The Parent Support Adviser (PSA) role, piloted in 2006-2008 in 20 Local Authorities (LAs) in England, offered preventative and early intervention support to families where there were concerns about children‟s school attendance or behaviour. Overall, this was a highly successful initiative in terms of supporting parental engagement with their children‟s schools. However, this article presents evidence drawn from 162 interviews (with PSAs, their line managers and coordinators in 12 case study LAs) showing that there was one key area in the PSA pilot that was less successful – the engagement of fathers. The article examines views about how to engage fathers and of the barriers explaining the overall absence of fathers from the PSA project. It highlights the dissonance between policy and practitioner guidance on the one hand and practice on the other with regard to the relative failure to engage fathers with this important initiative
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