Working with parents and carers

Working effectively with parents and carers is crucial to the success of a residential learning programme, especially if they are going to come home as muddy as this student!

Gaining their trust and permission to take their children – and, in several Learning Away schools, parents/carers themselves – away to strange places, with often quite basic conditions, has taken time, reassurance and sometimes persistence. Yet, with the right approach, children as young as five have been away and even younger children have attended extended days well into the evening.

The most important factor for school staff has been to work with parents and carers to gain and maintain this trust. When parents and carers join students and staff to make a ‘triangle of engagement’ with a young person’s education we have found that it leads to some of the most powerful outcomes. This section sets out key learning and examples for how these outcomes can been achieved.

“More than two thirds (68%) of parents also felt that their child was more confident, and 78% thought their child was more willing to try new things as a result of going on the residential.”

York Consulting, Evaluation of Learning Away: Interim Report 1, June 2013


Be inspired by our case studies from Learning Away schools.

Access free resources to help you plan your own brilliant residentials, including our resource specifically about working with families on residentials.

Have a look at our theory about how change happens on brilliant residentials.

Read our recommendations for schools, providers, policy makers and researchers. 

Read our independent evaluation report.