How to support pupils' parents

When still known as Teacher Support Network, Education Support Partnership worked with the national charity for families, Family Lives, to produce an online resource: 'Guidance for Head Teachers and School Staff: How to Support Pupils' Parents'. The guidance offers advice to educational professionals on how to better work with their pupils' parents and where they can go for additional support.

This resource was developed as a result of a survey of teachers and headteachers by the two charities which showed that:

  • 90 per cent of teachers felt that there were families in their school experiencing common parenting problems

  • 29 per cent of teachers said they did not get the support they needed from their school to work well with pupils' parents

  • 33 per cent (1 third) of teachers would not know where to go to get help for a pupil's parent if they felt they needed family and parenting support

  • Only 14 per cent of teachers reported that their schools offered any training on parent teacher relationships

    The downloadable research-based leaflet summarises what education professionals can reasonably do to ensure that pupils and parents get appropriate support in and out of the school environment. The resource also contains tips and techniques from teachers and headteachers, currently working in schools across the country, to ensure parental-engagement efforts do not impact negatively on the wellbeing of school staff, as well as how to safeguard and protect pupils. The guidance also offers advice on linking families with the most appropriate service to empower parents to find solutions to their own individual or family problems in an informative, knowledgeable and sensitive way.

    The launch of the education resource coincided with 'Instructions Not Included' research from Family Lives which found that:

  • 53 per cent would access support if available at their child's school and 23% had already accessed support

  • 61 per cent felt the stigma of being seen as not being able to cope was a barrier to accessing services

  • 90 per cent of respondents stated that they believed parents would benefit from advice and information on effective ways of coping with their child's behaviour, and other common parenting problems

  • 79 per cent of respondents felt that currently there is too little reliable information on parenting

2012 Guidance for Head Teachers and school staff: How to support pupils and parents