This article provides commentary that focuses on school—parent relations in Australia through exploration of schools in the state of Victoria across three aspects: school—parent partnership, parental involvement in the governance of schools, and parental involvement in school accountability processes. Parental involvement is typically at a level controlled by the school, rather than a more participatory and reciprocally influential activist level. At a time when there is a renewed emphasis on autonomy for schools in Victoria, it is suggested that there is urgency for research focused on an activist orientation, rather than the controlled parental involvement currently evident.
School—Parent Relations in Victorian Schools
David Gurr is a senior lecturer in educational leadership within the Melbourne Graduate school of Education at the University of Melbourne. He has a 30-year background in secondary teaching, educational psychology, school supervision, and school leadership research. He is a member of the International successful school Principalship Project and is a fellow and former vice president of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders and former editor of the journal Leading and Managing. Address correspondence to David Gurr, Melbourne Graduate school of Education, The University of Melbourne, Room 708, 100 Leicester street, Carlton, Australia, 3053. E-mail: d.
Lawrie Drysdale is a senior lecturer in educational administration, education policy, and leadership at the Melbourne Graduate school of Education, University of Melbourne, where he coordinates postgraduate courses in educational management. His career spans over 40 years in education, including teaching, human resource development, and educational administration. He has extensive experience in consultancy with a wide range of educational clients in the areas of leadership, human resources, organizational behavior, and marketing.
Donald M. Walkley has worked in the Catholic and independent school sectors as either teacher or principal in numerous schools in Victoria, Queensland, and Papua New Guinea. During the past 6 years, he has worked as a governance professional with the Catholic Education Office Melbourne as well as Edmund Rice Education Australia. He has recently taken up the role as executive director of the Australian Institute for school Governance, whose mission is to provide support and guidance for the development of good governance in Australian schools.