Family Partnerships at Canons

Posted on June 27, 2017


Building Family Partnerships: The InvolvEd way.

This post was written by Darren Silver, the Digital Advocate at Canons High School, about his work developing and trialling an app with InvolvEd. 

Let’s be honest, in the world of education it is no secret that parental engagement is crucial when it comes to improving student learning outcomes. What remains a challenge however, is how we go about building effective family partnerships.

At Canons, we pride ourselves on the work we do to enhance family partnerships. Our parents are a vital part of our community, and we have sought their opinions.

The key findings from our internal surveys were clear :-

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Evidence based learning and approach

So, what do the experts say about effective parental engagement? The DFE research report, ‘Review of the best practices in parental engagement’ led by Janet Goodall lists key suggestions for schools.

·       Parental engagement with children’s learning is effectively supported when parents receive clear, specific and targeted information from schools.

·       A parental engagement strategy should be outward facing, involving not only the views of parents, but the evidence and expertise of other schools and services in the community.

·       The transfer of knowledge and understanding should be part of a two-way process: not only from school to home but from home to school.

·       Building home-school links through out of hours’ clubs, parenting classes, extended schools and outreach work can lead to improvements in completion of homework, learning behaviours and improved attendance.

Based on this research evidence our Digital Advocate, Darren Silver developed a strategy to achieve these goals through the use of technology. This led us to the creators of InvolvEd, who’s smart phone app allows parents regular, meaningful information about their child’s education so that they are empowered to offer support.

Our work with InvolvEd (

Having recently launched a trial of the InvolvEd app with a year 8 class, it has been great to see 92% of parents sign up, within two weeks, to receive regular updates about their child’s education. But before we share more on our successes with InvolvEd, it is important to know a little bit more about the team at InvolvEd.

The founders of InvolvEd: Manthan Pravin, Hiten Shanker and Rajiv Verma are from the professional worlds of business, engineering and software development. Their reaearch and collaboration has enabled them to produce a unique approach to teacher/parent/student collaboration.

Their vision : to develop a network of support around each child in each school. This support network emphasises the role of teachers and parents, so much so that they make it a requirement for parents to be part of the system for students to receive access to their accounts. This unique approach allows for direct and instant access to potentially all parents through a single platform. This is crucial for efficient collaboration between parents and teachers.

Here is their short video briefly describing their work!

So far, so great…

To date 60% of the teachers involved in the trial have used the platform to directly collaborate with parents, and students. This combined with the automated sharing of children’s progress and achievements with parents and students directly from SIMS, is leading to our teachers reporting improved homework submission and parent/student engagement.

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Moving to a more collaborative future…

We are excited to hear from our parents on how we can continuously improve what we share and how we share it. The InvolvEd team and Canons continue to define standards for effective family engagement. Our combined goal is clear: to ask our parents, students and teachers for their regular feedback that enables us to identify key areas for improvement. In time we aim to achieve the following steps, L1 to L4 

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Stay InvolvEd!

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