Our latest book shares practical solutions relating to school–parent engagement and communication based on insights gathered from some of the hardest-to-reach parents.
In this groundbreaking book, we offer a unique approach to the holy grail of parental engagement for the 21st century. Rather than setting it as a separate activity, we consider parental engagement as a planned, sustained and integral part of the whole-school approach: an approach which starts with the school vision and positions parents and schools equally as fundamental to student learning.
We share a broad perspective of parental engagement – encompassing both traditional approaches and the use of technology – and examine the challenge through our four-pillar model of knowledge, environment, culture and communication. Before any school can expect parental engagement as a ‘given’, there must be knowledge of the what, why, when, where and how concerning effective interaction – and in this book we cover all bases, providing a toolkit of tried-and-tested approaches and strategies to choose from.
After all, the evidence shows that when families engage with the school’s vision and provision, it is the children that ultimately benefit.
"This book is essential reading for those who want to build on the opportunities meaningful relationships with parents can bring for all."
Zoe Enser, Specialist Lead Adviser for English, author and ELE for Kent
Insightful, practical and well researched, The Four Pillars of Parental Engagement is a must-read for teachers and school leaders alike. Capturing both why communication is important and how to communicate well, the book helps engage us all in the central role that good communication plays in education. The authors’ model shapes an exciting vision for genuine parent–pupil–school partnership and recognises that as each part of the trio is responsible and accountable, so each part must have a voice and be heard. Schools who ignore the lessons of this book or don’t make time for this discussion in their staffrooms do so at their peril. The revolution in communication is here; we either try to survive it with our heads in the sand or use it to thrive.
This book will be of huge value to schools, teachers, serving and aspiring leaders and even parents, who could better understand how to engage with their school to achieve the best impact for their children.
There will be few teachers and school leaders who do not know the difference that parental engagement makes to both the school environment and the pupils themselves, but how to create a culture of parental engagement has often been shrouded in mystery and left up to luck. In The Four Pillars of Parental Engagement, Justin Robbins and Karen Dempster draw upon their own original research and the existing literature to demystify the parental engagement process. They give the reader clear actionable steps as well as an understanding of why these steps matter. I have no doubt that this book will be invaluable to any school seeking the next piece of the school improvement puzzle.
While we’re aware that when home and school work as a team around the child, outcomes are improved – it can nevertheless be hard to know where to start. With their four pillars of parental engagement, the authors give us a framework to scaffold our thinking. They go on to walk us through how to develop and implement a plan, and provide a wide range of case studies and top tips to support its implementation.
The Four Pillars of Parental Engagement is the perfect mix of theory and practice. If you’ve got parental engagement listed on your school improvement plan, this book will be a blessing.
Drawing on the voices of parents, pupils and education professionals, this carefully researched book makes a significant contribution to the field of parental engagement. Framing their insights through the four pillars of knowledge, environment, culture and communication, the authors provide a purposeful and practical way for schools to strengthen this aspect of their work. Highly recommended.
Parental engagement has to be one of the key drivers of success for any school and is so vital, on every level, yet there’s surprisingly very little out there to actually help make it happen. In The Four Pillars of Parental Engagement, Robbins and Dempster have put together an interesting read that will make you reflect on your school’s relationship with your pupils’ parents, what works and why, and how we move forward in these changing times. It’s a must-read for any senior leader.
The Four Pillars of Parental Engagement is a fantastically useful book. The authors give advice to school leaders and teachers on auditing where they are now, building an effective plan and implementing it successfully. The book fizzes with practical advice, is packed with research findings and contains fascinating insights from wide-ranging case studies. It is a powerful manifesto for investing in building and sustaining impactful parental engagement. As Justin Robbins and Karen Dempster rightly argue, get this right and you will see an impact on pupil performance.