The first ever national action plan to encourage and support all parents to be fully involved in their child’s education has been launched by Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education John Swinney MSP.
The strategy has over 50 recommendations and is supported by £350,000 from the SNP Government to help address barriers some parents may face. This includes steps to support positive involvement of all parents plus targeted actions aimed at specific groups including parents of children with additional support needs, disabled children and learning disabilities.
Other commitments include a refresh of Education Scotland’s online ‘Engaging Parents and Families’ 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.
The £350,000 investment will come from a newly created equalities fund, comprised of £175,000 in 2019/20 and a further £175,000 in 2020/21.
The SNP Government will work jointly with the National Parent Forum of Scotland and local authority partners in order to determine the eligibility criteria for the fund.
The announcement has been welcomed by organisations such as the National Parent Forum of Scotland; Spark of Genius; Who Cares? Scotland; Falkland House School; Young Foundations, and Love Learning Scotland.
Mr Swinney said:
“I’m pleased to launch this action plan which builds on existing legislation 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 engagement and academic achievement and this plan will play a key role in helping to reduce the attainment gap.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“Parental involvement in all aspects of their children’s education is a crucial part of ensuring that children and young people benefit to the fullest from their time in school and are able to fulfil their potential.
“The additional equalities funding strengthens the SNP Government’s longstanding commitment to narrowing the attainment gap and ensuring that every child in Scotland has access to a quality education.”