‘It all comes down to the leadership’: the role of the school principal in fostering parent-school engagement

Article


Barr, Jenny and Saltmarsh, Sue. 2014. "‘It all comes down to the leadership’: the role of the school principal in fostering parent-school engagement ." Educational Management Administration and Leadership. 42 (4), pp. 491-505. https://doi.org/10.1177/1741143213502189
Article Title

‘It all comes down to the leadership’: the role of the school principal in fostering parent-school engagement

ERA Journal ID19918
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsBarr, Jenny (Author) and Saltmarsh, Sue (Author)
Journal TitleEducational Management Administration and Leadership
Journal Citation42 (4), pp. 491-505
Number of Pages15
Year2014
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1741-1432
1741-1440
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/1741143213502189
Web Address (URL)http://ema.sagepub.com/content/42/4/491
Abstract

Parent-school engagement is widely understood to be an important factor in children’s school experience and educational outcomes. However, there is considerable variation in the ways that schools manage their relationships with parents, as well as variation in what parents themselves view as important for engagement with their children’s schooling. In a qualitative study conducted
with parents in urban, outer metropolitan, regional and rural areas of the Australian state of New
South Wales, we found that parents considered the attitudes, communication and leadership practices
of school principals to play a crucial role in fostering and maintaining relationships between parents and schools. These findings suggest that despite policy rhetorics positioning schools and parents as ‘partners’ in the educational equation, parents are more likely to be engaged with schools where the principal is perceived as welcoming and supportive of their involvement, and less likely to be engaged where the principal is perceived as inaccessible, dismissive or disinterested in supporting their involvement.

Keywordsparent-school engagement, school leadership, principals, partnership
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390203. Sociology of education
390403. Educational administration, management and leadership
Public Notes

© The Author(s) 2013. Accepted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

Byline AffiliationsAustralian Catholic University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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