The Home-School-Community Liaison (HSCL) Scheme was established in 1990 in designated areas of disadvantage by the (then) Department of Education. Initially introduced as a pilot project, the scheme was extended several times, and in 2005 became available to all primary and post-primary schools that were participants in DEIS. The philosophy underpinning the scheme is the promotion of partnership between parents, teachers, and the community in order to maximise outcomes for students at risk of experiencing educational disadvantage (Conaty, 2002).
In an acknowledgment of the key role that the HSCL scheme plays in addressing disadvantage, the ERC has sought the views of HSCL coordinators on several occasions. Most recently, a survey was administered to all coordinators in primary and post-primary schools as part of the Centre’s independent evaluation of the DEIS programme. On November 1st, the ERC released a report on the findings of this survey. The report covers topics such as the ways in which coordinators spend their time, the nature and extent of parental involvement in DEIS schools, and coordinators’ perceptions of the impact of their work on families, schools and communities served by the scheme. Additionally, coordinators’ perceptions of problems facing families of children attending their schools, information on coordinators’ collaboration with agencies and community groups, and coordinators’ levels of satisfaction with different aspects of support for the scheme are described. Where possible, comparisons are made between the findings of the recent survey and those from similar surveys carried out by the ERC in 2001 and 1993.
Read the report in full here.