My role


Once upon a time, dad went to school

Fathers, fancy going to your kids' schools for a day?

That's one of the ideas for Fathers’ Story Week  - 14 to 20 June 2010. Timed, like Men's Health Week, to coincide with Fathers’ Day (20 June), the week is an opportunity for primary schools, nurseries, pre-schools and Children’s Centres to get fathers and children working and spending time together in support of the children’s learning and development.

Organisers the Fatherhood Institute and Barnardo's are also encouraging schools to organise a Bring Your Dad To School Day on 18 June – a chance to welcome fathers and father-figures and start to establish a sustainable, ongoing rapport with them.

Charlie Rice of the Fatherhood Institute said: 'Evidence shows that children’s attainment benefits from having a father figure “someone who is like a dad to me” involved in their care, learning, development; taking an interest in their education and having a good connection with their early years setting and school.'

Fathers’ Story Week is designed to create a real change in the way fathers relate to their children’s school, and increase their involvement in their children’s education.

Father as expert

'Activities are designed to make the father the expert in the process,' said Charlie Rice. 'By asking about his experiences, the process allows him to share his past passions and his childhood with his children.  Children will learn more about their father as a learner, as someone who enjoyed reading and listening to music when they were younger.
'Questions will focus on experiences that apply to all Dads from varied backgrounds, including those who came to the UK as immigrants and asylum seekers, and those who grew up in a house where English was not the first language.  It will give children insights into the social history of the United Kingdom and of the countries where their fathers came from.
'The programme will be designed to ensure that those children who do not live with their father will not feel excluded. By including grandfathers, uncles, and other male figures in the activities, we will make sure that no child feels unable to participate and that no family feels left out.'

It's the perfect accompaniment to Men's Health Week - read the kids a story and then have a kick around.

MHF policy officer David Wilkins said: 'In 2007 we ran a research project in East London in which young children discussed their idea of a “good father”. One boy said that he wanted “nothing extravagant” - just someone ordinary who was loving, loyal and supportive. Our recent report on men’s mental health, Untold Problems, highlights the importance of good fathers to the physical and psychological well-being of future generations. As a nation, we could – and should - do better than we currently do in supporting fathers and fatherhood. Fathers’ Story Week is a fantastic idea which we wholeheartedly support.'

Page created on March 24th, 2010

Page updated on April 1st, 2010


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