In this course you have looked at the notion of parents as partners. You have considered reasons why partnership is considered important – for children, parents and practitioners – and have read examples of how it can be interpreted in practice. We have also learned about a conceptual framework to accommodate show the range of parental involvement and partnership practice.
Parental involvement in practice is invariably conceptualised and specified by professionals. It is necessary, therefore, for practitioners to be open and receptive to feedback and suggestions both from parents and children. Some parents, for reasons that may not be apparent, are reluctant to become involved in their children's care and education; others may actively choose not to become involved. Practitioners need to be aware of parents' feelings, and to be cautious about blaming them for what seems to be a lack of interest.
As you have seen throughout this course, partnership can take many forms. Projects and special initiatives to encourage parental involvement can be exciting and stimulating, but also short-lived and heavily dependent on the provision of extra funds. Ultimately, partnership needs to be a way of life that becomes embedded in the ongoing day-to-day exchanges that take place between parents, practitioners and children.