Parents Voice in Government School Education

Parents as first educators

This is a summary of a workshop held as part of the PV/DET Parent Forum in August 2019.

The workshop focused on the importance of parent/school partnerships in developing children’s literacy and numeracy.

Speaker – Sharyn Donald, Assistant Deputy Secretary, School Education Programs & Support

Discussion summary

Parents require support on how best to engage with the school and more specifically, teachers. The idea of building more effective partnerships between parents and schools was a key component of the discussions.

  • As various cultures incorporate the teaching of maths, literacy and numeracy throughout their daily activities at home, it was suggested this could better link to lessons in the classroom. For example,providing families information on the learning techniques used at school, sending tips and suggestions home and inviting parents to be active participants in the learning process.
  • It was suggested that greater parent representation is required in the classroom and there is an opportunity for communication between parents and teachers to be more enhanced and supported. For example, providing parents with updates on the curriculum and how this benefits learning outcomes.
  • Parents identified that students require support in building resilience when transitioning to a new/different school environment. For example, providing clear information about the timetable, supports and services available, and how to communicate effectively with the school.
  • Educational support is required to improve parent literacy. Options for a parent to learn alongside their child through local community groups would be of great benefit.

Speaker summary

  • Literacy and Numeracy is central to the Victorian Government’s investments to make Victoria the Education State.
  • The Literacy and Numeracy Strategy announced in 2017 brings together resources to achieve excellence and equity in outcomes for all students.
  • The Department’s website offers resources which recognise the key role parents, families and carers play in developing positive attitudes towards literacy and numeracy:
    • Victorian Online Literacy and Numeracy Portals
    • Literacy and Numeracy Tips to Help your Child Every Day
    • Maths and numeracy at home
  • Additionally Numeracy at Home digital and hard copy resources are currently being developed in partnership with leading Victorian academics and the Mathematical Association of Victoria.

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