E Newsletter November/December 2013

The latest E News Update for November/December 2013 from the National Parent Forum has been circulated to parent councils via schools and is available here: SNPF

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Scottish National Parent Forum E-NEWS UPDATE
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
Visit National Parent Forum of Scotland website
A QUICK WORD FROM IAIN ELLIS, CHAIR, NATIONAL PARENT FORUM OF SCOTLAND

We were delighted with the warmth and the buzz that characterised our recent annual conference at Bishopbriggs Academy.  We are very grateful to the wonderful pupils and the obliging staff from the school, as well as to our partners from the education sector, who make the event possible. Parents were particularly pleased to have the opportunity to join our education partners in seminars, workshops and talks, sharing their knowledge and experiences. Our conference theme ‘Healthy, Happy Children’ generated lots of ideas and enthusiasm. For those of you who could not attend, presentations are available here.
We are working harder than ever to ensure that parent voices are heard: focus groups, surveys and the development of our parent database, for our use in communicating with you, will help to keep you all as involved and informed as you want to be.  Read more about these initiatives below. Let us know how we are doing by emailing me – we want to hear from you.
Yours in partnership
Iain Ellis, Chair

CURRICULUM FOR EXCELLENCE UPDATE

  • Funding for local authorities for new Curriculum for Excellence resources was recently announced by the Scottish Government. Iain Ellis, Chair of the National Parent Forum, who is our representative on the Curriculum for Excellence Management Board, has asked for assurances that this funding reaches schools.
  • The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is launching its new Results Services from 2014.  The old appeals system, which allowed schools to submit pupils’ work to the SQA to appeal exam results, has been replaced with an Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service and a Post Results Service. For the latter, a clerical check or a re-mark can be requested by schools. Grades can go down as well as up for re-marked papers.
  • The SQA exam timetable is now available for those sitting examinations for the new National 5s, for Highers and for Advanced Highers.
  • Decisions about prelims and exam leave have always been taken locally by schools, in consultation with staff and parents.  Please share your views on these with your parent council.
  • The SQA’s leaflet on National Literacy Units sets out information on new SQA requirements for the assessment of these units.  Scribes cannot be used for writing assessments; readers cannot be used for reading assessments.
  • CALL (Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning Scotland) has produced guidance on how digital equipment can support pupils’ literacy assessments, replacing the need for human scribes and readers.
  • Profiles for pupils are an important feature of Curriculum for Excellence. These are prepared in P7 for the transition to high school and in S3, for the transition to the Senior Phase.  Profiles should capture the achievements and learning of young people both inside and outside school. Input from parents, carers, teachers and young people is essential to paint the fullest picture. Information from Education Scotland is available here.
THE NATIONAL PARENT FORUM IN ACTION
  • ICT SURVEY – Please complete our survey on ICT provision in your school! Earlier this year, we launched a campaign to look at the roll out of Wi Fi in schools, by writing to the Directors of Education in all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities to ask about provision.  Continuing our campaign, we are now seeking your input.  Please complete our Survey Monkey questionnaire about Wi Fi and ICT in your school – you may need to enlist your children’s help!
  • Nationals in a Nutshell – Our very well-received summary guides for parents on the new National qualifications are now available for all subjects at National 4 and National 5 and available as summaries of National 1s, National 2s and National 3s.
  • A National Parent Forum representative has been invited to join the Scottish Government’s Programme Board for ‘Getting it Right for Every Child’, following a presentation to the Board by three of our representatives.
  • A new Consultative Group on assessment, tracking and reporting, made up of parents, teachers, local authorities, Education Scotland and Scottish Government, has been established by the National Parent Forum. The group aims to explore current assessment and ‘reporting to parents’ arrangements in schools, how these arrangements are communicated to parents and whether parents are receiving the right type of information to help them understand how their child is progressing. This in turn allows parents to support the work of teachers in helping young people to achieve their best. The group will run from now until June. Views of  parents, teachers and children will be sought and considered as the group progresses.  For further information, email our East Renfrewshire representative,Joseph McLachlan.
  • Two parent focus groups on the proposed Code of Conduct for the Additional Support for Learning Act were organised by the National Parent Forum in September and October.  Vice chair and Glasgow rep, Joanna Murphy, presented our report from the focus groups to the Scottish Government’s Advisory Group for Additional Support for Learning group.  The focus group reports are available here.
  • The Scottish Government’s Instrumental Music Implementation Group is to take forward the recommendations of the Instrumental Music Group which was attended by our National Parent Forum rep, Douglas Chapelle.  Douglas will again represent us on this new body;email him with your comments and queries.

GETTING IT RIGHT FOR EVERY CHILD

The roll-out of the Getting It Right for Every Child approach continues across Scotland, as the Children and Young People Bill which will enshrine its principles progresses through the Scottish Parliament.  For further information about GIRFEC in action, please visit the latest ‘Wellbeing‘ magazine.
Great Learning in Scotland leaflet
This leaflet should now have been distributed to every parent in Scotland via schools and school bags. Let us know if you haven’t received your copy. It features short learner journey stories as well as our  Learner Journeyillustration which explains Curriculum for Excellence.  Additional stories of young people’s journeys are available on Education Scotland’s Parentzone.
Contact us
Join our database (email us your details) and share your ideas, views and local stories with us by:
Emailing us
Visiting our website
Or by following us on Twitter and Facebook:
@parentforumscot
parentforumscotland

We like…the Active Trail in Mossvale and St James Primary Schools, Paisley

Two parent councils worked together to fundraise for two years to improve their shared campus school playground and gardens, securing an Awards for All Big Lottery grant as well as fundraising with social events.

Useful Contacts

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

Education Scotland’s
Parentzone websiteproviding you with up to date information about your child’s education.

Parents as Partners in their Children’s Learning Toolkit

Parenting Across Scotlandoffers information and support for familes in Scotland.

Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC) – providing information for parents and carers.

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.

Internet Safety
At our conference, Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell, announced her intention to hold a summit on internet safety. The summit, jointly hosted by Aileen Campbell and Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, is to be held in Edinburgh on 4 December. It will bring key partners, including Iain Ellis, Chair of the National Parent Forum, together to consider how best children can be protected online and how to inform parents about safety measures that can be taken.
There is a useful guide to digital parenting, published by Vodafone, which includes many safety tips for a range of digital devices for parents and young people.

CHILDREN WHO ARE TOO ILL TO ATTEND SCHOOL

The National Parent Forum’s Edinburgh representative, Tina Woolnough, has been attending the Scottish Government working group which is reviewing the guidance on children who are too ill to attend school. There are obligations on schools, local authorities and parents to ensure that a child’s education continues.  Email Tina Woolnough with your experiences and views. Action for Sick Children Scotland has published its report on its Parental Access and Family Facilities Survey of  Scotland’s NHS hospitals which admit children and young people.

SCHOOL CLOSURES 

The National Parent Forum supported parent participation in the Scottish Government’s consultation on proposed changes to legislation on school closures.  A consultation report from the Scottish Government will be published in due course on the Scottish Government website.

AMAZING THINGS

The ‘Amazing Things’ publication sets out the many  recognised awards  available to young people aged 12 to 25 which reflect and recognise wider achievement beyond formal learning.  The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, the John Muir Award scheme, Dynamic Youth Awards, Leadership, Employability and Personal Development Awards are just a few of the options available. Information is also given on how these awards link in to Curriculum for Excellence.

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