Family Learning – a neglected area in Northern Ireland

Family Learning – a neglected area in Northern Ireland

An Interim report has now come out from the Expert Panel on Educational Underachievement in NI.

In its conclusion it states that ‘Educational inequalities of disadvantaged pupils should be tackled not only at school level but also beyond the school gates.’ In coming months the Panel will develop its thinking across a number of themes, which include – Promoting a whole community approach to education. This should tie in with the recommendation for the new Skills Strategy to build a culture of lifelong learning in Northern Ireland – a theme that the Forum will be further developing over the coming months.

Hopefully the Panel will also consider the role that family learning could play. This is an area which receives investment in other parts of the UK but for some reason has not really taken off in NI.

Family learning is an approach to engaging families in learning outcomes that have an impact on the whole family.

Family Learning provision in Scotland has recently been inspected. This report explores the impact of schools and other settings working with families to improve learning and achievement. It identifies the key features of highly-effective practice in engaging families in learning and provides examples of quality family learning which are helping to secure better outcomes for children and young people.

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