The role played by grandparents in family support and learning: considerations for mainstream and special schools

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Publication details

JournalSupport For Learning
DatePublished - 2008
Issue number3
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)126-135
Original languageEnglish


The twenty-first century family faces many demographic changes. Despite this, the importance of intergenerational relationships remains. This article initially reviews the literature surrounding the role that grandparents play in their children's families, highlighting a growing body of research demonstrating the important support role that grandparents play in the lives of families with non-disabled children. In contrast, there is limited research on the role played by and support needs of grandparents to families with disabled children. Recognising the significance of 'family' rather than purely 'parent'-based partnerships in UK schools, this article considers the role and importance of grandparents in schools, in particular, intergenerational learning, and how schools can begin to include grandparents and also provide support to meet grandparents' own support needs. Despite a limited literature on schools working specifically with grandparents of children with SEN, some policy and practice issues are discussed and areas for future consideration suggested.

    Research areas

  • family, ill/disabled children, older people

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