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

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.

Examples of practice

The Family School Partnerships Framework identifies seven dimensions for effective family and community engagement. The following digital clips focus on strategies implemented at various schools to strengthen the engagement of families from culturally diverse backgrounds across the dimensions.

The online 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 explore effective consultative decision-making and engagement strategies across their changing demographics. Currenly only part one of the course is available for participants to undertake.

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