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

FAST was a voluntary programme often based in primary schools and which encouraged whole families to attend. Although predominately based in areas with significant levels of deprivation, families were not targeted; instead the programme was universal and open to all families with children aged 3-8 years. The FAST programme consisted of eight weekly meetings in which parents and children take part in structured activities, shared mealtimes, play and peer support/interaction. The programme was led by a collaborative team of volunteer delivery partners including parents, community and school staff. The weekly FAST sessions were then followed up by FASTworks which consisted of parent-led monthly meetings. FASTworks aimed 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.