On this page we have taken some of the Ofsted comments from the previous page and added our suggestions on actions the school could take to further enhance and evidence their Parental Engagement. When applied, school leaders should be able to control the conversation with Ofsted by using evidence to demonstrate the true situation.
“The school is, rightly, strongly encouraging the habit of reading. Right across the school pupils said they liked to read and the majority were keen to show their reading diary, which confirmed that many read at home with their parents and carers. Questionnaire responses strongly agreed with the view that the school helps children to develop communication skills and that they are well supported to assist their learning.”
Identify those families where reading at home Is not a regular occurrence and provide targeted support and advice to rectify the issue. Keep records that show that you respond to individual family need. Track progress so that you know if the intervention is working.
“The school runs a helpful programme of events to support parents and carers in helping their children to learn.”
Always keep a register of parents who attend these type of events to identify those parents who were unable to attend. Explore a variety of different approaches including personal invitation, online and weekend sessions, and in the home deliver to enable all parents to be regularly engaged in their children’s learning.
“The school works well with parents and carers, with a parent support adviser successfully engaging with those who are hard to reach.”
The success of the parent support adviser has demonstrated that, with the correct approach, all parents can be reached. Have the PSA keep a log of interventions. Create a climate in which school leaders can accept that:
a. all parents want to help their children
b. all that is needed to harness the help of parents is to find a way of winning their confidence.
When viewed in this way, we accept that the school is the ‘hard to reach’ element in the relationship - and we can do something about it.
Do not take it for granted that just because an intervention has been set up, it is working - within your implementation strategy have some way of checking how and when you'll know if the intervention is working.
Keep records that show how you identified a problem, what you have done to rectify the problem, and how you know that it is now working. Perhaps more importantly, don't be afriad of showing Ofsted that some things did not work at first but you changed things to rectify the situation and can prove it. This reflects the relentless ambition on an outstanding school.