Parent Engagement and Support
1. What good looks like?
Schools should engage parents through various forms of formal and informal interaction, so that parents have access to good quality multiple pathways information and become positive agents and collaborative partners in providing support to their children’s career and life development.
- School has systematic parent engagement strategies to develop parents’ understanding of their roles in empowering students’ career and life development (CLD) and encourage interactions between the school and the parents on matters related to CLD programmes.
- School has a mechanism or communication channels to inform, encourage, and guide parents how to access and use quality multiple pathway information such as websites and a range of other resources to support their children.
- School has documentation specifically on promoting CLD through parent education.
- School has at least one staff member coordinating parent engagement in relation to CLD including communication with parents and has designated staff to guide or counsel parents to better understand the ways of methods to access up-todate multiple pathway resources.
- School should offer opportunities for parents to support the delivery of the multiple pathways programme such as inviting them to share their personal career adventure.
2. Why this matters?
- Engaging parents is important to strengthen understanding of their roles in supporting children’s career and life development. According to EDB’s (2019), parent education can be nourished by organising different events such as parent days, parent seminars, and workshops of parent-teacher associations on important careerrelated topics such as multiple pathways.
- Parents can develop more understanding of career pathways, and are motivated to provide more support to students to explore and decide their pathway options, which can maintain a constructive parent-child relationship.
- Engaging parents in different career-related programmes can maximize the contributions from parents as resourceful partners in supporting the school’s CLD development and make good use of parents’ career experiences and expertise to facilitate students’ career exploration. School can gain higher reputation from parents by maximizing parent engagement in CLD which in turn benefit their children.
3. Top tips for schools*
- Establish and develop the culture of close school-parent collaboration through close communication (e.g. through sending messages or exchanging information communication channel) to motivate parents to engage in CLD development in the school.
- Assign at least one designated staff member to coordinate parent engagement work such as communicating with parents (e.g., through PTA which is an important agent to gather parents’ voice, prepare the parent-friendly presentation), setting up a platform or channel to distribute information, and collecting views from parents.
- Identify the most effective ways to disseminate multiple pathway information by seeking comments from different stakeholders including parents and teachers, and evaluating the usefulness of different communication platforms or channels.
- Update career-related information for parents such as information about multiple pathways, further study, serious leisure development, and the world of work.
- Consider the preferences or ideas from parent volunteer group / PTA volunteers for planning (e.g., through informing them the preliminary ideas for the parent education work in this annual year).
- Present the CLD policy information (includingmission and vision statements, strategic objectives) in either Chinese or English or both as well as in appropriate formats to match the communication modes and needs of different stakeholders.
- Set up the CLD team with a good combination of staff with different working experiences.
- Set up the timeline for the CLD policy and annual plan and programme plan (e.g. to have an overview of the progress, content, division of labour, person-in-charge). Division of labours needs to be transparent and clear to the team, to follow the progress easily and in a clear manner.
- Provide a more parent-friendly presentation of the school CLD policy which is concise and easily understandable by parents through different communication channels (e.g. school websites, emails, booklets, etc.).
- Deliver updated multiple pathway information (e.g., local, overseas studies, different workplace trends) to parents through different accessible channels (e.g. school web-sites or E-platform, distribution on Parents Day) and have designated staff to guide parents to know ways or channels to access up-to-date multiple pathways resources.
- Conduct workshops and activities for parents to understand the latest trend on further study and career options (e.g. information talks, workplace exposure activities), and experience how serious leisure can help to develop the values, attitude, skills and knowledge for further pathways.
- Make connection with parents to form a parent stakeholder pool for building resources network on CLD activities.
- Engage parents as an active resource person to support the delivery of multiple pathways programme such as inviting parents to share their life stories about their CLD pathways/ adventure and work-life mix experience.
- Let parents understand the messages including aims and their importance of participation in the CLD programmes. Align parents’ expectations towards the programmes. The above information should be recorded in the programme plan.
- Collect and review parents’ voice and opinions (e.g. questionnaires, verbal feedback on Parent Day) so as to have a better understanding on their expectations and thoughts towards school CLD policies.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of Parents’ CLD workshops/ activities to assess if parents had developed a widen landscape of multiple pathways.
- Keep systematic documentation on workshops/ activities, programme plan and evaluation forms for future programme development.
4. Working with partners
- Parent-Teacher Association and Parents: Connect with Parent-Teacher Association to mobilize parents to join career-related activities and understand career and pathway information. Liaise and invite parents to share and exchange life and career stories to enhance mutual understanding of multiple pathways.
- Higher and Tertiary Institutions: Liaise and connect with higher and tertiary institutions, to organize activities (e.g. visits, tasting programmes) for parents to enrich their understanding on various future study options for their children.
- Interest Development Devotee: Connect people who have devoted themselves in interest development to act as tutors to let parents taste and experience different areas of interest, and share their pathway stories to parents.
- Alumni: Invite alumni to share their gains and difficulties in their pathways and address the roles of parents in students’ career development journey, so as to arouse parents’ awareness of the importance of their parental support.
5. Insights gained from the pilot schools
- Recognize CLD as ongoing agenda of PTA to encourage parents’ contribution and enhance their sense of ownership on the school’s CLD programmes by giving them token of appreciation (e.g. certificate of participation, honourable awards)
Education Bureau (2019). Information Note on the Framework of Implementation Strategies for Life Planning Education at Schools.
Retrieved from https://lifeplanning.edb.gov.hk/uploads/page/attachments/Framework_Eng.pdf
CLAP (2020). Community-based Intervention: Parent Support and Education Practice Manual. Retrieved from