OVO Foundation funds Parental Engagement Network projects in Liverpool
Liverpool, 1 June 2018 - OVO Foundation announces funding for Parental Engagement Network (PEN) to deliver Engaging Parents Effectively projects in Liverpool.
The projects aim to help children from less advantaged backgrounds transition to nursery schools by providing support to their parents and teachers. Research has shown that by the time children start school, there is a 19 month gap between the least advantaged children and their most affluent peers. Tackling this inequality early on is key to breaking the cycle of disadvantage for young people.
The main aim of early years programmes is to improve less advantaged children’s performance at school; the projects hope to create a long-term sustainable change to the support children receive in preparation for school.
The two projects in Liverpool will include:
The Transition Project: Teachers help parents to do activities with their children which prepare them for school, developing their language, independence and physical skills.
The Home Learning Project: helps to support children’s early literacy and numeracy through imaginative resources and fun activities for parents to use at home. These include fishing ducks out of the bath, acting out a bear hunt and counting star jumps.
PEN’s programmes were developed as part of a three year research project supported by the Sutton Trust and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, and evaluated by Oxford University. PEN has run programmes in over 50 schools in Manchester and OVO Foundation’s funding will help to expand the programme in Liverpool.
Gaby Sethi, Head of OVO Foundation and CSR, said: “We are delighted to work with Parental Engagement Network. OVO Foundation aims to develop or fund creative solutions to today’s problems, all to give young people in the UK a better future. The projects are designed to be easily delivered as part of teachers’ normal routine and provide parents with supportive resources. Parental Engagement Network have a record for improving children’s learning in less advantaged areas and we’re excited to work together to provide resources for local families. ”
Emma Beresford, Founder and Director, Parental Engagement Network, said: “We have found that nearly all parents really want their children to succeed but many aren’t sure exactly how to help them. Providing imaginative resources and activities and demonstrating how to use them gives parents the motivation and confidence to have fun helping their child to learn.”
OVO Foundation’s funding will manage the two projects in Liverpool for two years, with a total of 16 schools set to be involved over the period, reaching 720 children. The projects will help evaluate the longer term impact of parental engagement on children’s education, potentially acting as a blueprint to scale across the UK.
About OVO Foundation OVO Foundation is OVO Energy’s charity. It was created in 2014 to expand OVO Energy’s charitable giving and bring caring closer to home. OVO Foundation’s mission is to support inspiring organisations with smart ideas in three areas: youth poverty, education, and energy and the environment. At the heart of it all is our mission to give young people a better future. Over 88,000 OVO Energy customers choose to donate to OVO Foundation each month. OVO Energy matches all customer donations doubling the power of what we can achieve together. The OVO Charitable Foundation (“OVO Foundation”) is a registered charity – its charity registration number is 1155954.
PEN are a not-for-profit social enterprise specialising in supporting schools and settings to better engage parents, particularly from disadvantaged communities. It provides training and information for staff and parents, develops creative projects and sustainable resources, and networks with other organisations to spread good practice. To learn more, visit https://www.penetwork.co.uk/