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Tapestry Education Conference (TEC): Reflecting on Parental Engagement

We were delighted to hold the free online Tapestry Education Conference

on the 24th June 2021, 4-6pm.

The theme for this event was Reflecting on Parental Engagement

Working in partnership with parents and carers is written into the new EYFS framework, the new Development Matters guidance and Birth to 5 Matters, as it was in the documents that came before them. As children grow and families move into Primary schools, that partnership remains vital. Mutual respect and positive communication form strong foundations for building relationships between educators and families. These relationships support parents and carers to actively engage with their child’s learning, which in turn supports each child’s development.

This conference has been organised in collaboration with Learning with Parents. We hope it will offer you the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of parental engagement, recognise the barriers to engagement that may be experienced by parents and carers in your setting and school community, and find ways to reduce them to enrich each child’s learning and development at home and in your setting.


Event Description

After an introduction by Helen Edwards, co-founder of the Foundation Stage Forum and Tapestry, guest host Tom Harbour, CEO of Learning with Parents, opened with a short talk. Our speakers, Jamel C Campbell, Janet Goodall (EdD), and Suma Din then shared their presentations, each followed by a short Q&A with Tom. Helen closed the event.

You will find Jamel, Janet and Suma’s bio, talk description and downloadable presentations below:

Jamel C Campbell

Janet Goodall (EdE)

Suma Din


Event Recording

We are so glad to be able to share the conference recording with you. Whether you attended the event and want to revisit and reflect on it, or you are watching it for the first time, we hope this video will enable you to start, and continue, important conversations about parental engagement in your setting.

Below you will find the original and BSL versions of the recording.


Meet our Guest Host

Tom Harbour


Tom is the CEO of Learning with Parents, a charity working to ensure that every child is supported at home to fulfil their potential. They do this by providing an online platform for schools, and by leading a group of organisations to improve home learning across the sector. Tom also sits on the Board of Trustees at Teach First and is an Acumen UK Fellow. Tom has taught in the UK and Germany and completed a Masters in Education focussed on parental engagement.

Follow Learning with Parents on:

Facebook: Learning with Parents

Twitter: @learnwparents

LinkedIn: Learning with Parents

Meet the Speakers

Jamel C Campbell


About Jamel

Jamel C Campbell is an Early Years Educator, EY Consultant and Children’s Author. He has been in the industry for over 19 years. Early Years is his speciality, but he has worked in youth clubs, schools, been a mentor to many and supported children with SEND. Jamel is one of the UK’s Men in the Early Years champions / ambassadors. He has been featured in the media due to extensive experience and knowledge of the Early Years and quirky but effective practice. He has stood on numerous platforms and prestigious establishments as a Keynote speaker; St Mary’s University, University of East London, and Bath University to name a few. He has written articles for a local newspaper (the Catford Chronicle) and for well-known education and Early Year’s magazines such as: Optimus Education, TES, Famly, FSF/Tapestry and Early Years well-being magazine. Jamel has featured on CBeebies “Tiny Happy People” as an Early Years advisor which has been backed by the Duchess of Cambridge, and the BBC’s Bitesize giving transition tips to parents and professionals alike. He has collaborated with many well respected EY professionals and consultants.

Jamel is passionate about the Early Years, he stresses the importance of having men in the Early Years and the importance of having a balanced, diverse, inclusive workforce, curriculum and pedagogy. He has partnered with MITEY (Men in the Early years) which is associated with the Fatherhood Institute and has assisted L.E.Y.F. with extensive research about the effect of having men as part of the Early Years workforce.

Follow Jamel on:

Twitter: @JamelCarly

Instagram: @JamelCarly


About Jamel’s Talk

How to develop effective connections with our parents. 

From the day prospective parents view a setting to eventually the parents receiving an offer and then their child starts their settling in days, engagement matters. Parents will not leave their children with people they do not trust or in an environment that they cannot connect with. Parents are as anxious as their children. This is not only a transition for the child / children but also for the parents.

How do we connect and effectively keep the connection? What are the benefits of maintaining a connection? Does it matter?

Download Jamel's 6 Tips for Parental Engagement

Janet Goodall (EdD)

About Janet

Janet Goodall (EdD) is an associate professor in the School of Education, at Swansea University. Her main area of research is family and parental engagement in young people’s learning. She has researched, written and lectured widely on this topic, working with schools, families, local authorities and charitable bodies in the UK and further afield. Her most recent book, co-authored with Dr. Kathryn Weston, 100 ideas for Secondary Teachers, Engaging Parents, follows on from their previous book, 100 Ideas for Primary Teachers, Engaging Parents,  both available from Bloomsbury Education.

Follow Janet on:

Twitter: @janetifimust


About Janet’s Talk

Janet’s talk will focus on what parental engagement is, what its value is, and coming back from the pandemic.

Download Janet's Presentation

Suma Din


About Suma

Suma Din is an author, researcher, and educator. She worked in the Adult Learning Sector delivering Family Learning and ESOL courses for many years alongside writing books, educational resources and raising her three children. With a keen interest in parent engagement, Suma served widely in the voluntary sector as a parent governor in two primary schools, a former SACRE board member (Buckinghamshire) and teacher in the supplementary sector. She is currently working on the usual mix of editing two forthcoming titles, asking questions and listening (research projects), cooking and collaging!

Follow Suma on:

Twitter: @Suma_Din


About Suma’s Talk

Navigating engagement – mothers’ narratives of discovery.

How do these mums approach their children’s well-being and learning in relation to their nursery and reception curriculum? Their narratives are about bridging the gap between Early Years learning expectations and their own experience whilst managing their children’s general well-being.


Download Suma's Presentation