Family-School Partnerships Framework Project

Project Officer: Donna Sirmais

July 2014

Initial consultations have now concluded on the Framework refinement project and we have moved into the next phase of the project of developing an updated version of the framework built on information gathered through the consultation period. During our recent study trip to the United States, we were fortunate to meet with a member from the Family Engagement Outreach Team. We discussed the implementation process of the US Federal Department of Educations’ Dual Capacity Framework for family engagement, co developed by Karen Mapp. This meeting provided opportunity to further explore and build on information gathered through the consultation here in Australia and will assist with the refinement of the Australian Family School Partnerships Framework.

We would like to thank all who participated at various levels. Without your support with consultation, we would not have been able to gather the rich information that we did. Anyone wishing to trial the new framework once developed please contact me at Framework@familyschool.org.au Keep watch on this space, our facebook page and twitter account for more information.

April 2014

The Family-School Partnerships Framework has been available for use in schools for 5 years and has never had a comprehensive evaluation or update. In light of Education reforms, it is timely that the Bureau ensures that the Framework maintains currency, relevance and is easily accessible and familiar to schools families and community organisations. The project consists of gathering the opinions of Educators, parents and community members on how we can better the framework; improve schools, families and communities knowledge of the existence of the framework; and make the framework more accessible to schools, families and communities. Consultations have commenced and are continuing into the near future with some great ideas being gathered.

Focus group participants include the Public and Independent Sector affiliates and networks, Partnership Brokers and Individual unaffiliated schools and families, consultations are also in the initial stages with affiliates of the Catholic Education sector. The States represented are Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales. The Bureau would like to acknowledge the dedicated work that participating organisations have conducted in preparation for these groups; your support has been invaluable.  If you would like to know how you can become involved in the Framework refinement project please email the Framework refinement project officer Donna Sirmais framework@familyschool.org.au  

Reflections from the focus groups

“We loved that we were able to have the opportunity to contribute to such a worthwhile project”.

“It would be great to see a living document that is reflective of Family, schools’ and community needs”.

“We would love to see short videos of what other schools and communities have done that were successful”.

“We would like the framework to be more visual”.




The Family School and Community Partnerships Bureau will conduct a review and refinement of the Family - School Partnerships Framework: A guide for schools and families.

The current framework is a valuable resource for school communities; it provides an agreed national approach to guide schools and families wishing to strengthen partnerships. The Framework describes a vision for partnerships between Australian families and schools and offers strategies on developing relationships through to sustaining them based on 7 key dimensions of effective family – school partnerships practices. Whilst the Framework remains an extremely valuable and effective resource for schools and families, the need to review and refine the framework to ensure it remains current and relevant in light of National Education reforms is necessary.

The Family  School and Community Partnerships Bureau has employed a project officer whose role is to facilitate the reviewing and refining project. The framework project officer, Donna Sirmais, has extensive experience utilising the framework to empower schools and families in the development, building and sustaining of effective partnerships and will be meeting with Bureau Research Advisory Group to plan directions for the project shortly.