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Supporting your child to do well in education

Supporting your child to do well in education

Parents and carers play an important role in supporting their children to do as well as they can in school. In this section we will cover some ways that you can support your child’s learning.

If your child is struggling in school or are not doing as well as other children their age, they may have a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND). If you are concerned about this, visit our SEND section to find out more.

Early Years and School Readiness

There are four big things that are likely to affect how well children do when they start school:


  • language and communication
  • personal, social, and emotional development
  • physical development
  • characteristics of effective learning.


Who can help get children ready for school?


  • Parents at home when they read stories with their child, sing songs and talk about things that interest them and their child, and play with their child. The Professional Association of Childcare and Early Years have a Parent Guide for Getting School Ready. Further advice about supporting your child’s development if they have SEND is in the SEND section.


  • Health professionals (like health visitors) working with parents and children who may make suggestions to you.


  • Children and Family Centres hold activities (like stay and play’s) which support children’s development to help them get ready for school. They also offer support and advice to parents.  


  • Early years settings, including child minders, nurseries, play groups or schools can help support children’s development. You can ask them for advice. Use the Government Childcare Choices Website to find out if you may be eligible for free or discounted early years provision here.


There are two key things that happen to monitor children’s readiness for school.


  • Assess school readiness – at the end of the reception year, teachers assess whether children have reached the early learning goals. If they reach the goals for personal, social and emotional development, communication and language, physical development, literacy and mathematics, then their development is considered as good and they are ready for year one.

Tower Hamlets Council have made a guide for parents and professionals about school readiness which you can read to find out more.

Learning, Homework, Studying and Exams

The Parental Engagement Team (PET) offer learning workshops that help you understand what your child is learning at school and discover how you can help at home, as well as other parenting courses. Go to their page to find out more and about what is on offer.


They also hold Platform to Talk sessions, which are discussion based online sessions where you can connect with other parents to share concerns and get reliable information. There are Platform to Talk sessions about preparing for exams and studying.


Your child’s school, as well as local Youth Centres and Children and Family Centres often offer homework and study clubs which your child may like to join.

Oxbridge have advice about how parents can support their child’s learning, including by communicating with the school. The Child Mind Institute has useful advice about keeping your child motivated in school.

BBC Bitesize have useful resources to help young people with exams and studying.

The government also have useful resources for dealing with anxiety and worries about exams.

If English is not your child’s first language, and this is causing them to struggle in school you can ask the school to see how they can support your child. If you don’t speak English and are struggling to support your child with their schoolwork, you may like to take an ESOL (English Spoken as Another Language) course as an adult.

Mediating Learning Support Assistants (MeLSA)

What is a Mediating Learning Support Assistant (MeLSA), and how to find out more.

What is a Mediating Learning Support Assistant (MeLSA)?

A Mediating Learning Support Assistant (MeLSA) is a trained, school-based learning support assistant. Their role is to support pupils’ learning. They’re trained by a team of educational psychologists and have ongoing group supervision to help develop and maintain effective practice.

MeLSAs are trained in how to help children /  young people become independent, effective learners. MeLSAs develop essential mediation skills based on cognitive science research to help children reach their full potential. They learn and apply skills in metacognition, growth mindset, retrieval practice and precision teaching to help children learn effectively and perform better.

Who do MeLSAs work with?

MeLSAs may work:

  • individually with a child or young person on a specific learning skill or skills
  • in small groups, where children or young people share a similar learning need, or where the input of one child or young person may support others
  • with most of the class, while the teacher works with children or young people who need more help

What does the training cover?

MeLSAs have 6 days of initial training which covers:

  • mindset
  • memory
  • metacognition (‘thinking about thinking’)
  • recall
  • maths
  • literacy

The training is practical and interactive, and is followed by group supervision.

How to find out more

View a MeLSA blog here: Mediated learning: video series -

For more information, or to enquire about booking a place on the MeLSA course, please contact the MeLSA team at Tower Hamlets Educational Psychology Service

Safe After School Clubs and Organisations

It is important for parents and carers to know that there are no regulations governing tutors or many after school activities (unless it is an Ofsted registered childcare provision).

Local Authorities and schools cannot provide a list of approved professionals who work as tutors or coaches. Therefore, it is the parents’ responsibility to make sure if you do consider a tutor is qualified and does not pose a risk to their child.

Here are some useful questions that you may want to ask:

  • Does the activity/class/club have a website or leaflet I can read?
  • How long has the activity/class/club been operating?
  • How many staff support the activity?
  • How many children and young people attend?
  • Does the location, travel, and the timing of the activity work for my child and family?
  • Can I visit the session before my child starts and stay to observe the sessions my child attends?
  • Can I see their DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) certificate?
  • Can I read a copy of the policy on safeguarding children?
  • Can I read a copy of the health and safety policy?
  • Can I have a copy of the code of conduct for staff, volunteers, and children?
  • Are all staff trained in safeguarding and first aid?
  • What emergency procedures are in place?
  • Who do I speak to if I have any concerns?

The Department for Education also have Parental Guidance for keeping children safe during community activities, after-school clubs and tuition which includes questions to help parents choose out-of-school settings.

Other resources

  • We can access has put together a list of inclusive books for all children or all ages and all abilities, making World Book Day Inclusive, why not take a look.