Fundació Jaume BofillUniversitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)


We are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Debats d’Educació by giving the educational community the opportunity to air its views

The key role of families in education

What models of collaboration between the school and families can improve educational results? What strategies can increase the participation and involvement of families in schools’ activity? What influence should families have on the governance of the system?

Research has more than adequately shown the critical importance of the family, its socioeconomic and cultural capital and the upbringing strategies it deploys when it comes to pupils’ academic results. Recently, emphasis has been placed on the decisive influence of parental styles and the need to train or support families in the task of bringing up children.


Public opinion and school institutions tend to accuse parents of not taking an interest in school issues and abdicating their educational responsibilities. On the other hand, families seem more concerned than ever about their children’s schooling, academic results, the quality of the education they receive, the good name of the schools where they are educated, etc. Family strategies to guarantee the quality of education are, however, largely individual. Despite the widespread parents’ association model, a key element of educational quality, families organised in this way do not manage to make their voice heard as a central agent in the educational debate. We can see, however, that in many countries around us, and increasingly in this country too, families have begun to demand a greater presence in policy definition and school life. The redefinition of family participation in an institution that was designed for leaving them at the door is still on the table.


The 3 things they have learned...

Annie Kidder Annie Kidder
Director of "People for Education".
  • 1It’s what parents do at home that matters most for student success
  • 2Communication, collaboration & strong relationships create vital bridges between schools & families
  • 3Who gets to be at the table?
Maria Jesús Comellas Maria Jesús Comellas
Professor emerita at the UAB Faculty of Education.
  • 1The Necessary Recognition for the Legitimacy of Family Knowledge and the Reasons for Their Actions
  • 2Communication based on reciprocity must be established in the name of shared educational interests
  • 3Family time must be valued as a relational space that is not sequestered by school demands
Àlex Castillo Àlex Castillo
President of the Catalan Federation of Parents’...
  • 1Schools work better if they know how to include families in their educational projects
  • 2Students’ learning success is the great enticement for getting families involved in the school
  • 3Families must have more standing within schools
Anna Ramis Anna Ramis
Train working teachers and head teachers at schools
  • 1Bringing up children needs time spent together. A work/family life balance should help parents and children spend time together
  • 2The responsibility for beginning a significant change in the family/school relationship is the school’s.
  • 3New channels and forms need to be found for the responsible involvement of parents in their children’s education at school, going beyond the stereotypes of school councils and parents’ associations
Jordi Collet Jordi Collet
Lecturer in educational sociology at the University of...
  • 1Constructing a physical and symbolic place for the school’s families
  • 2Increasing the quantity and quality of links with families
  • 3Rethinking the centre to welcome ALL families
Marta Comas Marta Comas
Specialist of the Barcelona Education Consortium and...
  • 1All mothers and fathers CAN make valuable contributions to the school
  • 2The three legs that support good results: good professionals, good peers and good family guidance
  • 3We must stop creating policies for families and begin inviting families to create policies