Leading Learning Through Parent and Community Partnerships

There is an underlying belief that students are more likely to engage, learn and achieve their potential when there is a positive and caring relationship between staff, parents, their community and their fellow students. This belief is consistent with the National School Improvement Tool (NSIT) and the Parent and Community Engagement Framework, which outlines the following 5 key elements in creating a positive difference in student outcomes:

1. Communication
2. Partnerships with parents
3. Community collaboration
4. Decision-making
5. School culture

The Leading Learning Through Parent and Community Partnerships Program equips school leaders with the capability and confidence to effectively build and sustain partnerships with parents, community organisations and businesses which result in improved learning outcomes and wellbeing for students. An understanding of how to grow the co-educative role of parents is a core component of the program.

The program adopts an Appreciative Action Learning approach which builds on current school capabilities through interactive workshops, coaching, mentoring and online learning, and recognises the aspirations schools have to achieve outcomes consistent with the National School Improvement Tool and the Parent and Community Engagement Framework. The program also develops an understanding of how to use effective parent and community partnerships as the scaffolding for the achievement of those outcomes.

Program Objectives


  • Participants are expected to develop their capacity to:  engage parents and families as integral members of the school community and build the capacity of parents to act as effective co-educators of their children;
  • build partnerships with local businesses, community organisations, government agencies and educational institutions to improve opportunities and learning outcomes for students;
  • identify, support and monitor community partners on the basis of their contribution to improved student achievement and/or wellbeing;
  • build clarity around the roles and responsibilities of parents, community partnering organisations and school staff;
  • engage school parent associations and school boards (where they exist) in the development of policy and strategy to lead learning through parent and community partnerships; and,
  • build sustainable partnerships within the school that embrace the current culture of the school community and its partner organisations

Program Features


  • Appreciative Action Learning program using an inquiry model which utilises current neuroscience to frame action in school communities.
  • Implement a project in the school community.
  • Start-up survey to ascertain learning needs and current state of parent and community engagement and participation.
  • Blended learning approach with one-to-one, whole-of-group and online learning.
  • Facilitators with successful live experience in this area of activity.
  • Aligned with the domains of the National School Improvement Tool
  • Aligned with the Queensland Parent and Community Engagement Framework

Suitable for: Principals, deputy principals, staff leaders, community liaison officers and parent leaders.

Phase 1 - Program briefing, preparation and start-up survey

Location: In-school

Professional readings, start-up survey to ascertain learning needs and current state of parent and community engagement and participation and survey debrief.

Phase 2 - Three-day workshop

Key elements of the role of parents in student learning are explored. There will be an appreciation and investigation of the role of community and other agencies from business and government regarding their role in enhancing student learning. Participants will assess the current state of play in their school regarding parent and community partnerships, and design a project to build renewed capability for student learning through parents as co-educators and community as learning builders.

Phase 3 - Action learning project in the school community (4-5 months) – coaching and online learning

Location: In-school

Participants will facilitate the implementation of a project to improve student learning through parent and community projects. Coaching, mentoring and online information will be provided to support the delivery of the project.

Phase 4 - Two-day workshop

Reflection and debrief on the outcomes so far. Revised learning needs identified and provided for. Project plans revised to enhance outcomes.

Phase 5 - Project finalisation and feedback (2-3 months)

Location: In-school

coaching and online learning

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