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Toolkit Parental engagement

Toolkit Parental engagement
What does the research say?

How to increase parental engagament?

Increasing parent engagement – activities by parents at home and at school to support their child’s learning – can yield learning gains of two to three months on average. This makes parental engagement a potentially powerful tool for reducing learning disadvantages. This applies both to the development of cognitive skills in young children, and to the development of non-cognitive (social) skills in older children. By involving parents more in their children’s education, schools can increase their influence substantially.

The question of how schools can increase parent engagement is answered in many studies. This toolkit describes the main conclusions from that literature. In doing so, we limit ourselves to:

  • Aspects of parent engagement for which there is compelling evidence that they positively influence student learning, motivation, and well-being;
  • Approaches that have been proven to be effective.

Together, they form a comprehensive approach to working with parents to promote cognitive and social-emotional skills in children. In addition to explaining the fundamentals of increasing parental engagement, this toolkit also provides practical guidelines for primary schools to increase parental engagement in practice.

The publication is in Dutch.

What are the ingredients of parental engagement?
  1. Building a lasting and equal relationship with parents. A stable relationship between school and parent(s) is crucial to increasing parental engagement. Parents and schools who are good educational partners communicate much better and more effectively. As a result, they can better assist each other in the pedagogical and educational support of children.
  2. Communicating with parents about how they can support their child. Providing information to and communicating with parents about what is done at school, how learning takes place, and how parents can contribute at home by, for example, reading together or supporting homework, is a low-cost and scalable way of involving parents in their child's education.
  3. Intensive approach: home visits and training programs for parents. Sometimes parents need more help. Intensive counseling of parents through targeted training and home support can be helpful in giving parents better tools to help their child at home.