Issues and channels in communications between a school and its parental environment

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Publication details

Mellor, WL & Hayden, PM 1981, 'Issues and channels in communications between a school and its parental environment', Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 55-67.

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If schools do not adequately meet the needs of their parental community, then over time the students and resources on which those schools depend are likely to suffer a progressive decline or withdrawal. There are administrative implications of this for all schools, but particularly perhaps for non-government schools. In order to remain responsive to the needs and expectations of their supporting parent environments, schools must develop methods of communication whereby they may exchange evaluative information about performance. This study examined some of the issues and channels of communication between one school and its parent body. From a sample comprising 187 of the parent body, it seems clear that parents had definite preferences regarding the content of, and procedures for, communications with the school. The four issues identified as of most importance for discussion between the school and the parents were: academic progress; teacher, parent and child relationships; vocational guidance and careers; and behavior/discipline. The most preferred method for finding out what is happening at the school was by weekly circular from the school. On the other hand, parents showed a general preference for direct, personal methods of communicating their own concerns to the school. There was some variability of results according to the year level of the student. The study suggests a number of administrative strategies which the school can implement to enable it to remain open to the ideas, preferences and expectations of parents.

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