Engaging Parents Effectively

Fiona Jelley and Kathy Sylva have published a small-scale evaluation showing that training early years staff to engage with parents through interactive workshops led to positive change in parental home activities that support children’s learning.

The work was part of the Parental Engagement Fund, set up by the Sutton Trust in partnership with the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The Parental Engagement Network trained teachers and teaching assistants in Greater Manchester schools to work with parents, with a focus on disadvantaged families, to support them to carry out learning activities at home. A small-scale randomised controlled trial found improvements in parental practices in the intervention families when compared to families in the control group. Fiona Jelley said, “these promising results from a small-scale study need to be followed up by a larger evaluation with more robust parent and child outcomes.”

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