Press release

Narrowing the gap: new guide shows schools how to harness parent power

18 September 2013

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and the Oxford University Press (OUP) have today published a practical guide to help primary schools encourage more parents from disadvantaged groups to play an active role in their children’s education.

Evidence shows that parental engagement in education can improve academic performance among disadvantaged youngsters and that schools can contribute significantly to enabling this.

The most effective approaches take into account parents’ gender, cultural, linguistic or socio-economic background, and see schools working closely with other support agencies and experts to effect positive change for whole families such as improvements in literacy and employment opportunities.

The NFER/OUP guide distils these messages about what works from both research and best practice examples, to offer primary schools a checklist against which they can evaluate and improve their own parental engagement strategy.

Key points for primary school leaders include:

The full guidance – Teacher Guide: parental Engagement and Narrowing the Gap in Attainment for Disadvantaged Children – can be found at /oup2.


Contact information
Sarah Fleming, NFER Media & Communications Officer: 01753 637155;
Jane Parrack, NFER Marketing & Communications Manager: 01753 637245;

Note to editors
Teacher Guide: Parental Engagement and Narrowing the Gap in Attainment for Disadvantaged Children is written for primary school leadership teams and is based on a rapid review of the evidence carried out by NFER, and Department for Education (DfE) review of parental engagement (Goodall et al., 2011).

NFER and the Oxford University Press co-funded this work.

About NFER
NFER is the UK’s largest independent provider of research, assessment and information services for education, training and children’s services.

About Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship and education by publishing worldwide. OUP is the world's largest university press with the widest global presence. It currently publishes thousands of new publications a year, has offices in around 50 countries, and employs some 6,000 people worldwide. It has become familiar to millions through a diverse publishing programme that includes scholarly works in all academic disciplines, bibles, music, school and college textbooks, children's books, materials for teaching English as a foreign language, business books, dictionaries and reference books, and academic journals.