Home-School-Community Liaison Coordinator, Ms Patrice Gallagher

As part of the DEIS programme, we have a full-time Home School Community Liaison Coordinator in our school.

The aim of the HSCL teacher is to promote and develop real partnership between parents, guardians, teachers and communities, in order to enhance children’s outcomes and learning opportunities. The HSCL teacher seeks to empower parents and guardians, so that they can better support their children to attend school, participate in education and develop positive attitudes to life-long learning.

The Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) scheme is a central component of the Department of education and skills DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools), an action plan for educational inclusion, which aims to combat educational disadvantage, through a range of interventions and strategies, designed to improve educational outcomes for children.

The underlying vision of the HSCL scheme is preventative; therefore, it seeks to promote and develop real partnership between parents, teachers and communities, in order to enhance pupils’ outcomes and learning opportunities, through improved attendance, participation and retention in the education system. Responsibility for the services formally provided by NEWB (National Educational Welfare Board) now rests with the Educational Welfare Services (EWS) of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.
This includes the HSCL scheme,which is a core element of the integrated EWS of Tusla, Serving DEIS schools.

We believe very strongly that education must be based on close co-operation between parents and teachers. The HSCL Coordinator can offer advice and support which includes how to support children’s learning at home, opportunities to support children at school, courses for parents, information about adult learning in the local community, information on breakfast and after school clubs and much more.

The HSCL Coordinator is an important link person for parents/guardians and school, and also works with class teachers to ensure communication between home and school is open and transparent.

The HSCL coordinator also works in partnership with the School Completion Programme, the Educational Welfare Officer, the Local Education Committee and other agencies and services in our local community, The strong relationships established between these services and our school mean that parents and guardians can readily access the support they need with the help of the HSCL Coordinator.

Home visits form a core part of the work of the HSCL Coordinator. These visits and meetings can be used to discuss any issues that may prevent children from accessing learning, and every effort is made to empower parents to access relevant support services on a variety of issues i.e counselling/therapy services, family support etc.

We have regular contact with parents through information evenings, parent-teacher meetings and school reports. By working in partnership we are ensuring that students reach their full potential so that they are prepared for life and are able to take their place in society.