PLMR partners with education sector leaders to deliver new national helpline to support parents

StarLine project is backed by the Department for Education

Leading communications agency PLMR has partnered with some of the country’s top academy trusts and parenting experts to launch a new parent helpline described by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson as “inspiring”.

StarLine is a telephone helpline which offers parents and carers personalised advice and support from a team of qualified teachers, and education and parenting experts, during the lockdown and while schools are closed.

The initiative is led by Star Academies, with other partners including Mumsnet, the new Government-backed online classroom Oak National Academy, leading academy trusts (David Ross Education Trust, Future Academies, Inspiration Trust and United Learning), sector body the Confederation of School Trusts and parenting programme Triple P. StarLine is also supported by the Department for Education.

StarLine’s team of experts will share tips, techniques and resources to help young people continue their learning while schools are closed, and to support family wellbeing. Parents and carers will be guided to help their children create regular routines and study habits, offering practical steps to take and access to quality resources. Parents phoning the helpline may require support with a specific topic, such as algebra or English, or simply be looking for tips about how to structure the day, deal with difficult behaviour or manage the learning of several children.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“StarLine represents another inspiring example of teachers and education experts working together to share their knowledge, resources and expertise with schools and families across the country.

“Following the launch of Oak National Academy, the publication of guidance for parents and a collection of high quality resources, and the Government’s commitment to provide laptops and tablets for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, this is a welcome addition to the support available to help children learn from home.”

Ollie Lane, Director at PLMR and its Head of Education, said:

“The education sector as a whole has done an incredible job during the lockdown, keeping schools open for vulnerable children and children of key workers, and providing thousands of online lessons for children who are learning at home.

“But many parents of course still need support and help and StarLine is a hugely valuable part of the national response to the coronavirus. PLMR is really proud to be working alongside sector leaders so that we can support parents through this challenging period.”

Mufti Hamid Patel CBE, Chief Executive of Star Academies, said:

“We understand that this is a time of additional pressure for many parents and carers. The combination of working from home, caring for our loved ones and trying to educate our children is a difficult juggling act. Together with our partners, we want to use our educational expertise to support parents and carers who are grappling with the challenge of trying to maintain their children’s learning. We’re proud to support this sector-led initiative to give parents a friendly and caring specialist to turn to when they need it most.”

StarLine is available to parents and carers of pupils from all schools nationwide. Free, confidential advice is available six days a week by phoning the StarLine team on 0330 313 9162. For more information visit It covers all areas of the curriculum across all phases of education. In addition to qualified teachers, callers can speak to experienced education and parenting experts who can provide support and advice on behaviour, wellbeing and help for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities. Callers will be asked to provide details of their enquiry so that they can be passed to an expert with the appropriate knowledge and experience. All calls will be confidential.

PLMR is an award-winning public affairs, campaigns, PR, crisis communications and digital marketing agency, based in Westminster and with offices in Birmingham, the East of England and Scotland. Its 50 consultants work across a wide range of sectors with various specialisms, including education, social care, energy, health, transport and technology. PLMR’s Education Practice works across all areas of the sector to support organisations including local authority-run schools, independent schools and academy trusts; early years organisations; world-leading universities; exam boards; sector bodies; curriculum organisations; and education charities.

Notes to editors:

1. StarLine launched on Friday 24 April.  It can be contacted on 0330 313 9162 (calls charged at local rate). The helpline is open six days a week:

  • Monday & Wednesday, 8am – 4pm & 7 – 10pm
  • Tuesday, Thursday & Friday, 10am – 4pm
  • Sunday, 10am – 1pm.

For more information visit or go to @starlinesupport

2. The following organisations are supporting StarLine:

  • Confederation of School Trusts
  • David Ross Education Trust
  • Freshworks
  • Future Academies
  • Inspiration Trust
  • Mumsnet
  • Oak National Academy
  • PLMR
  • Star Academies
  • Triple P UK
  • United Learning

3. No external or additional funding has been received for the project. All resources and costs are met by the project partners who are delivering the service collectively.

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