As a strategy for school improvement, Parental Engagement works across a wide range of countries, cultures and curriculum models. We believe that it is one of the most important and accessible strategies that a school can use, as long as those implementing the initiative understand how Parental Engagement works.
Across the world, governments are realising that an educated workforce is necessary to maintain economic development. There is a strong connection between the number of students receiving a university education and the prosperity of a country, and indeed, between personal prosperity and higher education. The desire to secure and improve a family's economic well-being has driven a desire amoung parents for their children to achieve highly in school, especially where there is keen competition for university places. This desire, when coupled with the strongly competitive nature of some education systems, has led to an anxiety for parents, especially in some eastern and middle eastern cultures, caused by a confusion about the role they now assume that they have to play in their child's education.
Increasingly, within what has been traditionally called the 'developed' and the 'developing' world, parents who themselves may not have achieved highly at school, or had poor access to education as a child, find themselves in a position where their own children are learning things at school that they as parents do not understand. Where there is an expectation, or perceived expectation that parents will help their children with their studies at home, there is an understandable frustration, embarrassment and failure on their part that leads to their disengagement from the process of education. It doesn't have to be like this. As a catalyst for change, Parental Engagement works for all parents, regardless of the education they had as children. It even works with those parents who are illiterate.
Naturally, the implementation of a cohesive Parental Engagement strategy in any school requires the separation in functionality between those behaviours that constitute Parental Involvement, and those that constitute Parental Engagement. (Please read the corresponding sections in the menu).
If the correct ethos and practice exist in a school, any parent can contribute to their child's achievement at school through Parental Engagement.
Over the last 18 months we have been developing our Parental Engagement package in a range of schools in the UK that have reflected the widest possible range of income, ethnicity, deprivation and levels of parental education. We know from feedback from school leaders, teachers, parents and pupils that the course works. A recent offer we made to schools in England to receive that training has unsurprisingly led to an interest from schools around the world for the same training. Obviously there are logistical and financial problems in the delivery of our course to individual schools, problems that may well have inhibited other schools from even showing an interest. We are therefore exploring a way of providing the course in a range of countries in the most cost-effective way.
Coupling expressions of interest with the information we have from Google Analytics, we know those towns and cities in those countries where our websites are accessed on a daily basis. Taking into account geographical considerations, we are putting together an international course offer. The first offer is being made to the UAE, which consistently provides one of our largest audiences along with the USA, Canada, India, Australia and Singapore.
We are committed to keeping costs for schools to the minimum in order to ensure that Parental Engagement is available to parents everywhere. With this in mind we have estimated that delivery of the course to just 6 schools in the UAE would provide us with a package that would be economically viable for us and the schools we work with.
We are now looking to recruit schools.
We would welcome expressions of interest from schools in the UAE. Schools in other countries are invited to read the document found in the link below and lodge an expression of interest which would enable us to explore the viability of course provision in other countries.
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