Edukacja 01_2020 okladka

This article presents an analysis of approaches to the engagement of parents in the education of lower secondary school students with and without special educational needs (SEN), as well as its effect on school achievement. The analysis of the results from almost 1500 Polish lower secondary school students, including almost 300 students assessed as SEN, showed that parents in both groups varied in their strategies to help their children. Parents of students with SEN more often directly helped their children with homework, although this strategy negatively correlated with school achievement for both groups. The results opposed a widely held claim that students with SEN require alternative types of parental support. These findings may, therefore, have a practical role for shaping parental and teacher’ beliefs about the most effective ways to improve the achievement of lower secondary school students.

Grzegorz Szumski, Maciej Karwowski, The Maria Grzegorzewska University


The goal of this paper – set in the context of the reform to lower the school starting age in Poland – is to investigate the determinants of parental decisions to enrol their six-year-old children in the 1st grade versus leaving them in preschool or preparatory class. It was found that starting school before the compulsory term occurs primarily in response to objective symptoms of a child’s readiness for school, but there is also some evidence for a deliberate investment in education by parents with a higher socio-economic status. Finally, early enrolment may also be driven by a cost-reducing strategy. The discussion highlights the possible reasons for the political failure of school age reform, which was recently cancelled after having been gradually introduced for six years.

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