Department for Education
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New academy to help parents do their best for their children

New academy to help parents do their best for their children

DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION AND SKILLS News Release (2007/0068) issued by The Government News Network on 25 April 2007

A consortium of leading charities and a top London university have won a £30m grant to provide a new academy for parenting practitioners, following an announcement by Children's Minister Beverley Hughes today.

The new National Academy for Parenting Practitioners (NAPP) will be provided by the Family and Parenting Institute, Parenting UK and Kings College London and will launch in October 2007. It will be a centre of excellence, providing training for those who support parents in the community and research on what methods work to support parents.

The academy will train practitioners working with parents in schools, health services, children's services and beyond and support innovation and knowledge sharing.

Minister for Children, Young People and Families Beverley Hughes said: "Parents increasingly seek help with bringing up their children and we want to be as supportive as we possibly can. The role a parent plays is integral to a child's development and their future life chances, which is why we want to help parents get it right.

"This academy will be an international and national hub for the exchange of ideas and learning, providing the very latest research and training in supporting parents. It will ensure that our parenting practitioners can access the best possible information and help parents do the best they possibly can for their children."

Mary MacLeod, Chief Executive, Family and Parenting Institute, from the winning consortium, said: 'This is the next step in offering parents the right help at the right time as they raise their children. Since FPI launched in 1999, parents have told us they want tailored advice based on evidence and research when they face challenges in raising their children. So we are delighted to be working with King's and Parenting UK to make sure the Academy will do the best job possible to inform and train those who work with parents'.

Dr Stephen Scott, Head of the King's College London Parenting Unit, commented: 'King's is delighted to be hosting the Academy. It will bring its expertise in training practitioners in approaches proven to work in helping all parents bring the best out of their children. It will also carry out an ambitious top quality research programme to find out the best ways to help children and young people achieve their potential. This should help to raise further the standard of parenting support'.

Mary Crowley MBE Chief Executive, Parenting UK, said: 'The Academy will take a major step forward in ensuring that those who work with parents are trained for that purpose and meet National Occupational Standards. The Academy will help them access appropriate training and advice. They will be able to provide the kind of sensitive responsive help parents need to support them in the rewarding but demanding job of bringing up children. England is leading the world in creating this exciting national centre'.

The National Academy for Parenting Practitioners will improve the quality of services for parents by raising the standard and consistency of practice and disseminating the evidence from research.

The Department for Education and Skills want to improve support for parents and outcomes for children by ensuring that all parents are aware of and can access high quality, evidence based parenting support delivered by qualified practitioners, when and if they need it.

The NAPP will immediately begin to work towards:

* training, developing and supporting the parenting workforce, especially - but not exclusively - the trainers of practitioners and those who train trainers.

* acting as a national centre and source of advice on high quality academic research evidence on parenting and parenting support, combined with practical knowledge of what works and has worked in different situations and with different groups of people.

* supporting the government's objective to improve support for parents across the board. .

For further details, please visit the NAPP website: http://www.everychildmatters.gov.uk/napp/

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. The establishment of a National Parenting Academy is a delivery commitment in the Respect Action Plan published in January 2006. For further information go to http://www.respect.gov.uk or contact Rachel Yeomans in the Home Office press office on 0207 035 3812.

2. Parents and parenting have a profound impact on children's outcomes. Children tend to do well when parents have good relationships with them, have expectations of their behaviour, set boundaries and help them develop their own capacity to regulate their behaviour, have aspirations for them, believe in their ability to succeed and show it. Conversely, children's development can be held back and inhibited when parents are unable to offer their children these strong foundations, leading to disrespectful, antisocial behaviour, poor educational attainment and social exclusion.

3. The NAPP will transform the service landscape so that parents across the country, including the hardest to help and those who have been excluded, can get the quality services that will enable them to improve the home environment for their children based on interventions proven to be effective so improving their health, development and life chances.

4. The NAPP consortium is:

Family and Parenting Institute: ESRC accredited research; nationally and internationally respected policy development; leading facilitator of social innovation partnerships; and leading organisation in the UK for knowledge transfer in the field of parenting and family policy.

King's College London's contribution to the consortium is focused on the world-renowned work of Dr Stephen Scott of the Institute of Psychiatry, as well as other strengths across the college including the Centre for Crime and Justice studies, Institute of Learning and Teaching and the UK's leading training institution in evidence-based parenting approaches. King's College London is England's fourth-oldest university institution and is world renowned for excellence in both research and teaching.

PUK: well-established umbrella body for breadth of parenting workforce; developed National Occupational Standards for Work with Parents; developed accredited training for practitioners and trainers; existing presence in nine Government regions

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