the Big questions we are seeking to answer
To level the engagement and attainment playing field for our hardest to reach families we need to know:
What are the main obstacles for ‘hard to reach’ families in engaging with schools?
a) What impact does poverty make on engagement? Why? How can we overcome this?
b) What are the factors that cause disengagement for disadvantaged learners and those with additional needs?
c) Does a lack of control build for disengaged students/families? If so, why?
d) How can educators overcome this lack of control over their education that builds in disengaged and disadvantaged learners or those with additional needs?
e) What obstacles stop students from engaging in learning remotely?
What are the most effective strategies for engaging ‘hard to reach’ families?
a) How do you build aspiration for a student?
b) Can you use the same tool to build aspiration for parents as well?
c) Do the same strategies work with all families?
d) What impact do expeditionary learning, trips, sports and arts have on disengagement?
e) How can we explore mental health issues and provide support to families?
What impact does age have on engagement (and attainment)?
a) Is engagement of these parents and pupils better in primary? Is there a model that could be shared with secondary colleagues?
b) Is engagement still low in primary but the effects of this not overly apparent until secondary?
c) Is there a way that we can partner phases to support the issue at the earliest opportunity?
Are the issues around levelling the playing field different for different ethnic groups?
a) Does geography/location have any effect?
b) What do families from different ethnic groups perceive as their barriers to success?
c) Are there different obstacles in the way for different ethnic groups or communities?
d) Are the required solutions different in different cultural settings?
And finally, Is there a common model that allows us to develop this work sustainably in all schools, even if the answers to some of the above questions are different from place to place?