ABOUT THIS COURSE

This new course, Communicating Effectively with Parents, is aimed at all school staff who communicate with parents as part of their role. This includes support staff and admin staff.

The course explores ways of positively and proactively building relationships with parents. The focus of the course is that, by taking time to cultivate two-way open communication, conflicts are less likely to occur. Where they do occur, there are understood processes for addressing them.

  • School-parent communication has been thrown into sharp relief by the Covid pandemic. In some cases, it strengthened the bond between school and home, as they faced similar challenges together. In others, division was created by differences of opinion in how the school managed Covid, the anxiety caused by it and the distress of illnesses and death. By rebuilding the school community with parental communication as its focus, the negative reactive impact of Covid can be turned into positive action.

 

  • The course will cover:
    • Why proactively building communication with parents is important.
    • The negative consequences of keeping parents at arm’s length.
    • Examples of effective school-parent communication strategies.
    • The purposes of communication with parents.
    • Phone communication.
    • Written communication.
    • Face-to-face communication.
    • Communication through formal documents such as permission forms, reading records, planners; behaviour reports.
    • Parents’ evenings: Do they work? In primary schools? In secondary schools?
    • Communicating with parents on difficult topics related to their child.
    • Managing conflict with parents.
    • Parent Communication Policy: A working document.
  • School staff will understand:
    • The benefits of building positive communication with parents, rather than defending themselves against potential conflict.
    • How to create a parent communication policy that is a working document.
    • The differences between different methods of communicating with parents.
    • How to manage conflict with parents.

BENEFITS OF ATTENDING

  • Gain an understanding of the benefits of a proactive school approach to parental communication.
  • Appreciate the different strategies needed to communicate effectively with parents according to the medium.
  • Explore the impact of how the school communicates with parents on their children.
  • Understand the reasons for potential conflict with parents and how to manage them if they occur.
  • Take away a blueprint for developing a whole-school working parental communication policy.
COURSE DATES London | Thursday 26 May 2022

London | Monday 04 July 2022

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
  • Headteachers and members of senior leadership teams.
  • Heads of Year, Phase Leaders and Pastoral staff.
  • Mental health staff who liaise with parents, e.g., school counsellor.
  • Parent governor.
  • Designated Safeguarding Lead.
  • All school staff, including support staff, who communicate with parents.
COURSE CODE 9039
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an in-school course
INCLUDED
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

 

Session 1 – The importance of proactive parental communication

  • Why proactively building communication with parents is important.
  • The negative consequences of keeping parents at arm’s length.
  • Examples of effective school-parent communication strategies.

Session 2: Effective strategies to communicate effectively with parents

  • Effective strategies to communicate effectively with parents according to the medium
  • Explore the impact of how the school communicates with parents on their children.
  • Phone and Video communication.
  • Face-to-face communication, including parents’ evenings.
  • Written communication: whole-school and with individual parents
  • Communication through formal documents such as permission forms, reading records, planners; behaviour reports.
  • At the school gates: Informal communication.

Session 3 – The parent, the child and the teacher: The communication triangle

  • The child as the centre of communication: academic and pastoral impact
  • How do parents initiate contact with the school?
  • The school website and parental communication
  • Parents’ evenings: Do they work? In primary schools? In secondary schools?
  • Examples of successful school strategies
  • Managing conflict with parents.
  • Parent Communication Policy: A working document.

PM:

Session 1 – Managing conflict with parents

  • Understand the reasons for potential conflict with parents and how to manage them if they occur
  • Communicating with parents on difficult topics related to their child.
  • Why conflicts with parents occur: What is within the school’s control?
  • Managing conflict: Formal strategies
  • Managing conflict: Interpersonal strategies

Session 2 – Developing a whole-school working parental communication policy

  • Examples of effective whole-school policies
  • A parental communication policy template
  • Creating the foundations of your school policy
  • Take away a blueprint for developing a whole-school working parental communication policy.

Session 3 – Action planning: the next three terms

  • Where do you want to be and how are you going to get there?

– End of Term 1

– End of Term 2

– End of Term 3

  • Rolling review: School Improvement/Development Plan

Steve Waters

Steve Waters taught in secondary schools for 30 years before he left while an Assistant Principal to work for 6 years with school improvement teams in two local authorities. He is now joint founder and director of Teach Well Toolkit (www.teachwelltoolkit.com), which supports the wellbeing and mental health of staff through a school membership programme.

Steve has an MA in Education and an Advanced Diploma in Educational Management, both from the Open University, and holds the NPQH. He is also a qualified BAC Counsellor and a Founding Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching.

Steve is the joint author of Bell, J & Waters, S. (2018) Doing Your Research Project Open University Press which has sold over 350,000 copies, and ‘Waters, S. (Ed) (2021) Cultures of Staff Wellbeing and Mental Health in Schools Open University Press.

Steve has four children – one of whom is a Psychology teacher – and lives in Manchester.