PACT: Parents and Children Together



Parents and Children Together (PACT) is an early language teaching programme that aims to provide parents with strategies, resources and activities to support their child’s early language development at home.

The PACT project series uses rigorous scientific research methodology to test the effectiveness of the PACT programme.



Background information about the first PACT project, which ran between 2015 and 2017.


Information on PACT-2, running from 2019 to 2021.


Information on PACT-3, running from 2021 to 2023.


Meet the team

The University of Manchester

Dr Kelly Burgoyne

Kelly is a Lecturer in Language Disorders at The University of Manchester. Her research is focused on cognitive development, particularly the development of reading and language skills, and the nature and causes of children’s learning difficulties.

Kelly has particular experience in the development and evaluation of interventions to support children’s reading and language development.

Recent projects include a large-scale longitudinal study of Australian school children; the development and evaluation of a parent-delivered early language teaching programme for pre-school children; and studies of the role of pattern understanding in reading and arithmetic development.

Steph Hargreaves

Steph is a Research Assistant at The University of Manchester. Her qualifications include a BSc and a Masters of Research in Psychology. Steph has good knowledge of randomised controlled trials because of her experience in NHS clinical research.


Steph supported many child language acquisition studies during her previous role at the Child Study Centre in Manchester, which is part of the ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD) research collaboration investigating how children learn to communicate using language.

Durham University team

Vic Menzies

Vic is an experienced education trial coordinator and researcher with extensive experience of running large trials in nurseries, primary and secondary schools, including the EEF EasyPeasy and Maths Champions randomised controlled trials.

Prior to moving to Durham, Vic’s previous research included studies of early number development in Scotland and the effect of phonological awareness and training on children’s early reading skills.

Dr Helen Cramman

Helen is Research Team Lead for the Research Hub of the School of Education (RHoSE) at Durham University and has experience of leading and delivering large scale surveys, focus groups and interviews as well as managing large trials, including EEF EasyPeasy.

Helen has led a range of studies in the early years with projects including an Innovate UK funded project looking at innovative methods for teaching computer science to reception pupils. She has published on the development of language and number skills in the early years (Boereboom 2018, Copping 2017, Cramman, 2018). Helen also has experience of providing CPD to primary educators.

Paivi Eerola

Paivi is a Research Assistant at Durham University. She has an MPhil in Musicology and an MA in Music Education from the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. Paivi is experienced in qualitative research methods through running interviews and surveys and analysing qualitative data.

Paivi has supported many evaluations covering a wide age range of pupils, including evaluation of university summer schools schemes aimed at Year 12 pupils; the change in practical science exams at GCSE and A levels; and singing leadership training for primary school teachers. She has published on the social impact of music education (2014) and widening participation in higher education (Younger & Eerola, 2018).


Other members of the Durham University Research Team include Dr Adetayo Kasim and Dr Nasima Akhter, who are the statisticians analysing the data.

Lyn Robinson-Smith from the York Trials Unit at the University of York will also provide expertise in randomised controlled trials in early years’ settings.

Professor Christine Merrell will support the process evaluation as well as the interpretation of the quantitative findings.

Dr Julia Rattray will provide psychology expertise to support the delivery of the assessments.

Contact us

If you have any questions about our project, please get in touch.

Kelly Burgoyne – PACT Project Lead
tel: 0161 2757208

Steph Hargreaves – PACT Research Assistant
tel: 0161 2757208

Vic Menzies – Durham University Research Trial Officer
tel: 0191 334 4177

Twitter: @PACTLanguage