Research evidence shows that effective partnerships between schools and parents, whānau and communities can result in better outcomes for students. The better the relationship and engagement, the more positive the impact on students’ learning.
In this evaluation, ‘engagement’ is defined as a meaningful, respectful partnership between schools and their parents, whānau, and communities that focuses on improving the educational experiences and successes for each child.
This evaluation investigated three areas:
- the extent to which school practices contributed to meaningful and respectful partnerships with parents, whānau and communities;
- the challenges facing these partnerships and the benefits of them; and
- how partnerships could be strengthened.
The Education Review Office (ERO) undertook this evaluation in Terms 1 and 2, 2007. ERO gathered evidence for the evaluation from 233 school education reviews. This included meetings and discussions with parents, whānau and communities as well as with school personnel. Thirty-four discussion groups were held throughout New Zealand. These discussions were convened for specific groups including parents of Māori, Pacific, special needs, refugee, migrant, remote, and transient children. A parent questionnaire, available in hard copy and on ERO’s website, was completed by 501 parents. The data gathered provided different views and perspectives about engagement between school personnel and the parents, whānau and communities of the students who attended the school.