Why are we Better Together?

We know educational leadership is most effective when it is shared throughout the school - among teachers, parents and students - and is focused on learning, quality teaching and building a collaborative community. [1]


We also know that when schools and families collaborate around student learning and well-being, students achieve better outcomes, attend school more regularly and stay on at school longer [2]. Collaborative school communities are stronger communities because they build on local resources and foster social capital [3].

Advisory bodies like boards, councils and parent associations increase the participation and engagement of the school community in young people’s education and as a consequence build collective responsibility for the faith formation, learning and well-being of all young people.  

We know that the most effective schools seek to affect the communities that affect them [4]. When our school-based decision-making is informed by, and responds to, the needs and aspirations of the community which the school serves we can make better and more respectful decisions.  

When principals, teachers and parents work together to build a culture of shared leadership and responsibility for student faith formation, learning and well-being, children do better and schools get better.

Catholic church documents also stress the importance of the entire educating community of a Catholic school (students, parents, parish priests, teachers, directors and non-teaching staff) working collaboratively together.  

The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium states that "it is necessary to foster initiatives which encourage [family] commitment, but which provides at the same time the right sort of concrete support which the family needs and which involve it in the Catholic school's educational project" (1997).

Catholic school advisory bodies are one such initiative. 

               In short, the research demonstrates ...
                                Church documents tell us ...     we are better together.
                                              Practice shows us ... 
                                                                          

Footnotes:
1 Seashore, L.K; Leithwood, K; et al (2010). Investigating the links to improved student learning: final report of research findings.
2 Henderson & MApp (2002); A New WAvw of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family & Community Connection on Student Achievement. SEDL Read More
3 Cuttance & Stokes, 2000; Saulwick Muller Social Research, 2006; Caldwell, 2012 4 Hargreaves and Shirley (2009)

Advisory bodies like boards, councils and parent associations increase the participation and engagement of the whole school community in young people’s faith-filled education.

"Schools are complex organisations which belong to all of the people who make up their membership. It seems unfathomable to me, that one would not want to share the responsibility for such an important enterprise with the people who have made their biggest investment in its success - our parents and other supportive adults in the parish".

Phil Bretherton, Catholic Primary School Principal