Evaluating the EMPAC project: empowering parents and children

‘Engaging Migrant Parents and Children’ (EMPAC ) was a research project of Ealing Council funded by the European Commission.

The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) was responsible for the evaluation of this innovative intervention in Ealing. EMPAC will achieve its objective by identifying and piloting new and existing strategies for supporting the integration of newly arrived families and children into school life within a rigorous research framework. EMPAC was a two-year project that was completed in 2014.


Ealing Council is the lead agency for the project and is delivering it in partnership with two European partner agencies:

  • Czech Republic: Ústí Region
  • Italy: Municipality of Bologna – Department of Education

Within Ealing, two children’s centres and four schools participated in the delivery of the project. In addition, a number of schools and pre-schools within Italy and the Czech Republic were also involved in the development and delivery of the project.

There was also be a small comparison group that included one children’s centre and two schools so that the impact of the above objectives can be determined. The lessons learnt from this project will be disseminated to all Ealing schools, to educational institutions across the partner countries and also wider across Europe.

What are the objectives of the evaluation?

To assess the extent to which activities delivered as part of the EMPAC project in Ealing have had a positive impact on newly arrived migrant children, parents and school staff. To increase learning and understanding about what works and what is challenging in supporting newly arrived migrant children and families.

What will the results of the research be used for?

We will use the results from the study to assess the extent to which the EMPAC intervention has worked, to identify the areas it has greatest impact on and how, if at all, it can be improved. The aim is to increase learning and understanding about what works and what is challenging in supporting newly arrived migrant children and families.

Contact person for the evaluation:

Dr Thomas Spielhofer

The TIHR team is Thomas Spielhofer (Evaluation Director), Milena Stateva (Project Manager), Laura Stock and Giorgia Iacopini.


The quality of work carried out by the Tavistock project team for the EMPAC project was excellent. The staff were highly professional, ensuring that the project was evaluated within a robust research framework whilst at the same time taking a pragmatic and flexible approach to working across a number of schools.- Feedback from Ealing Council

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