The findings from both the questionnaire and my asking questions shows that the teachers in my particular school are mostly happy to involve parents on a regular basis they do believe that in the long run children of parents who take an active interest in their education will do better and learn more. They felt that even if these parents didn’t necessarily come into school to listen to other children read etc that these children would do well anyway because these are the parents who already help their child with homework and listen to them read on a regular basis anyway.
100% of our Teachers thought it would be beneficial for the poorer achiever to have more support from home and were willing to help parents any way they could, but very often these were the parents that avoided any contact with school even to the extent of not attending parents evening. This problem needs to be addressed in every school, a report printed in the Telegraph newspaper in December 2007 by the Education Editor Graeme Parton: The government proposes that schools should send parents regular emails and phone calls updating them on pupils’ attendance, behaviour and academic record.
However teachers may feel this is too much as Fullan points out in his book ‘Change Forces Probing the Depths of Educational Reform’ Already too much is asked of them. Teachers’ jobs are much more complex than ever before. They must respond to the needs of a diverse and changing student population, a rapidly changing technology in the work place and demands of excellence from all segments of society. Micheal Fullan (Pg 5) If a parent who had any particular expertise came into school and offered to take a class to teach it our head would be very happy and welcome this. When I asked him if he genuinely thought this would be a good idea he said he felt it was the way to progress and is very keen to give the children other experiences. However the teachers may have a different view on this as they are under increasing pressure to fit in everything in the school curriculum.
When I asked the teachers about the Governments policy of opening the school more hours all the teachers said they were quite happy about this as long as they were not expected to help more than they wanted to. The after school activities at present are run by teachers on a term basis only and also because they are interested in the topic being done. 60% of the teachers want or need to leave school at a reasonable time because of family commitments. They feel they put in enough time and energy into their already very busy schedule.
From this study I have found that it is not really down to the teachers themselves as to whether parents are welcomed into the classroom it is down to the school as a whole under the direction of the Head Teacher and the school Governors. It is down to them to help make provisions for the Governments wraparound schooling policy. They have to be the first to accept these changes and make adjustments for it to be successful. This is just one of the difficulties highlighted by Fullan when trying to implement change: The difficulty is that educational change is not a single entity even if we keep the analysis at the simple level of an innovation in the classroom.
Micheal G Fullan 2000 As highlighted before our school invites parents to special assemblies, have more parents evenings and our Governors are now in the process of getting a PTA (Parent Teacher Association) group up and running. When the NFER (National Foundation for Educational Research) carried out their annual report in 2007 they found that most Head Teachers felt that the most significant improvement in helping parents to become involved more in their child’s education was through the use of their school website, most schools in our pyramid have taken this on board. When I briefly looked at how other schools involve parents I found six out of the seven schools had a lot of information in their school website as does ours. However emphasis was made on the fact that the size and location of the school have a massive impact in what strategy the schools uses to involve parents.
The only strategy that showed a marked increase in comparison with the previous years survey was the use of the school website which increased by 6 percentage points to 79%. NFER 2007 Survey We have found in our school that the amount of help offered from parents each year group is different like the children the cohort varies and seems to have a pattern. Every so many years we have a class of poorly behaved children; this can also be seen with parents. If a class has a parent who comes into school to listen to children read very often that class will have offers of help from parents regularly.
To further this study it would be ideal to ask parents how they feel about going into schools. To be able to find out if the myths of parents feeling intimidated going into their childs school to be true. In 2006 Every Child Matters website pointed out that some parents had such a bad experience of school as a child that it still effected them later in life. Many parents still have negative memeories of their school days and can feel intimidated by the thought of going back into class. Every Child Matters 3rd Oct 2006
Is there a pecentage of childrens parents still who feel like this or are these changes in schools helping the majority of parents overcome their fear? It would also be helpful to get samples from different areas of the country. Do schools in the north have better relationships with parents? Recommendations If this study were to be repeated I think it would defiantly benefit from the views of the parents although initially my report was to find out how teachers felt about parents being in class. Maybe if we knew what parents from our school feel about coming into school teachers may then take on a different point of view.