An exploration of the evidence base surrounding parental engagement in primary schools in the UK and Ireland
People Know How are an Edinburgh based charity that work with people and communities to provide innovative solutions to address social issues. They are committed to providing high quality, impactful, authentic, creative, services that place the needs and aspirations of children, young people and families at the centre. They are named 'People Know How' because they believe that 'people' possess the knowledge, skills and experiences to develop innovative ideas and support one another. All of their work is founded by consulting and listening to the people they aim to support. Their work with children, young people and their families comes under their 'Positive Transitions Service', which was established in 2015/16. Since then People Know How have supported over 700 children and young people; helping them to feel understood and valued, develop their potential, and overcome personal, school and learning challenges. People Know How are currently running a project in a local primary school called ‘Whit Dae Ye Hink?'. During a consultation with the pupils, it was identified that most of the pupils would like their parents/carers to be more involved in their education but what do parents/carers think? ‘Whit Dae Ye Hink?' focuses on finding out what parents/carers and families have to say and using this information to improve parental engagement in the school. This project entitled ‘an exploration of the evidence base surrounding parental engagement in primary schools in the UK and Ireland’ combines the main themes from the existing literature with the findings from the ‘Whit Dae Ye Hink?’ project to produce an integrated summary of what is known about parental engagement. The findings are presented in two forms; a research briefing for the People Know How website and a booklet for schools and families. The project highlights the importance of parental engagement, the barriers to being engaged and recommendations of how engagement could be improved. People Know How will be able to use the evidence to guide the current ‘Whit Dae Ye Hink?’ project and future projects with parent/carer communities.