Parental involvement is defined broadly as “parental participation in their children’s educational experiences,” and it encompasses both school-based and home-based involvement. The New Zealand Ministry of Education recognised the importance of parental involvement in improving educational results for children when it released the Schooling Strategy 2005-2010 in 2005. Enhancing parent and family involvement in children’s education was one of three priority areas for schools, along with improving teaching quality and boosting evidence-based practise, according to this report, which gives advise for schools on critical areas in need of development.

Other advantages of parental involvement include benefits for children, teachers, and parents, in addition to enhancing academic attainment. Children’s attitudes, behaviour, and attendance at school increase as a result of their parents’ involvement, as does their mental health. Parental involvement benefits teachers through improving parent-teacher relationships, teacher morale, and the school climate. Involvement in their children’s education has been connected to enhanced parental confidence and happiness in parenting, as well as increased parental interest in their own education. The effectiveness of parental participation in bringing about these changes applies across socioeconomic position, gender, and ethnicity, as well as to students in primary, intermediate, and secondary schools, according to these reviews.

Types of participation 

According to several studies, the sort of parental participation varies as children get older, and parents become less active with schools. They are, however, able to take on more supportive roles at home, such as setting high standards and assisting with homework, topic selection, and career prospects. Parents, teachers, and students agreed that parental involvement is vital, but they disagreed regarding its purpose, according to a recent study of parental involvement done in 20 secondary schools in England. Secondary schools tended to emphasise on school-based family participation rather than fostering home-based parental involvement, which was judged to be at least as significant for secondary school students, according to the researchers.

A study of high-achieving secondary school children from poor Afro-American families conducted in the United States is another example of this. Parents of high-achieving students differed from parents of low-achieving students in several ways, according to one study. Parents of high-achieving students reported valuing education, visiting schools, and advocating for their children, as well as instilling pride and self-reliance in their children, establishing homework and bedtime routines, monitoring children’s television viewing, encouraging reading, talking with children, playing games with children, taking children on visits and outings, and fostering hobbies, as well as sporting and other activities. Successful students’ parents were involved in their children’s education both at school and at home, according to one study.

The most important findings 

Few of the schools had written policies on parental involvement, despite the literature suggesting that all schools should develop policies outlining the ways in which parents can be involved in their children’s education, as well as the procedures by which schools and teachers can assist parents in doing so. Policies should be created in conjunction with parents to ensure that the activities offered are appropriate for the various areas in which schools are located.

It was also obvious that the quantity and quality of parent education offered by schools differed significantly. Referral of parents to community-based parent education workshops was likewise sporadic. Parents may not completely appreciate the value of getting active in their children’s schools if they have not received proper parent education, and they may also fail to give the kind of assistance at home that will maximise their children’s academic performance. As a result, it’s critical for schools to evaluate how they can provide parent education on this and other themes.