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University of Bath

Parental engagement toolkit

We tested a toolkit to help schools support parents engagement with children’s learning.

A mum high fives her child during a home lesson
Teaching parents how to help with learning can really help performance at school

Parental engagement in children's learning is one of the best ways to narrow any gaps in academic achievement. At the moment, many schools don't support a level of engagement that actually benefits children.

The purpose of this project was to test a new parental engagement toolkit within the community. 30 schools from Wiltshire Local Authority were asked to complete a series of forms from the toolkit; interviews and visits to schools also took place, as well as school training sessions on parental engagement.

The toolkit can help the transition from parental involvement with schools to engagement with learning in the home. It allows schools to analyse their current practice, plan the way forward and evaluate the changes along the way.

Toolkit contents

  • Information about the effective forms of parental engagement with children's learning
  • A chart for schools to evaluate their current practice
  • A chart for schools to create a wish list of what they would like to accomplish
  • An accompanying chart to consider barriers they might encounter
  • A large chart for schools to plan how to get to where they want to be, with places to note milestones, responsibilities and evidence of accomplishment
  • Evaluation forms
  • A bibliography

You can download the toolkit. We ask that you provide some contact information for monitoring purposes.

Benefits of the research

This research helped us understand how schools can shift their understanding and practice around parental engagement. By collaborating with schools and families, expertise and best practice was shared. Many schools have now incorporated elements of the toolkit into their school development plan.

You can view a report from this project.

Research team

  • Dr Janet Goodall, Principal Investigator, and Lecturer in Educational Leadership and Management
  • Dr Pamela Carroll, Wiltshire Local Authority

Previous related studies

Three previous studies led to the development of a parental engagement toolkit: