At Brownlow Fold we want to ensure that as a school we work effectively with our parents and the local community. As a school we value the support and contribution that parents and carers make to children’s school life, both within and beyond the classroom. The award is founded on research which shows that there is a very positive impact on achievement, behaviour and attendance in schools where parents are supported and therefore engaged in their children’s learning. Feedback from parents and carers is extremely important and we want to hear your views and improve our current practice.
We aim to:
- improve increased parental involvement in school life
- improve pupil progress
- improve punctuality
- improve attendance
- improve behaviour
We believe that it is important to support parents as their children transition through or between schools; we want to include all groups of parents in supporting their children’s learning and developing their own learning, take steps to ensure that our school is a welcoming, communicative and friendly place for parents, provide clear and accessible guidance to help parents support their children’s learning and development, produce parent-friendly policies to establish effective home–school links and provide clear guidance on the responsibilities of parents, school and pupils, and share this information with parents regularly.
Overview of the award – The LPPA provides a coherent framework for us to follow and deliver effective parental engagement in our school. Overall this award will help us to work more closely and more effectively with all of our parents. All of us at Brownlow Fold want the very best for our pupils, regardless of their background and ability. It has been proven that effective and positive parent partnerships can have a very real and lasting impact on improvements in pupil behaviour, attendance and achievement.
The whole school community – Research makes it clear that effective partnership with parents has a major impact on the learning of children and young people. The LPPA framework and process draws on high-quality research evidence. The Ofsted inspection process has also increasingly reflected the importance of parent and carer engagement with educational settings.
The Award Process – There are various stages in the Leading Parent Partnership award process, these include:
- Preparation of an Action Plan
- Implementation of actions and collecting evidence into a portfolio
- Interim assessment of progress
- Verification of achievement of the award
- Ensuring once the award has been achieved that it is sustainable
The award is expected to be achieved within a maximum of 12-15 months. Within this timescale, the process is supportive, developmental and progressive, rather than a box-ticking, target-driven exercise.
The award objectives
Objective 1: The school demonstrates a commitment to work towards achieving the LPPA
Objective 2: The school makes and implements effective plans to achieve and maintain the LPPA
Objective 3: The school is a welcoming, communicative and friendly place for parents
Objective 4: The school promotes the awareness and participation of all groups of parents in supporting their children’s learning and developing their own learning. In addition, the school holds and actively promotes a programme of opportunities and events for joint parent and child participation
Objective 6: The school provides parents with relevant and user-friendly guidance and information to help them to support their children’s learning
Objective 7: The school produces and implements parent-friendly policies to establish effective home–school links and to improve children’s attendance, punctuality, progress and positive participation in school
Objective 8: The school provides good support for all parents as their children move through or leave the school
Objective 9: The school summarizes its achievements against the LPPA Objectives and outlines its future plans
The roles and responsibilities of the LPPA Coordinator – As a first step, we will appoint an LPPA coordinator and set up an LPPA working group. The LPPA Coordinator will work alongside other key partners to ensure that the whole school community is involved with the improvement of parental engagement. The role of the coordinator is to manage the school’s work on the LPPA. The LPPA coordinator should be someone who has a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for this work, and who relates well to parents. The coordinator’s role also involves relatively high-level leadership and management skills. To ensure the achievement of the LPPA within the school’s planned timescale, the coordinator’s key responsibilities are:
- Use the LPPA Self-Evaluation Tool, in consultation with appropriate colleagues.
- School-led approach: lead and manage the process of decision making; write the Action Plan.
- Complete the school’s sections of the Action Plan, with the support of appropriate colleagues.
- Provide initial information to all key partners (parents, carers, staff, pupils, governors) and supporting agencies about the award; manage their continued involvement.
- Monitor progress against the Action Plan.
- Plan the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of successive stages of delivery, with the support of the working group.
- Manage regular communication with all key partners and the LPPA office about LPPA development and progress.
- Maintain links with the school’s LPPA adviser (adviser-led approach).
- Manage the building of the LPPA portfolio of evidence.
- Coordinate the preparation for, and management of, the interim visit (adviser-led approach).
- Coordinate the preparation for, and management of, the verification visit.
Setting up an LPPA working group – It is vital that we set up an LPPA working group to support the work of the LPPA coordinator, to monitor progress and steer developments. Working group members become the source of on-going communication to the key partners they represent. The shared wisdom of the group often provides insight into the best ways forward. The advantage of having an LPPA-specific working group is that it can include representatives of all key partners without becoming too large to manage. Members could include:
- the LPPA coordinator
- a member of the senior leadership team
- schools clerical team
- parent governors
- school council
- one or two key external partners, for example, the Community Centre and the local Church)
The School self-evaluation form and Action plan – The LPPA Self-Evaluation Tool aims to help schools to familiarise themselves with the LPPA Objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs), and to make an initial assessment of the school’s current level of achievement in terms of each KPI. We will self-evaluate depending on whether our provision is:
Fully achieved/Partly achieved/Much more development needed
The Stakeholder Evaluation Forms – The Stakeholder Evaluation Forms will have three main purposes:
- To ensure the views of the whole school community feed into the award process.
- To gather specific information that will help inform the action planning process.
- To confirm or challenge the analysis provided by the LPPA coordinator in the School Self-Evaluation Form.
There are three Stakeholder Evaluation Forms that are provided:
- Staff Evaluation Form
- Parent Evaluation Form
- Pupil Evaluation Form
Comparing the perceptions of all these key stakeholders with those of the LPPA Coordinators offers a ‘reality check’ and will inform decisions about the Action Plan to be put in place. The School Self-Evaluation Form and the Stakeholder Evaluation Forms will be completed immediately at the start of the award and BEFORE the Action Plan is written.
Our Action Plan will provide a source of information and guidance that is built up by us in the period after LPPA registration and will be used and monitored by us right through to its final verification. The Action Plan is a record of how we intend to meet the requirements and achieve the award of the LPPA.
- Sets out in detail the actions that need to be taken to meet each of the Objectives and related KPIs.
- Records decisions about who will deliver and monitor each of the actions to be taken, and when action will be taken during the contract period.
- Records the target timescale to achieve the Leading Parent Partnership Award.
The completed Action Plan will be flexible. Changes within school, or external factors, sometimes mean that the Action Plan will need to be amended during the LPPA period.
Building a portfolio of evidence – Collecting evidence and using this to build a portfolio of evidence enables us to demonstrate that the school has achieved each of the KPIs and Objectives, and has reached the standard that enables us to achieve the LPPA. As work through the award progresses, items of evidence will be gathered together and placed in the appropriate section in the portfolio. We will store evidence on paper or electronically via the Award Place ePortfolio. Some evidence is more suitable for electronic storage, such as demonstrating sections of the school website.
Monitoring – Monitoring progress in the delivery of the LPPA is about asking the questions ‘Are we doing what we have said we will do in our Action Plan?’ and ‘Are we doing it on time?’ Make sure that you review the actions stated in the ‘Current achievements and actions’ column of the Action Plan to check that they have actually been achieved. The overall responsibility for monitoring progress – bringing together feedback on each individual KPI – is incorporated into Objective 2, KPI 2.4. This KPI states ‘The LPPA Action Plan is regularly monitored … Progress is evaluated and the findings are recorded and acted upon’. This work is normally the responsibility of the LPPA working group, led by the LPPA coordinator.
Evaluation – While monitoring of progress asks questions about what has been done, the evaluation process involves making quality judgements: ‘What went well and helped us to achieve what we set out to do?’ and ‘What can we do better next time?’
The evaluation of each LPPA Objective is incorporated into the final KPIs for each Objective. The process generally includes data gathering and analysis, drawing conclusions, providing feedback and taking action for future improvement.
One of the key aims of the LPPA process is to help us to develop strategies that will lead to sustainable parent partnership – not a one-off, short-term achievement. Objective 9 reflects this, in that it asks schools, just before the verification visit to summarise their progress to date and describe the next priorities in their future development of parent partnership. This will be a summative evaluation of what has been achieved to date.
The verification visit – On the day of verification, we will receive a visit from an experienced Award Verifier who has not previously been associated with the school.
School-led approach: The verification visit for the school-led approach is a full-day process. Typically, examination of the completed portfolio of evidence and a walk around the school to verify evidence will occur in the morning, with verifying discussions taking place in the afternoon.
Discussions and observation: The verifier will hold discussions with members of staff, parents/carers, pupils, governors and other agencies (if applicable) that work with the school. Schools are encouraged to use this time imaginatively – for example, showing visual evidence of a range of activities involving parents/carers or videos featuring parents and staff. The verifier can meet people individually or in groups to discuss the impact of the award since it started in order to gain insight and gather evidence. A tour of the school should also be included.
The verifier will want to ask questions to find out about the effect and impact that working towards the award has had on the school. Typically, the LPPA coordinator will lead a presentation outlining some or all of the following themes:
- The school’s ongoing vision and strategy for promoting positive parent relationships.
- How staff, parents and pupils have been involved in the award.
- How the school addressed the objectives/KPIs that were identified in the interim report/Action Plan as needing further action.
- The impact that the award has had on the school.
The verifier will require time to reflect on the evidence seen and will make a final decision about the outcome. We will be told of the verifier’s decision at the end of the visit and will be given oral feedback. The verifier will then write a verification report outlining the evidence seen and the final decision as soon as possible following the visit.
Maintaining our award – The award accreditation is valid for three years from the date of the verification. After this time, we can be reassessed through a one-day verification process following the same format as above. Re-verification does not require schools to create an entirely new portfolio of evidence. The original portfolio should simply be refreshed with up-to-date information