Working with families

Children become better learners when their parents get involved in their education. Parental involvement encourages children to pursue higher education and makes them happier.

School communities working together

NSW public schools provide safe learning environments for young people to learn and succeed. We achieve this by promoting positive social behaviour, providing support to vulnerable students and building strong links with parents, carers and school communities. Collaboration between staff, students, parents and carers is fundamental to maintaining positive student behaviour in schools.

The School Community Charter outlines the responsibilities of parents, carers, educators and school staff in NSW public schools to ensure our learning environments are collaborative, supportive and cohesive.

Working in partnership with NSW AECG Inc.

The NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group Incorporated (NSW AECG Inc.) is the peak community advisory body to the department on Aboriginal education and training at all levels and in all stages of planning and decision making.

The NSW Department of Education and NSW AECG Incorporated Partnership Agreement is based on the principles of respect, commitment, collaboration and accountability to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal learners.

Resources for school leaders

The seven key dimensions that frame relationship and partnership building are:

  • communicate
  • connect learning at home and school
  • build community and identity
  • recognise the role of the family
  • consult on decision-making
  • collaborate beyond the school
  • participate.

Further detail on each dimension, including strategies schools can use to support building and improving school and family partnerships and a School Assessment Tool-Reflection Matrix is available at Supporting Family School Community Partnerships for Learning

The core principles of effective family-school partnerships are:

  • parents and families are the first and continuing educators of their children
  • learning is lifelong and occurs in multiple settings
  • partnerships, schools and school communities flourish when the diversity and strengths of families are valued and leveraged
  • community engagement expands responsibility and resources
  • partnerships grow from mutual trust, respect and responsibility
  • partnerships need committed, collaborative and creative leadership.

Under the Disability Standards for Education (2005) all principals and teachers have legal obligations to ensure that every student is able to participate in the curriculum on the same basis as their peers through rigorous, meaningful and dignified learning. The Disability Standards are Australian law under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1992

A key aspect of the standards requires schools and other education providers to consult with the student or their parents and carers on the reasonable adjustments that will be provided.

For further information and advice on consultation and collaboration please refer to the department's information the Disability, Learning and Support webpage.

For further information on Collaborative curriculum planning please refer to NESA website.

There are a range of services and resources available to guide and support staff and to help students develop the skills they need to meet the high standards of safe and respectful behaviour in NSW schools.

The school counselling service provides specialised psychological assessment, counselling and intervention services in NSW public schools and contributes to student learning and wellbeing outcomes through membership of school-based learning and support teams.

School counsellors and school psychologists also help teachers develop and implement programs and strategies to support student needs.

School leaders can:
  • run information sessions at the school geared towards topics of interest such as behaviour code, bullying, engagement etc.
  • involving parents more in decision-making processes
  • ask parents to help at the canteen
  • encourage parents to volunteer with class reading groups
  • collaborate to organise fundraisers
  • seek parent volunteers to go on class excursions

The more activities schools offer, the more opportunities there are for parents to get involved, even if it's once or twice a year.

Make sure families know that the department offers a range of services to support families.


  • Teaching and learning
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