Set up by the Community Education Development Centre, the project will focus initially on 300 children in year 1, who will use specially developed "Sharebooks" at home, with structured support from the school. The scheme will at first concentrate on English and maths linked to key stage 1 of the national curriculum but will expand to other year groups and subjects.
"Share is aimed at those parents and carers who want to support their child at school but are unsure of the best way to help," said Gordon Mott, director of education and leisure at Southwark Council, one of the participating authorities.
The recent report from the Office for Standards in Education showing the different attainments of children from various ethnic groups pointed to the importance of parental involvement, as did the Government's new proposals for testing five-year-olds.
Information from: CEDC, Lyng Hall, Blackberry Lane, Coventry CV2 3JS.