The importance of parental involvement in education


The purpose of this research is look at parental engagement in their kid ‘s instruction. How parents get involved and how this is good to kids. It examines the barriers are that prevent parental engagement look intoing both parents and instructor ‘s positions. The grounds collected was of both qualitative and quantitative utilizing 3 research methods in order to guarantee triangulation of the information. The information collected arose from semi-structured interviews, questionnaires. A group of parents besides kept a journal over a period of 4 hebdomads, observing activities that they shared with their kid that was involved with larning. Decisions


This little graduated table research is to see parental engagement in a kid ‘s instruction and how parents ‘ parts help kids to accomplish piece at school and examines the barriers of parents ‘ and school which prevent successful partnerships booming.

In order to transport out a survey that would be relevant to my ain pattern I have focused on both parents, and instructors ‘ perceptual experience of parental engagement and the type of partnerships that exist between place and school. I have besides briefly looked at the authorities function, the enterprises and policies that encourage schools and parents to work together. My chief focal point nevertheless, is the barriers that prevent parental engagement. In my proposal, I noted initial cardinal findings, that I wanted to research farther, nevertheless, after reading a huge sum of literature, time-scales prevented me to look at all countries in deepness.

My involvement in this country foremost began when in a parent function I used to listen to kids read one time a hebdomad at a local primary school. Over the old ages in my function as a parent, I have seen more encouragement to be involved with my local primary school that my ain kid attends. Offers of classs in Maths and Literacy have been available, every bit good as many after school activities such as nines, or invitations to school events outside of school clip.

My initial reading, led to me research commissioned by DCSF ( 2007 ) which showed that 51 % of parents questioned felt really involved in their kid ‘s instruction, compared to 27 % in 1963 ( DES ) . This would bespeak that parents are now seen as an built-in portion of a kid ‘s school life. Government policies involve parents through audiences about facets of behavior and school uniform, and the White Paper ( 2011 ) has farther still increased parental power.

There are still barriers, nevertheless, that prevent parents going more involved to the full in their kid ‘s instruction. In the same research ( DCSF 2007 ) found that 61 % of parents indicated that they would wish to be more involved with school. I wanted to understand why parents perceived that they were non involved plenty with their kid ‘s instruction. I besides wanted to see how instructors felt when working with parents and their perceptual experiences and what barriers, if any instructors ‘ besides had.

My survey focused on two primary schools, one rural school functioning small towns in Lincolnshire with 100 students, and a big town school functioning chiefly a big council estate with 400 students. Research ( Quote ) suggests, that parent battle is higher when a kid is go toing primary school, and this lowers as kids enter the secondary sector. For intents of my survey I have non included this component due to size and clip restraints. I have besides non considered socio- economic background but I have found that this country has overlapped in much of my reading. However Cosin & A ; Hayle ( 1997 ) indicate that if a kid has a parent who feels involved, and participates with their kid ‘s instruction, benefits will be seen irrespective of background.

Schools besides have a portion to play and Ofsted ( 2007 ) suggest that all schools value parental engagement but the best schools offer resourcefulness, flexibleness and finding in their battle with parents. In order to measure how schools encourage parents to be involved, grounds was collected through interviews with both Head-teachers of the schools. Class Teachers were besides invited to take portion in interviews ; nevertheless of the eight instructors invited merely two were interviewed with remainder offering to finish a questionnaire. Time restraints were the general ground for this.

Literature Review

The importance of parental engagement

It has long been recognised since the publication of the Plowden Report ( 1967 ) that the importance of Parental engagement in instruction brings tonss of benefits to kids. This term covers a broad scope of issues but by and large is defined as how a parent uses available resources with the purpose of bettering a kid ‘s acquisition. ( Docking, 1997 ) This engagement may take topographic point in or outside school.

Parental engagement at place may include activities such as treatments with their kid about school, assisting with prep or reading, or working on undertakings such as cookery, ‘make and make ‘ undertakings or being portion of the wider community and utilizing the installations that may be on offer. Engagement at school may be go toing parents ‘ eventides, volunteering in the schoolroom, or assisting with determination devising, such as belonging to the PTA or on a higher degree working within a Parent governor function.

Surveies have shown that kids who have parents that take an active involvement in their instruction benefit in a figure of ways. These kids are normally higher winners ( Ballantine, 1999 ; Docking, 1997 ; ) attending is higher, ( Haynes, Comer, & A ; Hamilton-Lee, 1989 ) , prep is readily completed ( Rich,1988 ; ) and self- regard and assurance is high. ( Hoover-Dempsey,1997 ; Walker,2000 ; Jones & A ; Reed, 2002 ) .

The Labour Government besides recognised the importance of parental engagement, they emphasised that ‘parents are active spouses in the production of educated kids ‘ ( McNamara et al, 2000 ; p474 ) . Excellence in Schools ( DFEE, 1997 ) states that parents ‘are a kid ‘s primary pedagogues ‘ , and parents are cardinal spouses in the modern school system. Many enterprises have been aimed at parental engagement such as Sure-Start.

The Barriers of Parental Involvement- Parents perceptual experiences

Parents ‘ beliefs and how they view instruction, can move as barriers to effectual parental engagement. The manner parents view their function in their kid ‘s instruction is important. Parents ‘ , who believe that their function is to guarantee their kid attends school, and the remainder is up to the school, are frequently non willing to be actively involved in their kid ‘s schooling. Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler ( 1997 ) reported that this attitude is more prevailing in some communities than others, but did non impute low income as a factor. Clarke ( 1983 ) found that if students were high winners, the parents supported their acquisition at place and interacted with school in a positive manner. Clark found that parents ‘ of high achieving of students had a greater belief than other parents because they feel their aid makes important parts. All the parents in Clark ‘s research were from low economic backgrounds- this research would bespeak that income is non a factor for deficiency of parental engagement. Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler ( 1997 ) point out that parents ‘ who have low degrees of belief in their ability to assist their kids are likely to hold small contact with school because they feel that such engagement will non give positive results for their kids.

There may be many grounds for the deficiency of assurance that parents ‘ may experience. Language barriers may take to a parent experiencing they can non pass on efficaciously with instructors, or negative experiences through their ain schooling can frequently be the job. Parents may besides take the position that their academic competency is non high plenty to efficaciously assist their kids. This position is expressed more frequently as kids progress from primary to secondary school and academic work becomes more advanced ( Eccles and Harold, 1993. ) . All of the above positions act as a barrier to Parental engagement, despite research that acknowledges support for a kid ‘s acquisition does non necessitate a high degree of instruction from parents. ( Clark 1983 ; Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler 1997 ; Hornby 2000 )

Another barrier, which is of import to involvement in their kid ‘s instruction, is the positions parents hold about their kid ‘s intelligence. ( Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler 1997 ) If parents hold the position that their kid is intelligent through fortune, they will non see the point of acquiring involved. Alternatively, parents who hold positions that accomplishment and attempt are linked and that this can be developed are more likely to be positive about parental engagement. This position can be linked with child rise uping in general and parents who hold beliefs that the function of a parent is the manner they bring up kids that is really of import, normally are considered to hold positive positions, and do considerable impact on their kid ‘s development overall ( Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler 1997 ) . Parental barriers may be due to fortunes, parents who left school early or felt they did n’t win at school may be apathetic to assisting their ain kid. They may be unconfident in their ain cognition and accomplishments, hence unable to assist with prep or school undertakings ( Green et Al, 2007 ) . This attitude besides may forestall parents working with instructors as they feel that they are non qualified plenty. Other committednesss such as work can besides do barriers. When parents are unemployed, money could be an issue as they may non be able to afford a auto or to pay baby-sitters in order to acquire to school meetings. For parents with occupations it is frequently clip restraints and the sort of occupations they have that cause issues. There is frequently less clip to be involved at place or school, as parents possibly for illustration, excessively tired at the terminal of the twenty-four hours to assist kids with prep or have constructive treatments about their kid ‘s school twenty-four hours ( Catsambis, 2001 ; Green et Al. 2007 ) . Finally socio-class, gender and ethnicity, can be seen as barriers to parental engagement, issues associating to differences may play a function and enterprises from Government have aimed to turn to this ( Quote ) .

Barriers- Teachers perceptual experiences

Barriers to parental engagement, is non merely the duty of parents. Teachers besides face hurdlings that may forestall them holding successful partnerships with parents.

In order for parental engagement to be successful it is of import to look at the function of instructors and their position of the partnership. Lazar & A ; Slostad, ( 1999 ) province that instructors who invest clip in working with parents, experience more authorization within their instruction, study that emphasis degrees are reduced and experience their professional position and authorization is appreciated. Additionally instructors reported that they felt the work they did with the kids was greatly respected due to parental engagement ( Hara and Burke, 1998 ) .

For many old ages instructors have been under the feeling that parents do non value instruction or the occupation that instructors do. Ascher, 1988 ; Henderson, Marburger, & A ; Ooms,1986 report that many instructors find parents un-cooperative, when issues of subject arise, and argue that reaching parents is frequently ineffectual. Teachers fear that when contacted, parents possibly argumentative and hostile, and may hold a ill-conceived belief that the job, if left entirely, will non do confrontations. However, this is the antonym of world instructors who contact parents when they have a concern normally find parents co-operative and willing to work with the school ( Johnson & A ; Webster, 1994 ) . Another ground cited is that instructors do non appreciate or neglect to understand the importance of parental engagement ( Broderick & A ; Mastrilli, 1997 ; Greenwood & A ; Hickman, 1991 ; Hoover-Dempsey, Walker, Jones, & A ; Reed, 2002 ) in home- school links. Much literature on this topic ( Hoover-Dempsey, Walker, Jones, & A ; Reed ; Lazar & A ; Slostad, 1999 ) discusses communicating between place and school is frequently weak and place visits to truly understand households would assist to better this.

Parent – instructor partnerships

As discussed, in order for parental engagement to be effectual, instructors and parents must hold the same ends. Parental engagement must non merely be seen as simplistic desire. Much of the literature that surrounds this country discusses opposing dockets and ends ( Wolfendale, 1983 ; Epstien 2001 ) . Government and schools ends towards parental engagement, possibly so they are accountable to communities, or to advance kids ‘s accomplishments through conference tabular arraies. Parents ends are more concerned with their kid ‘s felicity, how good they are making in footings of school work. Montgomery ( 2009 ) , points that barriers may happen when there is a struggle over ability. Children that are gifted and talented may non be viewed so by their instructors which so causes barriers through defeats. Equally this may be seen when kids are talented in a athletics, or musically and make non go to school in order to prosecute this. Rudney ( 2005 ) discusses teacher ends and provinces that the focal point of instructors in parental engagement is through prep, supplying a nurturing environment, parent meetings and studies, and go toing school events. Parent-teacher meetings provide a good penetration to how ends of instructors and parents may differ. Bastiani ( 1989 ) has suggested that instructors wish to discourse different things to parents, although both are concerned with the kid ‘s advancement, their concerns are viewed in different positions which so create barriers for engagement subsequently on. Aldeman ( 1992 ) discoursing the impact of differing ends considers that home-school relationships are based on socialization, where schools attempt to determine parents attitudes so they enable schooling. He farther suggests that underlying agendas frequently have an impact on parental engagement if the ends are more about run intoing the demands of schools instead than persons. These differences can do defeats to both parties and bound parental engagement and partnership successes.

Interrupting down the barriers

As discussed, research workers have identified several types of parental engagement. Epstien ( 1995 ) categorized this as parenting, pass oning, volunteering, place acquisition, determination devising, and working with the community. Although all of these classs have an impact on a kid ‘s acquisition, non all achieve academic success. The key to success is the relationship that is established between kids and parents in the place. ( Burns, 2000 ; Clark, 1983 ; Norton & A ; Nufeld, 2002 ) . High outlooks of a kid ‘s accomplishments and doing instruction a precedence should be of high importance if barriers are to be broken, ( Brown, 1999 ; Kurdek, Fine, & A ; Sinclair, 1995 ; Muller,1993 ; Rosenzweig, 2000 ; Solo, 1997 ) . Evidence is overpowering that households, who set high outlooks for their kids, have a high academic success ( Clark 1983 ) . This besides can been seen in the schoolroom, and instructors who set high outlooks for the kids they teach, are frequently seen as Outstanding ( Ofsted, ? ? ? ; ) Teachers should underscore this importance when pass oning with parents, and reassure them that their kid can make high degrees of academic success ( Hughes, 2003 ; Johnson, 1998 ) . Second parents have to take an active function in larning at place ( Becker & A ; Epstein, 1982 ; Dornbusch & A ; Ritter, 1988 ; Tizard, Schofeld, & A ; Hewison, 1982 ; Rosenzweig, 2000 ) . Children who have well-structured modus operandis at place do really good at school ( Muller,1993 ) . Teachers can assist parents to actively acquire involved by offering specific schemes that parents can utilize to organize prep, treatments or their clip in general. ( Finn, 1998 ) . Parents can supply stuffs or have an country where kids can analyze, but it is critical that they show an involvement in their kid ‘s school work. Discussions about school non merely assist parents supervise their kid ‘s activities, but more significantly they are demoing their kid that they care about their advancement and what they do ( Brown, 1999 ; Finn, 1998 ) . Teachers can assist parents to supervise advancement more readily if they provide parents with information such as prep policies that discuss the type, how much should be done, how it is marked. Parents by and large welcome information such as this, every bit good as cognition of the work their kid will be making over the school twelvemonth ( Loucks 1992 ) . This type of information could be presented via school newssheets and many schools are utilizing this method as portion of parental engagement schemes. Last, parents and instructors need to underscore the importance of attempt over ability ( Stevenson, 1983 ) . Dweck ( 1986 ) noted that kids who attribute success and failure to attempt instead than ability addition satisfaction, will seek challenges and will get the better of obstructions that they may confront. Parents nor instructors can non significantly change the ability of students, but they can hold an of import impact on encouragement of attempt. Children who have parents and instructors that convey messages of success through attempt are normally confident, self-efficient, and strive to be high winners ( Folwer & A ; Peterson, 1981 ) . Researches ( Darling & A ; Steinberg, 1993 ; Gonzalez, 2002 ; Robertson, 1997 ; Rosenzweig, 2000 ; Zellman & A ; Waterman, 1998 ) have identified a theoretical account of parenting, and have termed it as important parenting. This theoretical account encompasses all the above points discussed. This theoretical account includes puting high outlooks, supplying emotional support, allowing appropriate independency, puting bounds, and most significantly recognition of their kid ‘s positions of place and school. This theoretical account appears to be most contributing to academic success. Teachers should promote parents to follow this theoretical account through treatments, assisting to beef up home-school relationships. In decision, the importance of parental engagement in a kid ‘s academic success is unarguable. The literature available clearly identifies the benefits of parent engagement, outlines the obstructions confronting parent and place relationships, and has made some suggestions in order for the barriers to be broken down. It is an unfortunate fact that after much research over the decennaries some parents are still disengaged from their kid ‘s school life. In order to include all parents, the schoolroom instructor has a major function to play, and is the key to altering the degree of parental engagement. Teachers have the accomplishments and schemes necessary for making successful partnerships, with those who are so critical to a kid ‘s success in school, the parents.


The participants of this survey were parents of kids who attended either school, or instructors, including caputs, who are portion of the school staff. Both schools offer a positive attack to parental engagement, with the rural school holding an accent on prep. Both schools gave the research worker permission to transport out studies through questionnaires, and semi structured interviews. Diaries were given to parents – 5 from each school, after inquiring parents if they wished to take part. All participants were assured of confidentiality verbally, and it was made clear on paper-work which parents were required to make full in. A missive was sent to both Heads besides seeking permission to carry on a little survey. This is conformity to Ethical guidelines ( Cohen, 2000 ; Woolley, 2010 ) . Prior to the survey taking topographic point, a pilot questionnaire was emailed to 10 parents that had kids. The inquiries asked, were based around my initial reading, and after having the responses, I realised that I had merely focused on the wide issues of parental engagement, and hence needed to alter the inquiries in order to roll up precise informations to reply my inquiry. Once I devised my questionnaire on understanding with both schools, parents were invited to take one and finish it and return back to school office. I had originally wanted to utilize a random choice processes utilizing category lists, nevertheless after consideration I decided that as a cross-section of parents went into the school, on a day-to-day footing so my informations would still be valid. Each questionnaire had a standardized set of inquiries ( speak about this non ever acquiring the right response and quotation mark )

Problems arose in the velocity of responses, nevertheless all participants did respond and 30 completed questionnaires were returned from each school. The prep journals gave me another set of complications, I wanted to measure the activities that enhance kids ‘s acquisition and how parents achieved this, nevertheless, ( speak about parents may lie to experience better, or feel they have to compose something in fright of non looking like a good parent – relate back to theoretical account in diary.

The sample overall was non big plenty to compare existent findings to empirical research, nevertheless there has been some similarities which would agree with the grounds collected.

Throughout my design and research I kept ethical issues at the forepart of my head, this is critical in any research which is undertaken, to protect all who are involved.

Analysis of Findingss

Decisions and Recommendations