Engaging parents and carers with their child’s education

Help us to develop a shared understanding about how we can work together to support all students and learners throughout their learning journey.

What's this about?

The NSW Department of Education wants feedback from parents, carers and staff on what is important, what we should continue and how we might enable consistent and high-quality experiences for all parents and carers of children and young people and staff in public education.

Parents and carers are their child’s first educator. Engagement with their child’s learning starts from early childhood and continues through different stages of development and learning environments. This might involve supporting their child’s learning, development and participation, finding ways to bring learning into the home, and helping teachers and staff to know and understand their child.

We know strong partnerships across education communities, between students, parent and carers, teachers, educators, school and department staff, help to foster engagement and positive learning and well-being outcomes.

Your feedback will help shape a parent and carer engagement framework. We want to help parents and carers to:

  • clearly understand their rights, responsibilities and choices to support their child's education

  • access easy to understand and timely information to help them support their child's learning, development and well-being

  • have a say in matters that impact their child’s education, and see outcomes that reflect their involvement

  • feel confident in raising their concerns or to know how to make complaints where they are not satisfied with an aspect of their child’s education

  • receive services and support that anticipate needs and cater for diversity

  • engage with their child’s education, supported by strong partnerships with staff to achieve shared goals

Have your say

We're inviting your feedback, as:

  • parents or carers supporting your child’s education and learning, or,

  • department staff, working with your community.

We want to hear what matters to you and you can participate in as many ways as you choose. The closing date for participation is 30 April 2022.

Thank you for your feedback

This engagement is now closed. Thank you for participating and sharing your thoughts and ideas. We are currently reviewing your feedback.

Help us to develop a shared understanding about how we can work together to support all students and learners throughout their learning journey.

What's this about?

The NSW Department of Education wants feedback from parents, carers and staff on what is important, what we should continue and how we might enable consistent and high-quality experiences for all parents and carers of children and young people and staff in public education.

Parents and carers are their child’s first educator. Engagement with their child’s learning starts from early childhood and continues through different stages of development and learning environments. This might involve supporting their child’s learning, development and participation, finding ways to bring learning into the home, and helping teachers and staff to know and understand their child.

We know strong partnerships across education communities, between students, parent and carers, teachers, educators, school and department staff, help to foster engagement and positive learning and well-being outcomes.

Your feedback will help shape a parent and carer engagement framework. We want to help parents and carers to:

  • clearly understand their rights, responsibilities and choices to support their child's education

  • access easy to understand and timely information to help them support their child's learning, development and well-being

  • have a say in matters that impact their child’s education, and see outcomes that reflect their involvement

  • feel confident in raising their concerns or to know how to make complaints where they are not satisfied with an aspect of their child’s education

  • receive services and support that anticipate needs and cater for diversity

  • engage with their child’s education, supported by strong partnerships with staff to achieve shared goals

Have your say

We're inviting your feedback, as:

  • parents or carers supporting your child’s education and learning, or,

  • department staff, working with your community.

We want to hear what matters to you and you can participate in as many ways as you choose. The closing date for participation is 30 April 2022.

Thank you for your feedback

This engagement is now closed. Thank you for participating and sharing your thoughts and ideas. We are currently reviewing your feedback.

  • Parents' and carers' engagement with their child’s education

    by AnnaS,

    Key themes to guide parent and carer engagement have been revealed through the Have Your Say platform.

    The Department has a commitment to ensuring that parents and carers are positively engaged in their child’s education both in and outside the school gates.

    To further support this commitment, the Department undertook a public engagement through the Have Your Say Platform to hear from parents, carers and staff about what is important to them. This will be used to inform future strategies to understand and improve engagement.

    A number of open ended questions were asked to better understand how parents, carers and school staff define engagement and what they value. The 538 responses[1] identified key themes that were important to them.

    Summary of main themes:

    Meaning of engagement

    When asked what the word engagement meant to them, the main themes the parents and carers mentioned were being actively involved in their child’s education, being made aware and informed and having connection with their child’s learning, school and/or community.

    Staff highlighted the importance of working together in partnership to support learners, focusing on learner outcomes and involving parents and carers in decisions and planning.

    Interest in engagement

    Parents and carers want to know what their child is learning, understand their child’s progress and receive guidance on how they can help them, and be informed about their child’s wellbeing.

    Staff most commonly mentioned wanting to engage with parents and carers to discuss learner wellbeing and behaviour, learning needs and academic progress. They also wanted to help parents and carers support their child’s education, including helping them understand curriculum or assessment requirements.

    Factors impacting the engagement experience

    Sixty two percent of the participants responding as parents and carers and 82% of staff participants indicated they felt comfortable engaging on most occasions or at all times[2].

    Parents and carers highlighted that the contributors to a positive experience included open, effective communication, staff being accessible and approachable, being kept informed and feeling their child is known, valued and cared for.

    Staff also mentioned the importance of effective communication, mutually respectful interactions and being learner-centred; focused on learner outcomes.

    When there was a negative engagement experience, the surveyed parents and carers referred to experiencing ineffective communication, a lack of follow up or feeling dismissed or ignored. The surveyed staff mentioned inconsistent support, aggressive or threatening behaviour, unrealistic expectations and managing diversity of values as main contributors.

    The Department will now use these results along with further research to support the development of the Parent and Carer Engagement Framework, which will set the Department’s vision for how it can work more effectively in partnership with parents and carers for better learner outcomes.


    [1] 451 participants responded as a parent or carer of a child in public education and 87 participants responded as NSW Department of Education staff

    [2] This online engagement does not provide a representative sample of the population. Further research will explore these views in more detail.