Schools are already places families are accustomed to visiting and many have taken the opportunity to include a full programme of family support as part of their local offer. They often do this because they have found there is a ceiling on children’s achievement unless the school engages with and supports their parents as well.
A ‘through school’ like Reach Academy, Feltham, has adopted a ‘cradle to career approach’ which offers support to parents throughout childhood. This starts with maternity and other ante- and post-natal care, ensures parenting support and education are available at every stage and helps young people and their families break cycles of educational underachievement, poor mental health and gang-related violence.
Other primary and secondary schools can also be bases of family support which integrate the work of statutory and voluntary sector services and draw in other parents to offer peer support to those who are struggling.
Some schools may not be the site of the Family Hub, but act as ‘spokes’ to the Hub, providing vital support that is best delivered in an educational setting.