The New Education

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Increasing parental involvement in education

Socio-economic background is the leading determinant in the success of a child’s education. This project aims to address this by increasing parental participation in, and interaction with, their childrens’ education.

The project asserts that by branding education in a way that aligns with the parent’s ideas of success parental involvement will be stimulated.

This project was developed by Mike Gibbons (Innovation Unit), Rebecca King (Antigone), Ivo Gormley (thinkpublic), Alice Osbourne (thinkpublic) and Deborah Szebeko (thinkpublic) as a part of The Social Lab focusing on education.

The project will use aspects of marketing, popular media and business to re-position the school as an organisation that supports their own goals for their children and something which they can have a more active partnership with.

-To develop greater “buy-in” from parents for their children’s education.

-To re-frame the role of a school in the parents terms.

-To help reduce socio-economic.

-To develop the role of the school to be a place for parents.

-To develop a strong brand for schools that effectively sells education to parents.

The group identified the opportunity to make better use of technologies such as television, SMS and internet.

Opportunities for greater parental integration in the environment, planning and organisation were discussed and could be integrated with the New Education offering.

Pilot project:

This project will be tested in an area with poor parental engagement. Possibly an island community off mainland Britain.

A pilot project will have four phases:

Parent-led research:

Research into parent’s aims for their children and how this differs from how they understand the role of the school. Identification of aspects of education in which parents would like to play a larger role. Identification of aspects of education in which more parental involvement would be most effective.

Initial re-branding:

A re-design of all the school’s communications, using a wider rage of media working with parents and teachers. Re-branding will aim to indicate and promote identified areas of parental involvement and connect them with parents notions of success.


Prototyping and testing of new communications and branded materials. Measurement of parental involvement in school. Testing and experiementing with other areas of parental involvement.


Evaluation of project. Identification of opportunities surrounding re-branding, parental involvement and educational attainment.


  • A re-branded new school
  • Opportunity map for improving parental involvement in schools
  • Evaluation of impact of re-branding
  • A model that could be re-tested with another schools

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