Developing the most promising parental involvement interventions to raise pupil attainment at school

Funded by the Nuffield Foundation, March 2012 - May 2013

Successive large scale studies have shown a strong association between parental involvement and school outcomes across all age range. A recent new and fuller review has now suggested that parental involvement is the only behavioural or attitudinal factor to have clear evidence of a causal impact on children’s achievement (Gorard, See and Davies, 2011). However, what the review could not do was specify the parameters of the most successful and promising interventions, that might improve attainment at school for the most disadvantaged.

This research, led by Dr Beng Huat See and Professor Stephen Gorard, will therefore seek to develop the most promising parental involvement interventions for children in different phases of schooling by identifying and evaluating:

  • the most promising early parental involvement intervention or interventions (worldwide) that have an impact on the school outcomes (defined as school readiness) of pre-school children from disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • the most promising parental involvement interventions that have an impact on the school outcomes of children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds as they progress through their school life and beyond;
  • the most promising methods of enhancing or encouraging such parental involvement/engagement in activities which have a measurable impact on school-age children’s school outcomes.

Following these initial objectives the research will then:

  • Identify the key elements of these successful interventions;
  • Identify possible barriers to increasing parental involvement and how they can be overcome.


The primary outcome of the review will be a description of a range of interventions for parents with children of different ages, to enhance their involvement in children’s learning.


Dr Beng Huat See