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Degrees of help in family literacy

Liverpool parents who once struggled to read are now taking degrees - thanks to the experience of helping out with their children's homework.

A special family literacy scheme has persuaded parents to improve their basic skills so they, in turn, can help their children.

At the same time, the project is offering a part-time route to higher education. So far 80 parents have reached "access" level and five have started their degrees.

Sponsored by Liverpool Council and the European Social Fund, the initiative is one of several highlighted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which this week staged a conference on school-parent partnerships across the developed world.

The conference also heard a presentation from the Coventry-based SHARE programme where reception teachers work alongsideparents.

Speaking at the conference, education minister Estelle Morris praised both schemes. She said it is "essential" to harness the potential pf parents from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Research Focus, pages 12-13

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