Strong parents’ involvement in their children’s education is the best way to narrow the gap between the lowest and highest achievers. According to an independent inquiry sponsored by adult learning champion NIACE, parents want to help their children to learn but many do not know how to do it efficiently.

A better cooperation between schools and families is part of the solution. Nevertheless, as Dr Philip Dixon, director of education union ATL Cymru, said: “Parents cannot just hand over the responsibility of their child’s educational progress to schools, they have to be actively involved by showing a commitment to learning themselves. This hands-on interaction is not simply beneficial to the child, the adult too grows.”

Improvement of the learning culture in a family can make a considerable difference. Baroness Valerie Howarth, the chairwoman of the inquiry, said: “Evidence shows that family learning could increase the overall level of children’s development by as much as 15 percentage points for those from disadvantaged groups.”