New engagement plan to improve links between home and school.
The first ever national action plan to encourage and support parents to be fully involved in their child’s education has been launched by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.
The strategy has over 50 recommendations and is supported by £350,000 from the Scottish Government to help address barriers some parents may face. This includes targeted steps to support positive involvement of specific groups, including, but not limited to:
· Dads and separated parents
· Ethnic minority parents
· Parents of disabled children and children with additional support needs as well as parents with learning disabilities
Other commitments include a refresh of Education Scotland’s online ‘Learning at Home’ toolkit, the establishment of a working group to explore parental volunteer opportunities, a review of the existing statutory guidance on parental involvement and the development of improved guidance and training materials for parent councils.
Mr Swinney met with parents and pupils on Tuesday at Ibrox Primary School in Glasgow who have benefitted from increased parental involvement over the school break through the schools summer club. He said:
“I’m pleased to launch this action plan today which builds on existing legislation and looks to support and enhance the role of parents in their child’s education. We want every parent and family to have the right support in place so that they can be involved in every stage of their children’s learning and development.
“We know there is a strong link between parental involvement and engagement and academic achievement and this plan will play a key role in helping to reduce the attainment gap in Scotland.
“This action plan will help cement Scotland’s place as a world leader in parental involvement and engagement and I look forward to working with a wide range of partners to deliver this plan in the coming three years.”
Councillor Stephen McCabe, COSLA Children and Young People’s Spokesperson said:
“Involving parents in all aspects of their children’s education is a crucial part of ensuring that children and young people get the most from their time in school and are able to fulfil their full potential. Local authorities have a strong track record in supporting parental engagement in all its forms from involving parents in their children’s learning to decision making on education policies and priorities.
“We are pleased to have been involved in the development of the National Action Plan and hope that the partnership approaches set out in the plan strengthen and improve parental involvement in our children and young people’s education.”
Joanna Murphy, Chair of the National Parent Forum of Scotland said:
“The NPFS Review was a great opportunity to both research whether the 2006 legislation fits with today’s landscape and reinvigorate parental engagement in schools. Although a great deal has been achieved in the past decade, there is more to be done.
“This strategy takes forward the recommendations of our Review and I hope it will allow all of us to continue to keep parents at the heart of their child’s learning. I welcome this firm step towards a political and legislative environment which champions the voice of parents.”
More information on “Learning together: Scotland’s national action plan on parental involvement, parental engagement, family learning and learning at home” is available online.
‘Learning Together’ has been developed in collaboration with Cosla and is supported by National Parent Forum of Scotland, Education Scotland and the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland.
Education Scotland “Review of Learning at Home” is available online.
The £350,000 will come from a newly created equalities fund, this will be made up of £175k in 2019/20 and a further £175k in 2020/21. Scottish Government will work jointly with the National Parent Forum of Scotland and local authority partners in order to determine the criteria for the fund.