Supporting Structures For Family-School & Community Partnerships
In order to create the conditions that enable effective family-school partnerships to be developed and sustained, the following supporting structures need to be in place at both systemic and school levels:
- family-school action teams to plan, organise, implement and evaluate partnerships;
- school policies and procedures which explicitly state and clearly integrate the principles and practices of effective partnerships;
- support networks, to enable school communities to share ideas, issues and best practice; and
- accountability to the community, to report on successes and drive improvement in partnerships.
School communities are encouraged to review their current supporting structures, policies and procedures and develop new ones where necessary. This may include establishing a dedicated family-school action team of school leaders, teachers and parents (appointed by the parent body) – or using an existing working group that includes parents – to develop and coordinate partnership plans and activities.
Any successful partnership will involve parents, carers and families in preparation, planning, implementation and review. A dedicated family-school action team of teachers, school leaders and parents to develop and coordinate partnership plans and activities can provide the basis for improving partnerships more broadly.
This family-school action team would:
- audit existing arrangements and practices and collect information on the views, experiences and wishes of teachers, parents, school leaders and students;
- confirm that the school leaders and the parent network endorse the concept of partnership and inform the school community;
- develop plans for implementation, setting goals, timelines and success indicators against the Key Dimensions of the Family-School Partnerships Framework;
- arrange training for action team members;
- implement agreed activities;
- evaluate the effectiveness of the partnership activities;
- continue to improve and coordinate practices against the Key Dimensions of the Family-School Partnerships Framework; and
- explore options for new partnerships.