The Parent Academy was a series of classes for pupils’ parents, designed to improve the English and mathematics attainment of pupils in Years 3 to 6 in English primary schools. Parents were offered the opportunity to participate in 12 Parent Academy classes, 6 on English and 6 on mathematics, delivered fortnightly by tutors with teaching qualifications and experience of teaching adults. The programme also included an educational family trip.
The evaluation used a two-arm randomised controlled trial to test the efficacy of two versions of the intervention. In the first version, parents were incentivised to attend with a payment of £30 per session and in the second version they were not. Children of both groups of parents were compared with a similar group whose parents were not offered Parent Academy. Sixteen schools in two urban local authorities took part in the trial. A total of 2,593 children were involved. The project also included a process evaluation which assessed how the intervention was delivered and reported on its perceived benefits. The intervention was developed by the University of Chicago. It was not manualised and involved the development of a new adult learning course. The intervention and evaluation were funded by the Education Endowment Foundation and the KPMG Foundation. The trial took place between September 2014 and July 2015 with classes delivered between November 2014 and June 2015.