At Lads Need Dads, we are committed to underpinning our passion for addressing fatherlessness with sound research as our evidence base for our work, in addition to our significant experience of working in this field directly since 2015 and in other capacities for more than 25 years.

Schools Research project:

Between 2021 and 2022 Lads Need Dads in conjunction with Professor Ben Hine from West London University, carried out research with 1411 teachers from Essex Primary, Secondary and Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD) schools to ascertain if there is a link between boys with absent fathers and underachievement at school, ability to manage emotions, disruptive behaviour, attendance and school exclusion. This ground-breaking and unique research revealed that teachers clearly believe that boys growing up without fathers will have a negative impact on their behaviour and educational attainment. Over 90% of all teachers also stated they believed boys in their school would benefit from opportunities to access increased support from adult males.

The report entitled “Teachers’ experiences of the impact of fatherlessness on male pupils” also puts forward a range of policy proposals that include formalising boys without fathers as a disadvantaged group and the need for this to be flagged on school records. The recommendations also include placing a greater emphasis on boys’ emotional intelligence, greater provision of male role models, and a greater emphasis on reading and literacy.

Project overview, click to view

Flagging System

Lads Need Dads want to see a flagging system implemented so when boys with absent fathers move up to secondary school this is included in their census data, so they can be easily identified and supported.


  • Early identification = early intervention
  • Plan ahead, put protective factors in place
  • Reduce escalation of behaviour
  • Improved educational outcomes
  • Reduced risk of exclusion
  • Reduced risk of mental health issues
  • Reduced crime
  • Improved life chances