Last Updated: Friday, March 04, 2022

Engaging parents and families - A toolkit for practitioners

What is this?

Parental engagement focuses on ways in which parents, carers and families support and encourage their children’s learning in school and in everyday life. Schools and partners can play a vital role in supporting families to do this effectively and with confidence.
(2018 National Improvement Framework, 2017, p14)

The 'Engaging parents and families: A toolkit for practitioners’ has been developed to provide practitioners with a practical resource to help support partnerships with parents and families in all aspects of their children’s learning. The toolkit is a comprehensive online resource which will continue to be reviewed and refreshed with new content. Each section of the toolkit is a standalone document to enable practitioners to select the specific topic they require.

Within the toolkit there are activities that can be used as a starting point and/or as a tool to measure and evaluate current practice in parental involvement and engagement, family learning and learning at home in early learning and childcare settings, schools or at a local authority level. The activities can also be used in partnership with Parent Council or parent groups.

The ‘Engaging parents and families’ toolkit is organised into various sections and has common themes running throughout each one. These are:

  • Building strong, positive relationships with parents, families and communities
  • Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Children’s rights and participation
  • Developing the Young Workforce (DYW)

Who is this for?

This resource can be used in all educational settings by early learning and childcare practitioners, teachers, parental involvement officers, family learning practitioners, community learning and development teams, family support and home-school link workers, third sector and national organisations.

How to use this exemplar to improve practice?

This toolkit can be used to help support practitioners to meet the challenges of raising attainment for all and ensuring every child and family has the same chance to thrive. It draws upon and replaces previous versions of the toolkit.

Practitioners will be supported to take forward self-evaluation and improvement in their early learning and childcare setting or school through the links to research and professional learning materials that can be used by individuals or groups.


PDF file: Section 1: Background and definitions (updated March 2022)(538 KB)

PDF file: Section 2: Benefits of involving and engaging parents in their children’s learning (updated February 2022)(1.0 MB)

PDF file: Section 3: Involving all parents (updated July 2021) (877 KB)

PDF file: Section 4: Learning at home (updated July 2021)(2.7 MB)

PDF file: Section 5: Home-school partnerships (updated July 2021) (1.2 MB)

PDF file: Section 6: Parental representation (updated July 2021)(5 MB)

PDF file: Section 7: Family Learning (updated July 2021) (693 KB)

PDF file: Section 8: Community connections (updated July 2021) (877 KB)

PDF file: Section 9: Home-school link workers (updated July 2011) (927 KB)

PDF file: Section 10: School improvement planning (updated July 2021) (414 KB)

PDF file: Section 11: Reporting to parents and children (updated July 2021) (408 KB)