Dont have an account?Sign up here
5 November 2009
Commenting on the results of the Becta survey on the level of parental contact with schools released today, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said:
"Parental support for their child's education is a critical factor in their success.
"However, it's wrong to conclude that just because parents are not in regular contact with the school that they are not engaged in their child's learning. They may be satisfied with the information they receive from the school.
"Parents encouraging their child at home, sending them to school ready to learn, fostering a positive attitude to the importance of education and supporting the school's policies and procedures can have a much greater impact than popping in to school on a regular basis.
"It's not the amount of contact with the school but the quality and purpose which counts.
"In fact, the survey shows that the vast majority of parents are making appropriate contact.
"Schools already use a variety of strategies to seek to engage parents and must be left to determine which are the most appropriate for them.
"Sweeping, unqualified statements, promoting the use of email and text messaging to contact parents are unhelpful and overly simplistic.
"Text and email contact used inappropriately can lead to a significant increase in workload for teachers and support staff and leave them vulnerable to false allegations, bullying and harassment.
"These forms of communication can also raise an unrealistic level of parental expectation about the speed of response from schools to any contact they make.
"Where such strategies are considered, there must be a clear protocol for their operation agreed with the trade unions."