Jan Cronin

Date of Submission



During the past three decades a great deal has been written about the role parents have in their children's education. The literature has followed an evolving understanding of this role from involvement through participation to parent-school partnership. Although some professional educators have been slow to recognise such a partnership, there is now no doubt that parents are beginning to see it as their right. The problem for schools is not just to implement legislation about parent-school partnerships, but to make meaning for the whole community out of this further change. Partnership was defined as the state or condition of being a partner through participation, association and joint interest, with the implication that each partner has an essential, though different, responsibility and role. Because of this, each partner has a respectful appreciation of the role and wisdom of the other. The aim of the study was threefold. It investigated the concept of parent-school partnership as it is understood by a small group of parents in one Catholic primary school. It facilitated the identification of the structures and procedures that either hinder or enhance parents' attempts to forge such a partnership; and finally it sought future directions for authentic leadership. Other schools of similar size and circumstance may find the process and conclusions of this study to be beneficial. By using a case study methodology, the research allowed parents to informally express their understandings of the parent-school partnership and to make suggestions for enhancing the relationship. An analysis of the data collected, identified four aspects of school life as having prime importance in establishing meaningful partnership: good communication, a welcoming school climate, the valuing of every individual's best effort, and allowance being made for the socio-economically disadvantaged.


School of Education

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


60 pages

Degree Name

Master of Education (Research) (MEd(Res))


Faculty of Education and Arts


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