PR for your school: the importance of community engagement

PR for your school: the importance of community engagement

Enhancing the relationship between a school and the wider school community is becoming ever more important. A new certification program aims to bridge the gap.

PAI CEO Jim Davies said that principals are exploring ways to connect with their school’s community.

 “One thing that I am increasingly hearing is the importance of schools engaging with their communities,” Davies told The Educator.

“Principals interpreted this in terms of ‘how do I enhance the relationship between the school and the wider school community?’

“We need to raise the confidence that communities have in their schools,” Davies said.

The PAI CEO added that it is up to adults to ensure that students have a positive perception of their schools.

“There is an obligation for the adults in the community to work very closely together to ensure that there are no threads or thoughts of negativity about the school that flows into the heads of young people.

“What we basically need is young people going through the school gate every day with confidence.

“It is an issue that principals are increasingly attentive to,” Davies said.

The PAI’s principal certification program, which aims to create a professional standard and increase the confidence that communities have in their schools, is another morale-boosting development principals can look forward to.

Principals, who until now have not had a certification program like those for lawyers or doctors, will soon be able to join the ranks of these professions as a result of the program.

“The first half of this year will have a real focus on developing the program, and in July we’ll be running a prototype trial of certification with a view to an implementation from the start of 2016.”

Davies concludes:

“All of that is about raising the status of the profession and recognising the impact of school principals.”