Core documents

The core documents that we use for completing the IIF accreditation process are:

  • The Assessors Report:
    • an account of the assessor’s visit, which will capture the ethos and atmosphere in the school
  • The Activity Upload Forms:
    • each school completes these using the online form on the dedicated IIF Library website. All registered schools will receive a password and details of how to complete the online form.

IIF library of effective practice

We have built an online library of effective practice which IIF members can use as a resource to assist them in undertaking new activities to improve their work with families.

As members complete their portfolio of evidence, they upload their activities to the dedicated website. Activities that will be of interest to other members are then added to the library.

The library is already the largest ideas bank of innovative practice in family and community engagement.

There are currently over 450 school activities and we are adding to them regularly, as more schools, companies and associations complete the accreditation process.

Registered members have unlimited access to the library which can be found here.

Looking at working with families

This page is a useful guide to some of the questions you might ask about your work with families.

  1. How does the setting’s vision for the development of IIF fit with the settings plans overall?
  2. How does the setting assess the impact of its work with families on attendance, behaviour, motivation and attainment?
  3. How does the setting set success criteria?
  4. How effectively does the setting identify the needs of all families and how successful is it at reaching all families?
  5. Is the setting meeting the aims of Rights to Action?
    • Are parents helped to ensure their children are healthy?
    • Are looked after children supported in their health needs?
    • Are families with disabled children adequately supported?
    • Are parents and carers informed about key risks and how to deal with them?
    • Are steps being taken to minimise the incidence of child abuse and neglect?
    • Are children affected by domestic violence identified, protected and supported?
    • Is guidance and training offered to parents and carers on how to recognise and raise child protection concerns?
    • Are parents and carers supported in helping children and young people to enjoy and achieve?
    • Are parents and carers enabled to ensure their children attend the setting, such as school?
    • Are parents and carers enabled to support their children to develop personally and academically?
    • Are parents and carers partners with the setting to ensuring their children participate in decision making and in supporting the community?
    • Are looked after children helped to make a positive contribution?
    • Does the setting work in partnership with families over exclusion issues and re-integration?
    • Is there appropriate childcare available in the view of parents and carers?
    • Are parents engaged in planning their children’s future education and career paths?
    • Does the setting have an active concern about the quality of living conditions its children experience at home?
    • Does the setting address the broad range of family needs in an integrated way?  And does it target the most needy?
  6. How effectively does the setting evaluate its success with families?  Is that accurately reflected in the setting’s portfolio of evidence?
  7. Is there evidence that a whole-setting approach to work with families exists?
  8. How does the setting identify staff development needs in this area and meet them?
  9. Are the appropriate partner agencies involved and contributing to the setting’s work with families?  Are those partners also ‘family friendly’?

Working with families

The following sections offer a range of examples of the activities that settings have developed as they work towards the award. The IIF library will contain detailed examples of activities that schools and other settings have successfully undertaken.

Examples of activities for each core aim

Core aim 1:  Flying start in life

  • Training for parents in ICT and safe Internet use
  • Pre-school ‘Tiny Tots’ group for parents – run by volunteer parents
  • Home-school tasks to enhance parent participation
  • ‘Parent friendly’ information
  • Parental questionnaires on curriculum and pastoral issues
  • Parents working in class and around school
  • Curriculum events – at times convenient for families
  • Family friendly transition/induction programmes
  • Mothers Day concert to value the relationships
  • Reading partnership schemes – training and support for parents
  • Effective Early Intervention team to support families
  • Involving parents in the key transition points (e.g. Reception, lower to upper school, Year 6 to Year 7, Post 16)
  • Specific support (e.g. transition workers) to support pupils with specific needs at transition

Core aim 2:  Comprehensive range of education and learning opportunities

  • Improving attendance programmes
  • ‘Open days’ to share new information/technology
  • Basic Skills award – evidence of raising standards/support for pupils and families
  • Parental consultation in IEPs and targets for individual children and young people
  • A diverse range of methods of communication e.g. letters, certificates, text messages used to encourage good attendance
  • Use of home/school tasks from the SEAL materials to promote home learning
  • Home learning activities, based on the ‘Family Values’ program
  • SIMs Learning Gateway  accessed by parents online to track pupil progress

Core aim 3:  Best possible health, free from abuse, victimisation and exploitation

  • Parent workshops on health issues
  • Health visitor workshops – e.g First Aid
  • ‘Baby Massage’ provision classes held in school
  • Breakfast club – for parents!
  • Support for disabled parents to allow access to all information
  • Healthy Schools actions and events that fully engage parents
  • Inter-generational projects
  • Oral health project e.g. Design to Smile
  • Cooking Plus activities (children & families learning together)
  • Individual care and support for pupils with specific medical needs
  • E-safety sessions for parents and carers
  • Use of tools such as PASS and the NBAR sociogrammes to inform discussion with parents
  • ‘Walking Bus’

Core aim 4:  Access to play, leisure, sporting and cultural activities

  • Family use of sports facilities – organised in partnership with parents
  • Comenius scheme – families benefit from cultural exchange visits
  • After school clubs – some with transport provided
  • Exercise logs – overseen by parents
  • Travel plans/walk to school schemes
  • Community musical productions
  • Dads and lads fishing day – organised by a dad
  • Themed sports days
  • Parental involvement in school cultural activities (plays, concerts)
  • Parental contributions to school cultural activities (assemblies, concerts)
  • Family and community support for gardening projects
  • Class talks by individual family members around historical or cultural subjects (family members who have lived or worked abroad)
  • Family involvement in Eisteddfod

Core aim 5:  Listened to, treated with respect, have race and cultural identity recognised

  • New intake meetings to welcome new parents/build partnerships
  • Charity work on behalf of families
  • Eco School work involving parents
  • Buddy/befriending schemes – reassurance for parents
  • Community garden development
  • Local ‘dad advisor’
  • Organisation of a Parent Council to feed in to school planning
  • Consultation with parents on the planning of family learning
  • Evaluation of schools events and activities for parents

Core aim 6:  Safe community and home which supports physical and emotional wellbeing

  • Consultation with parents on range of policies
  • Designated parents room in school to host meeting/advice service
  • Support and regular links for looked after children
  • Support for families from the Community Police Liaison officer
  • CAMHS support for individual families
  • Bereavement counselling
  • Counselling/youth mentoring project
  • Kerb Craft – children and families taught together about road safety
  • Behaviour management sessions run for families
  • E-safety workshops for parents
  • ‘Family Values’ programme
  • Parents involved in planning ‘safer routes to school’

Core aim 7:  Not disadvantaged by poverty

  • Weekly savings scheme for parents
  • Money management courses for parents
  • Fund raising to support costs of school excursions/visits
  • Staggered payment schemes
  • Parental entrepreneurial initiatives
  • Support in completing “official” forms
  • Support to claim free school meals
  • Lending library to encourage family literacy
  • Credit Union savings scheme
  • School shop run by volunteer parents
  • Encouragement of parent volunteers to undertake qualifications and/or paid employment
  • Sponsorship of school equipment (e.g. sports, science etc) by local and national business or other organisations

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