What are family-school partnerships?
Family-school partnerships are collaborative relationships and activities involving
school staff, parents and other family members of students at a school. Effective
partnerships are based on mutual trust and respect, and shared responsibility for the
education of the children and young people at the school.
Why are family-school partnerships important?
Families are the first educators of their children and they continue to influence their
children's learning and development during the school years and long afterwards.
Schools have an important responsibility in helping to nurture and teach future
generations and families trust schools to provide educational foundations for their
children's future. At the same time, schools need to recognise the primary role of
the family in education. This is why it is important for families and schools to work
together in partnership.
Research demonstrates that effective schools have high levels of parental and
community involvement. This involvement is strongly related to improved student
learning, attendance and behaviour. Family involvement can have a major impact on
student learning, regardless of the social or cultural background of the family.
Family involvement in schools is therefore central to high quality education and is part
of the core business of schools.
The aim of the Family-School Partnerships Framework is to encourage sustainable
and effective partnerships between all members of the school community, including
teachers, families, and students. These partnerships should:
· view each partner as making equally valuable contributions, while respecting
· respect student needs and preferences;
· address barriers to involvement in schools by families, in particular Indigenous
families, and actively help previously uninvolved families to become involved;
· create better programs, opportunities and learning for students;
· give families appropriate opportunities to contribute to school decision-making and
· contribute to professional satisfaction for principals and teachers.
Developing family-school partnerships may not always be easy. It requires
commitment and time. Because of pressures and circumstances, many families will
need special arrangements, or extra support, to enable them to become actively
involved in their children's school lives, and to help their children get the most from
The results of this effort will be significant. Families that understand the education
system and the difficulties schools face are a valuable source of support which schools
cannot afford to underestimate. Schools that engage families in their children's
learning are tapping in to a rich source of information and expertise and can help build