From education to employment


As many as one in ten parents in the UK admit not feeling confident as a parent, relating to helping with school work, dealing with bad behaviour and ensuring that their child is motivated to be successful in later life, a survey from YouGov has found[i].  However, adult learning is transforming confidence, with 87 per cent of parents taking part in education courses increasing in self-confidence says The WEA. 

This comes as The WEA, the UK’s voluntary sector provider of adult education, launches Grow Together – Learn Together, a parenting campaign to promote the impact of adult learning on families.

A WEA survey of adults taking part in education courses found that:[ii]

  • 87 per cent of parents reported an increase in self-confidence
  • 50 per cent of parents said their relationship with their children improved
  • 58 per cent of parents improved their confidence in helping their children with reading, writing or maths. In contrast to a recent survey that revealed a quarter of British parents reveal that they do not help their children with homework due to a fear of embarrassment.
  • 31 per cent of parents noticed improvements in their children’s educational achievement.

The campaign is promoting the benefits of adult learning to families and signposting parents to a range of courses in their local area.  The courses are all centred around everyday life skills including confidence building, managing stress, digital skills and ESOL.

Ruth Spellman, CEO of the WEA said:

“We know that education helps people to take charge of their own lives, widen their horizons and make them aware of the possibilities available to them that can transform their futures. The impact we are seeing in all our students is that not only does their confidence increase after attending any course but for those that are parents their relationship with their children improves.  

 “Adult learning impacts so many areas of a person’s life including employability, health and wellbeing and family life.  Whether building parents confidence and making them aware of the options available to them; improving relationships with their children through becoming more confident at helping with homework and finally boosting their child’s prospects by providing them with a love of learning and raising their aspirations for what they can achieve, adult learning has a wide range of positive effects on families in the UK.  

“By parents demonstrating to their children the advantages and the enjoyment that can be obtained from education, they can in fact change their children’s attitudes and raise their aspirations. If we really want children and adults to achieve their potential we must encourage adults into education and tackle the barriers they face head on in order to drive social mobility.”


  1. An online YouGov survey of 1,083 UK parents, conducted for The WEA between the 8th and 12th June 2018 found that 11% stated they feel not confident as a parent.  Figures were weighted and are representative of all UK adults aged 18+.
  2. A WEA survey of 4,000 students responded to the survey from  May to June 2018

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