The value of family learning is being recognised internationally.
The recent report from the Inquiry into Family Learning in England and Wales (NIACE 2013) argues that family learning is cost-effective because it is a single intervention with multiple outcomes and contributes to breaking the long tail of underachievement. In addition to increasing schooling achievement, family learning can reduce the cost of supporting vulnerable families in non-education policy arenas.
This important report makes recommendations for England and Wales that are equally relevant to us:
- Family learning should be integral to school strategies to raise children’s attainment and to narrow the gap between the lowest and highest achievers.
- Family learning should be a key element of adult learning and skills strategies to engage those furthest from the labour market and improve employability.
- Every child should have the right to be part of a learning family. Many children grow up in families that can support their learning but some do not. Public bodies should target support to help these families.
- Key government departments should include family learning in their policies and strategies in order to achieve cross-departmental outcomes.
- Government should regularly review the funding for and supply of family learning against potential demand.
- There should be a joint national forum for family learning to support high quality, innovative practice, appropriate policy and advocacy, research and development.
Click here to read the full report, and get in touch with COMET Auckland if you would like to be involved in an informal network of people who are passionate about improving family learning in Auckland by emailing Alison Sutton: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning. A synthesis of of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London, Routledge.
NIACE (2013). Family Learning Works: The inquiry into family learning in England and Wales. Leicester.
Sutton, A. (2009). Understanding the needs of adult literacy and numeracy learners with very low skills: a discussion paper. A paper prepared for the Literacy and Numeracy Implementation Unit, Tertiary Education Commission. Auckland, Critical Insight.