Effective and good quality communication between home and school is one of the most important ways of helping children to learn and make progress, so that everyone is clear and agreed about approaches that will help children to achieve.
Effective school-to-home and home-to-school communication is key to children's wellbeing and to their learning.
When schools communicate with parents and carers, this needs to be done in ways that suit parents. This could be
- on the school website
- by email or text
- by putting notes in homework diaries
- in formal reports
- in face-to-face meetings
- through social media
- in any other ways that work for parents.
When parents communicate with schools, they need to feel welcomed and that their contribution is valued, whether they are asking questions, raising issues or making suggestions. It is very helpful when schools share clear information with parents on how best to communicate with teachers and other school staff.
Children benefit when information is shared with parents about school projects, assessments/exams, reports, and learning progress. Parents and schools develop positive relationships when communications are clear and regular, particularly about topics such as choosing or changing schools, course choice, policies or wider achievement activities. Key to this is designing effective forms of school-to-home and home-to-school communications about the school, a child’s progress and how to support learning.
Tips on communicating effectively for schools, teachers and parents groups
For example, schools, teachers and parent groups can
- provide language translators to assist families as needed – the translator could also be a child, parent or someone from the community
- send home examples of the child's work each week or each month for review and comment
- give clear and parent-friendly information on all school policies and improvement planning
- send home positive messages about pupils on a regular basis – not just about academic achievements
- make sure all parents know who to contact if they have questions or concerns
- invite the Parent Council/other parents to check school communication is written in a parent-friendly way with no educational jargon.
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