Academic Events

Better Together: Family, School and community partnership in urban contexts

12 October 2016, Convened by Caroline Oliver & Eddie Meijer

Engels Meeting & Conference Center, Rotterdam

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This conference brought together teachers with academics to discuss how best to use parental engagement to enhance children’s learning in contexts of increased population diversity. Urban schools must continue to adapt and respond to new and changing populations with complex histories and varying prior learning experiences. Partnerships between schools, families and communities are vital in addressing some of the challenges in securing equal achievement for all children in schools, since families are recognized as having great influence on student attendance and engagement. The conference enabled teachers and researchers to share their perspectives on the opportunities and consider the challenges of engaging in such work:

  • What messages can be learned from practice and research on this topic?
  • What strategies work well in developing home-school cooperation?
  • What can be learned from where it goes wrong?
  • What implicit assumptions must be considered when engaging with this type of work?
  • What can we learn from what works well, to make it work even better?

The conference included a mix of presentations and themed participatory workshops to bring together academic perspectives with practitioner insight in a lively forum. It aimed to inform teachers on how best they can use parental involvement to improve children’s attainment in contexts of urban population diversity, debate issues relating to these topics, advance practice, facilitate networking among those working on this topic and identify gaps in research.

The conference was a collaboration between the City of Rotterdam and the University of Oxford, led by Eddie Meijer and Dr Caroline Oliver at COMPAS’ Global Exchange on Migration and Diversity. It was inspired by and will draw on insights from the experience of policy and academic contributors in the Open Society initiative Action for Inclusion in Europe, a series of city working groups on the topic across six European cities.

The conference was aimed at teachers and other staff in the Netherlands in city schools responding to increased population diversity, as well as other interested city practitioners in Europe and academics working on the subject.

Date: Wednesday, 12th October, 2016
Time: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Venue: Conferentiecentrum Engels, Groothandelsgebouw, Stationsplein 45, 3013 AK Rotterdam
Cost: €95,00 per participant (or €75,00 if registered before 1st September); participation is free for teachers in Rotterdam.

Registration website

The conference will be in English and Dutch.

View / download the full programme in English: Better Together