There has never been a more opportune, challenging or exciting time for those who would like to see more effective relationships between families and schools. For a number of developments have occurred, whose combined impact is likely to have a far-reaching effect upon current thinking and practice in this area. Relationships between families and their children’s schools, and the longer-term consequences of these relationships, have become a key issue for everyone with an interest in the educational service – politicians, professionals and parents alike – albeit in widely differing and often contradictory ways.