PEN received an Awards for All Grant to develop a project on engaging and supporting parents at the point of transition into Secondary School.

The project looked at how to effectively engage parents in secondary school through meetings, home activities and other strategies. It aimed to help parents to communicate with and access information about school, to understand their role in supporting their child’s learning, to build peer support networks, to express their views and to access other support and learning opportunities.

It included using apps, QR codes and other new technology to improve communication.

The contact with the school staff is excellent. It’s the best I’ve had with all my children.

Mrs Grey compared transition and induction events favourably to those with her older children, which in comparison had felt stiff, formal and less welcoming, with little one-to-one time with teachers.


Impact of the project was shared at a dissemination meeting for secondary schools in February 2016.

  • The Reddish Vale team revealed ‘astonishing’ Autumn Term 98% attendance figures for Year 7
  • Children reported increased confidence, settling in better, and more dialogue with their parents
  • Parental attendance at events increased markedly in some cases- for example over 90% attendance at both Flixton Girls and Byrchall, following the cultural shift to a more informal and accessible approach
  • Parents reported greater confidence in the school, better communication and stronger relationships
  • 73% of these 957 families who were given the summer activities completed most or all of them.
  • 84% of parents agreed the resources helped their child feel more confident about going to secondary school.

Many thanks to those involved

Rebecca Ramsden, Associate Headteacher at Bedford High School; Rachael Atkin, Community Engagement Coordinator at Copley Academy; Sarah Wickstead, Assistant Headteacher at Chorlton High School; Mandy Roberts, Parent Support Advisor at Chorlton High School; Tess McDermott, Attendance Parent Support Advisor at Burnage Academy; Celine Doyle, Transition Coordinator at Burnage Academy; Jo Mannion, Family Liaison Officer at Parrs Wood High School; Emma Rainford, Assistant Headteacher at Parrs Wood High School; Julie Hawkins, Assistant Principal at Manchester Health Academy; Tina Spencer, Pastoral Liaison Worker at Manchester Health Academy; Dorothy Trussell, Director of Curriculum at Flixton Girls School; Helen Larkin, Learner Services Manager at Flixton Girls School; Debbie Fletcher, Assistant Head at Byrchall High School; Keeley Schofield, Director of Pupil Services at Reddish Vale High School; Dean Thomas-Lowde, Assistant Headteacher at Reddish Vale High School; Katherine Edwards, Assistant Headteacher at Argoed High School; Lisa Davies, Pastoral Support at Argoed High School.

Project managed by Emma Beresford and Janet Davies (PEN); design by Gill Mullarkey – (GM Design) and Joanna Bricher (PEN); photographs by Andrew Hayhurst.