PEN’s views on the research

Most parents want the best for their children but they aren’t sure what to do to help them. This project was about helping parents understand how their children learn and how to make learning active and fun – and giving them the resources to use. School staff often haven’t been well trained or resourced to work with parents. The training and sharing with other schools helped the staff to feel more confident and some schools have seen longer term impact on their motivation and ability to work with parents. It makes a difference if schools reach out to parents early on in nursery – particularly to parents who might find it harder to engage with schools. If barriers are broken down and relationships developed this can have a much longer term impact in terms of parents feeling confident to engage with the school and support their children’s learning. If parents also get to know other parents the relationships and networks they build up can last right through school. PEN has always believed in the importance of training school staff and that this helps to make the work sustainable. This report clearly recognises that ‘training school staff to deliver workshops and activities directly to parents, which enables the programme to become incorporated into the setting’s practice rather than relying on external professionals, makes an intervention easily embedded within schools, cost effective and sustainable. Emma Beresford, Director PEN Click here to read Oxford University‘s positive research findings on Engaging Parents Effectively.