Engaging with Families

Supporting Schools to raise attainment and close the inequity gap

Printed from : www.engagingwithfamilies.co.uk

Further evidence

The following references contain links to some of the most recent and key research evidence around family engagement and learning interventions (listed in alphabetical order). Click on the links below for a short description of each report.

Date : June 2014

The case study research reported here sought to understand how district-based and community-based parent engagement initiatives within a collective-impact effort seek to build the participation of parents/families, particularly those from low-income, marginalised communities, in education.

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Date : Feburary 2014

A report on the evidence on why dads are important in the lives of their children. This work highlights and provides compelling evidence of why fathers should figure in the work of practioners in all sectors who are supporting children and young people.


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The Education Endowment Foundation funds a range of projects working with schools in England which have the potential to raise attainment among disadvantaged pupils. Their Toolkit provides a useful summary of the impact of a range of interventions.

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This project was set up in partnership between Perth and Kinross Council and Education Scotland to explore the issues around, and identify current practice in, family learning within a Local Authority. It identified family learning in different contexts (both rural and urban), which highlighted a consistent, needs-led approach being taken towards engagement and learning. The project concludes that by adopting a needs-led approach families are able to receive appropriate and relevant support for their needs at specific times.

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Date : July 2014

This report highlights current practice in family learning across West Dunbartonshire and looks at partnership approaches, including how GIRFEC is being embedded into practice.

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This article discusses how parent involvement, like helping children to read, can help children succeed at school. It discusses a range of books and articles in a critical and accessible way for both parents and teachers. The article gives practical advice for parents on engaging backed by PISA results. It also provides links to further articles and blogs on the subject. 

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This is an Austrialian report for the Family-School and Community Parnehrship Bureau by the Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth. The report provides a synopsis of the published literature pertaining to parental engagement in both home and school environment. On the basis of the evidence in the literature, it identifies those approaches which have the greatest influence and impact on student outcomes.

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Date :

This review concentrates on the key messages from research on the links between parental engagement and narrowing the gap in attainment. It is aimed at providing information for disadvantaged groups and the practitioner audience, distilling what it is important for teachers to know about engaging with disadvantaged families to improve achievement. It provides teachers with an evidence based summery of successful interventions.

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It seems like common sense that children do better when parents are actively involved in their schooling. But how well does the evidence stack up? The Broken Compass puts this question to the test in the most thorough scientific investigation to date of how parents across socioeconomic and ethnic groups contribute to the academic performance of K–12 children. The study’s surprising discovery is that no clear connection exists between parental involvement and improved student performance.

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This policy brief tells the story of Reading Partners, a successful one-on-one volunteer tutoring program that serves struggling readers in low-income elementary schools and that has already been taken to a large scale. This brief summarizes the early results of the program's evaluation, which was conducted during the 2012-2013 school year in 19 schools in three states, and which involved 1,265 students. The evaluation finds positive impacts of the program on three different measures of reading proficiency.

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This report looks at what recent literature tells us about the role of schools in supporting vulnerable families. It includes reviews of GIRFEC, positive school ethos and caring cultures, difficult, concerning or challenging behaviour in schools, nurture groups, building social capital, emotional literacy and resilience and Place2Be. It also provides further reading and resources for teachers on supporting vulnerable families.

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Save the Children have used recent research to study the development of children from different socio-economic backgrounds when they start primary school. The report is a holistic, population-level measure of child development at school-entry age for children in Scotland across a range of indicators and using a number of different socio-economic characteristics.

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This is a critical review of what interventions work for disadvantaged children in different age groups. The aim of the review is to identify the most efficacious programmes for different age groups of children, and the promoting and inhibiting factors in implementing such programmes. 

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Date : January 2014

In December 2013, the Scottish Government, Education Scotland and Children in Scotland held a joint event to explore how we can make more effective links between parents, communities and the third sector to raise attainment and close the inequity gap. This summary report provides an overview of the day, and examples of where this approach has been successfully adopted.

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