Evaluation of the FAST (Families and Schools Together) Programme in Scotland

FAST is a voluntary programme often based in primary schools and which encourages whole families to attend. Although predominately based in areas with significant levels of deprivation, families are not targeted; instead the programme is universal and open to all families with children aged 3-8 years. The FAST programme consists of eight weekly meetings in which parents and children take part in structured activities, shared mealtimes, play and peer support/interaction. The programme is led by a collaborative team of volunteer delivery partners including parents, community and school staff. The weekly FAST sessions are then followed up by FASTworks which consists of parent led monthly meetings. FASTworks aims to strengthen positive links between schools, communities and parents in order to improve a child’s school-related performance, prevent behavioural problems and reduce risk.

The Robert Owen Centre was charged with identifying the factors that contribute to successful/unsuccessful early intervention family engagement practice in Scotland (with a focus on supporting children’s education) using a case study approach of FAST in four localities. The ROC team evaluation involved a combination of empirically gathered qualitative data and inclusion of previously gathered quantitative data.

PI and Co-Is

PI: Professor Chris Chapman

Co-Is:  Stuart Hall, Kevin Lowden, Natalie Watters, Nancy Njiriani

The Robert Owen Centre/School of Education, University of Glasgow

Start and End Date

The evaluation was conducted in 2014 and 2015.

Funder and Funding amount

Save the Children - £22,860 including VAT

Related Publications

Chapman, C., Watters, N., Njiriani, N., Lowden, K., & Hall, S. (2015) Evaluation of the FAST programme. Robert Owen Centre.