The impact of family learning programmes on raising the literacy and numeracy levels of children and adults - May 2012

Summary

The report considers:

  • how effective family learning programmes are in raising the standards of literacy/numeracy of young children;
  • whether there is consistency in the quality of delivery of family learning programmes;
  • what progress is made by adults in improving their own literacy/numeracy standards;
  • what constitutes best practice in the delivery of family learning programmes;
  • the extent to which the programmes lead to better follow-up support for those children who need it; and
  • the extent to which the programmes provide value for money.

Recommendations

The Welsh Government should:

  • revise the operation of the grant programme to incentivise learner progression from taster sessions to short engagement courses and then to longer accredited programmes;
  • stipulate a minimum number of hours for taster sessions and short engagement programmes;
  • require providers to set progression targets, collect data and measure outcomes;
  • restrict the number of times a learner can attend taster sessions and short engagement courses in order to encourage progression;
  • revise grant guidelines and claim forms to require family learning providers to return enough data to the Welsh Government that will allow benchmarking of outcomes; and
  • revise the guidelines on adult participants to allow those who have skills at level 1 to join the programme, where the school has identified that their children would benefit from parental support.

Local authorities should:

  • work with other partners to set recruitment targets that focus on those most in need;
  • analyse recruitment data in order to set challenging recruitment targets for the future;
  • collect data on the take-up rate among those children who are identified as eligible;
  • monitor the progress of children who have been identified for the family programmes but who have not taken part, as well as those who have completed them;
  • ensure that joint strategic planning maximises the use of all resources, including venues;
  • include family programmes in CYPP plans; and
  • quality assure family programmes at a strategic level.

Providers should:

  • collect learner data by gender and develop a plan to address the shortfall of men participating in family programmes;
  • formally assess learners’ needs on entry to all courses;
  • track the attainment and progression of adult learners on courses and use this data to plan at a strategic level; and
  • set targets for learner progression from taster/engagement short courses to long programmes.

Best practice case studies

You can read the following examples of best practice in the main body of the report:

  • Wrexham Family Learning Programme
  • Newport Children and Young People’s Partnership joint planning log
  • Millbrook Primary school, Newport
  • Family learning providers in Swansea
  • Cardiff Family Learning Programme

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