Best Practice

Supporting students who are unsupported at home

How can we raise the aspirations of pupils when engaging with their parents is proving difficult? Karen Sullivan offers some practical ideas

In my last two SecEd articles, we looked at the suggestion that White working class children are faring worse at school because parents often do not have the tools they need to inspire their children, set goals with and for them, or to raise their aspirations.

Research supports the fact that many disadvantaged parents are positively disposed towards involvement, but what happens when parents are absent or uninterested in the concept of education and their children’s futures in the education system and beyond?

How can we even the playing field for students who do not have a critical level of involvement at home, nor, indeed, any opportunities for enriching activities that would affect their prospects? What do we do if parents are actually hostile to the idea of education?

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