Page 1: Participant Information


University of Dundee School Research Ethics Committee Application/Approval Number: E2020-16

If you are a father or male carer responsible for a child that attends a Nursery, Early Years Centre, Primary School or Secondary School, then you are invited to take part in this research project. It will explore ‘Fathers’ involvement in their children’s education and examine the relationship between factors that may affect engagement. Before you decide whether or not you would like to participate it is important that you read the information provided below. This will help you to understand why and how the research is being carried out and what participation will involve. Please contact the researcher if anything is unclear or you have any questions.

Who is conducting the research?

The research will be completed by:

Eoin Keane –


The research will be supervised by an academic supervisor:

Gillian Horribine –

The research being completed is for a thesis dissertation, which forms part of the MSc Educational Psychology qualification at the University of Dundee. The research is not funded.

What is the purpose of the research?

Research suggests there is great value when parents/carers become involved in their child’s education. Only a small amount of studies completed in Scotland have focused on fathers/male carers involvement and more research is needed. The purpose of this research is to try and understand what factors are associated with fathers’ involvement in their child’s education and what might help or prevent fathers’ engagement with their child’s schooling. The research aims to understand your perspectives and opinions on this and to understand if fathers’ involvement is different across different demographics (e.g. marital status, level of education, job category, etc). The findings from this research will be used for my MSc thesis but will also add to understandings about fathers’ involvement in their children’s education and how that may be best supported.

Why have I been invited to take part?

You have been invited to take part because you identify as a father / male carer with a child or children in a Scottish education establishment. The researcher would value your contribution to the research.

Do I have to take part?

No, your participation is entirely your choice. Once you have read this information about the study you can decide whether or not you’d like to take part. Choosing not to take part will not disadvantage you in any way. All responses will be anonymous (they will not ask your name) so once you have completed the survey it will not be possible to withdraw, because it will not be possible to know which was your response. Should you have any other comments or feedback for the researcher after completion, you can also contact them via the details above.


What will happen if I take part?

Once you have read this sheet and if you agree to take part, you will be asked to indicate your consent at the bottom of the next page.

If you do not want to take part, do not give consent. You will be taken to a sign out page and no one will know that you have not agreed to take part.

If you give your consent you will be taken to the start of online survey on the next page. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. These questions are organised into three sections including level of engagement, factors affecting engagment, and background (demographic) information. Some questions will require you to tick a box, some will be followed by a text box for you to add comments and allow the researcher to gain greater insight in certain key areas. Other questions will ask you to provide demographic information such as marital status, level of education, job category and relationship to the child. The survey will require reading the questions in English and a typed response in English where a text box is provided. Seeking support from friends/family/ or a service to complete the survey is fine.

Are there any risks in taking part?

The researcher does not intend to cause any harm or risk to participants and none of the questions are designed to raise any harmful or negative emotions. There is the chance that completing the survey may prompt reflection on your own experiences and raise emotional memories. However, please know that your responses will be anonymous and any information that may identify you will be removed by the researcher and that you will not be judged in any way. A debrief sheet and list of support services will be provided at the end.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

There are no direct benefits to you but your involvement will help increase the understanding of how fathers / male carers feel about their involvement in their child’s education and the factors associated with this. This is important because research suggests parental engagement is very beneficial for your child. Your participation will help shape future recommendations.

Will my taking part in this project be kept confidential?

Yes, all of the answers you give in the survey will be kept confidential and anonymous – you will not be asked your name or other identifying features about you. If you do provide information that could identify you (e.g. location), the researcher will remove these identifiers. The researcher and their supervisor will be the only person who have access to your anonymous survey response. The only circumstance under which the researcher will need to breach this confidentiality is to report potential harm or danger to participants or others, or criminal activity, to the relevant authorities, such as information relating to terrorism, money laundering or child abuse.

What will happen to the information I provide?

All anonymous survey responses will be stored on a secure online survey platform called ‘OnlineSurveys’ which only the researcher and supervisor will be able to access. This data and any subsequent analysis will always be stored in this secure survey account or on a password protected University of Dundee One drive account. It will be archived for up to 10 years in the University of Dundee servers. The survey responses might be used in a journal article or other publication or shared with other researchers for future studies. Please note again, should survey data be shared, you will not be identifiable. Participants can get a copy of the thesis by contacting the researcher. Once you have completed the survey you will not be able to change your responses or be removed from the study.

Data Protection

The personal data that will be collected and processed in this study are – education level, job category, age and marital status.

The University asserts that it is lawful for it to process your personal data in this project as the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. The University respects your rights and preferences in relation to your data and if you wish to update, access, erase, or limit the use of your information, please follow the steps outlined under ‘Will my taking part in this project be kept confidential ?’


Please note that some of your rights may be limited where personal data is processed for research, but we are happy to discuss that with you. If you wish to complain about the use of your information, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer in the first instance (email: You may also wish to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (

You can find more information about the ways that personal data is used at the University at:

Is there someone else I can complain to?

If you wish to complain about the way the research has been conducted please contact the Convener of the University Research Ethics Committee (

Alternative formats

The researcher should offer to provide a copy of the Participant Information Sheet and Consent Form  in alternative formats (e.g. large print, Braille). Advice on alternative formats can be obtained from Disability Services (email: