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Staying involved in your child’s education

Tags: school, education, non-resident parents, parents night
Categories: After Separation

Parental involvement is essential to children’s education. Studies have shown that parental involvement has a positive effect on children’s achievements in school, even when other factors are taken into account [1].

This means that, as a parent, you are one of the most important aspects of your child’s education. Some parents who are separated and don’t live with their kids may find it difficult to be included in their children’s education, but even these parents can have an impact [2].

To be more involved and have a greater impact on your child’s education in terms of both attendance and achievement [3] there are a few practical things you can do.

  1. Take an active interest
  2. Volunteer at the school or go on school trips [4]
  3. Simply ask your child how they’re getting on at school, read together at home, or help with homework

Unless a court order specifies otherwise, non-resident parents are entitled to the same treatment from schools as resident parents and you have a right to get the same information from the school as your child’s other parent.

This includes getting notifications about parents’ night.  You can even ask for a separate appointment if you and your ex-partner want to avoid contact with each other, though this may be harder to arrange if your child is in secondary school and has several teachers. Where possible, of course, you should try to work with your ex-partner if it’s in the best interests of your child.

Though it can be tricky, do try to stay involved – the school should be making every effort to involve both parents in the way they plan the child’s educational needs, even when the parents don’t agree with each other.

If things have been slipping through the net, you might need to contact the school and make sure they have your up-to-date contact details, and are aware of the childcare arrangements so they know how to get hold of you.

In the meantime, keep asking your child about school and take the opportunity to help out with reading or homework when you do have time together.

References

[1] Department for Children, Schools, and Families note in their (2008). The Impact of Parental Involvement on Children’s Education. London (p. 8)

[2] Fatherhood Institute (2010). Fathers’ impact on their children’s learning and achievement. London

[3] Goldman, R. (2005). Fathers’ Involvement in their Children’s Education. London: National Family and Parenting Institute

[4] McBride, B.A., Schoppe-Sullivan S.J., & Ho, M.H. (2005). The mediating role of fathers’ school involvement on students’ achievement. Applied Developmental Psychology, 26, 201-216.

 

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