Hello from Cheryl, Chair, National Parent Forum Scotland

I hope you are all well. We have been busy with Phase 3 of the Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessments and have noted more information about this further down in the newsletter.
We are working on plans for this year and will be able to share them in our next newsletter.
In this edition of the NPFS Newsletter we have included some work from Port Ellen Primary School Parent Council, information about events being run by some of our partners and information about the role of NPFS Representative carry out locally to ensure that your voices are heard.
As always get in contact if you have any questions or would like any further information.
Take care

Every day is a new day and 2023 will bring changes in Scottish education.

Let’s talk Education: The Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment Update

NPFS have been fully involved in all part of the Independent Review of Qualifications and Assessment. We have recently completed a report abut the findings from Phase 3 – The proposed Scottish Diploma of Achievement.

NPFS were part of a Community Collaborate Group (CCG) and worked with stakeholders including Connect to undertake parent/carer forum group meetings both online and in person, for families from schools that included ASN, Gaelic Medium, Home Schooled and ethnic minority groups.
A joint survey was issued to parents/carers and a closed Facebook page was set up to allow for further discussion about all aspects of this project. The closed Facebook page had over 600 members who engaged in conversation about the review of qualifications and assessment.

The CCG that NPFS and Connect are part of will provide SG with a full overview of the work carried out and will include the survey results including comments. Feedback from the joint survey was equal with no clear indication that parents/carers are in support of the proposed Scottish Diploma of Achievement and that it would be a good replacement for the current system in place just now.

Consensus is that parents, carers, young people, and teaching staff did not have enough information to give a definite answer that the proposed new system for Scottish education as this point would work.

The NPFS full report will be shared when it is published and we will keep you informed of what the next steps in this project will be.

News from Skills Development Scotland – New learning Provider and School Resource

SDS, SQA and the Scottish Funding Council have produced Foundation Apprenticeship guides for teachers and schools, and for learners, their parents and carers. Each guide covers a different framework. Guides include what to expect from a Foundation Apprenticeship, and how they differ from other school subjects. The links have been included in the FA delivery and FA schools Toolkits and are also available to view on our resources area on apprenticeships.scot 

News from Port Ellen Parent Council

Port Ellen Parent Council are looking to install an Outdoor ECO Community Hub offering a safe, nurturing, calm space for the community to improve emotional, social and mental wellbeing. Our vision for emotional for groups and organisations within the community to use the facility as a space to improve mental health and wellbeing. Building an environmentally friendly and sustainable structure within the school grounds that is easily accessible to all will provide this space.

This project stemmed from the Covid-19 pandemic and children coming back to school. Through conversations within our Parent Council and at the school gates it became apparent that people missed each other and the support that this gives them. We are acutely aware that Scotland’s population is facing an increase in the prevalence of mental health and wellbeing stressors. We recognise that this is no different on Islay and we aim to provide a space where people can meet together without stigma and discrimination to improve their mental health. This will be flexible hub offering a space where all age groups can come together to read, relax, dance, yoga, pray. living on an island has its challenges, one being physical affordable spaces to meet together without stigma and discrimination to improve mental health.

It cannot be stressed enough how crucial building resilience within our community impacts the future of our island. Having a facility open to those from pre-birth to the older generations creates an intergenerational link providing all with ability to learn from each other.

The promotion of Mental Health within this facility opens difficult yet important conversations in a nurturing environment, in turn helping to access various services. This could be anything from informal NHS conversations to enjoying our island heritage and culture, through drama and music.

Our hub would be fully insulated and environmentally friendly, one which is both functional and aesthetic. It has the potential to attract wildlife, harvest rainwater, and create electricity through solar panelling. Living walls will attract biodiversity and absorb CO2 and noise pollution.

To enable this project to take place Port Ellen Parent Council have applied for funding from Ardbeg Community Fund, Coop Community Funding, Spar Community Funding and National Lottery Community Fund as well as fundraising locally with Easter Egg Hunts, Bingo, Beach Cleans and many other community events.

This project is at the initial stages and has been discussed at our Parent Council, in future if this turns into a reality additional consultation on its use will be carried out with all age groups within the community.

Port Ellen Parent Council will keep us up to date on their progress!

Your Local Authority NPFS Representative

We have the opportunity to have at least one school parent / carer from every Local Authority Area to join the team to help NPFS and local parent council groups to work both at local and national level.

What do the NPFS Reps get involved in?

We have vacancies in East Lothian, Highland, Midlothian, Moray, Perth & Kinross, Renfrewshire, & West Lothian.
If you would like further information about the role of the NPFS Representative please click here or email office@npfs .org.uk

If so, you can find the contact details of all our reps here: NPFS Area Representatives – National Parent Forum of Scotland or you can email office@npfs.org.uk with details of your request and we will have someone contact you as soon as practical.

Tree of Knowledge

CALLING ALL PRIMARY SCHOOLS: ‘We’re Aff Tae The Big School’ is BACK!
Wednesday 21st June 2023 @ 13.15-14.45
As part of the National e-Learning Offer, Tree of Knowledge & E-Sgoil are bringing FUN, CONFIDENCE & INSPIRATION to EVERY P7 in SCOTLAND!
FREE to all schools, sign up https://bit.ly/TOKBIGSCHOOL2023 #TOKBigSchool

Learning Hours Consultation

Scottish Government have recently sent out a consultation paper for parents and carers asking for their opinion about the number of learning hours that should be set in law for young people in Scotland.

Across the world there are only 3 countries who do not specify a specific number of learning hours for pupils, these countries are England, Scotland, and New Zealand. Scottish Government are looking to set a specific number of hours of education to be provided by all local authorities in schools they have in their area. This will not include breaks, lunch or after-school clubs.

At present there is a requirement for schools to be open for 190 days, with no indication of how long a day is or of how much time is spent learning. Currently, in most schools 950 hours of teaching time is provided in primary schools, and 1045 of teaching time in secondary schools.

Please click the link below to complete the NPFS survey, this survey will be open until the 26th May and the results will be shared with Scottish Government.
NPFS Learning Hours Survey – Google Forms

Thank you in advance for your help with topic! 

We are currently working to update our website so that the information we share on the website is more accessible to everyone. The NPFS AGM will take place in June and we will let you know further information as soon as it is available.
And finally, best wishes to all our young people across Scotland who are sitting exams just now.
Thank you for taking the time to read our update.
Take care,
If you have any questions or would like any further information please contact us by emailing office@npfs.org.uk.

Parents are vital partners in education, they influence their children’s attitudes about learning and support learning at home. 
They are a vital link between home and school, and when they become involved in the life of the school they make schools a better place to learn, grow and thrive.

We can confirm that just under 7,000 self-identified parent/carers completed this round of our survey on industrial action. While no surveying method is truly impervious to “ballot stuffing”, we are confident that the results are a true reflection of views held by parents and carers across the whole of Scotland.

Please understand that as a volunteer organisation we are getting assistance to compile a full report of the results and will release the highlights to this as soon as practical for our team, who are also balancing their ‘real’ jobs with child care responsibility both today and tomorrow as many of our followers are.

We thank you for your interest in our surveying, general work on behalf of parents and carers across the nation, and look forward to delivering the results of this survey within the week.

Our press release on the survey closure can be downloaded here:

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We’ve opened a fresh survey to for parents and carers across Scotland from noon Thursday, February 23 to 5pm Monday, February 27.
Our aim is to gather and assess views of parents and carers across Scotland regarding the ongoing industrial action among teaching unions. As the detail of strike action has changed, we feel it is important to reach out and ask for follow-up opinions on this issue.
Please click here to have your voice heard and fill in our latest survey: https://forms.gle/XXAjruqjyjJc2qBo7

Following our snap survey about industrial action announced by teaching unions in December, we are pleased to release this summary report of the results.

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Requests for comment and/or press queries should be directed to office@npfs.org.uk

The National Parent Forum of Scotland is delighted to announce that Joanna Murphy has been elected as the new Chair of the Forum. Joanna, who is the representative for Glasgow, has served as the vice chair of the Forum since 2013, and has been a active member of the Forum since its formation in 2009. She has contributed to a wide range of policy areas and has represented the Forum on national groups such as Developing the Young Workforce and the Curriculum for Excellence Working Group on Tackling Bureaucracy.
The elections for the Forum’s Leadership Team took place at the annual general meeting on Saturday 4th June, with Fiona Nicholson, Shetland representative, being re-appointed as vice chair and Cheryl Burnett, South Lanarkshire representative, joining the Team as the second vice chair.
The former Chair, Iain Ellis, will be continuing as West Dunbartonshire representative. The Forum wishes to take this opportunity to thank Iain for his dedication and hard work as Chair over the past 5 years.
The contact details for the new Leadership Team are as follows: Joanna Murphy chair@npfs.org.uk; Fiona Nicholson shetland@npfs.org.uk; and Cheryl Burnett south.lanarkshire@npfs.org.uk. The vicechair@npfs.org.uk address is no longer being used, so we would be grateful if you could update your email lists. Iain Ellis can be contacted at west.dunbartonshire@npfs.org.uk
For general enquiries, please contact the NPFS office at office@npfs.org.uk or 0131 313 8842.