Schools must be part of the community

I WAS in a regional community in the Wide Bay area last week hearing about what parents, employers and voluntary groups valued in schools and it struck me how important the school-community relationship is.

Schools rely on their local community not just for students but for all the interactions communities have with schools.

Things like placements for work experience, voluntary involvement of parents in schools, opportunities for schools to involve students in community work and of course learning how businesses, governments and local support groups work.

Schools can seem a little cut off from their communities because of issues like child safety and parents can feel as if they aren't always welcome when they need to raise issues about the education of their children.

Sometimes schools feel it is hard to get parents to take an interest in their children's schooling.

Maybe we have to work to make schools more welcoming and as educators we need to be more willing to listen.

On the other hand, schools really need the support of their local community not just financially but to help make learning applicable to real life and also to give schools feedback on whether the kinds of people we are turning out have the personal qualities, as well as the academic training, needed for life and work in our community.

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