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Parental Engagement Fund projects announced

10 April 2015

The Sutton Trust have announced the six projects to have won long-term backing through the Parental Engagement Fund, a £1 million fund launched by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Sutton Trust to support organisations to develop methods of working with parents to bridge the attainment gap in the early and primary school years.

When starting school, children from the poorest backgrounds are 19 months behind their most affluent peers of the same age in development of vocabulary. Studies have shown that this initial attainment gap persists through school: in 2013, at age eleven the gap between Free School Meals pupils and their peers stood at 19% in reading, writing and mathematics

The grants will support the growth, increased effectiveness and impact measurement of six initiatives, all of which are designed to boost learning for disadvantaged 2 – 6 year olds.

Easy Peasy is an app that sends game ideas to parents of young children, to help develop the skills that will prepare children for school, and beyond. The app will provide parents with simple, fun games to play with their children, aged two to five, helping them build their character and support their child’s learning and development (available nationwide).

Through home visits and events, Peep into Preschool addresses the low take-up of the government funded 15 hours of early-years education and care for 40% of the most economically disadvantaged two-year olds (based in Oxford).

Stories for You and Yours is an 11 week programme to encourage shared reading and to improve literacy. The project includes a weekly ‘Magical Story time’ to encourage parents to share stories, rhymes and songs with their children. This is complemented by a short course for parents only which helps them to feel confident in selecting appropriate books and reading aloud to their child (in Sefton, Merseyside).

REAL is a project providing practitioners with training to help parents undertake home learning activities to raise early achievement in literacy (in Sheffield and Oldham).

Grow our Own, a programme including a 4-week child development course, is designed to help parents become more aware of the importance of being involved in their children’s learning at all stages of life (the Howgill Family Centre in Cumbria).

Engaging Parents Effectively is a training programme for schools staff to support deliver a suite of parental engagement workshops (in Greater Manchester, North & South Wales, Hull, Birmingham, Surrey and Devon).