10 thoughts on “The opener of doors

  1. It is a great challenge for mainstream secondary schools, this. Parents often feel uncomfortable in our school environment, and unwelcome. We have the annual evening on which parents come in, often to stand in long queues and hear either banalities or a baffling load of detail about their child’s progress from ten different teachers.
    Sonia Blandford at Achievement for All has a range of divergent approaches to make all parents feel welcome and get them involved in school life.
    In Learning Support, we are starting w stronger connections in Year 6, to help us work in partnership w parents, and we have Achievement Workers, part of whose role is to build strong relationships w families, they are much more than the traditional TA.

    1. Yes, I think you are absolutely right. We have worked with Achievement for All, and I think their ‘structured conversations’ are certainly the way to go. I think that it is at the moments of transition from one school to another that many relationships are formed – as teachers we need to look at this.
      In primary it is, perhaps, a little easier (although not, when you consider all the safeguarding fences and gates) to have those small conversations that form relationships – but, perhaps, as children go through secondary school, we need to reconsider what parental engagement actually is.
      It is, after all, the engagement with the child that matters.
      I’d be interested to see what you think of my partner post to this one on the relational schools blog, Jude. Thanks for your comments.

  2. What a truly insightful post! I’ve been ‘both’ too and I think it was the lack of respect for parents, or crediting them with any kind of intelligence in some cases, that helped us make the decision to home educate! Because we so wanted the education of our children to be the partnership it should be.

  3. Hi Nancy,

    I was hoping you might be interested in sharing your thoughts in our magazine, Teach Primary. Please could you email me if you’d like to consider writing something. joe @ teachprimary.com



  4. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long
    comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless,
    just wanted to say superb blog!

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