New government-funded app to get busy parents active in their child’s education

  • 24/11/2016

    EXCLUSIVETIME-poor mums and dads will be able to access a new taxpayer-funded mobile app to help them become more involved in their children’s schooling. learning_potentialsource of image:

    The free ‘Learning Potential’ app, which is part of a $5 million spend by government to drive up school results by engaging parents, will be available to download today on iPhone or android devices.

    Education Minister Christopher Pyne said it was designed to help working parents understand how they could engage with their child’s education in the small bursts of time they have.

    “The app makes it easier to be part of your children’s learning and will help parents get the most out of the time they spend with their children, at any age,” Mr Pyne said.

    Parents can customise the app for themselves by plugging in the ages of their children, so it offers age-appropriate learning games, helpful hints like the questions parents should be asking at parent-teacher nights, and articles about how to engage kids in reading and homework.

    Warren Cann, a psychologist with the Raising Children website, said parental involvement was critical and did not simply involve mums and dads taking time out to volunteer at their child’s school.

    “What we are talking about is something that goes beyond participation. It’s not just helping out at the tuckshop, it’s about genuinely engaging in their children’s learning,” he said.

    “We could improve outcomes for kids if we recognise that parents are a really playing important part in their child’s education right from the beginning.”


    Penny Dakin, the national program director of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, said while parental engagement was not a silver bullet to arrest Australia’s slide down international student rankings, it could significantly boost a child’s learning outcomes.

    “The quality of the home learning environment is more important for intellectual and social development than their parent’s occupation, education or family income,” Ms Dakin said.

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    “Families and parents who are involved can actually transcend those traditional barriers.”

    What the research says

    • Students with engaged parents tend to demonstrate improved academic results, less absenteeism and better social and behavioural skills.

    • Schools with strong family engagement are four times more likely to improve student reading, and ten times more likely to improve student math results             

    • Children aged 9-13 who have a more stimulating learning environment at home are more motivated for academic studies

    • The involvement of Australian parents in schooling and education declines from Grade 3


    For further information on the app Learning Potential, please visit the official website


    This article was originally published on Author: Lauren Wilson


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