The Pacific Islands School Community Parent Liaison (PISCPL) project is one of a number of initiatives that originated out of Vaka Ou: The Pacific Islands Labour Market Strategy in 1996, as part of the Government's response to recommendations from the Employment Task Force (MoE RFP Document, 2004). The strategy was developed by a multi party working group including the Ministry of Pacific Islands Affairs, the Department of Labour, the Ministry of Education (MoE), the State Services Commission, Women's Affairs, Youth Affairs and the Education and Training Support Agency.
Vaka Ou had a focus upon significantly improving Pasifika people's employment and participation in the labour market through the effective use of education, training, employment, community and economic development policies. Further, it included a focus on supporting the roles of families and communities through encouraging their involvement in education contexts. Part of the strategy included the introduction of the Pacific Islands School Community Parent Liaison project (MoE RFP Document, 2004). The initiative was officially launched by the Ministry of Education in 1996 and since 1998, the PISCPL project has operated in conjunction with the School Community Iwi Liaison Project (SCIL).
The goals of the PISCPL project are to "foster and encourage a closer relationship between school and Pacific Island communities, and improve and increase Pacific Islands student achievement across the curriculum" (MoE RFP Document, 2004, p.2). The wider body of research (Comer, 2005; Epstein, 1995; Lareau, 1987; Lareau & Shumar, 1996; Ramsay, Hawk, Harold, Marriott & Poskitt, 1998; Stoll, Fink & Earl, 2003) that explores home-school relationship building models, suggests that there is a multitude of positive reasons to continue trialling and developing such frameworks. Parent involvement generally and Pacific Islands parent involvement specifically in this study, benefits not only students and schools, but also the parents themselves.
This case study provides evaluative data to the MoE on aspects of the PISCPL project that may suggest indicators for ongoing, enhanced school-community capability and capacity building. The project involved a Pasifika community liaison co-ordinator working across one cluster of four schools, with the goal of improving learning outcomes for Pasifika students, and increasing family and community engagement in learning.
The purpose of the PISCPL project is to encourage a closer relationship between Pacific Islands communities and schools and to improve and increase Pacific Islands student achievement across the curriculum. The Pacific Islands School Community Parent Liaison Project Case Study examines the relationship between schools and Pacific Island communities and student achievement in a cluster of four schools.