The education of the child in the Catholic school context details three essential touchstones – the parent, the Church and the school. These connections are integral to the work of education in the Catholic context. The importance of parent engagement in connection with their child’s learning is to be promoted and opportunities for such partnerships explored. Considering the contemporary context, partnerships with groups on the local and wider community have become prominent.
The school-parish partnership is central to the success of Catholic schools, giving them the ecclesial connection so important for effective Catholic schooling. The foundation for all partnerships is the student and their learning. Partnerships are critically formed, nourished and monitored for relevance and to ensure that the core work of the school remains the most important priority. There is clear articulation of the goals underpinning each partnership.
The Characteristic's named attributes are:
- the school builds partnerships with parents, families, local businesses, the parish and community organisations to improve opportunities and outcomes for students;
- the school has structures which ensure the ‘voice’ and opinions of parents is heard (Parents and Friends’ Association, School Board);
- the school conceptualises parental involvement in schooling as parental engagement in learning;
- student learning is the most important factor in the formation of any partnership;
- partners work together to cooperatively plan for the success of the partnership;
- the leaders of parties in partnerships actively work to achieve articulated goals;
- roles of responsibilities is each partnership are clearly defined;
- the strengths and abilities of each partner is fully utilised to maximise the desired outcomes for the students;
- systems are established to track and monitor progress towards goals;
- projects and partnerships are resourced to succeed;
- partnerships are regularly evaluated in terms of relevance to articulated goals;
- a school culture is created in which partnerships thrive and flourish and only high expectation of partnerships is acceptable;
- partnerships involve all Diocesan and Parish Catholic communities in supporting families, schools and parishes.