It is important to establish a method of regular communication which works well for each individual’s family. Some parents will prefer email, others prefer to use a communication diary which travels with the student between the home and school. Other parents will prefer weekly or fortnightly meetings. Parents who speak languages other than English at home may prefer regularly scheduled phone calls using a telephone translation service. When the form of communication used is easy for parents/carers to access, it is likely that there will be a higher level of engagement and more timely responses to communication. Teachers and families both benefit from the exchange of information.
In addition to regular communication about day-to-day matters, parents/carers should be informed about the student’s behavioural successes and positive experiences in the schoolyard, as well as the more challenging issues which arise. It is important to ensure that families do not receive a disproportionate amount of negative information about their child.
Some communication from school may be experienced by the student’s family as being challenging or unpleasant. Teachers may have to communicate with families about behaviours of concern, or to inform families about incidents which have resulted in the student becoming upset. However, professional teachers are as sensitive and constructive as possible when discussing such issues, ensuring that the focus of discussions is the safety and wellbeing of students. This approach assists the development of a positive working relationship with families.
For more information about communicating with parents/carers click here.