Press Release: NPFS hosts a second Q&A with Deputy First Minister John Swinney

The National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS) hosted another live Q&A webinar with John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, yesterday (Thursday, 10th September).


This event was scheduled due to the overwhelming response to the Q&A in June. Parents and carers were again invited to post questions to the NPFS in advance, and these were put to Mr. Swinney by NPFS Chair, Joanna Murphy.


The discussion covered a variety of topics and issues, including: public health measures in schools, the curriculum, help for children with additional support needs (ASN) and/or English as an additional language (EAL), progression and SQA examinations, contingency planning for Covid-19 lockdowns, parental engagement, and early learning and childcare (ELC).


A recording of the webinar is available online here.


Today our Chair, Joanna Murphy, said:


“I would like to thank Mr. Swinney for agreeing to take part in another Q&A with the NPFS, and I am pleased so many parents were able to join us. It is very helpful for parents to be able to submit questions directly for him to answer.


I think this shows parents’ strength of feeling on education, including all the issues relating to the impact of COVID-19. As a parent myself, I understand that dealing with the upheaval of the last few months has been no easy task. Parents are worried about the impact on our children, frustrated with the lack of consistency from local authorities and struggling with the financial impact on our families.


The NPFS appreciates that the opinions of parents can vary, and we saw that from the comments posted during our Q&A. But parents have the best interests of their children at heart. We all need to remember that and be sympathetic to each another. The NPFS encourages parents to work together and with us, to make sure the voice of parents continues to be heard.


We appreciate that these are still difficult times and that many things are not likely to be back to normal in our schools for some time. We understand that this is concerning for parents, and we need our schools to keep up their frequent communications to us. Local authorities should also continue with the hard work of implementing creative solutions to tackle challenges as they arise, to ensure the very best possible outcome for Scotlands children and young people.”






The National Parent Forum of Scotland is a national body led by and for parents. Since its inception in 2009, it has undergone rapid development and is now an influential national and independent body, 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 one volunteer parent/carer representative from each of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas. Please visit for more details.


The National Parent Forum of Scotland represents parents and carers through parent councils, and we are involved in engagement at local and national levels of government to make sure that parents and carers have a full and equal voice in our children’s education.


We represent ALL parents and carers and we appreciate that there are a wide range of views and opinions.