Parent Advisory Committee

Rationale

The Melbourne Declaration on educational Goals for Young Australians makes partnerships with parents, families carers and communities a national priority.

Why are family-school partnerships important?

  • Families are the first educators
  • Families continue to influence a young person’s learning & development throughout their schooling
  • Schools also play a vital role in development and education
  • Strong relationships between home and school achieve better results
  • Research indicates that effective schools (in terms of learning, attendance, behaviour, motivation, social and emotional outcomes) have high levels of parental/community involvement, regardless of socioeconomic factors
  • Families that understand the decisions schools make, and the difficulties they face, are an invaluable source of support for schools

What are effective family-school partnerships based on?

  • Mutual trust and respect
  • Shared responsibility for young people at the school (common goal)

A good Family-school partnership should focus on the following seven dimensions:

  1. Communicating;
  2. Connecting learning at home and at school;
  3. Building community and identity;
  4. Recognising the role of the family;
  5. Consultative decision-making;
  6. Collaborating beyond the school (Community resources); and,
  7. Participating (family involvement)

What is the difference between family involvement and family engagement?

  • We are told that there is an important distinction to be made between ‘involvement’ and ‘engagement’.
  • Involvement: often refers to such activities as: attending school events; volunteering for the canteen (i.e. what parents do to support the school)
  • Engagement: beliefs, attitudes and activities to support children’s learning at home and at school (i.e. what parents do to support children’s learning)

What are useful ways for schools to think about parental engagement?

  1. Parent engagement for learning: involves schools providing opportunities for parents to connect with in-school learning (e.g parent workshops, curriculum nights)
  2. Parent engagement through learning: involves inquiry-based learning opportunities for parents (e.g. study groups, workshops, parental seminars)
  3. Parent engagement about learning: involves schools providing opportunities for parents to understand how children learn, how teachers teach, and what parents can do at home

GUIDELINES

  1. The Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) is a consultative group. The agenda will be set by the principal or their delegate
  2. The PAC is designed to give parent representatives an active voice in the schools’ strategic planning.
  3. The PAC meets once a term
  4. Meetings commence at 4.30 pm and conclude at approximately 5.30 pm. A light afternoon tea (including tea and coffee) will be served
  5. The venue is the MSJ Boardroom and parking will be available inside the school grounds
  6. Parents are invited by the Principal to ensure that each House and Year group is represented.