The Impact of School Leadership on Parental Engagement: A Study of Inclusion and Cohesion

Agata Mleczko, Alison Kington


This article focuses on the role played by principals in enhancing parental involvement in primary schools. The schools involved in this research were characterised by a high presence of ethnic minority children and were located in a neighbourhood of low social and economic status in the Midlands region of the United Kingdom. Qualitative methods were employed in order to explore the influence of strong leadership on engagement of the parents. The study spanned a period of four years, giving an opportunity to examine sustainability of the activities introduced by the principals and staff. The findings reported are based on data collected from an Infant and Junior School involved in a number of extra-curricular and curriculum-enhancing projects. It argues that strong leadership fosters engagement of parents in school activities and thus academic achievement of pupils improved over time. The findings bring evidence that the role of the school principal is crucial in the introduction, implementation and sustainability of solutions focused on parental involvement, as well as bringing benefits to the social cohesion of the local community.

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