This report, written by Fiona Jelley and Kathy Sylva from the University of Oxford, looks at whether engaging the parents of disadvantaged children in the early years can influence the home learning environment, parental support for learning and children’s attainment. It highlights the findings of a small-scale randomised control trial in which school staff were trained to engage parents in a Home Learning Project developed by the Parental Engagement Network (a not-for-profit social enterprise) involving workshops and activities to do at home. PEN was one of 5 organisations supported through the Parental Engagement Fund which was set up by the Sutton Trust working in partnership with the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. The trial found that the programme positively influenced parental behaviour at home, with parents reporting an increase in the learning activities they did with their children. Schools also reported that the programme developed the skills and confidence of staff to engage parents and that it was easily embedded within schools
Find out more about the Parental Engagement Network and our partnership with the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation here.