Partners 4 Learning: A New Relationship Resource For Schools, Parents

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17th August 2010, 02:04pm - Views: 547






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August 17, 2010

Partners 4 Learning:  A new relationship resource for schools, parents 

A brand-new relationship-building portal – designed to strengthen bonds between Catholic schools and

their parent communities – is about to go live, the Council of Catholic School Parents NSW/ACT (CCSP) has

announced.

Partners 4 Learning, to launch into cyberspace on August 30, was devised by the CCSP in answer to the

Federal Government’s recent push – under its National Family School Partnership Framework – which aims

to encourage school community members to become more engaged.  

The new portal will provide resources to create, strengthen and evaluate the levels of current parental

engagement with their child’s or children’s school. It will offer streamlined processes for planning,

implementing and evaluating school community partnerships and programs. 

CSSP executive director Danielle Cronin said the new initiative aimed to “support principals and teachers in

their understanding and practice of working with parents to support student learning and wellbeing”.

Partners 4 Learning also offered practical support for parish priests and the region’s 12 Catholic Education

Offices, the administrators of the Catholic system of schools.

“The portal is made up of seven dimensions: Communication, Connecting Learning at School and Home,

Building Community and Identity, Recognising the Role of Families, Consultative Decision-making,

Collaborating Beyond the School, and Participating,” Ms Cronin said. 

The Catholic school system already enjoyed the benefits of many great school communities, but the launch

of this new school resource provided “a more formalised and measurable approach”, Ms Cronin said. 

“In launching this ‘go-to’ portal for principals and teachers, our end-game is clear,” she said. “We believe

good communities can be made into great communities through a more focused approach to looking after

our extended school families. At its heart is the bolstering of student learning and wellbeing for every child

at a Catholic school in NSW and ACT,” Ms Cronin said. 

Dan White, Executive Director of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Sydney, said the new online

resource was great news for both parents and school communities. 

“Research shows clearly that strong, productive partnerships between parents and schools mean better

learning opportunities for students,” Dr White said. “The first Catholic schools in Australia were the result

of the hard work and vision of our Catholic parents. I am delighted to see the development of resources like

Partners 4 Learning which I am confident will allow this critical link between home and school to be

strengthened.” 

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Dr White added that the contributions of parents and the wider community to the life of every Catholic

school should be acknowledged and celebrated. “I am particularly delighted to see the practical advice and

support provided by this new online resource.”

Ms Cronin said Partners 4 Learning was a resource tool with “tremendous capabilities”. “It is a virtual

Centre of Excellence in Parent and Community Engagement funded through the Teacher Quality National

Partnership.” 

Mary Immaculate Primary, Quakers Hill Principal Ian Jordan said parents were “a vital and pivotal” part of

school life. “Parents must be authentically acknowledged in school communities if the partnership is to be

confident, supportive and strong,” Mr Jordan said. “Children love to have their parents proud of them in all

aspects of their schooling and, as such, schools must provide opportunities for parent involvement.

Initiatives such as Partners 4 Learning go a long way in shaping commitment, loyalty and pride in school

communities.” 

Apart from Federal Government support, the initiative also counted the Melbourne Declaration on the

National Goals for Young Australians, the COAG Schools Agenda, the National Family School Partnership

Framework, and the NSW Institute of Teaching Standards among its supporters. “Each of these initiatives

and organisations places a very high priority on the need for teachers and schools to work more closely in

partnership with parents,” Ms Cronin said. “It is also a practical response to school improvement studies.

These acknowledge the value that parental engagement has on student learning which has been shown to

positively affect student outcomes. There is also evidence that effective schools have high levels of parent

and community engagement,” Ms Cronin said, citing Weiss & Kreider: 2009; Hattie: 2009; Harris, Andrew-

Powers & Goodall: 2009; Hargreaves & Shirley: 2009. 

#Ends# 

Editors Note: 

http://wheeljack.fraynework.com.au/partners4learning/  is the alpha version of the website. It is currently

being edited and materials uploaded. The link is provided for your reference only and is not for publication

The public link – to go live on 30 August – is www.partners4learning.edu.au


Media Inquiries:  Kathryn Barton – 0418 416 748






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