Engaging low-income families in school-based health interventions: A case study of Food and Fun clubs in Wales
Various research indicates that parental engagement in children’s schooling can help to narrow the gap in attainment for disadvantaged children, with higher levels of parental involvement being associated with higher levels of attainment. However, there is also evidence that parents from poorer backgrounds are less likely to engage in their children’s schooling, for reasons including their own prior experiences of school. Hence, socioeconomic patterning in parental engagement in schooling may serve to amplify inequalities in children’s educational attainment. Engaging parents in young people’s schooling is seen as a means for enhancing young people’s own connectedness to their school, with school connectedness in turn associated with a range of health, wellbeing and educational outcomes for pupils.
There are often difficulties in engaging parents in schools, with barriers including conflicting cultures between schools and parents and that schools often adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach to parental engagement. Therefore, my doctoral research will focus on low-income families’ engagement in school- based health interventions, using the Welsh Government’s Food and Fun: School Holiday Enrichment Programme as a case study.