Last Updated: Friday, October 01, 2021

Using ‘App’ technology to improve parental engagement in Dundee

What is this?

​As part of Dundee’s approach to closing the poverty related attainment gap there is a clear focus on Early Years and improving parental engagement. The head teacher in this exemplar worked with a consultant to develop surveys and questionnaires that are designed for mobile technology to give quick and instant feedback from parents, families and the wider community. Surveys can be designed to capture both feedback and impact statements from parents/carers and allow staff to analyse data quickly and easily.

Who is this for?

​Early Years practitioners/educators, teachers, senior managers/leaders and parents/carers interested in supporting parental engagement.

How to use this exemplar to improve practice

By considering some of the exemplar surveys attached and the data generated, you may wish to may consider how this can support your own context.

Improvement questions

  • To what extent do we involve families in evaluating the impact of programmes taking account of the developmental stages of children?
  • How is our family learning supporting families’ progress in relation to the GIRFEC wellbeing indicators? How do we know?
  • What strategies do we use to communicate, plan, monitor and evaluate our work with partners?
  • What evidence do we have of the added value partnership working brings and what different it makes to our children?


Nurturing nature survey (35 KB)

Questionnaire screenshots (161 KB)

What was done?

Short questionnaires and surveys were developed within the Athena app with staff which provide both feedback and impact statements. Parents were provided with a unique username and password and supported to access the survey using their own mobile technology or technology provided by school. Surveys take no longer than 3 - 4 minutes to complete and provide staff with instant results. The app has been used to gather feedback and measure impact within the following areas:

  • Nurturing Nature
  • Eat Well Play Well
  • Bedtime Stories
  • PEEP Groups
  • Makaton Parent’s Group
  • Self-Evaluation
  • Literacy Launch
  • Promoting Positive Behaviour


Research and evidence from National Health Service, Growing Up in Scotland and Dartington data and assessment, Standardised ​Assessments all confirm that outcomes for children are improved when we help parents and families to support their children’s learning.

What was the impact?

Using the Athena App the Early Years and Childcare establishment found that more parents were motivated to access surveys and provide feedback when using mobile technologies than paper based copies.

Instant feedback and the technology within the app enables staff to run reports and analyse the data provided. This in turn supports staff to measure impact and plan for next steps.