Families and Schools Together

Families and Schools Together (FAST) is an award-winning early-intervention programme that brings parents, children, teachers and the wider community together, to make sure children get the support they need to fulfil their potential at school – and in life. 


We believe every child should be happy at school and have the chance to fulfil their potential. We also know how important it is for parents to get the support they need to help their child achieve, learn and develop. 

That's why Save the Children is working in partnership with Middlesex University to deliver FAST in areas of deprivation and where high numbers of children receive free school meals. Together, we’re committed to creating a lasting legacy for early-intervention and parental support.

How does FAST work?

  • Step 1: Parents of children in a primary school class or year group are invited to attend FAST with their family.
  • Step 2: Up to 40 families attend eight weekly sessions where children and parents take part in structured activities together.
  • Step 3: Weekly sessions are followed by monthly meetings run by graduated FAST families.

FAST supports families by:  

  • helping children improve their skills in reading, writing and maths – as well as encouraging good behaviour and a positive attitude to school and learning
  • helping parents get more involved in their child’s education, so they can support learning and development at home
  • encouraging stronger bonds between parents and their child, their child’s school, other parents and the wider community.

Find out more on our FAST UK website.

Delivering success

Our research has shown that after taking part in the FAST programme, children are happier at home and at school, and are more engaged in learning.

Parent-child bonds improve, family conflicts decrease, parents’ involvement in school increases and social support networks develop between parents.

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, former Secretary of State for Education, says, “I have seen FAST in action. It is a highly impressive, proven programme.”

The future for FAST

We’re committed to scaling up FAST to reach thousands more children in deprived communities in the UK. Our ambition is to:

  • Deliver FAST to reach more than 50,000 children by 2017. This will help us build evidence to present to the government, to ensure parental-support programmes like FAST are available to all families.
  • Train staff in local authorities and public bodies to deliver FAST, building a high quality workforce that can deliver the programme into the future.
  • Train community partners and establish a national team of supervisors, to manage the programming of FAST across the UK.

It’s an ambitious target. But we believe that by working together, we can help give even more children living in poverty a fair chance at school – and in life. 

What you can do to help

The more support we receive, the more children we can reach in the UK's most deprived areas. 

Donate now to help give children the chance to succeed at school.

We're also looking for local authorities to help us to bring FAST to more communities. If you can help, please email Peter Bryson at: p.bryson@savethechildren.org.uk.