The aim of Catholic Education Melbourne's Family–School Partnerships initiative is to support schools to build and strengthen links with families and the local community to improve student learning and wellbeing outcomes.
Key focus areas relating to the Family–School Partnership (FSP) initiative include:
The Family–School Partnership Model entails:
The FSP initiative works with low socioeconomic (SES) school clusters to:
The following key themes have emerged in the FSP initiative:
Parent Engagement in Action resource
The Parent Engagement in Action resource guides school leaders through a process of reflection and evaluation focusing on parental engagement across four key focus areas: Relationships, Learning, Leadership, and Reflection. It consists of two components: The Guide and The Toolkit.
It is designed to assist school leaders and teachers to examine what they are doing well to engage parents in learning, and where they can improve. Leaders can use the Parent Engagement in Action resource to help their parish and school community form a deeper understanding of parent engagement. They are offered a selection of tools to assist with the collection and analysis of existing and new data around parent engagement, including the School Improvement Framework data. There is as much emphasis on formal data and research as there is on local information and knowledge. School leaders are encouraged to use the information gathered through this resource to evaluate and plan for improvement.
Leading Family School Partnerships A document developed by Catholic Education Melbourne's Wellbeing & Community Partnerships Unit to assist school leaders to understand and strengthen the role of school leadership in facilitating effective family, school and community partnerships. In this context leadership can be displayed in three related but distinctly different ways – in-school leadership, between school (cluster) leadership and leadership within the community. This work has been informed by a substantial evidence base and learnings from the CEOM Family School Partnerships (FSP) initiative.
Community Conversations This document provides schools and school leaders with an overview of the approach, and sets out how the practice of Community Conversations can lead to improved understanding and connected for whole school communities, and improved learning outcomes for students. The work has emerged from Catholic Education Melbourne's Family School Partnership initiative (2010-2013) with the support of Dr George Otero from the Centre from RelationaLearning, New Mexico.
Community Conversations – listening to Parent Voice in a school community.
This 7-minute film is a useful resource to help school leaders and staff further explore the purpose and process of a Community Conversation, showing how it might look in action in a school community.
The Learning Together - Engaging Parents and Families in School Learning DVD explores how Catholic school communities in the Archdiocese of Melbourne have engaged in family school partnerships work and the six dimensions of a strategy to support school leadership.
Anne Henderson – what does a successful partnership school look like?
This 20-minute film of Anne Henderson, author of Beyond the Bake Sale, presents aspects of her research to a group of parents and teachers in Melbourne. Anne focuses on the reasons for working with parents and community, and what successful partnership schools look like. At the end of the clip, ideas to prompt discussions are provided.
Family School Partnership statement: animation
This Family School Partnership statement is a declaration of intention, a way of bringing to life the purpose behind why engage families and communities in children's education. It is designed to help school leaders understand the philosophy of family–school partnerships and to provoke conversations which deepen understandings around the key elements.
Professional learning and international collaboration
June 11 2015 - Leading Family School Partnerships– full day professional learning sessions with Ms Maggie Farrar and Dr George Otero
In May 2012, Maggie Farrar (National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services, UK) presented a series of forums on school-community partnerships for learning, equity and excellence and the role of leadership in educational reform and school improvements. Maggie’s presentations for the three days are:
Designed to support schools in their family and community engagement efforts, the posters can be printed and used to guide school involvement and planning processes, as well as a stimulus in staff professional learning.
These posters are reproduced from the CEOM Family School Partnerships e-newsletter distributed each term. While they were developed for targeted school communities involved in the Smarter Schools National Partnerships, Family School Partnerships initiative, they are relevant resources for all school communities.
Student Wellbeing Research Document 4 : ClustersStudent Wellbeing Research Document 5 : School Community
Cronin, D 2010, 'My dad’s always asking me, "what did I learn today?"' Learning Matters, Catholic Education Office Melbourne, 15 (2), 53–55.
DEEWR 2008, Family–School Partnerships Framework: A guide for schools and families', Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Australia.
Harris, A, Andrew-Power, K & Goodall, J 2009, Do Parents Know They Matter? Raising achievement through parental engagement, Continuum International Publishing Group, New York.
Hattie, J 2009, Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement, Routledge, New York.
Council of Catholic School Parents 2010, Partners 4 Learning: A framework to support partnership in Catholic school communities, Council of Catholic School Parents, New South Wales.
Pushor, D 2007, 'Parent Engagement: Creating a Shared World', Invited Research Paper, Ontario Education Research Symposium, 18–20 January 2007, Toronto, Ontario.
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