Headteacher Update Podcast: Creating parent-friendly schools

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:

This episode considers effective parent/carer engagement and asks how we can create parent-friendly schools, with lots of tips for engaging parents in school life, their children's learning, and for building positive relationships.

Our guests offer their principles for effective parental engagement, discussing how schools can get parents. on board and more involved in their children’s education. We discuss building positive relationships and offer top tips for headteachers, especially those new in post.

We talk school gates, bacon sandwiches, and ideas for how we can make our schools more “parent-friendly”.

There are tips for getting parents to show an interest in learning at home (especially with literacy and reading) and for handling difficult conversations and difficult parents. Other topics include parent conferences, homework, websites, home communication, and working with the PTA.




This episode is hosted by National Leader of Education Helen Frostick and our guests are:

  • Jean Gross CBE is an independent consultant with a background in support for children and families whose lives can be a struggle. She has written many books and articles including Oxford University Press’s guidance on parental engagement and the recent Reaching the unseen children: Practical strategies for closing stubborn attainment gaps in disadvantaged groups (2021).
  • Fiona Lambe has many years in senior leadership roles and is currently in her second headship of a south west London primary school.
  • John Shannon is an educational consultant who specialises in training headteachers and senior and middle leaders. John has many years of headteacher experience as well as being a diocesan advisor.

You can listen to this episode of the Headteacher Update Podcast above. To hear other Headteacher Update podcasts, or to subscribe for free to new editions, search for 'The Headteacher Update Podcast' in your podcast streaming application of choice. Or visit www.headteacher-update.com/knowledge-bank/podcasts/

For details about The Headteacher Update Podcast, or to suggest future topics, email editor Pete Henshaw at pete.henshaw@markallengroup.com


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