Education Matters

Why community consultation is important

Posted by Trinity Grammar School on Nov 8, 2019, 6:00:00 AM

Why community consultation is importantSchools need community feedback in order to ensure future success. Education at Trinity Gramma School is about more than academic achievement – our vision is to help boys grow in mind, body and spirit. This vision relies on collaboration and purposeful relationships. When parents and the wider community engage and collaborate, it enhances the school as a whole. This is at the heart of why community consultation is important and critical to success of the school.

As the popular proverb states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The entire school community has a crucial role in the growth and development of its young people.

By understanding the benefits of collaboration and how you can get involved in the consultation processes, your school can achieve better outcomes for its students and community.

Benefits of collaboration
Community consultation allows for active collaboration. Collaboration is not about people getting along, rather it’s about planning for the future and solving problems together. Schools are boosted by effective community consultation and feedback, as it deepens their understanding of their community’s needs, enabling better decision-making.

As a parent, this is why your feedback is so vital to your school’s success and improvement. By collaborating with your school, you are helping to inform decisions. It also means there will be better alignment between students’ needs and the school’s offering, which benefits the entire school community but in particular, the growth and development of the students.

Beyond decision making, research indicates that strong partnerships within the school community make a positive difference to student learning. Therefore, collaboration creates a better education environment for all students.

Collaboration also leads to the community feeling a sense of ownership and pride in the school. The trust and respect that should be fostered through collaboration will always be of benefit.

Methods for collaboration
The strategies used to ensure positive community engagement will naturally evolve as community needs change. It is likely that schools will offer many opportunities and varied methods to contribute.

As a parent, you may receive surveys which offer the chance to contribute your feedback and suggestions. Regular newsletters are designed to keep you informed and provide you with opportunities to get involved at the school by attending events, providing support or socialising. Your participation and the feedback you provide are significant and help shape the future direction of the School as well as your own child’s education.

One effective way of keeping up-to-date with school news and supporting the school community, is through the Parents’ and Friends’ Association (P&F). P&F groups continue to be a key driver toward contributing valuable consultation and collaboration. As the aptly named article Beyond the Bake Sale suggests, it is important to move away from seeing parent support groups as a tool for participation. Rather, these groups provide more opportunities for active engagement to create a better education for your child. You can read more about why joining your school’s P&F is important here.

If you have a suggestion about how a school can engage with you better, don’t be afraid to arrange a time to talk to a school Head. These strategies aren’t a one-off fix but a constant and ongoing collaborative approach. So, any feedback into the methods a school uses to collaborate with their community is helpful.

Schools will also likely provide methods of engaging at different times or hold events after-school hours to minimise any barriers for participation.

Meeting specific needs
When community consultation identifies specific needs, schools can take steps to meet those requirements. As outlined in the paper, Progressing Parental Engagement collaborating provides better outcomes to support children’s academic achievements.

For schools with diverse communities, consultation can result in better ways of bridging any language barriers, and identify more effective transitions for students. By establishing supportive relationships, schools can better attend to their community’s pain points.

At Trinity, we celebrate families and all they do for their children and the community. We believe in working collaboratively with parents and students in a supportive Christian environment to ensure our boys realise their full potential, embrace their passions and find their life’s purpose.

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Topics: Support programs, Community service, Education