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Completed in 2011


Geoff Lindsay1, Hilton Davis2, Steve Strand1,
Ray Evans1, Jane Barlow3, Sue Band1, Mairi-Ann Cullen1, Stephen Cullen1 and Anna Vignoles4

1 CEDAR, 2 Kings College, London, 3 Warwick Medical School,
4 Institute of Education, University of London

The Parenting Early Intervention Programme was an initiative of the Department for Education (DfE) to roll out support for parenting programmes across all English local authorities (LAs) over the years 2008-11. The project built on the Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinder (Wave 1) which rolled out three parenting programmes (Incredible Years, Triple P and Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities) across 18 LAs during 2006-08. Our evaluation of that programme (Parenting Early Intervention Pathfinder) provided evidence for its successful roll out.

In the present study, the DfE funded an additional 23 LAs in 2008-09 (Wave 2), with roll out across the rest of England during 2009-10 (Wave 3). A major difference was that LAs could select parenting programmes other than the three studied in the Pathfinder provided that they meet the DfE's criteria, as advised by the National Academy of Parenting Practitioners. Waves 2 and 3 LAs were initially allowed to use their funding for Strengthening Families (10-14) and FAST (Families and Schools Together) as well as the original three programmes. From June 2010 LAs were able to choose other programmes in addition.

Our study examined the effectiveness of this larger scale and more diverse roll out. We used a similar approach to that of the Pathfinder, a combination of qualititative methods (especially interviews with LA lead officers, facilitators and parents) and quantitative measures comparing pre- and post- training group measures of variables including parents' perceptions of their parenting skills and of the child's behaviour. We carried out >400 interviews and collected data from>6000 parents, >3000 of whom completed both pre- and post-parenting course.

This study also included a longer term (one year) follow-up to examine the maintenance of improvement made following the parenting groups and other effects, including impact on the children's subsequent behaviour. A cost effectiveness study was also undertaken.

The 1st Interim Report was published in early 2010 with a research brief. The 2nd Interim Report was published in November 2010, and the final report in 2011.




Final Report
Research Report DFE-RR121A.pdf on DfE website

Research Brief

Technical Report

2nd Interim Report


Related Reports:-

Final Report of the Pathfinder Research Report DCSF-RW054 on DfE website.

Additional Study of the Involvement of Extended Schools
Research Report DCSF-RW036 on DfE website.

2nd Interim Report
Research Report DCSF-RW035 on DfE website.

1st Interim Report
pdf file