Read, Write, Count collaborative partnership to support family learning and parental engagement

This collaborative partnership with the Scottish Book Trust and the City of Edinburgh Schools, Psychological Services and Lifelong Learning departments supports family learning approaches to promote parental engagement with young people’s learning, using the resources provided by the national Read, Write, Count initiative.

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Research hubs

Teacher Education, Curriculum and Pedagogy

Social Justice and Inclusion

Children and Young People

Research experts

Dr Gale Macleod

Professor Lyn Tett

What was the problem?

The poverty-related attainment gap is a significant challenge in Scottish education, which is a national priority set out by the Scottish Government. The collaborative group, Moray House Read, Write, Count, was set up in 2016  to bring together different groups with a shared interest in closing the poverty-related attainment gap through promoting parental engagement with young people’s learning.

The group name derived from materials provided to every child in Scotland in Primary 1, 2 and 3 through the Read, Write Count book gifting initiative. The project is part of a commitment to responsible research and innovation in which the ‘users’ of research are involved in setting the research agenda and the research process. 

What did we do?

Each year the group identifies a new problem facing practitioners, or a gap in knowledge, which could be addressed through a collaborative project. Sometimes the project is a practical one; in other years we have carried out research on issues identified by the collaborative group. Previous projects are described below.

What happened next?

Guidance for teachers and other practitioners to support a Family Learning Approach

Barbara Middleton and Gale Macleod have delivered a series of CPD sessions on family learning approaches hosted by Scottish Book Trust, City of Edinburgh and Moray House Professional Learning. They also spoke to an Education Scotland ‘Wee Blether’ on the project. In May 2021 members of the Collaborative were invited to speak to the local authority Scottish Attainment Challenge Advisors and delivered training to teachers and CLD workers from the South East Improvment Collaborative. 

Video: Webinar Using RWC resources to support a Family Learning Approach - Video Asset
Webinar Using RWC resources to support a Family Learning Approach - Video Asset

Developing the Bag Unpacked video series for families and children

In December 2020 we received funding from the University of Edinburgh’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Knowledge Exchange Grant to allow us to produce videos to be shared directly with parents to support them to access the Read Write Count resources with their children. Gale presented on the project and preliminary evaluation to the Scottish Government Learning Together National Network. 

Video: Welcome to the Primary 3 Bag Unpacked video series
This video introduces the Read Write Count Primary 3 Back Unpacked video series

Other research

Alongside these collaborative projects, Gale Macleod and Lyn Tett have carried out research into parents’, headteachers’ and family learning professionals’ views of family learning work. This work has been published and these publications have been used to support CPD delivered by local authorities. 

The research has been referenced by Education Scotland. Lyn and Gale were also invited to present a ‘wee blether’ for Education Scotland on their work, and they have provided input for Scottish Borders Council Headteacher away days. 

Related study programmes

Education (MSc)