Schools and communities

Increasing parental involvement across languages and cultures


Renaisi’s Community Inclusion Team help schools to improve the attainment and attendance of pupils with English as an additional language (EAL).

We do this by building rewarding, sustainable relationships between schools and families, with a particular focus on parental involvement.

In 2015, we worked with over 450 families and 15 schools across London. And we have increased parental involvement in schools by over 50% since 2013.

 Why involve parents?

At Renaisi, we see parental involvement as the foundation of academic success:

  • Children and young people thrive when parents understand the school system, communicate well with teachers and support learning at home
  • Families and communities thrive when parents realise their aspirations, improve their skills and support their children’s school

For families with English as an additional language (EAL), this is challenging. Parents who don’t understand the British education system often feel intimidated by the school environment. Schools find it hard to involve parents who don’t speak English. EAL pupils may feel lost between two very different cultures and languages.

Our Community Inclusion Team responds to these challenges. Embedded within school communities, we provide EAL pupils with direct classroom support and take their parents on a journey which enables them to:


effectively with their children’s school


positively with their children’s learning & development


fully to their school community

This means working sensitively to support the whole family as part of a wider, diverse school community. The result: positive, confident relationships at school and at home.

Watch:  parent Talia Urueña describes her journey to involvement at her child’s school

Watch:  Barrie O’Shea, headteacher of Duncombe School,
explains why he values
our service

Watch:  adviser Reba Rahman
explains how she
support parents in schools

Why do schools use the CEA service?


  • Vibrant community hubs: with support from our advisers, schools become places where parents and children from diverse languages, cultures and faiths come together to celebrate learning and raise aspirations for all
  • Specialist language support: our advisers speak over 10 different languages including Somali, Bengali, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, Hindi, Urdu, Polish, Kurdish and French/Lingala.  This means we can advise on particular cultures and help to communicate directly with parents and children
  • Multiple skills: advisers have specialised skills which help them to support parents and children – including interpreting, mentoring, EAL/ESOL skills and group facilitation
  • Engaging activities: advisers deliver British Education System Workshops, bilingual family learning and cross-cultural parenting programmes. Tailored to the needs of your school, activities include resources and toolkits for ongoing use
  • Parental involvement: advisers actively encourage minority language parents to contribute their values and skills.  This includes joining our Parent Volunteer scheme, with progression to roles in PTA and school governor bodies
  • Access to services: advisers create reliable links with health, housing, welfare and education providers. This strengthens support for families with complex issues while relieving pressure on busy school staff.


Click here for more information about how parental involvement
can improve attainment and attendance.

Our offer to schools

With our Community Engagement Advisor Service, your school receives:

  • At least one dedicated Community Engagement Advisor in school from one to
    three days per week
  • A dedicated Service Delivery Manager with full line-management and supervision responsibilities
  • Access to interpreting in other languages for specific events, such as parents’ evenings and workshops
  • A combination of in-class and parent-based support, with a focus on EAL and conversational ESOL
  • A choice of tailored activities including:

– Pupil mentoring for new arrivals – individually and in groups
– GCSE in community languages
– Weekly interpreting and advocacy surgeries
– A calendar of community events including coffee mornings with speakers,  fundraisers, faith-based celebrations,  creative workshops and international evenings
– Specialised workshops on sensitive family and school concerns including mental health awareness, female genital mutilation and extremism

  • Ongoing advice and support for your Parental Involvement or EAL strategy

Added opportunities

We also support our school partners to access funding and resources for additional programmes:

  • Funded cross-school partnerships focused on bilingual family learning. These projects encourage families to contribute their culture, language and educational experience as part of learning, with particular focus on literacy and numeracy skills. Click here to see a recent example
  • The Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) parenting programme. Delivered in community languages and English by our advisers, the course allows parents to reflect on their own ethnic and cultural roots, build confidence and take more active roles in school life. Click here to see a recent example

Meet our team

Our projects

Our clients

City and Hackney CCG
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School
Gillespie Primary School
Ambler Primary School
Montem Primary School
Mount Carmel RC School
Queen's Park Primary School
Stroud Green School

Resources and more information