Objectives

1.  To examine the impact of austerity on the availability of, and public access to, free community places and resources on which informal family learning often depends for those who are economically less well off in two disadvantaged urban communities in England and two in Portugal. 

2.  To explore how the socialisation, character formation and executive learning skills of children may have been affected by reductions in the availability of, and access, to local community spaces/places which has impacted on informal and family learning, particularly in disadvantaged (low income) families in the two countries.

3.  To document examples of current local community action which, through the period of austerity (2010-2017) has successfully sustained free public spaces/places and their contribution to the enhancement of informal family learning in the study communities.

4.  To explore how creative, cultural, interventions in local community spaces can enhance the impact of limited public funding to better support informal family learning. 

5. Through capturing the contextual processes in these urban informal learning spaces, to model possibilities which will be transferable to other such contexts, making a broader contribution to the policy and practice of working with disadvantaged families in public, free community places.

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