Family-School Partnerships

Family-school and community partnerships are an effective way to support and empower positive parent engagement, and bring together family and community resources to enrich student learning and wellbeing.

The Family-School Partnerships Framework

The Family-School Partnerships Framework was developed to promote and guide partnership building.

The core principles of effective family-school partnerships are:

  • parents and families are the first and continuing educators of their children
  • learning is lifelong and occurs in multiple settings
  • partnerships, schools and school communities flourish when the diversity and strengths of families are valued and leveraged
  • community engagement expands responsibility and resources
  • partnerships grow from mutual trust, respect and responsibility
  • partnerships need committed, collaborative and creative leadership.

Key dimensions of family-school partnerships

The seven key dimensions that frame relationship and partnership building are:

  • communicate
  • connect learning at home and school
  • build community and identity
  • recognise the role of the family
  • consult on decision-making
  • collaborate beyond the school
  • participate.

Further detail on each dimension can be viewed in the document below:

Key Dimensions of Family-School Partnerships

Strategies

For each key dimension there is a set of suggested strategies that can be used to support school communities in building and improving family-school partnerships.

These strategies aim to provide practical guidance and complement the work already being done in schools.

Communicate

Connect learning at home and at school

Build community and identity

Recognise the role of the family 

Consult on decision making

Collaborate beyond the school 

Participate

Print version of strategies

Family-School Partnerships Framework – Strategies

School Assessment Tool

Family-school partnerships can be built into existing school plans, activities and strategies. A good starting point is the School Assessment Tool—Reflection Matrix. This tool is based on the key dimensions identified in the Family-School Partnerships Framework, and can help schools identify areas of strength and focus areas for further work.

School Assessment Tool—Reflection Matrix