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Using the four pillars of engagement to build effective relationships with parents and carers: Advice for school leaders

Written by: Karen Dempster and Justin Robbins
|Figure 1 is a summary of the four pillars of parental engagement.
9 min read
Karen Dempster, Co-founder, Fit2Communicate, UK Justin Robbins, Co-founder, Fit2Communicate, UK At the heart of all successful schools are effective relationships – between students and teachers, between parents and their children and, of course, between school and parents. It’s a three-way relationship, with the students firmly at the centre. Never has this relationship been so important as it is right now. Students are reportedly three months behind in their learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data published by NFER in September 2020 (Sharp et al., 2020). But academic success is just the tip of the iceberg. There may also have been negative impact on young people’s mental health. Students from the most deprived backgrounds will often have experienced the most adverse impact of the pandemic. Research by John Hattie in 2008 (p. 61) found that ‘parents can have a major effect in terms of the encouragement and expectations that they transmit to their c

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