The ‘parental pin’ undermines the trust between family and school


The relationship between family and school is a connection between individuals who share responsibility for the growth and development of girls and boys.

In this sense, Clarke, Sheridan and Woods argue that a relationship between family and school is healthy and beneficial for children, families, teachers and the school if a positive and constructive link is established between the two environments.

On the contrary, a negative and destructive relationship framework can deny children access to beneficial experiences. And one of the keys to this “healthy relationship” is trust.

An assault on the relationship of trust

Proposals such as the so-called “parental pin”, which in Spain defends the ultra-right-wing Vox party, represent a clear aggression by the macrosystem on the mesosystem, that is, against the positive interaction between the “family” and “school” microsystems: from the Politics and ideology are trying to break, with the “parental pin” and other strategies, the necessary relationship of trust between the family and the school, without considering that without this relationship the health of the school organization suffers and the results can get worse.

Vox’s proposal implies the establishment of an authorization mechanism in schools in such a way that it is necessary the parents’ express consent “for any activity with contents of ethical, social, moral or sexual civic values”.

However, trust between family and school implies the belief that both parties will meet the expectations associated with their respective roles and that the relationship will be open, honest and benevolent.

In this sense, if trust is at the base of family and school relationships, it has been found that an effective and collaborative alliance ( partnership , according to Epstein’s proposal ) is generated between teachers and family that becomes a stimulus for the participation of families in the education of their sons and daughters, as well as for its sustainability, with important links to learning outcomes and to the “organizational health” of the educational center.

Good relationships improve academic results

Along these lines, one of the most relevant studies on the relationship of trust between families and schools is the research by Adams and Christenson . With this research, which had the participation of 1,234 fathers and mothers and 209 teachers, it was possible to demonstrate a significant correlation between the confidence of families in the school and various indicators of success in Secondary Education.

The data also seem to indicate that parents with a higher level of trust towards teachers send more positive messages in relation to the value of learning and school experience, generating a higher level of involvement and motivation in their sons and daughters.

Moreover, these authors found that the main way to improve the relationship between home and school is simple: communication. In addition, they argue that the frequency is not as important as the quality of the information provided: the message is that it is not necessary to do more, but to inform better .

In this way, the sociologists Rogach, Frolova and Ryabova , of the Russian State Social University, consider that the “interpersonal trust” that is generated between families and teachers is a central element of the “institutional trust” between family and school.

Depreciation of the figure of the teacher

For this reason, they observe that the processes of depreciation of the figure of the teacher (accusations of lack of authority or resources, decrease of the prestige associated with the teaching profession, etc.) undermine interpersonal trust and, consequently, institutional trust.

So, it is not an anecdotal issue that is at stake. Patrikakou sums it up clearly: the realization of the potential of minors depends largely on the contexts where they are developed and learned and the more productive interconnections exist between these contexts, the greater the impact they will have on the academic, social and emotional learning of minors. .

There is no doubt: the “parental pin” is a frontal attack on the trust that sustains these “productive interconnections” between family and school.

Author Bio: Fernando Trujillo Sáez is a Full professor at the Faculty of Education, Economics and Technology of Ceuta at the University of Granada