There is no question that parents are a vital and crucial part of the school community. It is interesting to consider some key components of this important relationship. Here are a few questions.
Ownership: Are parents the owners? Are their interests met directly? Do they have a voice?
Management: Do parents have the opportunity to participate directly in the management of the school? Can they be a part of the big strategic decisions? Can they influence direction?
Participation: Are parents motivated to participate because of their vested interest in the school? Are there many avenues for participation?
Community: Is there a sense of common purpose amongst the parents helping to develop a sense of community?
Aspirations and Goals: Are parents clearly seeking certain common goals. What are these goals? e.g. a safe and nurturing environment, a strong emphasis on education, a well rounded curriculum and excellent teachers.
Does the school recognise these goals and seek to address them?
Morality: Do the parents relate to the moral beliefs / ethos of the school? Is there a strong sense of morality and purpose? Does this morality / ethos permeate the culture of the school?
Consistency and continuity: Do parents perceive a consistency of people and the environment? Is there stability in the staff and the environment? Do parents have a sense that the school has a clear purpose and direction?
Communication: Are the lines of communication for parents easy to navigate, both to teachers, administration and management?
Quality and Resourcing: Do parents believe that resources and support provided enable delivery of a quality teaching program across all areas of the school?
Flexibility and capability: Do parents have confidence that educators and administrators can adapt and evolve the leaning environment swiftly and effectively to meet changing needs, of the different groups, within the school community?
Happiness: Is there is a sense that teachers, students and parents are happy and feel a sense of pleasure or delight in participating.
Is there a feeling that these factors are working together to produce a sense of “rightness”… a sense that parents are actively parenting and are involved in the education of their children? – “The Parenting Factor”.