Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 31 août 2017
The link between Early School Leaving and lack of parental engagement is well established through numerous studies and research work (e.g. Tackling Early School leaving from Education and Training in Europe, Euroice, EACEA, 2014). Children from poor families are unlikely to get support from their parents/carers and are at a higher risk of becoming early leavers. In some cases, parents are intimidated by the school system because of their negative educational experiences or because they were educated outside of the local system.
Other barriers are lack of expectations for their children, work and childcare commitments and lack of confidence. People from poor families particularly from migrant and refugee communities are at a significant disadvantage. Structured creative arts activities, developed with the involvement of the target group and delivered in a non-formal environment, can provide life changing opportunities; they will help beneficiaries to gain new skills and enable them to become aware of the skills they already have; boost self-confidence; and instill a positive attitude to learning. Some parents do not understand the value or the role the arts can play in improving young people’s achievement and employability skills, and undervalue their own creative skills. The Family Threads project aims to help break down the barriers and attitudes that result in young people dropping out of education and deny better career opportunities and social mobility; and also to enable parents and carers to realise their own potential as advisors, educators and a resource for their children.
Each of the partners has identified specific challenges which they feel are imperative to address around the issue of family learning and which include the importance of family talk, enabling families to discuss common topics so that children can develop both listening and speaking skills. Although a well-developed concept, it is often poorly executed. It is essential to address this problem as families do require the support and opportunities that this project seeks to develop.
The Learning Families project will target primary school children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are at risk of leaving school early because their parents are not able to help them with their school work and do not have high expectations for their children’s achievement. The partners will devise methodologies and techniques that will help to develop a strategic approach to tackle this problem as opposed to the common practice of intervening in a fragmented and uncoordinated manner. Partners will develop and adopt good practice models – a variety of activities that will help parents / carers to understand how the education system works, to improve communication with children, to advice and encourage them with their learning and, above all, enjoy quality time with their children.
Key characteristics of the activities that will be tested with 400 parents and children in 5 countries are they are non formal, beneficiaries will be involved in the design of the activities and the activities have fun and enjoyment built in to them. There will be informal chats during which the activity leaders/ trainers will introduce topics that will raise parents’ awareness of the importance of their active engagement with their children’s learning; a better understanding of the world of work and how to help their children with their career choices. An incidental outcome will be parents developing key skills that are essential for finding employment. The target group will be from severely deprived neighbourhoods and probably themselves are early school leavers and long-term unemployed. The partners will maintain close liaison with the schools and attend some activities as participant observers.
Learning Families: A Training and Resource Package: The partnership will analyse the outcomes of the pilot activities and the case studies in order to create a package of family learning toolkit that can be used to train school staff, parent groups, relevant NGOs (e.g. migrant and refugee groups and organisations working with single parents and children in care) in intervening early to help children and parents who need help; in integrating the strategic framework in their schools as a whole school policy and culture. The training kit will include a handbook on how to develop, implement and monitor an effective strategy and to use the good practice models to offer family engagement activities. The training kit will be an interactive, web based programme and schools and authorities will be encouraged to include the family engagement training in the schools’ training and development schedules.
The results will be widely disseminated with the purpose of achieving maximum exposure in accordance with the Dissemination and exploitation plans. The partnership will integrate this are of work in their work plans.
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