Dads, mums, educators: join the PIECE Talks on home-school support

7 March 2022

Participants will be offered a £25 high street voucher as a thank you for their time

The Fatherhood Institute and researchers from the University of Leeds are running a series of online discussion events (‘PIECE Talks’) with parents and education practitioners in May 2022. These will focus on understanding the different ways in which fathers support their children’s learning, how fathers themselves are supported (by schools and early years settings, for example), and any challenges around this.

We know, from existing research, that parents’ early childcare involvement is important for children’s development – but much of this evidence is based on research conducted with mothers or parents more generally. We know less about whether and how fathers’ impact on their children’s development – even though fathers have an equally important role to play in the care of their children!

Who do we want to speak to?

We want to speak to fathers and mothers (in dad-only and mum-only sessions) who have at least one child under the age of 12, and who are from a diversity of backgrounds (including, but not limited to, biological/non-biological parents, those in two parent or single parent families, parents that live with their children full or part-time, or not at all).

We want to know about what fathers do, what support (if any) schools, nurseries and other family services offer and whether there are particular challenges to fathers’ (and mothers’) involvement in their children’s care and learning.

We also want to speak to teachers, heads and other school staff with a role in parental engagement, early years managers and staff, people from organisations and projects with an education focus and companies/ projects using technology to support parent-school relationships.

Why are we holding PIECE Talks?

The ‘PIECE Talks’ will help to inform the PIECE study, which explores links between fathers’ involvement in everyday educational and caregiving activities, and children’s progress at primary school. The care and support fathers provide is wide-ranging and might include helping with homework, or simply playing a game or going out for a walk. We are interested to find out what dads (and mums) do, and feel is important for their children – and what good support from schools and nurseries might look like.

When and where will the PIECE Talks take place?

We are holding three sets of PIECE talks online (using Zoom) with fathers, mothers, and schools/ early years settings/ the education sector to share some of our early project findings, and to hear different perspectives and experiences around fathers’ childcare and school involvement. The discussions we have will help us to develop resources for schools, early years settings and families but the key is that these are both relevant and helpful hence why we want to capture the views of parents and practitioners in this work. The forums will be audio recorded but only for transcription purposes and everyone’s contributions will be anonymised.

The PIECE Talks will run as follows:

  • Fathers: 16 May at 7.30pm – 9pm
  • Mothers18 May at 7.30pm – 9pm
  • Education sector19 May at 12pm – 1.30pm.

If you’d like to take part – or just find out more – please email our Head of Communications Dr Jeremy Davies, who is Co-Investigator on the PIECE study, by 1 April. In your email to, please tell us the following:

  • Your name
  • Which event you’re interested in (Fathers/Mothers/Education sector). If you’re interested in the father/mother events, confirm that you have a child/ren aged under 12 (Yes/No)
  • What you do for a living/ how you spend your time (apart from looking after your child/ren)
  • Describe how you would define your identity (here you might tell us about your ethnicity, age or other things that would help us understand “who you are”)
  • Why you’re interested in taking part (up to 100 words)
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