Talking Futures: Evaluating your delivery

You only know your programme is worthwhile if you can see the difference it makes. Our guide to evaluation will help you measure its effectiveness.

Why evaluate parental engagement?

Here are some ways that evaluation helps:

  • Increasing impact: you can see what is and is not working in order to improve.
  • Internal accountability: you can report to school or college leaders the governing body.
  • External accountability: evidence can support external reporting, including under the new Ofsted framework.

What’s the best way to measure effectiveness?

Although not required for all individual activities, many evaluations measure before and after a programme of activity.


  • How well is parental engagement in careers working now?
  • Do parents know what information and support is available?
  • Do they access the support? Is there a way for them to give feedback?
  • How do parents get involved and does this reflect what they would like?


  • Repeat the ‘before’ measures of what is and isn’t working to gauge improvement.
  • Capture parents’ feedback about the activities they have engaged in.
  • Embed ongoing evidence collection as you implement new activities and strategies.

How can we gather evidence?

Surveys and interviews can help you assess progress.

  • Use a parental survey to capture insight before and after your programme of activities.
  • Capture feedback on specific activities through short online surveys or paper-based feedback forms.
  • Ask students about the support they receive from parents.

What criteria should we measure?

The more detailed evidence you can gather the better. Include as many of these criteria as possible:

  • Reach: How many parents participated, from which parent groups?  Are there some groups of parents who don’t engage and can you understand why?
  • Engagement: How did parents respond to the activity? Were they engaged and active participants?
  • Outcomes: What did participants learn? How do they intend to use the information to impact on their child’s decision making?
  • Improvements: What changes would participants like to see and how would these help?


  • Careers Leader
  • Further Education provider
  • Training Provider
  • Talking Futures
  • Free
  • Key stage 3
  • Key stage 4
  • Further education and skills
  • Parent engagement