For our purposes, the term ‘families’ describes any of the wide variety of home arrangements that people establish to care for and rear children.
There is abundant evidence that Australian families are undergoing rapid change. The diversity of families is evident in the growth of non-traditional family structures. Family structure can be defined in terms of parents’ relationships to children in the household (for example, biological or non-biological), parents’ marital status and relationships history (for example, divorced, separated, remarried), the number of parents in the family, and parents’ sexual orientation.” (Wise, 2003)
The term ‘parents’ includes all types of parental figures including carers
The school community is generally considered to include students, families, school staff, other professionals, other support staff and volunteers.
The school community may also include members of other organisations in the wider community who support the operation of the school.
The wider community provides services which can strengthen and support schools, students and their families. Schools, families and students can assist the community in return.
Schools are increasingly collaborating with partners such as:
after-school care providers;
and other community-based agencies
The governments of all Australian states and territories have agreed to work co-operatively toward improving family school relationships in our schools.
The Bureau will be liaising with each state and territory government to build a cohesive set of policies and practices regarding family school partnerships.