Australia’s national education evidence body
Engage with families to support students' learning

Overview

There is a great deal of evidence that families play a critical role in their child’s learning. Family engagement is important throughout all stages of schooling, but strategies may look different at different stages. 

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Family engagement for learning is related to Focus Area 3.7 and Focus Area 7.3 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

Australian Professional Standards for Principals

Family engagement for learning is related to 'Professional Practice 5 Engaging and working with the community' in the Australian Professional Standards for Principals.

Research

AERO has produced practice guides on this topic, tailored to different contexts. 

Primary school practice guide

This guide makes recommendations based on the best available research evidence about how primary school teachers and leaders can engage with families to bring about improvements in students’ learning outcomes.

Secondary school practice guide

This guide makes recommendations based on the best available research evidence about how secondary school teachers and leaders can engage with families to bring about improvements in students’ learning outcomes.

Annotated reference list

An overview of the research evidence cited throughout our family engagement practice resources.

Brief methodology

This explainer describes the process we followed to synthesise the available research evidence on family engagement to create the family engagement practice guides.

Detailed methodology

This detailed methodology describes the processes we followed to synthesise the available research evidence on family engagement for learning.

Using the practice

To be effective, family engagement practice need to be implemented well. See below some 'things to know' when using these practices. 

Engaging with families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

This resource details strategies for engaging families from culturally diverse backgrounds, families with English as an additional language, and families from refugee backgrounds, elaborating on the ‘promising approaches’ outlined in AERO’s family engagement for learning practice guides.

Engaging with families of children who are in out-of-home care

This resource details strategies for engaging with families of children in out-of-home care (OOHC) to support children’s learning outcomes. These strategies elaborate on the ‘promising approaches’ outlined in AERO’s family engagement for learning practice guides.

Snapshots of practice

Family engagement may look different in different contexts. See below examples of how schools and services support family engagement. 

Supporting complex learners through family engagement

This case study has been created by Schools Plus, with support from Clarke Road School, as an example of how to support complex learners through family engagement practices.

Supporting linguistically diverse families through English classes

This case study has been created by Schools Plus, with the support of Darling Heights State School, as an example of engaging with families to support student learning in primary school.

Implementation tools

Here you will find tools to help you support family engagement in your classroom or school. 

Promising approaches audit tools – primary

These tools can be used to examine your school’s approaches for engaging with families to support student learning.

Promising approaches audit tools – secondary

These tools can be used to examine your school’s approaches for engaging with families to support student learning.

Family engagement implementation checklists – primary

These checklists can be used to plan the implementation of your school’s approaches for engaging with families to support student learning. 

Family engagement implementation checklists – secondary

These checklists can be used to plan the implementation of your school’s approaches for engaging with families to support student learning. 

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