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Research School Network: Working with Parents to Support Children’s Learning. An EEF School Case Study: Communicating with Parents, The Blue School, Wells.


Working with Parents to Support Children’s Learning.

An EEF School Case Study: Communicating with Parents, The Blue School, Wells.

by West Somerset Research School
on the

The impact of Covid-19 has seen school leaders and teachers meeting an unpredictable array of challenges and adapting to a great deal of change. With a focus on key themes drawn from the EEF Guide to Supporting School Planning: A Tiered Approach a new series of case studies offer practical, evidence-based guidance to support schools in this busy year.

Case Study

Working with Parents to Support Children’s Learning as part of the wider strategy.

In her case study: Communicating with Parents, Bridget Cox, Assistant Head, at The Blue School, Wells, evaluates the tailored support offered to parents and carers to the specific needs of families in the school community. This study offers a bitesize guide, testing out an approach inspired by the recommendations in the EEF’s guidance report: Working with Parents to Support Children’s Learning.

“A key wider strategy is sustained parental engagement. We know that levels of parental engagement are consistently associated with children’s academic outcomes. Schools and parents have a shared interest in doing what is best for their children.”

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Helping parents to support their children’s learning.

Staff at The Blue School collectively identified an opportunity to improve their engagement with students’ parents and carers. Specifically, wanting to increase the breadth of support they could offer to parents and carers in looking after pupils outside of the classroom.

In accordance with the EEF’s guidance, The Blue School reached out to parents they were not currently working with amongst the school’s community, to learn from them directly the areas with which they would appreciate support. 

Using this feedback, a schedule of parent information evenings bespoke to the needs of the school community was put together, developing strong links with a range of experts and offering workshops supported by local social services. 

By providing practical strategies and tailoring communications it ensured that sessions were easily accessible and relevant to parents and carers, offering more sustained support where needed. 

The four recommendations on working with parents to support their child’s learning:

  • Critically review how you work with parents
  • Provide practical strategies to support learning at home
  • Tailor school communications to encourage positive dialogue about learning
  • Offer more sustained and intensive support where needed

An overarching theme from the EEF guidance report: Working with Parents to Support Children’s Learning, is to critically review how we work with parents, being optimistic about the potential. 

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These new EEF case studies are designed as practical guides that exemplify how schools have applied evidence to respond to unpredictable challenges whilst also using their professional judgement to find solutions appropriate for their school’s specific context.

Further reading and more information can be found in the EEF’s Blog: Meeting the Challenge – new EEF case studies by EEF Learning Behaviours specialist and secondary school SENCo, Kirsten Mould.

These EEF case studies can be shared with senior leadership teams, governors, and teaching staff as part of each school’s drive to engage with evidence and assess how best to implement the right strategies for their students.

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