Global Communities and society, Education and children's services

Fathers in families and education: Case studies and resources for local government


Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

Every week, we highlight inspiration and innovation from local government worldwide. In this article, we’re focusing on measures from Brazil, Northern Ireland, Timor-Leste and Belgium to improve and protect our electoral systems and campaigns, along with plenty of practical policy and resources on coordinating elections.

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Policy innovation and inspiration examples from the local government sector

Columbia: The care school for men
Since 2021, the City of Bogota has been running a project teaching men how to be better fathers, as well as husbands, sons, brothers or any masculine societal role. The city is setting out to encourage Columbia’s men to better contribute their fair share of domestic work and care giving, which they believe is at the root of the country’s gender inequality and perceived machismo culture. Some 30% of Bogota’s female population, or 1.2 million women, provide full-time unpaid care. As of 2024, some 9,800 men have benefited from in person sessions, which educate men on care tasks and household chores. The scheme appears to be working, with city research suggesting that more men and women in Bogota say they are distributing household work more equally in 2023 than in 2021.

England: Modernising working conditions for new fathers
In 2022, South Lanarkshire Council introduced new progressive legislation to better support its staff in the aftermath of the pandemic. Specifically, the council set out to make paternity leave more equitable. Standard UK policy for paternity leave is that eligible fathers receive one week of full normal pay and one week under Statutory Paternity Leave and Statutory Pay provisions. The council increased paid paternity leave to four weeks. In addition, the council has signed up to the Pregnancy Loss Pledge, a campaign where employers commit to support any staff member through the distress of miscarriage.
Daily Record

USA: San Diego triples paid parental leave
In a bid to reduce worker turnover, the City of San Diego has tripled the amount of paid parental leave it is offering its employees from four to twelve weeks. The eighth largest employer in the region, the city is aiming to reduce employee turnover and boost recruitment efforts. Improving the length of leave is increasingly common in U.S. cities, as the nation is the only industrialised country in the world not to offer federal paid parental leave.
The San Diego Union-Tribute

Scotland: Boosting recruitment of men in early learning and childcare
Perth and Kinross Council has partnered with Perth UHI to run a course for men interested in working in childcare or wishing to gain additional training to boost their career opportunities in teaching, social work or sports coaching. Recognising the benefits men bring to childcare settings, the Men in Childcare course in part sets out to provide positive role models for boys without this influence in their lives. The course provides insight about working in childcare and offers a placement in nurseries, schools, kids clubs or out of school care settings.
Perth and Kinross Council

Resources to help run our elections

Old file folders books

Research: Half of new dads don’t get the flexibility they ask for at work – TUC
This new research by the Trades Union Congress finds that half of new fathers and partners are having requests for flexible working denied by employers. In addition, fathers and partners on lower incomes were even less likely to see requests for flexible working accepted, with nearly two-thirds of those entitled to partnerity leave with a household income of under £40,000  having their requests partially or totally rejected.

Report: Paternal Involvement and its Effects on Children’s Education
This collaboration between Leeds University Business School and the University of Manchester explores the impact of fathers’ involvement on children’s educational outcomes in the UK. Focusing on child cognitive, behavioral, and emotional development, the study examines how gender-equal parental practices and the division of paid and unpaid work affect children’s education. It seeks to address inequalities in educational outcomes and promote positive child development.

Report: Dad days: how more gender-equal parental leave would improve the lives of Australian families
As one of the few policies that deliver both significant social and economic gains, gender-equal paid parental leave has been embraced in Australia, leading to greater parental satisfaction, higher rates of workforce participation, greater economic security for women, and improvements in child development. This report calls for developing this policy further, recommending an additional six additional weeks leave be added to the current 20-week paid parental leave allowance.

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