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Lindsay, Geoff; Davis, Hilton; Strand, Steve; Cullen, Mairi Ann; Band, Susan; Cullen, Stephen Michael; Davis, Liz; Hasluck, Chris; Evans, Raymond John; Stewart-Brown, Sarah L.
Publisher: Department for Children, Schools and Families
Languages: English
Types: Other
Subjects: LB
Parents are fundamental to the development of their children. The government has set an ambitious aim in its Children’s Plan ‘to make England the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up’. The Children’s Plan recognizes that parents need help and support to support their children’s development. Also, and importantly, parents need support for themselves as parents. Parenting is complex and challenging, made more so by the changing nature of our society. Parents from disadvantaged backgrounds face even more challenge. However, the government recognizes the need to support parents, ‘to do more to back parents and families’.\ud Supporting parents may take many forms and have different aims. These include actions to improve parents’ abilities to know about, access and exercise their rights and entitlements. Parents may be involved in order to improve services, for example by providing a parental perspective, and some parents may require support to undertake such a role. Parents may also benefit from support to enable them, in turn, to support their children’s development. In addition, support may be designed to help parents as parents not specifically as agents of change for the children but more for their own sakes: even so, such support may have positive knock on effects on their children.\ud This report presents the evidence of the evaluation of the Parent Support Adviser Pilot. This was a DCSF funded programme over the period September 2006 - July 2008 at a cost of £40 million in DCSF grant payments to 20 local authorities (LAs). Authorities were funded to employ PSAs, for their training and for the infrastructure to support the development of the service. The DCSF worked with the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA): the DCSF was the lead department for the policy and financial framework, the TDA allocated funding to LAs and worked with authorities to develop the PSA role, including an initial training package and the Support Work in Schools (Parent Support) level 3 qualification. The TDA also took the lead in disseminating practice.\ud The main aims of the study were to examine the characteristics of the PSA service that was developed during the pilot and the evidence for its effectiveness. The study drew upon a range of evidence from the four phases of the study: i) from a database designed to collect data on all parents supported by PSAs; ii) interviews with LA strategic leads (n = 20 interviews), PSA co-ordinators (n = 24), PSAs (n = 245 in total over three phases), line managers (144 at two phases), other professionals (23) and parents (n = 105); a survey of line managers during the final phase (n = 603, a response rate of 51.8%). Finally, data on attendance and number of pupils identified as having behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) were used to compare schools with a PSA and those without this support.\ud This is the final report of the evaluation; details of the two interim reports are provided at the end of the Executive Summary. The report provides an overview of the whole study but focuses mainly on evidence gathered during the final phase of the pilot and analysis of School Census data available by spring 2009.

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