Improving learner outcomes


Opening the School Gate resource | Introduction


Opening the School Gate is designed to provide teachers and other school staff with a range of practical strategies to assist in the process of engaging migrant and refugee families and creating a culturally inclusive school environment.

Many schools will already have developed strategies to engage migrant and refugee parents/carers, in which case this resource may offer additional ideas and suggestions. Schools where recently arrived or refugee families are entering or where the engagement of parents has been difficult in the past, may find it useful to work through the resource following the processes outlined.

Most schools will find that Opening the School Gate is best used as a resource to support them in areas they are not sure about or haven’t really thought about before. The resource is designed to be used by schools to meet their particular needs and is not intended to be prescriptive.

This resource is split into five main sections:

  • Introduce the issues faced by migrant and refugee families
  • Look at expectations of the school environment
  • Look at the impact of language barriers
  • Look at the impact of family roles
  • Involving key staff
  • Identifying target groups
  • Working in partnership
  • Setting objectives
  • Allocating resources
  • Deciding on a meeting format
  • Setting the agenda
  • Seeking parent and student input
  • Choosing an appropriate time
  • Finding a suitable location
  • Arranging childcare
  • Arranging catering
  • Arranging transport
  • Inviting families
  • Translating information
  • Arranging interpreters
  • Keeping the discussion on track
  • Evaluating your strategy
  • Creating a welcoming environment
  • Creating opportunities for meaningful involvement
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