Partnerships with families and community

Effective schools have high levels of parental and community involvement. This involvement is strongly related to improved student learning, attendance and behaviour.

A strong focus on building a positive school climate that both respects and values difference is an essential feature of effective anti-bullying strategies. This whole-of-school approach recognises that all aspects of the school community can impact on students' health and wellbeing, and that learning and wellbeing are inextricably linked.

Families are the first educators of their children and have a key influence on their child’s learning and development. Schools also have an important responsibility in teaching and shaping the lives of young people. This is why it is important for families and schools to work together in partnership.

Whole of community partnerships are also important in supporting the development and wellbeing of young people. This is reflected in the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians 2008. ‘Partnerships between students, parents, carers and families, the broader community, business, schools and other education and training providers bring mutual benefits and maximise student engagement and achievement.’

Preventing and responding to bullying behaviour is a shared responsibility between all staff, students, parents and caregivers and the wider society. All members of the school community contribute to the prevention of bullying by modelling appropriate behaviour and respectful relationships.

Partnerships with families and community organisations can help to create a consistent and supportive approach to student safety and wellbeing.

Effective schools have high levels of parental and community involvement. This involvement is strongly related to improved student learning, attendance and behaviour. Research of school-based
anti-bullying policies by Ttofi and Farrington (2011) found programs that included meetings with parents and carers were significantly associated with a reduction in bullying. Strategies that support parental or carer involvement can include regular newsletters, consultation on policies, programs and approaches and after-school clubs to support parents of at-risk students (Thompson & Smith 2011).

The Family-School Partnerships Framework encourages sustainable and effective partnerships between all members of the school community, including teachers, families, and students. The Framework identifies seven dimensions as guidelines for planning partnership activities. It also provides practical guidance to school communities and school systems in implementing and fostering family-school partnerships based on existing good practice.

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