Frequently asked questions
Here is a list of important 'Frequently Asked Questions'. Click on each questions to reveal the answer, or view all by using the expand button.
Q: What age children is it for?A:
FAST is aimed at children in their first few years of primary school, (aged three to five), but brothers and sisters are also welcome to attend as part of the family. From babies to teenagers, all are welcome.Back to top
Q: What is FAST?A:
Families and Schools Together is an award-winning early-intervention programme which 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.Back to top
Q: How does it work?A:
- 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, for two-and-a-half hours each week, where children and parents take part in games and activities together.
- Step 3: After the eight weeks, families can choose to take part in ongoing supported activities in the school.
LEAs & partners
Q: How do you know that FAST is effective?
Q: Why should we support FAST?A:
FAST engages large groups of families - up to 40 in a single school site - developing relationships and empowering parents and children. The FAST evidence base suggests that strengthening relationships around a child can support their first experience of school and encourage parents to play an active and supportive role in their children’s learning. FAST develops strong school-community links, helps parents to engage with local services and has significant positive outcomes for children and families.Back to top
Q: How is FAST funded?A:
Save the Children currently fund FAST in the UK, and we have been very successful in securing donor support to implement the programme at scale. To date, we have worked with 6,000 families and 11,500 children across the UK since 2010.Back to top
Q: What kinds of activities will we do at FAST?A:
Every week you and your family will play games together, and meet up with other parents while your children have fun. You'll also eat a meal together and every week there is a lottery draw for games and books to take home.Back to top
Q: What if my family can’t attend one week?A:
That’s fine just let your FAST Team know. If you enjoy FAST, we hope you'll be able to attend at least six of the eight weeks – then you will graduate.Back to top
Q: What if I don’t know anyone?A:
We appreciate it can be hard in the first week, but you will quickly make new friends and get to know people and the FAST Team will do all they can to support you.Back to top
Q: What about childcare for my other children?A:
FAST is all about families so you can bring your whole family. As long as we know who is coming we can cater for all ages of children, from newborns right the way through to teenagers.Back to top
Q: How will FAST help my child?A:
FAST gives you a chance to spend quality time with your child. It can help you support your child's learning in school, get to know their teachers and develop games and ideas to help your child learn at home too. You will also build friendships with other parents at the school, and find out about more community activities that could benefit you and your child.Back to top
Q: Do I have to pay to attend a FAST session?A:
No, FAST is free to attend. You just need to come to the first week and see if it’s for you.Back to top
Q: How can I set up FAST in my school?
Q: How much does FAST cost to run?A:
FAST is fully funded. What we need from participating schools is a commitment of time from teaching staff, parents and community organisations to form the local FAST Team and support the programme in your school. Save the Children provides full training and covers programme costs.Back to top
Q: How many school staff will need to be involved to run it?A:
A minimum of four teaching staff need to commit to the training and become part of the FAST team to supports the weekly sessions over eight weeks. FAST generates a lot of interest in school so we would advise a whole school approach to taking up the programme. Additional staff can volunteer to support the programme through set up and preparation for the weekly sessions.Back to top
Q: Who are the FAST leaders?A:
Every school has a nominated site co-ordinator who is drawn from the trained FAST Team. The FAST Team is made up of teaching staff, parents and local representatives from community or statutory organisations. The programme is all about making local links between parents, schools and the wider community.Back to top