‘It all comes down to the leadership’: the role of the school principal in fostering parent-school engagement

Barr, Jenny and Saltmarsh, Sue (2014) ‘It all comes down to the leadership’: the role of the school principal in fostering parent-school engagement. Educational Management, Administration and Leadership, 42 (4). pp. 491-505. ISSN 1741-1432

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Abstract

Parent-school engagement is widely understood to be an important factor in children’s school experience and educational outcomes. However, there is considerable variation in the ways that schools manage their relationships with parents, as well as variation in what parents themselves view as important for engagement with their children’s schooling. In a qualitative study conducted
with parents in urban, outer metropolitan, regional and rural areas of the Australian state of New
South Wales, we found that parents considered the attitudes, communication and leadership practices
of school principals to play a crucial role in fostering and maintaining relationships between parents and schools. These findings suggest that despite policy rhetorics positioning schools and parents as ‘partners’ in the educational equation, parents are more likely to be engaged with schools where the principal is perceived as welcoming and supportive of their involvement, and less likely to be engaged where the principal is perceived as inaccessible, dismissive or disinterested in supporting their involvement.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2013. Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2017 23:38
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2017 00:16
Uncontrolled Keywords: parent-school engagement, school leadership, principals, partnership
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160809 Sociology of Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930401 Management and Leadership of Schools/Institutions
C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1177/1741143213502189
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30202

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