March 2013

Schools Commissioner for England addresses national conference at UCB

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The Schools Commissioner for England, Dr Elizabeth Sidwell, C.B.E addressed a national conference at University College Birmingham on 27 March on the impact of parental engagement on children's education.

Sixty delegates including teachers, parental support workers and education advisers focussed on effective ways schools can support those parents who find they need additional skills to be fully involved in their child's learning.

Under discussion were methods schools have introduced including innovative literacy and numeracy programmes to improve the basic skills of parents and children at the same time, delivered through workshops where parents learn about new approaches, skills and strategies alongside their children.

Dr Sidwell was joined by published author Professor Charles Desforges O.B.E, an international government adviser and education consultant who endorsed the benefits of increased parental engagement.

The conference was organised with UCB by leading education consultant, Roy Broadfield from Impact in Learning, who advised delegates on how best schools can embed parental engagement programmes in line with Ofsted frameworks and raise attainment for pupils at the same time.

Given the right resources schools, especially in disadvantaged areas, can be instrumental in giving parents the skills and confidence they need to help their children achieve their potential. It was a pleasure to host this important national conference which challenged the misguided perception that some parents aren't bothered about being involved in their child's education and will also demonstrate the positive benefits of family learning programmes.

Professor Danielle Carey Dean, School of Education and Community, University College Birmingham

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