Research type 
Year of report 

Summary of findings


Overall perceptions of the campaign There was an appetite for the campaign • Parents were excited about the possibility of opening the lines of communication with their children • It was seen to create a dialogue and work towards a clear purpose • Parents were of the mindset that if you can offer something that will enhance communication with their child, then it has to be a good thing Increased Appeal • The campaign was seen to have dramatically increased in appeal as a result of the developments made since the creative development research • The interventions felt more clear, concise and easier to follow • The tone was supportive and encouraging • Parents felt that the campaign was worthwhile and could add real value People expected that the campaign is for the less engaged • The campaign was seen to be aimed at less engaged parents (the Homework pack in particular) • Although the campaign was seen to have a role to play for more engaged parents, it was felt that the main target was those parents who were less engaged • This emphasized the importance of the tone that the intermediary sets – that the campaign was more about ‘working together’ for all, rather than something that is solely designed to help less engaged parents Parents appreciated hearing about why it is important to engage • Parents found the fact that a parent’s interest in their child’s education can influence attainment far more that socio-economic background extremely motivating – there is potential for this message to be built into the campaign with more emphasis in the future There was an appetite for the campaign to extend in the future • Parents felt that the campaign was a great start point • However, there was a desire to extend the campaign even more in the future, primarily via a few key ways: • More engaging formats – e.g. DVD’s, computer activities, board games, comic strips • More of an in-depth look at the issues at hand – e.g. including more in-depth case studies which tackle ‘what next’ if initial attempts to engage fall flat • Including more of a focus on wider learning beyond the basics The role of the intermediary Intermediaries were seen to have a crucial role to play • Setting the right tone • Communicating that the campaign is about working together, and has benefits for all types of parents • Highlight the important elements • Drawing attention to relevant messages for specific parents • Adding credibility • Parents and carers expected intermediaries to be teachers, or at least aligned with schools in some way if they are to be seen as credible • Building momentum for the campaign • Motivating and enthusing parents about the fact they are doing something worthwhile

Research objectives


The main aim of this research was to evaluate the creative routes against the campaign objectives and to provide recommendations for longer-term developments of the interventions, should further versions be produced in 2010/2011.



DCSF were developing a ‘Parental Engagement’ campaign to encourage parents to engage more with their children. As part of this campaign, DCSF have commissioned a Social Marketing agency to deliver a series of targeted interventions that will be delivered via both established distribution routes (i.e. schools to parents or intermediaries such as the Parent Know How partner organisations) and through direct channels to parents .The campaign objectives were to develop a programme of social marketing interventions designed to alter behaviour, so as to increase mothers’, fathers’ and other carer’s engagement in their child’s learning and development. Please note that this research was commissioned by the Department for Children Schools and Families under the previous administration and not is necessarily representative of current government policy.

Quick summary


This research aimed to evaluate the campaign materials. Overall the campaign was well received. Interventions were clear, easier to use, and purposeful. Parents and carers had a clear and consistent idea of how the interventions could improve in the future, and with some key future developments, the campaign had the potential to make a real difference to the lives of parents and carers, and their children.

Audience Summary








Adults - Parents and carers - All with children either at KS1, 2, 3, & 4

Social Class






• 6 x Group discussions with parents / carers • 10 x In-home depths and pairs with parents / carers (and their children where possible) • 12 x Depths and pairs with existing and new intermediaries

Data collection methodology

Depth interviews
Focus groups

Sample size


6 groups, 22 depths pairs

Detailed region


London, Manchester, Rotherham, North Devon

Fieldwork dates


Feb-March 2010

Agree to publish



Research agency


COI Number