Family Learning with Oxfordshire Adult Learning is a way of helping parents and carers to support their children’s learning and development.

Family Learning aims to help parents and carers to support their children’s learning and development, and to understand why this is so important.

Through courses and workshops, Family Learning encourages interaction and engagement between parents/carers and children; at the same time, gain skills and knowledge to support their children’s education. Family Learning courses give parents and carers the opportunity to develop their confidence and improve their skills in many areas, from budgeting to cooking.

Family Learning courses in English, Maths, IT and ESOL (English as a Second or Other Language) can lead to Level 2 accreditation. Family Learning mainly works with targeted groups of adults and children who it is felt are most likely to benefit from the support offered. It is a free service.

What courses can I do?

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.

To initiate a discussion on course design or to enrol on a course, contact us at oal.curriculummanager@abingdon-witney.ac.uk with your ideas and contact details and we will get back to you. You can also call the Admissions team on 01235 216 400 and they will be on-hand to help you through the enrolling process.

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