PES – Parent Engagement in Schools

Research has shown that when parents are engaged with their children’s schooling, the better academic, social and emotional outcomes their children are likely to have. However, little is known about which engagement strategies are the most effective and why some parents are disengaged with schools.

In order to investigate these issues, The University of Queensland (UQ), P&Cs Qld and the Queensland Department of Education and Training (DET) are collecting data on Queensland State Schools through the Parent Engagement in Schools (PES) project using a multi-phase approach.

DEFINITION OF PARENT ENGAGEMENT

Parent engagement is broadly defined as the behaviours, values, attitudes, activities and interest parents and care-givers show that support their children’s learning and wellbeing.

AIMS

The project’s key aims are to:

  1. Investigate the levels of parent engagement (participation and partnering) across Queensland State Schools and the culture around parent engagement within schools.
  2. Investigate the roles that the Principal and school leadership and a positive school climate play in encouraging parent-school-community engagement.
  3. Work with disadvantaged schools to identify best practices that are relevant to their unique situations.
  4. Identify effective engagement strategies to improve the engagement of parents in Queensland State Schools.
  5. Facilitate the successful transfer of effective engagement practices between Principals/schools.

PROJECT PHASES

In August 2014, all Principals and P&C Association Presidents in State Schools in Queensland were invited to participate in the research and complete online surveys (Phase I). These findings provided valuable insights into the role that those in leadership positions within the schools, such as the Principal and P&C President have in shaping the school’s climate when it comes to parent engagement. The next phase of the PES project, taking place in 2016-2017, will investigate Principal Leadership for parent-school-community engagement in disadvantaged schools. This will involve working with a small number of disadvantaged schools that, based on the PES survey data, appear to be doing parent engagement well. Teachers and parents at these schools will be invited to complete surveys and take part in focus groups, and members of the school leadership team will be interviewed. It is hoped that these findings will provide learning and insights for all Principals about ways to enhance parent-school-community engagement in their schools.

The findings will assist P&Cs Qld to design strategies and workshops to assist schools in improving parental engagement. All findings will be presented in aggregate form when comparing schools.

However, schools may request school data and researchers will ensure that the anonymity of parents is maintained.

Preliminary results from Phase I were presented at the P&Cs Conference 12 September 2014, see presentation: P&Cs Qld Conference Presentation - September 2014

Download School Summary Findings:

Download working papers:

Journal Articles:

 

General enquiries:

Project Manager, ISSR: Dr Jenny Povey (j.povey@uq.edu.au)

 

Research team:

Dr Jenny Povey, Chief Investigator,
Institute for Social Science Research,
the University of Queensland

Dr Linda Willis, Chief Investigator,
School of Education,
the University Of Queensland

 

Dr Julie Hodges, Chief Investigator,
School of Psychology,
the University Of Queensland

 

Professor Annemaree Carroll, Chief Investigator,
School of Education,
the University Of Queensland

 

Professor Michele Haynes, Chief Investigator,
Institute for Social Science Research,
the University of Queensland

Professor Mark Western, Chief Investigator,
Institute for Social Science Research,
the University of Queensland

Dr Sarah Bennett, Chief Investigator,
Institute for Social Science Research,
the University of Queensland

Dr Emma Antrobus, Chief Investigator,
Institute for Social Science Research,
the University of Queensland

Ms Alice Campbell, Research and Administrative Assistant,
Institute for Social Science Research,
the University of Queensland

 

Mr Kevan Goodworth, Partner Investigator,
P&Cs Qld