Many EAL parents do not feel confident enough to come into school because of the difficulties they have with the English language.
It is crucial to understand that coming from different countries, parents have different expectations from a school. In Turkey, for example, teachers have the duty to teach and if parents don't see any improvement in their children, they find a private tutor. The majority of parents value education and know how important it is to find a job. On the other hand, Turkish parents in London seem to have different hopes for their children such as wishing them to continue the family business instead of encouraging them to follow their ambitions. Some EAL parents are unaware that if their child's school attendance falls below 80%, they could be persecuted because such a law does not exist in their own country. This is why it is extremely important as the EAL department to explain the British education system to parents and to create regular opportunities to meet in school.
We invite parents to coffee afternoons and free of charge ESOL classes. To start with, we had few attending parents but the numbers gradually increased over time. As the parents gained more confidence, they visited the school more often.