- Use the Family-School Partnerships Framework School Assessment Tool - Reflection Matrix to guide the purpose of collaboration beyond the parent community.
- Develop strategies to establish and maintain community links in school planning.
- Conduct an ‘audit’ of local businesses and organisations which may offer enrichment and support to students and the school.
- Consider how local community/business/sporting connections may play an important role in supporting students.
- Invite service providers, local business leaders, and representatives of relevant organisations to the school for an initial introduction to the school’s programs and priorities.
- Include external community representatives whose values are aligned with the school, as members of governance committees.
- Recognise and celebrate the contributions of external providers where relevant.
- Develop formal partnership agreements where relevant.
- Evaluate the purpose of specific partnerships annually and use data to analyse the success of cross collaborative initiatives.
- Place school promotional material in local businesses and organisations.
- Place links to relevant community organisations on the school’s website and Facebook site.
- Make school facilities available for use by the community.
Collaborating beyond school
To support student learning and increase wider community involvement, many schools seek mutually supportive partnerships with external organisations.
Positive behaviour for learning in the community
At Irrawang Public School, consultation with parents and a number of local businesses and services was critical to successfully implementing the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) program across the network hub. The school collaborated with Irrawang High School, Hunter River High School, Raymond Terrace Public School, and Grahamstown Public School.
In adopting the program, students, parents, and the community were encouraged to use common PBL language at home and in the community. The PBL program implementation strengthened partnerships and raised expectations between all schools in the PBL network and local businesses and agencies: local, federal, and state members of parliament, the local council, Raymond Terrace Marketplace, Raymond Terrace Bowling Club, and other non-government agencies.