The importance of parental involvement in schools is now generally recognised. A number of studies of school effectiveness identify parental involvement as one of the key variables associated with effectiveness in general and with pupil attainment in particular. The more involved parents are with their children’s schooling, the greater it seems are the chances of their children doing well. The ways in which parental involvement help children’s attainment are not well-understood but some researchers have highlighted its positive effect on pupil motivation (Ekstrom et al., 1988; Jaynes and Wlodkowski, 1990). Involvement can mean many things, from attending parents’ evenings and school open days to helping in the classroom. There are three aspects to traditional parental involvement which are worth drawing attention to:

it has largely concerned the well-being of the parent’s own child

it has been to support the largely taken-for-granted value system of the school

collective action, such as through parents’ or parent-teacher associations has been largely concerned with fund-raising, or transmitting information, and has not usually challenged the school’s way of doing things.