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Issues At Home

a. The responsibility for parental involvement is mainly placed on mothers.

The school environment is mainly female dominated with very little or no input from the fathers. What we have to remember is that fathers are also part of the family and should be encouraged to participate in school. Teacher

Halley Primary School in Tower Hamlets organised a Father's Day event. Fathers and male carers attended an activity day where they could take part in rounders games, a maths challenge, keep-fit and construction activities. It was so successful that mothers wanted their own day. They now have a Father's Day in June and a Mother's Day in March.

Bonner Primary School in Tower Hamlets invited grandparents into school for a special day. They visited the classrooms and shared stories about their childhood, had lunch and were then entertained by children in an assembly.

b. The culture amongst older children is such that theydon't want to be seen as doing well and don't want their parents to be involved with school.

Barriers are ingrained into the culture of the wider school population. Students do not see the value of education and only see the glamour of a criminal life. Teacher


I try and try and try and if that doesn't work I try something else. I believe the reason I try to encourage students to overcome the stigma of failure is mainly down to the barriers I experience. Teacher, Newcastle Under Lyme


The children feeling embarrassed by having their parents in school. (Secondary only.) Teacher, Nottingham

Valentine's High School in Redbridge employs community mentors who work intensively with pupils to promote self-confidence. They also communicate with the parents. They have about 20 mentors who are paid a small amount from a special fund. The mentors have made a marked difference in facilitating links between the school and parents. They hold, for instance, coffee mornings and other events.

What parents can do:

a. Consider alternating attendance at meetings with your partner or other family member.

b. Parents who don't live with their children could make arrangements with school to be kept informed of school events, parents' meetings etc.

c. Consider volunteering to act as a mentor for young people in schools.

d. Make sure that your children understand the value that you put on education and how important good attainment could be for their future.