Draft HOME/SCHOOL/COMMUNITY LIAISON POLICY
Why Parent/Guardian Involvement?
“Parents/Guardians as Partners”- International research has demonstrated the positive influence that the involvement and participation of parents/guardians can have on children’s learning and on their general progress in school.
Coláiste Aindriú values open and meaningful partnership, communication and collaboration between parents/guardians and the school. We promote co-operation between home, school and relevant community agencies in developing the educational interests of our students. We aim to maximise the participation of our students in the learning process, in particular those who might be at risk of early school leaving. We support students in reaching their potential and in their continuation to third level opportunities and life long learning.
Objectives of HSCL.
· To promote positive engagement between home and school.
· To contribute to a whole school approach to attendance, participation and retention with SCP and in partnership with relevant community agencies.
· To improve literacy and numeracy through supporting parents/guardians in their role as primary educators.
· To strengthen social and emotional literacy of children (confidence/self-esteem/coping ability) through supporting parents/guardians, teachers and the class environment.
· To ensure the successful transfer of children from primary to post-primary school.
In line with our DEIS plan all objectives aim to improve attendance, participation and retention.
Thus the school will:
· Focus on the adults whose attitudes and behaviours influence the lives of children, namely, parents/guardians and teachers.
· Raise awareness in parents/guardians of their own capacities to enhance their children’s educational progress.
· Endeavour to meet the personal and educational needs of parents/guardians to promote their self-confidence and self-esteem and to enhance their overall sense of wellbeing so that they will become more involved in their children’s education.
· Become more responsive to the needs, wishes and experience of parents/guardians and students, the development of an open and honest partnership that recognises and accepts important differences as well as shared concerns.
· Develop staff attitudes in the areas of partnership and the ‘whole-school’ approach.
· Network with voluntary and statutory agencies and coordinate work in order to increase our effectiveness and avoid duplication.
· Organise Parent/Guardian-Teacher Meetings to give parents/guardians an opportunity to meet all teachers in order to discuss their child’s progress.
· Promote home visitation as an important element in establishing bonds of trust with families.
· Promote respectful intervention.
Roles and Responsibilities
Parent/Guardian involvement is a central element of our DEIS plan and therefore all teachers are responsible for promoting parent/guardian involvement.
The Role of Principal / Deputy Principal
· To develop a whole school approach to improving attendance, participation and retention.
· To promote and encourage a partnership approach with parents/guardians.
· To foster positive engagement between the home and the school.
· To support the HCSL coordinator in the activities of the HSCL scheme.
Key areas of work of the HSCL Coordinator
Developing the parent/guardian as prime educator:
· Creating positive opportunities for parents/guardians to engage with our school.
· Home visits, phone calls, meetings.
· Communicating with parents/guardians by letter and text.
· Organising educational opportunities for parents/guardians- for example courses, speakers and trips.
· Working to promote good attendance as central to success at school.
· Facilitating parental involvement in policy making.
· Being accessible, approachable and understanding of family situations.
· Working to build relationships of trust and respect with parents/guardians.
· Working to bring parents/guardians closer to their child’s education.
Working with school management and staff
· Meeting regularly with Principal, Deputy Principal, Assistant Principals, School Completion Project Worker, Special Needs Coordinator and Guidance Counsellor.
· Being a member of the Student Support Team.
· Encouraging literacy / numeracy activities that facilitate parent/guardian involvement.
· Promoting a partnership approach so that parents/guardians and teachers are encouraged to collaborate in sharing their complementary skills.
· Fostering a whole school approach to addressing educational disadvantage and to caring for our students in most need of support.
Developing partnership and collaboration with the local community
· Tapping into our local community to identify ways of creating educational opportunities for our students and involving our community in the promotion of education.
· Identifies educational opportunities at community level that enhance learning and seeks to develop these opportunities by working collaboratively with other interest groups.
Working in an integrated way, with the other two strands SCP and EWS and with other education and welfare providers
· Working in a coherent and integrated way to secure better educational outcomes for children and to maximise attendance, participation and retention of all students.
· Supporting parents/guardians and students to access supports from SCP through the SCP Intake Framework.
Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
· Meeting regularly with other HSCL coordinators in the area.
· Planning and evaluating for future development.
· Record keeping – maintaining contact records, weekly plans and monthly reports.
Home visitation is at the heart of the HSCL scheme’s focus on partnership. The HSCL Coordinator will visit the homes of students at the request of the Principal, Deputy Principal or at the request of a parent in order to:
· Build bonds of trust between the home and the school.
· Encourage parents/guardians to be involved in their children’s education.
· Support parents/guardians with issues of attendance, participation and retention.
· Endeavour to extend the welcoming, supportive and friendly face of the school.
· Aim to be friendly and non-judgemental in his/her approach while carrying out home visits
· Bring information about the school and about services available in the community.
· Seek out potential parent/guardian leaders who are willing to participate in HSCL activities and to be a resource to other parents/guardians
· Monitor the effectiveness of interventions which have been put in place.
Parties consulted: Teachers, Parents/Guardians and Students.
Communicated to: Students, Teachers and Parents.
Date ratified by Board of Management: ________________
Signed: ____________________________ (Board of Management