About this research
How was the research carried out?
During November 2013, 11 schools and centres were visited by a team from Education Scotland. The project team met with families, school/centre staff, local authority staff, and partners such as health professionals and voluntary organisations. The discussions were firmly focused around whole family engagement and learning opportunities, partnership working and the ‘Getting It Right for Every Child’ agenda.
The project team aimed to explore how the coordination of programmes reduced duplication and supported referral routes and progression for families across the authority. In order to do this three main case studies were used: Auchnacraig Early Education & Childcare Centre, Y Sort-It and Bonhill Primary School.
What are the strengths of the research methodology?
Qualitative methods, such as face-to-face interviews, allow for issues to be explored in-depth and also for researchers to explore any unexpected areas which may emerge on the day. Interviews also allow for researchers to develop rapport with respondents.
What is the context for this research?
Family learning is reflected in the West Dunbartonshire Parenting Strategy (2011). Whole family approaches to engagement and learning are apparent throughout this document.
Parenting support in West Dunbartonshire sets out to reflect the varied needs of families for help in raising their children from short-term universal support to more intensive services. To be successful in this requires appropriate and proportionate support for parents and children when they need it from across professional disciplines, services and organisations that are both evidence based and outcome-focused.
West Dunbartonshire is committed to delivering a staged model of parenting intervention that reflects the age and needs of the child, young person and parent/carer.
How confident are you that the approaches taken in your setting to engaging with families are meaningful and relevant to their needs?
- What evidence do we have that family learning is improving the life chances of the families involved?
- Are outcomes for children improving as a result of their participation in family learning?
- How do you know? How is family learning improving the capacity of parents and children to learn together and learn better?
About the author(s)
Related research / reading
Brucehill Tots Speak Scots
The findings and recommendations from the research and development project are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Education Scotland.
Scotland Family Learning in West Dunbartonshire: A Local Authority Case Study (2014)
Link to full research article
Family learning in West Dumbartonshire: A local authority case study