A great dad can make all the difference to children’s well-being, confidence and educational attainment. Research overwhelmingly shows that children, families and society as a whole benefits from the positive involvement of fathers or “The Dad Effect”. Yet despite ample research on the positive impact of fathers’ involvement in education on children’s development, dads in Scotland are significantly less likely than mums to form positive partnerships with their school. The resources on this page will explain why dads matter, some to the barriers to dads’ involvement and provide practical guidance to father inclusive practice.
Why Fathers' Involvement in Schools Matters - Research Project 2020
The following 2020 report is a follow up to a parental engagement project started in 2017 when one dad asked his child’s Head Teacher how the school had created such a father-inclusive culture. To reduce gender inequality, Fathers Network Scotland collaborated with the University of Edinburgh to gather knowledge and father-inclusive practices from staff, dads workers, parents and children from an infant school in East Lothian. Their practices formed the basis of the ‘How Father-Friendly Is Your School?’ guide which could be shared with other schools and communities to support family learning.
Data was gathered from two of the schools who piloted the ‘How Father-Friendly Is Your School?’ guide & two documents were produced:
- Why Fathers' Involvement in Primary Schools Matters, a Summary, January 2020
- Why Fathers' Involvement in Primary Schools Matters, Recent Trends in Scotland, January 2020
In light of our findings, we also updated our guide for parents and teachers, who wish to improve dad-inclusivity in their schools - How Father Friendly Is Our School? – A Practical Guide to Father Inclusive Practice, Third Edition February 2020. We also produced a one page top-tips guide to help you get started.
How Dad-Friendly is Our School? - Research Project, 2016-17
The pilot study took place between January and June 2017. It was designed and delivered by Prestonpans Infant School with support from DadsWork and Fathers Network Scotland. The University of Edinburgh was commissioned to deliver the research.
Data gathered from the pilot project was used to produce:
- How Dad Friendly is our School? – Key Findings 2017
- How Dad Friendly is our School? – Full Report 2017
- A top-tips video produced featuring Head Teacher Alison Cameron, the team that supported her and the dads & families who took part.