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Research summary

The impact of parental involvement, parental support and family education on pupil achievements and adjustment: a literature review (2003)

20 Jul 2018

What parents do with their children at home, through the age range, is much more significant than any other factor open to educational influence.

If pupils are to maximise their potential from schooling, they need the full support of their parents. It is anticipated that parents should play a role not only in the promotion of their own children’s achievements, but more broadly in school improvement.

This review looks at current research and projects within the areas of parental involvement, support, and family education.


Desforges, Charles, and Alberto Abouchaar. 2003. The Impact of Parental Involvement, Parental Support and Family Education on Pupil Achievements and Adjustment: A Literature Review DfES.

The aims of this review were to investigate the impact of parental support, family learning and parents’ level of education. 

Parental involvement in the form of interest in the child and parent-child discussions in the home can have a significant positive effect on children’s behaviour and achievement even when the influence of background factors such as social class or family size have been factored out. 

The review provides four recommendations to guide action in this area: 

  • Collaboration should be pro-active rather than reactive
  • The engagement of all parents should be worked for
  • Collaboration involves sensitivity to the wide ranging circumstances of all families
  • Collaboration recognises and values the contributions parents have to make to the educational process