Engaging Parents – Does your school have a good story to tell?

Last year, we worked with four schools across England to create a series of videos and case studies that described how these schools tackled nine different areas of school reform, such as change management, student experience, learning outcomes, use of ICT, and so forth. And we then made these materials available on our Innovative Schools website.

ispIn addition to being seen by thousands of teachers and leaders in schools across the world, Jim Knight (who was Minister for Schools at that point) used three of the videos to open the BETT Show in January, and the schools also received a letter from him thanking them for their participation in the project. They are featured on Microsoft’s worldwide Innovative Schools Web site, and are shown to education audiences all over the world. The schools have since received visits from Microsoft executives from the US, government officials, teachers and school leaders from many other countries.

Now we’re in the process of launching a new project with the DCSF to showcase schools who are using technology in innovative ways to engage parents in their children’s learning. As a part of this project, we will be creating a new set of video case studies and supporting materials with a new set of example schools. We are in the process of selecting these schools right now, and rather than go to the same schools we work with all the time, we thought we’d ask you – What is YOUR school doing?

If you think your school is doing creative things using ICT to better involve parents, let us know. Email Kristen Weatherby (who leads our Partners in Learning programme) to let her know what you’re doing. At this stage she won’t need tons of details, just an overview of how you’re engaging parents to support their children’s learning. I know some of the gaps that the research shows up include:

  • How do you ensure that parents understand what you’re saying to them?

  • How do you get them engaged with their own children’s learning at home?

  • Can you be sure learning continues outside the school gates?

  • What’s the role of technology in supporting that?

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