Following the announcement on education reforms in parliament today, NPFS Chair, Joanna Murphy said:
”I was pleased to speak to Mr Swinney directly today regarding his parliamentary statement. I have received his personal reassurance that parental engagement remains a priority for Scottish Government. While we are disappointed that the Parental Involvement legislation will not be strengthened and modernised as our Review of the impact of the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 found to be necessary, we are hopeful that the ongoing Local Government discussions will incorporate what would have been part of the legislation. As parents generally support the democratic role of local authorities in education I trust that working with them and Scottish Government we can progress the parental engagement agenda in schools to ensure the current legislation is both adhered to and surpassed by excellent practice. We look forward to the prospect of ‘achieving more at a faster pace’ as our children need these changes now, and of course we welcome more funding for education.
” Before Mr Swinney’s announcement we had concerns that, when presented within a Bill of such weight, the parental engagement aspect could be overlooked by other stakeholders wrestling with fundamental changes to governance structures, and we remain concerned about the lack of evidence base underlying some of the previously suggested changes. We are reassured that the proposed way forward has less prospect of disruption for our children and young people, or the staff who support them and can still bring about the real change that we are looking for.
”We are very happy to see Scottish Government taking forward all of the non legislative recommendations from the NPFS Review of the impact of the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006, in the forthcoming Parental Engagement action plan. Parents are a vital part of the education of their child and this action plan will provide a renewed focus.I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that there is no desire for overly bureaucratic parental involvement, but true and meaningful engagement. While teachers are experts in learning and teaching, a parent knows their child best. Working together should result in the best outcomes for each child.”
The NPFS will continue to represent parents on the Scottish Education Council, ensuring the parental voice is heard in key policy decisions.
*NOTES TO EDITORS*
The National Parent Forum of Scotland is an independent, national body led by and for parents. Since its inception in 2009, it has undergone rapid development and is an influential group, working on behalf of parents across Scotland to help every pre-school and school pupil maximise their potential.
The National Parent Forum of Scotland is comprised of volunteer parent/carer representatives from across Scotland. Please visit www.parentforumscotland.org for more details.