This review in the latest Best Evidence in Brief focuses on an important partner in education that often is overlooked:
A review of evidence
published by the Education Endowment Foundation in the UK shows how parental engagement can have a positive effect on a child’s academic achievement – regardless of age or socioeconomic status.
The review, conducted by the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter and supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care South West Peninsula, concludes that parental engagement in children’s learning is associated with improved academic outcomes, and that the association is stronger when parental engagement is defined as parents’ expectations for their children’s academic achievement. All studies controlled for parents’ education and/or family socioeconomic status.
The review highlights areas of promise for how schools and early education settings can support parents in a way that improves their children’s learning. Examples include family literacy interventions to help boost younger children’s learning, and summer reading programs that improve school-aged children’s learning, particularly among families from more disadvantaged backgrounds.
An overarching recommendation is the importance of schools planning and monitoring parental engagement activities to get the most out of them. Other recommendations look at the best ways to communicate with parents, and strategies for supporting learning at home.
The report also includes guidance on tailoring school communications to encourage parental engagement and offering more intensive support where needed.