Young people who have someone at home making sure they finish their homework before taking part in other activities, such as watching TV, develop better language skills than those who do not.
The Social Market Foundation used information from more than 16,000 members of Child of the New Century from across the UK.
When you were aged 5 and 11, we asked your parents if they helped with your homework, went to parents evening, and whether they took an interest in your schooling. The researchers compared this information with measures of your language skills from the Age 11 Survey.
Young people whose parents were involved in their schooling had better verbal ability than those who did not.
Hobbies, such as listening and playing music, and after-school clubs also helped.
However, the researchers found that parents’ income and their own education actually had a bigger impact on children’s school performance.
The researchers suggested that factors such as parents’ engagement, earnings and qualifications should all be taken into account when trying to reduce inequality among young people.