Family learning for every child and every parent in England –
five asks for government

Campaign for Learning joins national organisations to call for a series of policies which will create a system change for family learning. 

Family learning matters. 

It matters because families need opportunities to learn, to try something different, to ask questions and develop skills, to explore new horizons. 

Family learning matters because it engages parents and carers in their children’s learning, supporting educational achievement. It matters because it engages parents and carers in their own learning, creating a first step and progression into adult learning and training. 

Family learning matters because it supports literacy, language, and numeracy. It promotes health and wellbeing and understanding across the curriculum from science through financial education to parenting. 

That’s why we need every child and parent to have access to family learning. That’s why family learning needs to be free at the point of use for every parent and child wherever they live.  

That’s why we need to rebuild family learning in England and elevate it from an invisible funding stream within adult skills to a fully sustainable system, so that every child and parent can benefit everywhere. 

Our five asks for government represent an agenda for change and a plan for long term reform of family learning.  

To change family learning in England, we require interventions that raise its visibility, bring together parental engagement and adult education into a unified and simplified policy approach, and are affordable in these fiscally constrained times. 

What we’re calling for: 

ASK 1: Create a single national ring-fenced family learning budget from the existing funding in the Adult Education Budget and an extra £75m from the Treasury, managed by the Department for Education and devolved to local authorities 

We need a simplified and unified funding approach with appropriate national and local levels of accountability and coordination. By pooling and increasing resources for family learning, we can support the learning of children and adults, including improving the literacy and numeracy of children, parents and carers. 

ASK 2: Introduce a statutory entitlement to 15 hours fully funded family learning for parents and carers of each child aged nine months to four years and subsequently extended to children aged nine months to 10 years 

We need the next government to introduce a statutory entitlement to family learning, to enable the maximum number of children, parents and carers to benefit. 

ASK 3:  Integrate family learning into the work of family support services including Family Hubs, Children Centres, and Family and Health Services 

We need all family support services to include family learning in their strategies and activities to promote, encourage, and facilitate access to family learning as part of a bigger and better family learning system. 

ASK 4: Embed the value of family learning into the workforce development of the education sector in England including early learning, childcare, teaching, adult education and family support 

We need family learning to be embedded across the education and family support workforce so that professionals understand its dual role in driving parental engagement in children’s learning and the development of parents and carers’ own learning and skills. 

ASK 5: Allow parents to become eligible for 30 hours of state funded childcare when they participate in family learning, and/or training and retraining 

We need to establish a closer link between family learning and childcare so that parents have time to benefit from family learning and move into training and retraining. This would allow parents to use the time when their children are in childcare to strengthen their families – including through family learning – and find employment including in the early years and childcare workforce. 

Read our full proposals and summary and support the five asks on X and Linkedin #FamilyLearningFiveAsks