Learning together: national action plan on parental involvement, engagement, family learning and learning at home 2018 – 2021

Sets out a vision for parental involvement and engagement from pre-birth to age 18 and takes account of national and international evidence base and Scottish education system expertise. Provides a national vision but allows for local and community innovation and flexibility.

Appendix A


Research has shown that:

  • Around 80% of the difference in how well children do at school depends on what happens outside the school gates (Rasbash et al, 2010; Save the Children, 2013).
  • Providing a ‘stimulating learning environment outside of school can be crucial for children’s educational achievement, as well as for their social and emotional development’ (Save the Children, 2013, p13).
  • Children tend to succeed where families are ‘supportive and demanding’ therefore creating a ‘culture of much higher expectations for young people, both in our homes and in our schools’ (House of Commons, 2014, p29).

Key sources

  • The home learning environment in early years plays a key role in attainment at age 11 after 6 years in primary school ( EPPE, Sylva et al., 2008).
  • Engaging parents in raising achievement – do parents know they matter? Professor Alma Harris and Dr Janet Goodall, University of Warwick, 2007 - This study identified that parental support of learning within the home environment, as distinct from parental involvement "in schooling", that has the greatest impact on pupil achievement.
  • Dr. Joyce Epstein, Johns Hopkins University, six different types of parent involvement.
  • "telling stories or reading books to children when they are very young is strongly related to how well they read and how much they enjoy reading later on" (" Let’s Read them a Story: the Parent Factor in Education": OECD, 2009)
  • "In most countries and economies, students whose parents eat the main meal around the table with them at least once or twice a week are less likely than students of similar socio economic status, but whose parents eat with them less often, to arrive late for school or skip classes or days of school, and to have a strong sense of belonging at school". ( OECD, 2013)
  • "when paternal involvement includes activities such as reading and playing, there is some evidence of a positive link between fathers’ involvement and child cognitive outcomes. These results suggest that the importance of paternal involvement is not just a matter of time but foremost an issue of quality." ( OECD, 2013, Fathers’ Leave, Fathers’ Involvement and Child Development)
  • The Joseph Rowntree Foundation Report ‘Closing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Education’ (Sosu and Ellis, 2014) found that parental involvement programmes that focus on helping parents to use appropriate strategies to support their children’s learning at home have a positive impact on reducing the poverty related attainment gap.

Growing up in Scotland (2012 ): Research Findings Early Experiences of Primary School

"Research has shown that parental involvement in children's education from an early age is associated with educational achievement. In addition, it has been found that the more intensely parents are involved, the more beneficial the achievement effects. Yet research has also demonstrated large differences between parents in their level of involvement in school activities."


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