Getting involved at school

acd resource learning together 49

There are many ways to get involved with school. It’s worth finding ways that can work for you, your child and the school.

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There are many reasons why parents and carers get involved with their child’s school. Sometimes it’s about directly helping out in the classroom or on excursions, in ways that assist their child. Sometimes it’s about getting a stronger sense of their child’s support needs, by being around them in a school environment.

Often parents and carers get involved in order to build their relationship with the teachers and other staff, and the sense of partnership. Having helped out on an excursion or assisted in others ways might stand you in good stead, if and when you need to raise a concern at school, as Marie suggests:


Helping out in the classroom

Not every parent or carer is available to help out at school during class time. But for Janet, helping out in her son’s grade 1 class was helpful for a number of reasons:


Helping out for special events or camps

For other parents or carers, it might be more possible to take some leave and help out on school camp or during special events. Anthony felt that this was an important way to communicate to the school:

Helping out on excursions or for special activities also provides an opportunity to get to know the teachers a little more, and to build a sense of mutual support and partnership:


Getting involved on school committees or school council

Some parents and carers are able to get involved with school committees, such as fundraising or parents association committees, or on the school council. This can be an opportunity to influence the school’s approach in a number of areas that might affect your child’s experience of school. It can also help to build your relationship with the school staff and leadership, which might sometimes affect how the staff respond to issues you might raise about your child’s education:


Staying involved at secondary level

Parents and carers are often less involved with their child’s secondary school (especially in mainstream) than they were at primary school. However, parents and carers are still valued members of secondary school communities, and there are various ways that you can still contribute and be involved. This helps build your relationship with the school and staff, as well as other families and students; this in turn can help you support your child’s social development.

All schools have School Councils and there may be committees, working bees, or a Parents and Friends Association. Many schools have social functions and fundraisers for families, and parents and carers themselves may organise social events to get to know other families. Consider participating at a level that suits you, your child and family.