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Schools 'can aid home learning by providing support for parents'

28/11/2017 Joanna

Schools can help young children to experience a more rounded education by offering support for parents.

This is according to a new study from the Sutton Trust and the University of Oxford, which enrolled 18 schools in Greater Manchester to train staff to work more closely with parents and support them in helping their children to learn.

Disadvantaged, pupil-premium eligible children were prioritised for inclusion in the study, which saw schools provide parents with activities and resources to support their child's learning at home, including finger puppets, tambourines and books.

It was shown that this intervention led to a significant impact on the child's home learning environment, with children taking part in more learning activities and most schools reporting improvements in their pupils' academic progress.

Moreover, 94 per cent of participating schools said they had gained confidence and skills in working with parents through the implementation of the project, with schools also seeing a longer-term impact on the motivation and ability of staff to work with parents.

The result also indicated that of the 84 families involved in the project, 72 were retained throughout the project, with this initial engagement leading to continued involvement by these families with the school.

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation, said: "We know that the attainment gap between the richest and the poorest pupils begins before they've even started school. Tackling this gap early on is critical to breaking the cycle of disadvantage and improving social mobility."

Prior Sutton Trust research has offered evidence of a 19-month gap in development between the most and least advantaged children at five, with this representing a strong predictor of future outcomes in not only education, but also health, wealth and wellbeing.

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