CPD Toolkit | Engaging parents: building strong partnerships

Engaging parents: building strong partnerships


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How effectively is your school engaging parents to improve pupil outcomes? This training course aims to help staff develop strong partnerships with parents and carers based on effective communication. It explores the link between parental engagement and pupil achievement, and addresses institutional, social and cultural barriers that can inhibit parental engagement. The training course aims to equip participants with the skills, knowledge and confidence to effectively engage all parents in their children’s learning


This training course is suitable for all teaching and support staff.

Course outline

Authors: This course was developed in partnership with Dr Kathryn Weston, Director at Keystone Aspire and a parental engagement expert. Kathryn delivers CPD training in schools to help teachers apply research about effective parental engagement to their own practice. She also hosts a weekly radio show on parenting and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.

Session 1 - Introduction to parental engagement (90 minutes)


  • Explore current approaches to engaging parents
  • Understand the differences between ‘parental engagement’ and ‘parental involvement’
  • Explore research evidence and best practice case studies on effective approaches to parental engagement
  • Consider some of the most common barriers to parental engagement, and explore how to overcome them
Session 2 - Developing partnerships with parents (90 minutes)
  • Explore what might influence parents' attitudes towards school
  • Look at how to develop positive rapport with parents
  • Explore how to build partnerships with parents through effective communication
  • Consider how to handle difficult conversations with parents
Session 3 - Encouraging family learning (90 minutes)
  • Explore the link between family learning and pupils’ outcomes
  • Discuss the characteristics of a positive “home learning environment, and consider how to help parents create one
  • Explore how to set homework that promotes family learning
  • Look at how technology can be used to build home-school partnerships
Session 4 - A whole-school approach to parental engagement (2 hours)
  • Draw together evidence from the module to inform whole-school direction on parental engagement 
  • Explore how collective values regarding parental engagement relate to overall school vision
  • Encourage collaborative learning between colleagues, and explore how ideas will be put into action
  • Consider how any new approaches will be evaluated


Courses include:
  • Facilitator notes providing step-by-step guidance with discussion prompts, activity instructions and links to further reading
  • A facilitator log including a checklist to support session planning and evaluation, and to help you identify next steps 
  • A diagnostic audit to assess participants’ prior knowledge so that you can tailor the content and target areas for improvement
  • Presentation slides outlining key concepts and guidance
  • Videos to support activities and to explain complex ideas
  • A learning log enabling participants to reflect upon their learning against the course objectives
  • A feedback form enabling participants to evaluate the subject content and activities in the session
  • A certificate to certify participation in the training course

How it works

  1. Download high-quality materials created in partnership with subject specialists, and quality assured for your peace of mind
  2. Adapt the resources to meet the needs of your school and staff
  3. Deliver engaging training with confidence, with the support of comprehensive facilitator guidance 
  4. Evaluate the impact of your training to identify areas where staff need further support