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Durham University

Research & business

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Nuffield Parental Involvement Intervention

A research project of the School of Education.


This is a Nuffield Foundation funded review. The aims were to identify the most efficacious parental involvement interventions for different age groups of children, as well as, the facilitating and inhibiting factors to implementation of these programmes. The focus was on those programmes that have an impact on the academic outcomes of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The review involved a comprehensive search of 12 electronic databases of relevant studies worldwide. Studies were synthesised by first classifying them by phase of schooling and then by themes. The reported impact of each study was noted and to this we added our quality assessment. This was based on the clarity of reporting, rigour of the study, fidelity and evaluation process. Each study was then given a weight of evidence based on these criteria. In the final analysis, evidence from only 68 studies which met our standard of evidence and design were considered. The results suggest that intervening early at pre-school and preparation for primary school had the most potential for success. There was little evidence that Intervening at a later primary or secondary school phase held much promise. The most effective programme, with long term results was a combination of parental involvement and other interventions, such as classroom instructional strategies and other enrichment activities. It was therefore not possible to isolate the effectiveness of parental involvement. The intervention was the Chicago Child-Parent Centre programme. What this programme offered was institutional support for parents and getting parents into the care centres to be involved in the activities in the classroom. It was not a home-based intervention. In fact, overall, the impression from the review was that interventions were most likely to succeed when they were aimed at young children, and involved parents and staff meeting regularly in an institution, with parental training, on-going support, and co-operative working with teachers.


The review has just been completed and the report will be published towards the end of November


From the School of Education