Father Friendly Schools Project

The East Lothian Father-Friendly Schools (ELFFS) project was a pilot study that took place between January and June 2017. 

Read the summary briefing or full reportor Father Inclusion Guide for schools

Watch our dad-friendly video tips on YouTube

It was designed and delivered by Prestonpans Infant School with support from DadsWork and Fathers Network Scotland. The University of Edinburgh delivered the research.

“When we have asked dads what makes us a father-friendly school, they said to us: ‘You know our name, you come and you speak with us, you know our children, you know our situation, and most importantly you really want to know….” 

Alison Cameron, Acting Headteacher and project facilitator at Prestonpans Infant School. 


In Scotland, the critical role parents play in the education of their children is recognised and highlighted by the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006, and is supported by policies such as ‘getting it right for every child’1,  (Scottish Government 2012:6) and the National Improvement Framework for Scottish Education, in order to reach the government’s vision for Scotland to be ‘the best place in the world to grow up’. 

Yet despite ample research on the positive impact of paternal involvement in education on children’s development, dads in Scotland are significantly less likely than mums to form a positive partnership with their child’s school. We sought to better understand the barriers in order to help dads and schools understand each other for the benefit of the children. (continues below)


• We surveyed 116 dads and 56 staff members in the 6 participating schools

• We interviewed teachers, fathers and spoke with children

• We drew on the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) – a large scale survey  of children and their families


Read the summary briefing of the report: Father Involvement in Primary Schools – A pilot study

Read the full report: Father Involvement in Primary Schools – A pilot study

Read the Father Inclusion Guide for Schools

Read our blog on the report launch

Watch our dad-friendly video tips on YouTube


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