HRH Princess Anne was among the hosts at a conference on ‘Forgotten Families’, at which Middlesex University Professor of Social Work Research Lynn McDonald recently presented.
Prof McDonald spoke at the request of Princess Anne, who she has previously met through Middlesex’s work with the charity Save the ChildrenUK. At the event, which focused on how to place family learning back at the heart of policy, Prof McDonald talked about the importance of continued family learning and her own highly successful evidence-based parenting programme now being run at Middlesex.
The Families and Schools Together programme (FAST) brings families together to practice playing with their children and allows parents to spend time with other parents and share tips and experiences. The two year programme aims to help families interact and improve the behaviour and academic performance of children. FAST has now been implemented in more than 2,500 schools in eighteen countries including the UK, where FAST teams of parents and professionals have been trained and supervised. Impressively it has also been recommended as an effective family skills programme by the United Nations, while in the UK it is currently funded both by Save the Children and via the Government’s CAN Parent Scheme.
The event on 12 October 2012 was held by The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) in front of high profile guests such as the BBC's Head of Commissioning, members from the House of Lords and representatives from the Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Education, Department of Health and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Other speakers included Baroness Valerie Howarth and the Skills Training UK CEO Martin Dunford at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's offices in London.