Camden parents may be paid to go back to school to help kids with homework

The parent academies will be run by Camden Council

The parent academies will be run by Camden Council - Credit: Archant

Camden parents of children eligible for free school meals could be paid to go back to school so they can help their kids with their homework.

Parents of pupils at Camden primary schools will be invited to attend “parent academies” from September 2014 as part of a £1million initiative that will offer some parents financial incentives to take the classes.

The scheme will be run by Camden Council and funded by the Education Endowment Fund, a charitable foundation set up by the government to boost the performance of under-11s on free school meals.

Cabinet member for children, Cllr Angela Mason, said: “I’m pleased that we have the opportunity to be involved in this interesting initiative which we hope will raise the already high standard of educational achievement of our pupils.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how the scheme progresses and being able to share the results with schools in other boroughs so they can learn from our experience.”

Camden Council has not yet decided whether to pay parents to attend a series of 18 lessons, held once every two months in the 2014/2015 academic year, as they have not yet consulted prospective “students”.

Camden will join Middlesborough in taking part in the £990,000 one-year research study, launched to find ways of raising the achievements of children in low-income households.

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Parents who sign up to the academies will be able to take classes at their convenience, either in the day, at weekends or in the evening.

Their lessons will mimic the primary school curriculum so that they find out exactly what their child is learning in school.

The idea behind the scheme is that parents will be more able to help their child with their homework if they understand what the child is learning in school. Parents will also be encouraged to supplement their child’s education by going over what they have learned in school in the evening or at weekends.

As Camden Council is in the early stages of preparing the year-long scheme, it is not yet known where the parent academies will be based, but it is thought they might be housed within community centres.

The initiative is based on a US model where parents are either given a place at a parent academy or are allocated a free pre-school place for their child.