SHS launches new membership scheme

News article from October 22, 2015

School-Home Support (SHS) today launches SHS Membership, a new service for schools providing professional support to staff responsible for parental engagement.

For over 30 years, SHS has been partnering with schools and families to look beyond the classroom to understand and tackle the underlying issues affecting children’s learning. Often high absence rates or challenging behaviour are linked to what’s going on at home. Without engaging parents in their child’s education, schools are unable to have the impact on children’s learning that will give them the best chance to succeed in life.

Parents want the best for their children, but when trying to cope with difficult circumstances, can lose focus on the importance of education for their children. It is vital that schools have the skills to be able to engage productively with these parents, so that the children get the education they have a right to.

Many schools have staff responsible for engaging with parents, whether that is in a formalised role such as Parent Support Advisors, or as part of a wider role in the case of Teaching Assistants. Unfortunately with the wide range of demands placed on senior leaders in schools, these staff do not always receive the support and training they need to ensure they are working in a safe and boundaried way, maximising the impact of their work.

As experts in parental engagement, we have developed SHS Membership to provide professional support to these staff so that all schools can engage effectively with parents in their community.

The Membership scheme provides schools with:

  • Casework supervision for staff
  • Online Learning Site with a wide range of training courses including: Build and Maintain Relationships with Parents,  Child Sexual Exploitation, Autism Awareness and Domestic Abuse.
  • A range of best practice toolkits and resources to use when working with children and families.
  • A workshop to increase knowledge of parental engagement for staff in schools
  • Best practice and safeguarding updates
  • A network of peers to share ideas with.

As the Education Endowment Foundation states, “The association between parental involvement and a child’s academic success is well established”.1

The recent Public Accounts Committee report on funding for disadvantaged students stated that:

“Parental engagement is important if a child is to do well at school but some schools are struggling to challenge disengaged parents effectively. Almost all school leaders identify parental engagement as a barrier to closing the attainment gap but many schools do not use the Pupil Premium to address this concern. This is partly due to a debate within the schools sector about whether support for pupils should extend beyond the school gates”. 2

Whilst there is clear evidence that schools should be engaging with parents as part of their approach to reducing the attainment gap between disadvantaged students and their peers, the provision of such interventions varies from school to school. SHS Membership provides school staff with the expertise to work with parents effectively.

Jan Tallis, Chief Executive of School-Home Support said:
“It is vital that all children get the support they need to achieve at school. The new SHS Membership scheme will provide schools with the expertise they need to engage effectively with all of the parents in their community, so that children are in school, ready to learn.”

Francesca Paliotta, Parent Support Advisor, Five Elms Primary School said:
“​I have found external supervision with SHS invaluable. With my cases it has enabled me to make sure I have covered all aspects and gained a holistic view. This in turn gives me peace of mind.”

Louisa Mitchell, Managing Director of West London Zone said:
“I’m so excited by how our team are feeling after the training. Brilliant! Just what we all needed – so many things to think about and to work on now. Thank you.”

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