Engaging communities

Research shows that students achieve better outcomes when schools, families and the community work together to support learning. Schools and families both benefit from strong, respectful family-school relationships and when they share responsibility for student learning.

The Multicultural Education Policy promotes positive community relations with parents from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and encourages the active participation of families from culturally diverse backgrounds in school life and decision making processes.

Interpreting and translation services are available to support communication between schools and families who don't speak English well, or are deaf or speech impaired.  The department has translated documents and publications for schools to use to communicate with parents and build strong family-school relationships.

Resources to support community engagement in NSW public schools include:

Family-School Partnerships are an effective way to support and empower positive parent engagement, and bring together family and community resources to enrich student learning and wellbeing. The Family School Partnerships Framework was developed to promote and guide partnership building. A School Assessment Tool – Reflection Matrix is available to help schools identify areas of strength and focus areas for further work.

The Family School Partnerships Framework identifies seven dimensions for effective family and community engagement. The following digital clips focus on strategies implemented at Prairiewood High School, Holroyd High School, Liverpool Public School, Islington Public School and Chester Hill Public School to strengthen the engagement of families from culturally diverse backgrounds across the dimensions.

The one day professional learning session Engaging Culturally Diverse Communities is targeted at school leaders and staff who want to effectively communicate and engage with their culturally and linguistically diverse communities.  Schools will work in their own context and explore effective consultative decision-making and engagement strategies across their changing demographics. The professional learning is run by Multicultural Education in collaboration with School Communications and Engagement.

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