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New Head

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by carbod, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. carbod

    carbod New commenter

    Just wondering if someone could offer me some advice please as a new head in my first year of headship. How do you get parents to engage, especially those who don't want too and are very negative despite all efforts for their children?
    install likes this.
  2. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Good luck.
    Watch your back.
    I hope your governors are supportive.
  3. carbod

    carbod New commenter

    Thank you ...watch my back yikes!
    install likes this.
  4. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Just be aware of what's happening in the school. Don't take anything at face value.
    Keep a day book (the great Theo's advice) and write everything down and I mean everything,
    install likes this.
  5. carbod

    carbod New commenter

    Thank you!
    install likes this.
  6. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited New commenter

    Free food....by that I mean organise plenty of events inviting them into school, e.g. supporting reading, understanding how we do maths, family afternoon etc but always offer Food!
    george1963 and install like this.
  7. dancingdora

    dancingdora New commenter

    If it is not written down it didn't happen. With tricky parents back everything up with a letter.
    Jesmond12 likes this.
  8. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Look after your most important assets - your staff.

    A good way to engage with parents is for each class to have an open morning ( we did 1 hour) where parents are invited in to share their child’s learning. We found that numbers started to ride as word got around about how good it was.
    george1963 and install like this.
  9. Lattelady

    Lattelady New commenter

    Carbod, make sure you keep an evidence trail of how you have tried to engage parents but realise that there will be some who just won't want to engage and that is their problem not yours. Throw it back at your governors too, so they know what you are doing and what you have tried.

    Finally, check if they are literate, I chaired a school where we worked out that around a quarter of our parents could not read... the head would spend afternoons in the playground with parents waving letters at her and asking, "What's this all about then?" She would then look at the letter and say, "Ah I see, you are right I could have put that more clearly by saying the event is on Tuesday evening at 6:00pm, rather than saying, at 6:00pm next Tuesday there is a school concert." It saved their face and made sure the messages got through.
    Marshall likes this.
  10. pineappleyoghurt

    pineappleyoghurt New commenter

    Your parent community can be a brilliant asset. Fund raising. Volunteering. Supporting. You just need to manage them effectively.
    I was given a brilliant book (see below) by an experienced head when I first started out. Don't be put off by the list price - cos it's old- You can get a 'used' copy for under a fiver.
    I found it really useful. I remember reading each section- it breaks it down into problems and solutions - & feeling inspired to make a plan. I read it before I even started as head & I kept grabbing out my notebook & listing new ideas.
    You mainly have to remember that most parents just want the best for their child. Some just go about it in the wrong way.
    Your job is to stay calm, polite and in control. No matter what.

    Oh and good luck with your headship.
    Love my job!

    How to deal with parents who are angry troubled afraid or just plain crazy by
    Elaine K. McEwan-Adkins
  11. mms1

    mms1 New commenter

    Food always brings parents in for us! Offer tea and cakes or hot dogs etc, certainly pulled up our attendance figures for parents evening once there was some nosh being offered. It cost us about £1.50 per head and I took it from PPG.
  12. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    How did you justify using your PPG for food at parents evening?!
  13. mms1

    mms1 New commenter

    We have a real struggle engaging our parents in their childrens' learning. It's no secret that engaging parents has a big impact on children's progress. £1.50 is not hard to justify or demonstrate as a legitimate way of improving educational opportunities for all. Most of our parents now know what we teach and how we teach it to their children and can now support them with their learning. We have very high numbers qualifying for PPG and this initiative has had a significant positive impact on engagement for us and I've had no problems justifying the spending. This of course doesn't mean it'll work for everyone, but thinking outside the box is no bad thing in my book.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017

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