Home School Community Liaison
Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) is a major, mainstream, preventative strategy targeted at pupils at risk of not reaching their potential in the educational system because of background characteristics which tend to affect adversely pupil attainment and school retention. It focuses directly on the salient adults in children’s educational lives in order that they may be better able to support the children’s attendance, participation and retention in the education system.
The role of the HSCL Coordinator requires the flexibility to be available to families and students, implementing literacy/numeracy initiatives, for home visitation, Continuous Professional Development and undertaking school staff development.
Home Visitation The role of the coordinator also includes a systematic approach to home visitation. Home visitation is a purposeful outreach aspect of the HSCL Scheme for parents. It is both a symbolic and a real expression of interest in families, many of which have been alienated from the education system in the past.
During the visits, the coordinators:
- Support parents in the education of their children.
- Seek to establish a rapport with the parents.
- Offer information about the services available in the community.
- Encourage the parents to become involved with the community, to work with community needs and to harness community energy, thereby enabling the community to solve its own problems.
- Endeavour to show the welcoming, hopeful and human face of the school in the context and circumstances of daily life.
- Seek out potential parent leaders, who are willing to participate in the HSCL Scheme’s activities and to share their talents.
- Direct the parents towards relevant training.
- Aim at helping the parents to express their fears about approaching the school.
- Seek to break down negative attitudes among parents towards schools and schooling.
My name is Ciara Cullen and I work as HSCL coordinator in St Tiernan’s Community School.