'Do parents know they matter? Engaging all parents in learning'

Alma Harris, Janet Goodall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This paper outlines the findings from a research project carried out in the UK that explored the relationship between parental engagement and student achievement.
Purpose: The 12-month research project was commissioned to explore the relationship between innovative work with parents and the subsequent impact upon student achievement. A main aim of the research project was to capture the views and voices of parents, students and teachers and to explore the barriers to parental engagement and the respective benefits to learning.
Programme description: The study was qualitative in design and collected in-depth case-study data from 20 schools and 314 respondents. In addition a range of documentary evidence plus performance data were collected at each case-study site.
Sample: A sample of schools in England was selected on two main criteria: firstly, the type of development, and secondly, the particular focus of parental engagement. Schools in the sample were selected to ensure that there was a broad geographical spread and a mix of urban and rural schools. Other factors were also taken into account to ensure a diverse range of schools (e.g. number on roll, socio-economic status (SES) and black minority ethnic (BME) percentages).
Design and methods: Case-study methodology was used as the prime method of data collection in the study. In addition, school data sets relating to student performance, behaviour and attendance were analysed. These data sets allowed patterns and trends to be identified. This analysis formed the basis of the more detailed interrogation of the case-study evidence at each of the 20 sites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-289
Number of pages22
JournalEducational Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2008


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