This article reviews school-based research relating to parental involvement and strategies for fostering a positive home/school relationship. It suggests that working with parents is a useful strategy for raising awareness of currently under-represented families in higher education. It reports on a cross sector action research intervention, ‘Families And Higher Education Decision-making project’ (FAHED) that involves parents and pupils in school and university-based activities and provides a mechanism for gathering the views, perception and concerns of families about higher education. The article presents parental views about safety, accommodation, access to shopping, social and religious facilities, and the attitude of university staff. In conclusion, it suggests that as well as serving as an outreach activity for under-represented families, the FAHED cycle offers feedback from families that may serve to support institutional change resulting from a process of ‘in reach’.