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Parental Engagement

Why is Parental Engagement Important?

At Calthorpe Academy, we promote active parental engagement. When it comes to supporting the education and development of our learners we recognise that effective work with parents and carers is crucial.

Engagement → Trust → Effective Provision → Impact

From our own perspective of working closely with families establishes effective trusting partnerships between home and school. Parental engagement has a significant impact on our learner’s performance at Calthorpe. Good engagement between home and school helps to improve not only academic success but also helps with behaviour, communication, home learning, our learner’s confidence and general wellbeing.

Home-School Communication Agreement

We have a Home-School Communication Agreement that both the class teacher and the parent shall sign (which can be accessed at the start of each pupil’s Home-School Communication Book).

The agreement states that:

The School Will Ensure That:
  • Parents/Carers are kept informed about their child’s progress and school matters through phone calls, letters, emails, the website and the home-school communication book

  • The home-school communication book is completed every day, during the week (*please note that on some occasions the book could be incomplete)

  • Any letters or other information is placed in the safe pocket within the home-school communication book

Parents and Carers Will:
  • Make the school aware of any concerns or problems that may affect pupil care, work or behaviour whilst at school

  • Complete the ‘comments from home’ section in the home-school communication book

  • Ensure that their child goes to school regularly, on time, and contact school daily via telephone if they are absent

  • Maintain regular contact with staff via phone calls, email, and the home-school communication book

  • Support their child in homework and other opportunities for home learning

  • Attend their child’s annual review and discussion about their progress

  • Return consent forms in the safe pocket within the home-school communication book

  • Make sure that their child’s medications are handed into the bus guide every morning

Communication Between Home and School

When supporting learners with communication difficulties it is essential to have effective communication between home and school is key for us to work in collaboration to meet our learner’s needs.

We offer the following range of opportunities for parents/ carers to have contact and communication with the school:

Home-School Communication Book

At the beginning of each academic year, all students are given a specially designed Home School communication book as a way of improving and developing the relationship between home and school. Apart from using it to inform of any practical issues which might impact your child’s day. It is also a way of keeping everyone at home informed about what your child is doing in school. As well as school knowing what things your child enjoys and do outside of school.

Home School Book.jpg

The home school book has been designed in such a way it promotes consistent information sharing of

  • A daily section about your child’s wellbeing needs during the school day (e.g. what your child has eaten and drank throughout the day and their personal/ medical care).

  • Your child’s class teacher’s email address- for open lines of communication

  • Safeguarding notice to parents/carers (information with regards to how to access our policy, how to contact a DSL at Calthorpe, contact details for social services via Children’s MASH team/ Adults and Communities)

  • Attendance (information with regards to how to access our policy, latest updates and how to report absences)

*If the book is lost the Academy could charge parents or carers £3.00 depending on the circumstances (the books are available to be purchased via the main office)


Parents can find their child’s class teachers email address within their Communication Book on the Home-School Communication Agreement page. There is also a section where parents can also add their email address too. This form of communication is time efficient and allows for teachers and parents to work well in partnership. Teachers are able to respond to parents queries effectively during school hours.


A member of our Pastoral Team (Masuma Rajwani) is responsible for providing family support and she coordinates regular workshops which can support parents with their child’s academic and wellbeing needs at home and also support parents own personal development and wellbeing. Workshops also give our parents the opportunity to meet one another and members of our school which develops our supportive community. Feedback from frequent parent surveys informs the needs of our workshops.

Here are some examples of the workshops provided:

Communication Support Workshops

These are delivered by our own in-house speech and language therapist, Shelley Soni, who delivers a range of workshops dependent on the communication needs of learners across each of our pathways (E.g. Learning for Life- Signing; Foundations for Life- PECs; Engagement for Life- Intensive Interaction). These workshops help develop our parents’ confidence in supporting their child’s communication at home ensuring that consistent communication strategies are used at both home and school.

Positive Behaviour Support Workshops

These are delivered by our in-house Positive Behaviour Support Team, Gary Sirrell and Joanna Soni who deliver workshops about PBS with the aim to support parents in improving the quality of their child’s life developing effective routines and engagement for them at home.


External Agencies/ Specialists Workshops

  • Sleep (Cerebra)
  • Nutrition (Independent Nutritionist)
  • Continence (NHS)
  • Occupational Therapy (NHS)
  • Benefits Support (DVLA & PIP- Autism West Midlands)
  • Online Safety (NSPCC)
  • Autism speakers (Autism West Midlands)
  • Domestic Abuse (Bharosa)
Curriculum Pathway Specific Workshops

Engagement for Life

Foundations for Life

Learning for Life

Post 16

  • Intensive Interaction
  • Sensory Story Making
  • Supporting visual impairment
  • Supporting hearing impairment
  • MOVE Programme
  • Stay and learn/ play sessions
  • PECs
  • Communication
  • Routines & sensory engagement
  • Behaviour management
  • Problem-solving
  • Stay and learn/ play sessions
  • Literacy in the home
  • Numeracy in the home
  • Science in the home
  • PSHE - daily living skills/ relationships
  • Numicon
  • Homework
  • Healthy Eating
  • Stay and learn/ play sessions
  • Pathways and Outcomes events
  • Careers events
  • Independent Living Skills
  • Communication

Parent Wellbeing Workshops

  • Cooking healthy recipes
  • Baking
  • Meditation & Relaxation
  • Crafts (e.g. floristry)


We have had some very positive reviews from our parents about the workshops they have attended such as:

  • "The workshop was an eye-opener"

  • "This workshop was helpful, very well explained"

  • "Very useful signs, I can use it at home"

Parent Consultation Process

At Calthorpe, we recognise the importance that both home and school play in cultivating the personal development skills and attributes of our learners. Through meeting parents and discussing our learners strengths and areas they may find challenging we are able to set mutual goals, and identify strategies to help them to achieve their desired outcomes. This process has positive outcomes for our school community as it helps our class teachers and parents to form trusting partnerships. Leaners ultimately benefit and achieve due to effective communication between home and school.

Initial Consultation

Autumn Term

To set 2 home/school collaborative targets

Parent Progress Review

Spring Term

To review the progress and impact of home/school collaborative targets and set next steps for progress

End of Year School Report

Summer Term

To summarise the positive impact of home/school partnership targets have had on learner's outcomes

Our parental consultation process has three stages throughout the academic year to enable us to work collaboratively with parents to set timely, meaningful targets at the start of the academic year that will be developed through collaborative approaches both at home and school; these targets are then reviewed collaboratively mid-year to enable necessary adjustments to be made in order to stretch and challenge our learners both within home and school and the learners outcomes of school and parent partnership targets are recorded in the learner’s report at the end of the year.

Parent Feedback - Autumn 2021 

EHCP Review Meetings

Parents are invited to attend a formal review meeting of their child’s Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP) with their class teacher. This meeting allows parents/carers the opportunity to review their child’s targets and raise concerns or suggest changes if they are not happy with the content of their child’s EHCP.

If a child's needs or medical diagnosis has changed, parents would be required to bring original official documentation from the lead medical professional to the EHCP meeting in order for changes to be implemented onto the child's EHCP Plan. In some specific circumstances, an Emergency EHCP Review meeting can be requested by parents by contacting our SENCO (Nicola Benjamin) outlining the reasons for this request which will then be put forward to the Local Authority.

Through the EHCP process teachers with the support of the academy’s Careers Lead (Bebe Woo) and transition team can discuss and explore transition support with parents to ensure that they are provided with up-to-date information, advice and guidance to options available for their son/daughter's transition post-Calthorpe. This helps our parents to make the most informed decisions about their son/daughter's progress as well as destinations available to them. In addition to the EHCP process, bespoke parental engagement sessions will be arranged throughout the academic year demonstrating our Academy's commitment to the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Parent School Zine App

The SZapp is free to download and provides our parents with all the information they need to access in the palm of their hand using our school app on their mobile phone or tablet.

From providing our latest updates, newsletters, the weekly menu, term dates- all information is accessible in the one place and accessible at any time- the benefits of this are never losing letters and as a school community, we are contributing to helping our environment by using less paper. 

Links to Useful Information for Parents/Carers

Academy App / Attendance

Lunchtime Provision


Careers Information & Guidance

Parent Support

BCC Parent Support Services

Educational Psychology Help

Communication and Autism Help

Early Years Inclusion Help

Learning Difficulties Help

Physical Difficulties Support

School Support Help

Sensory Support Help

Children’s Occupational Therapy Support Service

Special School Nursing Service