Parents feel welcome

Parents feel welcome is a research-based measure from the Tell Them From Me surveys. It is a source of evidence linked to What Works Best and the School Excellence Framework.

What is it?

A welcoming school is one which recognises the important of school-home partnerships and values the input of parents and the wider community. This is reflected in a culture where parents are able to readily communicate with school staff and feel valued and listened to.

The Tell Them From Me surveys ask parents about the the interactions they have with school staff, including through communications from the school, and meetings and events held at the school. The results are reported as the average score for parents feel welcome.

Why is it important?

Family-school relations and parental involvement support student achievement. School practices can either encourage or discourage parental involvement. Parents perceive active listening, an empathic, non-judgmental form of listening, to be effective in parent-teacher interactions. Providing staff contact information also supports parental involvement. Parental involvement can vary depending on students' socioeconomic backgrounds and it is important to explore a variety of partnership options in order to establish positive home-school relationships with all families.

School improvement links

School Excellence Framework element What works best theme
Reporting Wellbeing
Educational leadership

Evidence base

Castro, D. R., Cohen, A., Gilad, T., & Kluger, A. N. (2013). The role of active listening in teacher– parent relations and the moderating role of attachment style. International Journal of Listening, 27(3), 136-145.

Epstein, J. L., Sanders, M. G., Simon, B. S., Salinas, K. C., Jansorn, N. R., & Van Voorhis, F. L. (2002). School, family, and community partnerships: Your handbook for action (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Lareau, A., & Benson, C. (1984). The economics of home/school relationships: A cautionary note. Phi Delta Kappan, 65(6), 401-4.

McNaughton, D., Hamlin, D., McCarthy, J., Head-Reeves, D., & Schreiner, M. (2008). Learning to listen: Teaching an active listening strategy to preservice education professionals. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 27(4), 223-231.

Sheldon, S. B., & Epstein, J. L. (2005). Involvement counts: Family and community partnerships and mathematics achievement. The Journal of Educational Research, 98(4), 196-206.

Simon, B. S. (2004). High school outreach and family involvement. Social Psychology of Education, 7(2), 185-209.

Swick, K. J. (2003). Communication concepts for strengthening family-school-community partnerships. Early Childhood Education Journal, 30(4), 275-280.

Image: This explainer has been produced in collaboration with The Learning Bar

Explainers of the Tell Them From Me measures have been produced in collaboration with The Learning Bar. The Tell Them From Me measures are provided by, and remain the intellectual property of, The Learning Bar. The explainers can also be found online within the Tell Them From Me portal. Tell Them From Me and TTFM are trademarks of The Learning Bar.


  • Student engagement and wellbeing
  • Tell Them From Me

Business Unit:

  • Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation
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