PARENTS who support their children in their studies are one of the keys to a well-rounded education, a new report from the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth revealed on Wednesday.
The report looked at parental engagement in children's schooling, or getting parents involved with the school and teachers to help improve a child's education.
Among the report's chief findings was that while parental involvement in schooling was a good thing, by far the biggest positive impact on a child's learning came from parents involved in learning in the home.
It also cited several benefits of learning at home in addition to the schoolyard, including higher grades and test scores, enrolment in higher level courses and lower drop-out rates and a better chance of starting a tertiary education.
But the benefits of parents encouraging learning at home were even wider, with students showing better social skills, better school attendance, improved behaviour and increased social capital.
The report also cited a 2008 study which found the financial effects of parental engagement added the equivalent of an extra $1000 each year per student to the child's education.
School Education Minister Peter Garrett said the report came at a crucial time, after the government last week introduced the Australian Education Bill 2012 - the first legislative step towards major national reform in the education system.
"With the National Plan for School Improvement now enshrined in legislation, we are moving forward with historic education reforms," he said.
"Our plan recognises the value of parental and community engagement.
"We want every school to have a School Improvement Plan which will include details of how the school will work with parents and will be developed in consultation with parents and the school community."
Strategies to increase parental engagement with child's engagement
- Principal and teachers supporting parents
- Building consistent trusting relations between the school and parents
- A clear and shared understanding of the roles of parents and teachers
- Strategies focused on the needs of the local community
- A variety of communication options between parents, teachers, the school and the wider community
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