Disabled parents’ involvement in their children’s education

Roseann Maguire

Richard Brunner

Kirsten Stalker

June Mitchell, Department of Educational and Professional Studies, University of Strathclyde

This study focused on identifying and exploring examples of good practice in order to produce guidance for schools.

The specific aims of the research were:

  • To examine the UK policy and research context relating to disabled parents’ involvement in their children’s education;
  • To explore disabled parents’ experiences of involvement in their children’s education, with a focus on good practice;
  • To identify factors which help promote good professional practice in this area, what impedes the process and how any barriers can be reduced.

The study began with a critical review of UK-wide policy and a brief review of research relating to parental involvement in education with a particular focus on disabled parents, followed by key informant interviews. The second part of the study comprised case studies with disabled parents who have had positive experiences of being involved in their children’s education. Interviews were conducted with 24 parents with a range of impairments throughout Scotland and the north of England. We also spoke to a small number of professionals within schools or local authorities who were able to shed further light on the good practice initiatives identified by parents.