and have built strong links with parents.” Harris et al, 2009.

    4. Better communications, especially when there are concerns

    Schools can benefit from better, clearer and less contentious communications with parents when there are higher levels of parental engagement (Morgan, 2017). This can reduce pressure on teaching staff and ensure more positive outcomes for schools, students and parents.


    When looked at together, it’s easy to see how these four benefits work hand-in-hand to achieve a positive learning environment, resulting in increased academic outcomes. A clear case why schools should work to engage parents.

    Next week we’ll be focussing on the benefits of parental engagement for students. You might be surprised by the findings!


    • Axford, N., Berry, V., Lloyd, J., Moore, D., Rogers, M., Hurst, A., Blockley, K., Durkin,H. and Minton, J. (2019) How Can Schools Support Parents’ Engagement in their Children’s Learning? Evidence from Research and Practice. London: Education Endowment Foundation.

    • Harris, A., Andrew-Power, K. and Goodall, J. (2009) Do Parents Know They Matter? Raising Achievement through Parental Engagement. London: Continuum

    • Morgan, N. S. (2017) Engaging Families in Schools. Abingdon: Routledge

    Tags: Parental Engagement

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