This paper examines the linked concepts of school–home communications, and parental engagement in children’s learning, both of which are vital for supporting learning, particularly at times of transition. The paper examines the theoretical basis for both of these concepts. A distinction is drawn between communication (which can be simply the giving/receiving of information) and dialogue, which requires active participation by both parties. The literature in the fields of parental engagement, communication and technology is examined, including the importance of support for children above primary age, leading to a series of principals for the introduction of technology in school–home communication. The introduction of technology into the life of the school and communication with families can represent a considerable cost, both in terms of finance and in terms of teachers’ time, and therefore decisions in these areas should be made on the basis of the best possible evidence. The paper concludes with challenges and recommendations for policy-makers, researchers and practitioners.
- parental engagement