Keeping parents involved and engaged with their children’s education has been a long-standing challenge for teachers. Naturally, parents want to be kept in the loop with their child’s performance, but this has typically only been done through end-of-year reports and the occasional parents’ evening.
Now, the Department for Education has outlined the “Parent Pledge”, which introduces expected standards of communication between teachers and parents in specific scenarios.
What is the Parent Pledge, and what does it mean for schools?
Simply put, the Parent Pledge is a commitment from schools that any child who falls behind in English or maths will receive adequate support to help them catch up, and that schools will keep parents updated on their child’s progress in this area.
The Parent Pledge is a section of the new Schools White Paper, which is a proposal outlining plans for schools across the country up until 2030, that explains what parents can expect from their child’s school. The Department for Education has recommended that schools set aside a budget for Parent Pledge, to account for improvements in educational support for those falling behind, and for parent-teacher communication.
What are the Parent Pledge initiatives in schools?
The Schools White Paper emphasises and advocates for ‘Opportunity for All’, and addresses the challenges faced by many pupils that were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The reforms and plans set out in the White Paper were created to make sure every child reaches their full potential in education. The White Paper states the pledge made by the Education Secretary, which is that any pupil who falls behind in maths and English, will receive the support they need to get back on track and achieve their potential. In practice, this pledge will get schools to identify the students who need extra support and provide them with help via methods such as small group tuitions.
Where does the Parent Pledge come in?
The Parent Pledge for schools is a key component in the government’s ‘Levelling Up’ mission. This mission for education aims for 90% of primary school children to achieve the Key Stage 2 reading, writing and maths expected standards by 2030. Only 65% of pupils achieved this standard in 2019, and COVID-19 exacerbated challenges, despite the hard work and dedication of teachers and parents. As part of the pledge, schools will be asked to keep parents and caregivers informed about the work they are doing with their child (e.g. extra tuition), and their child’s progress. The aim is to boost parent engagement, which should have a positive impact on their child’s education.
What do parents need to know about Parent Pledge?
Parents need to be made aware of Parent Pledge and the Schools White Paper, as it will have implications for their child’s education and the communication between them and the school.
Here are some of the Parent Pledge initiatives in schools that parents may notice:
- Assessment – New ways of testing and assessing a child’s work may be introduced to determine a child’s level of understanding and ability in maths and English. However, the pledge emphasises that children shouldn’t be over-tested by schools.
- Labelling – Schools will need to identify who is falling behind, so that they can receive additional input and help. Though the pledge states that children should be able to access support without needing or requiring a label, this may be unavoidable in some circumstances. If children are negatively impacted by labelling from their school, this should be discussed with the parents and school staff. In relation to this, the White Paper specifies that there will be a SEND review across the board. This means students who have been identified as having special educational needs will be supported appropriately and in a timely manner. Again, the White Paper stresses that will not need a diagnosis in order to access additional help.
- Tutoring – The Pledge aims to establish a National Tutoring Programme, which will provide around 6 million tutoring packages by 2024. Schools will be asked to make additional tutoring available to all children who need it.
To help you communicate any information about the Parent Pledge with parents, you can use the Learning Ladders parent engagement feature. This feature will help you engage parents and inform them about any changes or developments in their child’s progress, or in the school as a whole. As the Parent Pledge is all about working with parents to help pupils achieve their potential, this feature will help remove any barriers that may prevent parents from supporting their children’s learning.
Ready to take your parent communication and engagement to the next level? Get started with Learning Ladders and book a demo today.