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Parents key to unlocking education opportunities, say experts

New leaflet includes tips on how parents can make invaluable link between lessons and leisure time

Leaflet from Family Action and NAHT is third produced under the banner ‘Ready to Learn Every Day’

PARENTS are invaluable in helping children apply what they have learnt in school to life outside the classroom, according to a new leaflet from charity Family Action and school leaders’ union NAHT.


The leaflet, entitled Giving Your Child a Helping Hand, encourages parents to try a number of ideas at home to support their children to succeed at school.


By helping children to see how their education translates into daily life, parents can help cement the lessons their children have learnt in school and get youngsters to engage with their learning in a wider context.


“Parents are the best partners schools can have in helping pupils make the most of their education,” said Bernadette Hunter, NAHT president. “Just by encouraging children to help with things like cooking where they weigh and measure ingredients or by chatting together about the natural world around them as they play outside, means parents can help their children apply the lessons they have learnt to their everyday life.”


The leaflet offers tips to parents on how to use everyday activities as an opportunity to link children’s learning to family and home life as a way of helping them absorb skills and information. Examples include showing children how to handle money during the family shop and looking for places to visit, such as nature reserves or museums, where children can have fun learning more about the subjects they study at school.


The campaign recognises that most parents are extremely good at automatically linking home and school learning. However, Family Action and NAHT hope the leaflet will give all parents the confidence to feel they can add their own ways of getting their children engaged in their education.


The new leaflet is being distributed to NAHT’s 28,500 members who will in turn be encouraged to share it with parents. It is the third in a series produced by Family Action and NAHT. Previous leaflets provided tips on getting children ready to learn and on speaking and listening.


The Ready to Learn Every Day campaign is aimed at promoting the vital role of parents in their children’s learning, as well as supporting teachers in their relationships with pupils and their families. Parental engagement is especially important for children from disadvantaged families, who include those supported by many of Family Action’s services.


David Holmes, Chief Executive of Family Action, said: “We know from the work that we do with families that a good home life is vital for a good school life. Giving children the best possible start means helping them learn, not just at school, but also at home and out and about. Whether it’s taking them to a museum, visiting a library, or providing a quiet place for them to do homework, we want to encourage parents to think even more about what they can do to support their children to learn and to enjoy learning.”


Bernadette Hunter, president of NAHT, said: “Learning shouldn’t end at half past three. There are hundreds of activities that can be enjoyed by families that will help children to be better learners and show them the links between learning at school and applying this in real life situations.”


Notes to Editors

  • Family Action has been chosen as NAHT Charity of Choice for 2013/14.
  • The two organisations are planning a range of awareness and fundraising activities over the year and a series of five assembly plans has been created to support the Ready to Learn Every Day campaign. For more information visit www.family-action.org.uk/naht.
  • The Giving Your Child a Helping Hand  leaflet is available HERE.
  • Media contacts

Family Action: Andy Tate, Senior Media and Campaigns Officer

020 7241 7632; 07867 504051; andy.tate@family-action.org.uk.

NAHT: Heather Forse, Senior Press Officer

01444 472452; 07739 325133; heather.forse@naht.org.uk


About Family Action

Family Action transforms lives by providing practical, emotional and financial support to those who are experiencing poverty, disadvantage and social isolation across England. The charity has been building stronger families since 1869, and today works with over 45,000 families and children through 120 community-based services. Thousands more are supported with financial assistance through education and welfare grants programmes. Family Action’s innovative services include early years care, help for children and families and adult mental health support. Reaching out to those in need, we strengthen families and communities, build skills and resilience and improve the life chances of children and adults. www.family-action.org.uk


About NAHT

NAHT is an independent trade union and professional association with 28,500 members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Members include head teachers, deputies, assistant head teachers, bursars and school business managers. They hold leadership positions in early years, primary, special, secondary and independent schools, sixth form colleges, outdoor education centres, pupil referral units, social services establishments and other educational settings. The membership represents leaders in 85 per cent of primary, 40 per cent of secondary and virtually all special schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Page Published: 20/02/2014

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Press and Media contacts:

Heather Forse

Senior Press Officer


Tel: 01444 472452


Laura Raymond

Press officer


Tel: 01444 472483