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Australian Education System: Parental Involvement

Year 11 Society and Culture

Parental Partnership

Parent involvement in schooling benefi ts students, teachers and parents. As students progress through schooling, their parents tend to offer support in less visible ways, with direct parent involvement in schools being reduced.

Towards Best Practice

This report presents the results of a literature review prepared for the South Australian Government Office of Non-Government Schools and Services. The aim of the research was to identify the current key directions and issues relating to the involvement of parents in children’s education. 

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The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations is the lead government agency providing national leadership in education and workplace training, transition to work and conditions and values in the workplace.

Currently, all Australian state governments and territories have recognised the fundamental roles played by parents and the wider community in student learning. This includes parental involvement in their children’s learning, both at home and at school, which reinforces the value of education and learning, and allows parents to make more informed educational decisions. Research has shown that the factors, which lead to the exceptional educational outcomes of students from East Asia, include a culture of learning and achievement (Phillipson, Ku, & Phillipson, 2013). From a family’s perspective, this means that children are able to draw upon a culture that values and supports learning and academic achievement, and ensures children are well-prepared. Citing examples from family research that I have led and been involved with over the past decade in Hong Kong and Australia, I argue that parents and families’ contribution to their children’s educational outcome should be the first point of reference in education rather than the last. Parents and families’ values and actions should be considered as the integral part of an educational system that contributes to positive educational outcomes. The impact of family research demands a rethink in the allocation of financial and social resources towards helping families to support children’s education from early years onwards.

Department of Education and Training

Parents, families, and carers are a child's first and most important teachers. The Australian Government has many initiatives and resources to help parents, schools, and communities work together to improve their child's learning.

Growing up in Australia

This examines the nature of parental involvement in children's education in the early years of school, using Wave 2 data for the K cohort from gowing up in Australia. At the time of the Wave 2 data collection in 2006, these children were in either Year 1 or 2 at school. The analyses consider the expectations that parents hold for their children's education, the level of responsiveness that parents believe schools and teachers have for their needs, the level of involvement of parents in the education of their children as perceived by teachers, and the nature and level of contact that parents have with their child's school and teachers in the early years of school.


The evolution of parental school engagement.