Lack of after-school communication leads nearly a third (31%) of parents to feel ‘excluded’ which can then lead them to ‘hassle’ their children for information, according to a report commissioned by Becta, to support its Next Generation Learning campaign.

Professor Tanya Byron, child psychologist, who has been commissioned by Becta to explore the issue further offers simple, practical solutions to help improve and enhance communications between parents and children.

Professor Byron’s anxiety management tips for parents include:

• Ask both open and closed questions, noting which method encourages more information from your children.
• Alter the times you ask your children about their school day to find which time they are most open and honest – is it on the walk home from school / over the dinner table / before bed?
• Try talking about your own experiences at school to see if this prompts your children to be more forthcoming about their own day at school
• Experiment with different and creative communication styles including storytelling and note effectiveness
• Get your child to start a diary entitled ‘My Week at School – The Good, The Bad & The Funny’ to encourage your child to give you an overview of what has happened at school during the week
• Ask your child about their day whilst they’re doing an activity they enjoy e.g. playing on the Wii, in the bath, at mealtimes or before bedtime

Technology Matters

For over ten years, Becta has been leading the national drive to ensure the effective and innovative use of technology throughout learning. The benefits of technology in schools are two-fold: making lessons and learning more enjoyable and successful, whilst also keeping parents better informed and involved with their child’s learning.

If your child’s school is engaging with you through technology, you should be able to:
• keep track of your children’s work, curriculum and homework assignments
• view their reports, attendance records and grades at any time of day that suits you
• keep in touch with teachers and other staff via email and text messaging

Becta’s Next Generation Learning campaign is urging parents to talk to their child’s school to find out how technology is already being used and also discuss ways it can help improve day-to-day communications between them and the school in the future.

For more information, click here or contact Laurence Borel at Shiny Red: 0207 520 9537