Survey shows need for stronger parent-school partnership



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The ASG Parents Report Card released today shows parents fear their children aren’t learning resilience or the ability to cope with stress or negative situations. Experts believe this signals a need for greater collaboration between schools and parents.

178434941.jpgThe ASG study – run in collaboration with Monash University - surveyed 800 New Zealand parents on a range of things from financial pressures, to perceptions of the quality of their child’s education, to technology use, to their thoughts on their child’s social and emotional development.

While the survey found that 89 per cent of parents were happy with the quality of teaching, there were clear concerns raised about children’s resilience and coping abilities.

The survey found that more than half of parents (54 per cent) feel that their child is not taught how to manage stress at school very well. Six out of 10 (62 per cent) parents believe that their child is easily upset by negative experiences, while almost one third expressed concerns at their child’s ability to handle personal problems.

Associate Professor Sivanes Phillipson of Monash University’s Faculty of Education says these findings signal the need for closer links between home and school.

“The survey shows that parents do recognise the value teachers add. But the loop between home and school needs to be closed. Schools should be listening to what parents have to say.”

Velegrinis agrees.

“The social and emotional learning journey is arguably just as important, if not more important, than the academic journey. It is about finding the right balance between the two. What children experience on the homefront might differ vastly to what the experience at school, so the gap needs to be bridged to allow that social and emotional or holistic learning journey to be consistent.”

Velegrinis believes parents’ perspective is neglected at a higher level, too. He says education policy makers need to take into better account the perspective of parents when it comes to making decisions about education.

“Parents are the singularly most important stakeholder in education,” he says. “I liken it to a three-legged stool, the legs being the educators, policy makers and parents – at the moment the stool is wobbly and unbalanced because it is missing that parent leg. We are flummoxed that parents’ voices are currently not heard.”

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