School-home liaison workers do make a difference. They help reduce truancy, lateness and fixed-term exclusions. But what are the problems and how do we get maximum benefit from them?
A report in the National Foundation for Educational Research's twice-yearly Topic series spells out what is needed. A room for meeting parents quietly, and a way of letting other teachers know what is going on are essential.
As time goes by more formal management arrangements seem to be needed too. "A school-home liaison project: supporting and involving parents; reducing truancy and exclusion", by Frances Castle and Susan Hallam, is one of more than 60 Topic reports written specifically for school managers. These clear, well-informed reports are based on current research and experience. Articles are added regularly and access to the full collection (on-line and a printed version) is available to schools for an annual subscription of just pound;29.50. See: http:www.topiconline.org.uk
Readers can email suggestions on future Internet Insights to Sam Saunders at J.P.Saunders@leeds.ac.uk