The Importance Of Bridging The Gap Between School And Home

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I used to be a Deputy Head Teacher and Class Teacher for 22 years teaching in areas  ranging from London’s inner city deprived areas to the private sector, so educating children is also a passion of mine, as it offers children unlimited potential to explore  what they are good at, what they love and who they are.

It empowers them, prepares them for wise leadership and personal achievement, and opens their mind to new ideas.

One favourite quote of mine is by Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American Essayist & Poet

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

So when I was asked to be an Ambassador for the very wonderful School Home Support Charity I was delighted to add my voice to raising awareness of this very worthwhile and important charity.

 SHS work in schools to support vulnerable children and families.

SHS’s qualified and experienced school-based practitioners are there to support children and families, whatever they are going through.

Engaging parents and carers in their child’s education is a key factor of every child’s success in school but many parents are unable, unwilling or unsure just how to get involved in school life.

SHS practitioners are trained to get to the bottom of these worries, anxieties, blocks or problems and discover that:  

  • some parents feel isolated if they are new to the area or are not confident speaking English
  • some may feel intimidated by school especially if they had a negative experience of school themselves
  • some parents are coping with a problem at home such as substance misuse or domestic violence
  • some parents could be in poor mental or physical health
  • some parents work full time and may not be around much before or after school

By quickly and effectively building strong, trusting relationships, SHS practitioners can address problems and help solve them before they become bigger issues, and they create effective links between parents and school, so they see it as a friendly approachable place and somewhere they can meet other parents, take up a parenting or family learning course or even volunteer at the school.

SHS work tirelessly to prevent family breakdown, isolation and poverty, supporting thousands of children and families through emotional and practical difficulties and to find out more about their wonderfully important work go to =>

In February I am going to the House of Lords to celebrate the contribution of Lady Julia Carter, who stepped down in July after three impactful years as Chairman of the SHS Board of Trustees. In October SHS announced the appointment of Richard Evans as the new Chairman.

Here’s some more information about the  wonderful work that SHS do – please support them.

  • As of March 2010 SHS (School-Home Support) has 150 practitioners in 220 schools and projects across the country.
  • Last year SHS practitioners made over 100,223 interventions through their direct work in school with children, young people and families.
  • The ‘See the Bigger Picture Appeal’ launched on 1 April 2010 with an aim to raise £10 million to help thousands more children and families. For further details visit
  • Schools with an SHS practitioner see an average 5.3% decrease in pupils’ hard drug use and a 3% increase in children achieving five A-C grades at GCSE level.
  • ‘For every £1 spent on SHS services, the exchequer saves £3.35 and the rest of society saves £21.14.



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About the author

Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the  famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.

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Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
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