Welcome to Investors in Families (IIF)

IIF is now available to all schools and settings in the UK to continue to develop its work with all community organisations, including national and local charities and sports clubs.

The Family and Community Engagement (FaCE) opened up a significant opportunity to broaden our work and to establish a common framework that will enable communities to come together to work with families.

One of the four key objectives in “Education in Wales: Our national mission” (November 2017) is:

Strong and inclusive schools committed to excellence, equity and well-being which includes

Working in partnership, we are determined that no challenge should prevent any learner from reaching their potential, including those learners who experience several ACEs.

The third report of the Wales Education Commission, in October 2017, included the following recommendation:

While acknowledging the crucial role schools play in educating future generations, members noted that they could not do it alone and needed support. The Commission therefore called on all players in the Welsh system – including parents, policymakers and the wider education community – to share responsibility for driving up standards.

IIF is now an established learning hub in Wales that enables early years settings, schools and other organisations to share effective practice. There are a variety of events that provide IIF members with opportunities to meet, share and develop their own practice, learning from the experience of partner agencies and other settings. We are planning on rolling this out to all relevant settings through the UK during 2021. For 2021, all meetings will be carried out virtually via Zoom.

Registered members have unlimited access to the IIF Library of Effective Practice, which now holds more than 450 examples of how schools and settings can work with families to improve outcomes.  For information on this, or anything else, please contact us using the form below.

A Plain Guide to IIF

IIF in Practice

In order to gain the award each setting submits a portfolio which details the activities they undertake to involve families in their child’s learning and the wider setting environment.

A Plain Guide to IIF

Registering with IIF

Schools and other settings that wish to gain the quality mark register with IIF, by completing a simple registration form, indicating the setting’s commitment to improving the work they do with families.

At this stage the setting will be contacted by an assessor who will work with the setting throughout the process.

Working towards accreditation

Once registered, the first step is to audit the work that the setting already does in working with families. As the audit is completed, the setting will identify key priorities for development: these could include improving current activities and introducing new activities.

The first part of the audit is to look at how family-friendly the setting appears to a family looking at the website, reading the brochure, visiting the school. The second part of the audit is to assess the setting’s strengths against each of the seven core aims and identify priorities for improvement.

Developing the work plan

Having identified the priorities for each core aim, the setting will decide which member(s) of their team will lead on each of the activities and what needs to be done.

Taking the work forward

As each activity is taken forward, the setting will keep a diary of the actions taken and the impact on family working. A simple form is used, which becomes part of the portfolio of evidence that is collated for the award.

Putting together the portfolio

Once the setting has completed the activities identified in its action plan, details of the activities are collated into a portfolio, which will include:

  • Evidence from the website, improvement plan, brochure that the setting is family-friendly
  • Evidence of the activities undertaken and the impact (which could include written evidence plus photographs, feedback from families, feedback from partner organisations
  • An outline action plan for the next three years

Submitting the evidence

When the setting is ready, details of the activities are submitted to IIF. The activities will be reviewed by the assessor, who may contact the setting for further clarification or evidence.

The accreditation visit

After reviewing the portfolio, IIF will arrange for a trained assessor to visit the setting. In addition to reviewing the portfolio, the assessor will also meet with the head teacher, members of staff, governing body, partner agencies and parents and children and young people. (The range of people will vary according to the setting: this example is for a school).  Accreditations in the foreseeable future will be virtually but will still need to involve all these people.  How this will work will be discussed with you nearer the time.

The assessor will provide informal feedback to the setting at the end of the visit.

Completing the process

Following the visit, the assessor will complete the Assessor’s Report and submit it to IIF for quality assurance.

Receiving the Award

If the recommendation is that the setting has met the standard for the award, IIF will inform the setting and send the IIF certificate to the setting The school will then be able to use the IIF quality mark logo on its communications.

We suggest the setting organises a party!

Print off this document for easy reference to how the process works: IIF Process

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