Our Western Australian schools passionately embrace and support their local communities. However, they need increased support dealing with societal and cultural issues in order to tap into the positive effect that school community involvement has on social and educational outcomes for children. This includes building communication between classrooms and homes, allowing schools to benefit from sociocultural and linguistic diversity, the provision of a broader resource base in providing learning opportunities and services to children and families, increasing participation in decision-making in the school community, and enhancing community spirit and cohesion.
As agreed by State and Federal Governments in the 2008 Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, governments must commit to working with all school sectors to ensure that schools engage young Australians, parents, carers, families, other education and training providers, business and the broader community to support students’ progress through schooling, and to provide them with rich learning, personal development and citizenship opportunities.
When considering the obstacles that schools face, the State Government must invest funds towards developing programs, services and support for families from all cultural backgrounds. This will help foster better and more cohesive communities. Research consistently shows that when schools and families work together, children do better and stay in school longer. Funding should not be exclusively distributed to low socioeconomic schools but to all schools to help them embrace parental and community engagement.
WACSSO calls for:
- Inter-agency, and where appropriate cross sectoral, cooperation to deliver, implement and foster improved community engagement; and
- funding to be provided to schools to help them develop and resource community development programs, services and support for families from all cultural backgrounds.
For referencing and the full report, click here.