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Features of Good Practice*
Parental Support with homework*
Case studies*

Benefits of parental support

1. Contact can be established with all parents, irrespective of the nature of catchment areas

The geographical, socio-economic, cultural or historical challenges of catchment areas can be overcome with the communication that is facilitated through children's homework. There is no reliance on parents coming into school, provided pupils become the messengers between home and school.

2. Fathers become more involved in their children's education

Many schools have found that the traditional gender issue associated with parental involvement is challenged, as many fathers are quite willing to assist with homework tasks. The base of support for the children's education within the home is therefore extended.

3. Parents provide a significant amount of quality time with their children

Parents and children talk, work and spend time together as homework activities are discussed and completed.

4. Parents become more knowledgeable about the school curriculum

Over a period of time, parents gain a clearer insight into what is being taught at school and the requirements of the National Curriculum. This often becomes evident at parents' evenings when many develop the confidence to discuss curricular issues with teachers. This is a major step forward.

5. Parents become more involved in the assessment of children's progress

Parents develop a clearer appreciation of their children's true strengths and weaknesses. This helps to overcome any mismatch of perceptions between home and school. Additionally, parents' frustration at not being told at an early stage that their children might be experiencing difficulties and falling behind, should be eliminated.

6. Inequality of educational opportunity is reduced

When all parents are encouraged to help their children, the support and assistance traditionally given to many children from advantaged backgrounds, is extended to more pupils.

7 Esteem between, parents, pupils and teachers is enhanced

The quality of responses generated by some homework activities frequently may enable teachers to gain a different perspective on some pupils and their families, particularly those where previously, communication may have been limited.

8. Promoting Family Learning activities

The research and discussion work generated by homework activities can help to create a family learning ethos within the pupils' homes.

9. Underpinning Home School Agreements

An agreement aims to generate more effective partnerships between home and school. However, the signed document is of limited use unless it enhances working relationships. Parental involvement with homework can help to make the agreement a working document.

10. Raising standards

When parents reinforce the work of the school at home, there is a potential for raising standards further.