Engagement v Involvement
These two phrases often cause confusion, and if you read research going back over the last 20 years you’ll find that the two phrases have been interchanged on lots of occasions.
In their study ‘Parental Engagement: Do Parents Know They Matter?’ Prof Alma Harris and Dr Janet Goodall suggested that the two should be used separately and that is just what we will do throughout this website.
Parental Engagement is enabling parents to support their child’s learning in the home.
Parental Involvement is when parents participate in school as PTA members, governors, reading partners, mentors etc.
Both roles are important for different reasons. Firstly though, research tells us that it is only through Parental Engagement that a parent can make a really positive impact on their child’s achievement.
The contributions that parents make to education in general, such as in shaping the performance and strategic direction of a school by being part of the governing body, helping to raise much-needed additional funds by being a member of the PTA, by giving time to help pupils in school time on a one-to-one basis as a reading partner or mentor, or providing an extra pair of helping hands on school trips, are all part of Parental Involvement. Research suggests that this kind of interaction has no direct positive benefit on your child’s achievement.