Full reference: Ofsted. 2009. Family Learning: An evaluation of the benefits of family learning for participants, their families and the wider community. 080265. London
This small scale survey report evaluates aspects of family learning and its benefits for adult participants and their children, their families and the wider community.
Between September 2008 and March 2009, inspectors visited 23 local authority adult and community learning services that were receiving Learning and Skills Council funding for wider family learning, family literacy, language and numeracy, and family learning impact funding. The survey explores a range of delivery models, gives examples of good practice and makes recommendations for improvement.
Key findings included:
- The family learning providers visited benefited from very effective partnerships to support all aspects of provision. Good links with schools and specific statutory and voluntary sector agencies were well established in referral, engagement and recruitment processes, programme delivery and the development of strategy.
- The needs of priority groups were generally met effectively through well-targeted provision. Specifically designed programmes met the particular needs of groups such as Travellers, foster carers, grandparents who were primary carers, the parents of disabled children and very young parents. The providers were generally unsuccessful in recruiting many fathers and male carers.
- Approximately three quarters of the providers visited were concerned that funding did not always recognise the high costs of work with vulnerable groups, and they supplemented Learning and Skills Council funding from other sources.
- All the parents interviewed during the survey were very positive about how their confidence, communication and interpersonal skills had improved considerably since attending family learning. Parenting skills improved along with wider learning. Parents commented on how they were better able to manage their children’s behaviour, communicate with them and support their learning at home effectively.
- Most children surveyed made good progress in their learning and attainment.
- Teachers commented favourably about their improved concentration, attainment and behaviour in classrooms.
- The adults observed developed good literacy and numeracy skills. Those who took external qualifications were highly successful and many progressed through the national test levels in literacy and numeracy at levels 1 and 2. Successful adults progressed to further learning or vocational qualifications, most commonly in childcare and support work in schools. Many became more active in their child’s school or in their local community.
Go to the journal article.