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Building relationships with professionals

Strong partnerships between parents and teachers are crucial to promoting a child's development.

Teachers and parents should make every effort to relate well with each other.

The key components for building healthy relationships are:

  • A need for all other stages in the partnership to work together.
  • Getting to know each other.
  • Determining parents / teachers aspirations.
  • Agreeing how to work together.
  • Establishing genuine trust to enable openness and challenge.
  • Teachers building parents' self-esteem and confidence; parents showing confidence in their child's class teacher / school.

Teachers should explain the intended outcomes for their child and have SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-limited) intended outcomes.

Teachers should also:

  • Predict and prepare for any possible barriers.
  • Set a date for reviewing the child's progress.
  • Set out the agreement in an 'Action Plan' for the child.
  • Support the parents in their role (for example, encouragement, praise and give feedback). Parents and teachers should agree a 'reviewing progress':
    • Individual parents and teachers should meet to evaluate the progress with regard to the agreed actions and intended outcomes.
    • Teachers should recognise the parent's contribution.
    • An agreement should be reached about what needs still have to be met.
    • Revise the agreed actions and intended outcomes as appropriate.
    • Set a new date for reviewing progress.