Facilitating a team approach to school decision making processes supports the engagement of school leaders, teachers, parents and community members as active contributors. Inclusive school policies, practices and programs help to build a culture of welcome and belonging for all families that reflects and respects the diversity within the school community.
- use the Family School Partnerships Framework School Assessment Tool - Reflection Matrix to build community collaboration
- establish structures for teachers and families to collaborate in the development and review of individual student learning plans
- involve families in decisions about finance, curriculum and other aspects of managing a school , as well as the development and implementation of school policies and programs
- create advisory groups of community members to support school leadership teams
What they said
"You need everyone to buy in and be proud of what they are doing. It takes a village to grow a child. In the end that’s what happens here." Principal, Parkview Public School
"One of the best things about Para Meadows School is the connections formed between students, staff and the wider community. There are opportunities for community members who are involved in school activities to gain pleasure, experience and greater understanding of student needs." Parent, Para Meadows School
How they did it
Wadalba Community School established governance committees comprising staff, parents and students covering various topics such as finance, evaluation, technology, Aboriginal education and positive behaviour. Each governance committee had a budget and contributed ideas to the development and implementation of the school plan.
Islington Public School conducted parent café meetings which provided an informal meeting space for parents resettled from refugee camps. These meetings were attended by representatives of all cultural groups in the community. The parent cafés became a useful forum for addressing issues raised by all families around the education of their children. The school also invited parents to consultation forums held at the same time as the school disco.
Transition program for refugee students and their families
In 2015, Turvey Park Public School had 28 students from language backgrounds other than English (LBOTE) and, of these students, 19 were from a refugee background. The school employed a bilingual community liaison officer (CLO) who was able to communicate directly with families.
The CLO supported families in a number of ways from pre-enrolment to ongoing support in understanding the school’s culture, procedures and learning programs. The CLO worked with the school’s English as an additional language or dialect (EAL/D) teacher to support the Beginning School Wellprogram which was attended by all newly arrived families with children ready to start school.
The program included sessions such as school culture and routines, literacy, numeracy and healthy lunch boxes. The trusting relationship that developed between the parents, students, the CLO and the EAL/D teacher encouraged both parents and students to talk about issues that they were unfamiliar with or were of concern.