Earlier this month (August 2018), I joined a relatively small group to listen to Damian Hinds - the Secretary of State for Education - deliver his statement on social mobility. This speech included the importance of Early Years (0-3), school, teachers, outside school, University, second chances, and resilience as the 7 key truths for social mobility - all points that our experience and research at Achievement for All would support.

The ensuing discussion was varied, raising points related to business and support. Ruth Lowe from ParentKind and I both commented on the importance of parents and carers – their roles in supporting their child’s learning and the mutuality needed for all parents and carers to be valued as partners in their child’s education. The issue is an apparent lack of priority and understanding of how this might happen.

The Secretary of State mentioned how parents might be engaged in the development of early language, which is critical to learning. Parent and carer engagement should be much more.

Since 2009, Achievement for All programmes delivered in over 5,000 early years, schools and post 16 settings have engaged over 300,000 parents and carers by developing partnerships with teachers, leaders and the wider community. The aim quite simply is to agree and share common goals related to learning and to commit to working together for at least two years.

Achievement for All has developed a coaching methodology that supports leaders and teachers to work in partnership with parents and carers, a mutual approach that values all parents and carers to improve outcomes for children in reading, writing and maths, regardless of their background, challenge or needs.

Social mobility is the creation of opportunities that lead to a place that enables choice, and this begins with families. Achievement for All began its journey to create and deliver a government funded programme. As an independent charity we have extended our reach to early years and post 16.

Our impact is evidenced-based, we have improved outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged children by over 50% above national expectations in reading, writing and maths.

Our newest programme is Counterpoint, bringing together Independent and State schools including parents and carers with the common aim of improving outcomes for all children, developed in partnership with the City of London Freemen’s School.

I would be delighted to discuss the learning from all our programmes (2 – 24 year olds) with the Secretary of State and the Social Mobility Commission. We will be discussing parent and carer engagement with over 600 leaders and teachers, Anne Longfield OBE (Children’s Commissioner) and a host of expert leaders at the 2018 Conservative Party conference and our Every Child Included in Education conference in October.

*verse 3 ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’

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Join Sonia at Achievement for All’s annual conference!

Sonia is one of the many experts participating in Achievement for All’s Every Child Included in Education conference on 17th October 2018 at Newbury Racecourse.

Keynote speakers will include Anne Longfield OBE, Children’s Commissioner for England, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Shadow Minister for Education (children and families), June O’Sullivan MBE, Chief Executive of London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) and Thelma Walker MP, member of the Education Select Committee, amongst many others.

There will be 12 expert panel-led sessions discussing and debating a range of topics such as managing transitions in early years, understanding children looked after, engaging children in reading and behavioural policies and vulnerable children.

A full list of speakers and breakout sessions can be found here.

Tickets cost £90 and can be booked here. Achievement for All schools and settings are eligible for a 50% discount.

Parents and carers join free and group discounts are available. Email tickets@afaeducation.org for more information.