Families and Schools Together (FAST): Evaluation report and executive summary

Pippa Lord, Ben Styles, Jo Morrison, Richard White, Joana Andrade, Susie Bamford, Clare Lushey, Megan Lucas, Robert Smith

02 November 2018

Research report on the EEF website

Families and Schools Together (FAST) is a parental engagement programme which aims to support parenting, enhance links between families, school and the community, and make a difference to children’s behaviour and learning. Save the Children UK (SCUK) delivers FAST in UK primary schools, through a license with Middlesex University. This school-level randomised controlled trial focused on pupils in Year 1 and measured the impact of FAST for the whole year group in terms of attainment and behavioural outcomes. A total of 158 schools took part in the trial, with 7,207 pupils across the Year 1 cohort in these schools, and involving 632 pupils taking part in the eight-week programme. A process evaluation explored participants’ views and experiences.

Key Findings

  • The FAST programme did not appear to make a difference to children’s attainment: there was no evidence that FAST had an effect on Key Stage 1 outcomes for the whole year group, or for the ‘target’ group of children who took part in the 8-week programme.
  • FAST made a difference to Year 1 pupils’ behavioural and prosocial outcomes immediately after the programme: Year 1 pupils in the intervention schools had a higher average prosocial score and a lower average total difficulties score than pupils in comparison schools. However, these impacts waned by the end of Year 2.
  • Parent-teacher engagement was felt to have been enhanced. However, maintaining the parent group after the 8-week programme, through FASTworks, or benefiting parents and children in the wider year group appeared more limited.
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