Research into the effects of family engagement in education has been shown to have a significant positive effect on a range of outcomes including attainment, achievement, health and wellbeing. Below are some key statistics which support the assertion that what parents do is more important than who parents are…
Fifteen-year-old students whose parents often read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher reading skill scores than students whose parents read with them infrequently or not at all (PISA 2009).
- At primary age the impact caused by different levels of parental involvement is much bigger than differences associated with variations in the quality of schools. (Desforges 2003).
- The early years home learning environment has been found to remain as a powerful predictor of better cognitive attainment at age 11 after 6 years in primary school. (EPPE, Sylva et al., 2008).
- Children who were often read to, and those who had visited a library by the time they were 10 months old, scored higher on both language development and problem solving skills assessments than children who had comparably less experience of these activities (Growing Up in Scotland)
- The early years home environment (in terms of the quality of parent–child linguistic and social interactions and home learning) has been found to account for around a quarter of the cognitive gap between rich and poor children (EPPE, Sylva et al., 2008).
- Children living in the most deprived 15% of areas were less likely to have been read to on a daily basis at 10 months of age than children in the rest of Scotland (54% versus 69%). (Growing Up in Scotland)
- Half of children and young people who nearly always have a family evening meal attained 8 or more good GCSEs, compared to less than a third of those who seldom do. (Youth Cohort Study & Longitudinal Study of Young People in England, YEAR?)
- Father and adolescent reports of their closeness at age sixteen correlated with measures of the child’s depression and marital satisfaction at age thirty-three (Flouri and Buchanan, 2002).
‘The quality of the Early years home learning environment (where parents are actively engaged in learning activities with children) promoted intellectual and social development in all children. While parent’s social class and levels of education were related to child outcomes the quality of the Early years home learning environment (HLE) was more important and only moderately associated with social class or mothers qualification levels. What parents do is more important than who they are.For this reason pre-school and school settings that do not include parent support and education are missing an important element in raising achievement and enhancing social/behavioural development.’ (EPPE, Sylva et al., 2008).