Increase in Parental Involvement at Thembani Primary School

Parental involvement at Thembani Primary School situated in Langa, which is in Cape Town, has started increasing. Below, the Principal, Thobela Guzana, shares how the school went about achieving this:

Thembani Public Primary School has three key partners in improving our school – the children, the parents and the educators. The School Governing Body (SGB) also plays an important role. Increasing the involvement of our parents in their children’s education is a key objective in our 2014 strategic plan.

Up until 2013, parent meetings were held on Sunday mornings and attendance was very low.  In mid-2013, we invited parents to meetings midweek after 17h30, and provided tea and biscuits for the first time.  We noticed an immediate increase in attendance and this increased each term.  At the end of 2013, we sent out our first 4-page Xhosa newsletter, giving parents an overview of the successes of the year. This was part of our attempt to improve communication between parents and the school.  We also adopted the bulk SMS service, which was offered through Partners for Possibility (PfP) as a means of sending invitations to parents, and we started to update our parent contact records through the parents register at parents meetings.



In 2014 we held 3 parents meetings in the first term.  The first was for the parents of children that are new to Thembani. At this meeting we welcomed them and explained the school philosophy and needs to them.  

The second meeting was for the parents of grade R and grade 1 learners, to explain how we teach and how they can help educate their children.  The third was for all parents, and we had a fantastic turnout, so much so that we ran out of seating in our courtyard.  We introduced all our staff to our parents and we launched the school’s new vision and values. The vision and values were created by the school staff and SGB at our year-end strategy workshop in December 2013, facilitated by our PfP, Janet Lytwynchuk.  We also invited parents to sign up for a series of workshops run by our SGB and educators that dealt with topics such as:  Helping children with homework, Grant applications and Drug Abuse. These workshops were very well attended and we have had to add extra dates to meet the demand.  

It is difficult to pinpoint any specific impact on the learners at this early stage as this is part of a broader set of changes within our school.  We firmly believe that putting our school is at the heart of the community and making it a special place is vital if we are to achieve our Vision which is 'To Provide Quality Education to All'."

30 November -1, 00:00