E-News Update October 2012

E-News Update from the National Parent Forum of Scotland
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A Quick Word from Iain Ellis, Chairman of the National Parent Forum of Scotland
Welcome to the first edition of our E-News Update.  We’ve changed our format to make information easier to share with your parent networks.  We would like this e-News Update to give you all the information you need to keep up to date on Scottish education, parental involvement and news from partners.  Feedback would be much appreciated.  Click here to Get In Touch.

Yours in partnership,

Iain Ellis

The National Parent Forum Has Been Busy….
  • Enthusiastic parents/carers and children took full advantage of the chance to attend a range of seminars and activities and also to pose challenging questions to our guest speakers from the world of Scottish education at our National Conference in Bishopbriggs Academy on 6 October.  Their responses proved interesting and inspiring, as well as controversial. Read the Conference Report and presentations or watch the video footage.  We were particularly thrilled to welcome pupils at the conference who had won awards at the Scottish Education Awards in June.
  • Two of our reps, Margaret Leitch (Falkirk) and Joanna Murphy (Glasgow), delivered a seminar on “Parents as Partners – working together to deliver Curriculum for Excellence” at the Scottish Learning Festival  in September to a capacity audience of teachers.  Their presentation shows how parents are being more involved in the delivery of Curriculum for Excellence in very creative ways, both in and outside the classroom.  Margaret said: “Doing the presentation was pretty scary but it seemed to go down very well!”
Curriculum for Excellence
As schools and pupils continue on their CfE journeys, recent CfE Briefings on  Broad General Education in secondary schoolsAssessing Progress and Achievement in the 3-15 Broad General EducationProfiling and the S3 Profile,  Inter-disciplinary learning and Broad General Education in the Secondary School – a Guide for Parents and Carers highlight some of the priorities for this year.  For further information on how your school is rolling these out, please ask your head teacher.
School Handbooks
We hope that parent councils will be fully involved in revising school handbooks in the light of the new School Handbook Guidance which has been published by the Scottish Government.  It stipulates key information that must be shared.
Education Scotland
Education Scotland has published information on inspections, for which they are now responsible, with specific support and advice for parent council chairs.
The New National Qualifications
The Scottish Qualifications Authority’s Curriculum for Excellence Liaison team is happy to come out to schools to engage with parents about the new qualifications and how they fit with the Curriculum for Excellence levels.

The SQA presentation by Dr Janet Brown at our annual conference was both reassuring and helpful in clarifying assessment and the new qualifications.  There are useful resources for parents on the SQA website.

Additional Support for Learning
  • For those pupils with literacy difficulties or who would benefit from books in alternative formats (digital, audio, large print), an important resource is the Books for All website.  Teachers have SCRAN passwords which enable them to download free books in accessible formats for their pupils. If your child might benefit from this, please visit the website and ask at your school.
  • CALL (Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning) Scotland is holding a  Parent Information Day with a focus on iPads as a tool for helping children with additional support needs to remove barriers to learning on Sat 24 November, Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh.  Book your place through the website. CALL has recently published a book on the iPad as a learning support tool. ‘iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning’ is available free to download.
Engage for Education
A lively and useful forum for debate and information-sharing, Engage for Education regularly hosts online discussions in which parents, policy makers and education partners can share their views and ideas.  We were delighted to repeat last year’s online discussion event in the run up to our annual conference, taking a different topic for debate each day.  Another recent discussion examined the changes to students’ funding awards from 2013/14.  Sign up for updates.
Consultations and Scottish Government Strategies
The National Parenting Strategy was published in early October.

The Doran Review is due to report in November.

The Children and Young People’s Services Bill – Scottish Government officials have consulted widely on this Bill, which in effect embodies the principles ofGetting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC).  The officials are planning to prepare guidance simultaneously with the legislation so that it will be ready for scrutiny straight after the legislation is approved. This would speed up the implementation stages.

Events
SPTC Conference
Parent to Parents – Parental Involvement in Action
Saturday 10 November, 09.30 – 16:15
Booking forms and further details from SPTC
Useful Resource Bank
For Learners
The Scottish Qualifications Authority website has past papers, exam timetables and course specifications.

The BBC Scotland Learning pages have many useful resources and revision aids.

For Parents and Parent Councils
General

Parentzone website providing you with the most up to date information about your child’s education.

The National Parent Forum of Scotland creating a voice for Scotland’s parents.

Parents as Partners in Their Children’s Learning Toolkit

Parenting Across Scotland offers information and support for familes in Scotland.

Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC): The SPTC recently entered into a  Memorandum of Understanding with the Educational Institute of Scotland, the trade union which represents 60,000 teaching staff.

Additional Support for Learning

Enquire is the Scottish Advice Service for Additional Support for Learning.

The Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit has been prepared to support dyslexic children and young people and contains sections for professionals, parents and young people themselves.