Swotly - Parental Engagement and Students

    Parental Engagement and Students

    What’s in it for them and do they care?

    In our last article, we looked at the ways schools can benefit by engaging parents in their children’s learning. In this post, we’ll be looking at the second corner of the stakeholder triangle - students.

    As stated in earlier articles, we’re concentrating on parental engagement from secondary school upwards. It might be easy with this age group to ask “do students care if their parents are engaged in their learning?”. The research says “yes” – but with some caveats!

    Moral support

    “You can’t do it alone”, Harris et al (2009).

    The Engaging Parents: Raising Achievement (EPRA) study found that the value students placed on parental engagement was linked to moral support and being a role model. Students want their parents to be interested and engaged in their studies. They want to know that their parents value education.

    But don’t help with homework!

    “Most students ... were not particularly interested in their parents’ help with homework … What mattered to students was … that parents gave a clear message that education was important overall and showed an interest in education”, Harris et al (2009).

    Research also shows that parents knowing about and encouraging the completion of coursework and homework is more important than helping with homework (Axford et al, 2019).

    This will no doubt come as a relief to both parents and teachers.

    Parents often mention that they feel ill-equipped to support their children with homework. They don’t understand how subjects are taught now compared to when they themselves were students.

    Teachers want to know that a student’s work is their own, so they can be confident of the level of understanding the student has.

    And there’s a time and a place …

    For many secondary school children, the school building is not the place for parental engagement. They want to feel independent in their transactions with their teachers and with the school. And of course, no teenager wants to be embarrassed by their parents! But as we’ve already seen, parental engagement works best when it’s rooted in the home environment. So, it’s a win-win-win for students, teachers, and parents here.


    It’s great news that students want and care about parental engagement. And what they want is deliverable by many parents – moral support, an interest in their studies, and awareness and encouragement to complete coursework and homework – all within the home environment.

    In the next post, we’ll look at the final corner of the stakeholder triangle – parents.


    Tags: Parental Engagement

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