Family Learning with Oxfordshire Adult Learning is a way of helping parents and carers to support their children’s learning and development, to become confident, lifelong learners, which can help reinforce learning at home.


It has a positive impact on children as they develop essential skills and achieve at school. Family Learning can lead to improvements in children’s behaviour and attainment, as children whose parents support their learning do better at school and in later life.

It helps reconnect parents with learning and transform their lives, and allows parents to find out how their children learn and understand how to support them better.

Family Learning offers a chance for adults that might be disengaged from learning to step back onto the learning ladder – often because they are motivated by their desire to help their children. The service mainly works with targeted groups of adults and children who it is felt are most likely to benefit from the support offered and it is free.

Family Learning courses in English, Maths, IT and ESOL (English as a Second or Other Language) can lead to Level 2 accreditation.

Upcoming courses

Online Course

📅 8th Oct 2020 - 19th Nov 2020, Thursdays, 10:00am - 12:00pm

This course encourages parent engagement in the education of their children and offers an opportunity for parents to reflect on their own experience of education and consider what a positive learning environment might involve.

Find out more here.

Online Course

📅 13th Nov 2020 - 11th Dec 2020, Fridays, 11:00am - 12:00pm

This course encourages parent engagement in the education of their children and offers an opportunity for parents to reflect on their own experience of education and consider what a positive learning environment might involve.

Find out more here.

Other types of courses

Parents/carers and children always work together for the whole session on a fun activity such as:

  • Puppet & mask-making
  • Arts & crafts
  • Comic fun
  • Making music

These offer a ‘gentle’ introduction back into education and learning for some adults. Children may be in the session for part or all of the time, depending on the nature of the course. Short courses include:

  • Healthy cooking on a budget
  • Story sacks
  • Songs & rhymes
  • Keeping up with the children
  • Parenting skills
  • Budgeting
  • Helping parents into work
  • Messy play

The Family Links Programme will help you to build on your existing parenting skills and will help you think about:

  • Why your children behave as they do
  • The feelings behind behaviour (yours and theirs)
  • Different approaches to discipline
  • Developing co-operation and self-discipline in your children
  • The importance of looking after yourself.

This Programme is for anyone who cares for children; parents, grandparents, guardians or carers. It can be accessed through 10-week parenting courses run from various venues across the county. This is your chance to make a difference in your children’s lives and develop an emotionally healthy culture within your home.

Parent Involvement + School Involvement = Student Success

The aim of this ten-week course is to empower parents to support their children to overcome any barriers they may face and achieve educational success. It is designed to help their children resist alternative youth cultures that may distract them from working toward achieving their full potential. It explores how their children can overcome adverse circumstances to achieve a place at university.

‘I have thoroughly enjoyed this course; it has been very informative and helped me think through carefully how to parent my child to get the most from education.’

(Learner who completed the course in March 2019)

Some examples of how other young people overcame adversity to attend university are included to highlight pressures that many young people can face living in a neighbourhood where academic achievement is not highly valued. Their strategies can help other underachieving students find ways to manage challenging situations and maintain their focus to do well in their studies.

How does it work?


The Family Learning team can design a course to meet the needs of a particular group or community. Tell us what you would like your group to gain from the course, and we will deliver it.

Whatever the subject, the focus is always on finding ways to help parents/carers support their children’s development and learning, whilst giving the adults the chance to work on their own skills.

It makes a difference to the wider community

Family Learning helps to develop a learning community to support their local school. It can also improve attendance and behaviour. Family learning can help families tackle disadvantage and improve their life chances.

To initiate a discussion on course design or to enrol on a course, contact the Family Learning tutor in your area:

Karen Ariss | North Oxfordshire (Cherwell) & West Oxfordshire | karen.ariss@abingdon-witney.ac.uk | 07919 298297

Luce Carter | South Oxfordshire & Vale of White Horse | luce.carter@abingdon-witney.ac.uk | 07387 108469

Tony Payne | Oxford City | tony.payne@abingdon-witney.ac.uk | 07986 072402

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