The Council of Catholic School Parents NSW/ACT (CCSP) is urging Australian parents to advocate for their children’s best interests in positive ways and work with teachers in helping to shape Australia’s next generation.
Saturday 1 June marked the Global Day of Parents, an annual celebration that provides an opportunity to appreciate all parents in all parts of the world for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.
CCSP executive director and father of three, Peter Grace, said parents are the primary educators of their children and they have a duty to be engaged in their learning.
However, he said that for parents to be truly engaged in education, a positive partnership with their child’s teachers and, more broadly, their school, is required.
“Education is very much a shared responsibility, but sometimes we risk losing sight of that. We need to remember that we all have a role to play in our children’s education – it is not something we can simply outsource,” Grace said.
“Parents want only the best for their children so they can reach their full potential and parents play a key role in actively supporting their learning and progress.”
Grace said that while mutual trust, respect and good communication can achieve this, it is not always easy to build and maintain and that every school community should be trying to achieve this.
“Research tells us that when families are engaged in their children’s learning, student outcomes improve,” he said.
“This means that establishing positive parent/teacher relationships is something that should be emphasised in schools so that through collaboration and effective communication, schools can better partner with families for the educational benefit of children.”
Fortunately, said Grace, the vast majority of Catholic school parents not only have strong connections with their school communities, but also respect and trust their children’s teachers, and are keen to work with them for the sake of their children.
According to research, authentic parent engagement has positive effects on a student’s academic achievement and learning outcomes.
When schools and families work together, children will, do better academically, stay in school longer, be more engaged with their schoolwork, go to school more regularly, behave better and have better social skills.
“Parent engagement also results in longer term economic, social and emotional benefits,” Grace said, adding that while parents make a lifelong commitment and many sacrifices to raise their children, they are “not doing so in isolation”.
“Parents and teachers have a shared responsibility, passion and commitment for the learning and development of children, which means that investing in authentic family engagement is critical in every school community.”