Schoop and your school – why parental engagement is more important now than ever

What a tumultuous 18 months it’s been (has it only been that long?!). Schools and parents have been thrown into a situation we never could have dreamt possible, however, slowly but surely we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. How do you feel your school’s parental engagement policy has coped? Did you even have one before the pandemic reared its head and turned everyone’s world upside down?

The benefits of parental engagement are well documented, with a host of research by respected academics to back up the theories. Creating a supportive network of educators and parents can have an appreciable impact on student attainment, both academically and pastorally. As this Learning Foundation blog post by one of the foremost experts in the field of parental engagement, Dr Janet Goodall, quoting from Fan and Williams:

‘Parental engagement with children’s learning … can have positive effects on behaviour, attendance, engagement with learning and ultimately with children’s academic outcomes.’ 

It makes sense: children are generally keen to gain approval from their teachers, but it’s their parents from whom they ultimately seek approval, with a parent who shows interest in their studies providing positive reinforcement of the benefits of school and studying. 

READ: Parental engagement decoded – what it is and why your school needs it

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Happy engaged family

Entering the Upside Down

All this was self-evident before the pandemic hit – then schools closed, parents became teachers (or at least supervising/ encouraging online learning) and teachers were left attempting to educate pupils while navigating the new environment and their place in it.  

There can be little doubt that those schools already equipped with effective parental engagement strategies were able to adapt more rapidly and efficiently than those who had a more traditional, ‘parents evenings and Christmas show’ relationship. Good communication between parents and teachers meant that implementing home learning was a more collaborative affair as they were already working in tandem to facilitate learning. In these cases, parents were already aware of what is expected of their children on a daily basis as they were continuously engaged in their child’s day-to-day education. 

It may come as a surprise, given the large amount of negative press coverage, but in fact, 70% of parents rated their relationship with teachers and educators during lockdown as good, no doubt realising that teachers were doing their very best in what were unprecedented, highly trying circumstances. It is also worth noting though that satisfaction levels ranged from 40 – 100%, reflecting the fact that those schools that didn’t previously benefit from a working partnership with parents found they had a steep learning curve to conquer almost overnight. 

Going forward

It seems that we are slowly returning to normal, but who knows what the future holds? The vaccination programme is steaming ahead, giving us hope that we can all be together again in the classroom without disruption come September. However, if we’ve learnt one thing over this period, it’s that we can’t take anything for granted. The close links between parents and teachers that were forged in trying times will hopefully be maintained and built on as normality returns

What is clear is that schools must find a way to involve all parents in their child’s education going forward. 

Schoop steps up

Schoop was one of the first digital solutions to make the connection between parents and teachers easier. We recognised, being parents ourselves, that if teachers could easily inform us of our children’s progress, send us hints to make homework easier or even just nudges to start conversations about what they’d done in school that day, we would be forming a virtuous circle between home and school to support our children’s learning. 

We make such communication between parents and teachers easy, cost-effective and inclusive. Schoop was already established in schools across the UK before Covid, providing parents with a deeper understanding of their childs education – the pandemic meant this link only increased in importance. 

Schoop’s app enables schools to reach even the traditionally hard-to-reach parents. For whatever reason, there is a significant proportion of parents who don’t feel comfortable engaging with teachers, or those whose work doesn’t coincide with school hours. The ubiquity of smartphones means that school messages are sent directly to all parents and carers, not just those who have the time and inclination. In many schools, English is not the main language spoken at home, so Schoop’s automatic translation into over 40 languages again means that parents who wanted to be involved in their childs education but struggled with school communications could engage in their own language. 

Schoop’s versatile App offers schools a host of varied options to engage their parents, from free, unlimited push notifications to our Forms and Surveys to request rapid-fire feedback or more in-depth surveys.

School communities need engaged, involved parents.

Schoop helps you get there. Ask for a free online demo to find out how.