SA Journal of Education, Vol 43, No 3 (2023)

Experiences of parental involvement in privileged and underprivileged schools

R Manilal, V Jairam


In the study reported on here we looked at experiences of parental involvement in schools in Phoenix, KwaZulu-Natal. The objectives of the study were to determine how parents were involved in schools and what their experiences were. The study was guided by Epstein’s Theory of Overlapping Spheres. A qualitative research approach within an interpretivist paradigm was followed. A multiple case design was used and the schools were drawn from privileged and underprivileged contexts in Phoenix. The methodology employed to generate data was the semi-structured interview, followed by an open-ended questionnaire completed by the participants. The sample of participants comprised 3 parents and 3 teachers from each of the 2 schools. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The findings show that parents from both privileged and underprivileged communities were concerned about and employed a variety of strategies to get involved in their children’s education, both academically and socially. Although parents from both schools participated in school events, the level of their participation differed, with the parents from the privileged schools being more involved than parents from the underprivileged school.

ORCiD iDs of authors:
R Manilal –
V Jairam -

Full Text: PDF