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How Scotland is showing that parental involvement matters?

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Presentation on theme: "How Scotland is showing that parental involvement matters?"— Presentation transcript:

1 How Scotland is showing that parental involvement matters?
Advancing Education Inclusion and Quality in South East Europe April 2010, Becici, Montenegro Lorraine Sanda National Parental Involvement Coordinator Scottish Government

2 Scotland

3 Context of Scotland 32 Local Authorities
Responsible for curriculum, management and quality assurance of schools Local Authorities employ teachers Approx 2700 Schools, 680,000 pupils, 55,000 teachers National Curriculum from 3-18 National System of accountability and monitoring standards through government inspection of schools Major changes in all schools and nursery from August 2010 (Curriculum for Excellence – preparing children for the 21st Century) Strong Focus on importance of Early Years Drive to improve Literacy and Numeracy, drive up standards and narrow the gap (OECD report – “Children from poorer communities and low socio-economic status homes are more likely than others to underachieve, while the gap associated with poverty and deprivation in local government areas appears to be very wide.”)

4 Aims for all areas of Scottish Government
Parental Involvement policy and legislation fits with Scotland’s overall strategic Objectives To become: Smarter Wealthier and Fairer Greener Safer and Stronger Healthier

5 Effective Contributors Confident Individuals
Outcomes Parental Involvement is part of Scotland’s aspirations for all Scottish children to become: Successful Learners Responsible Citizens Effective Contributors Confident Individuals

6 Our starting point….cultural change
“There will always be parents you’ll never reach” “Teachers are not interested in what parents have to say” “Parents are happy with what we do” “Not all parents can help” “They make me feel stupid so I’d rather not go” “Some parents don’t care” “Parents have busy lives and don’t really have time” “Partnership on teachers’ terms” “Teachers hold all the power” “It’s all the parents fault” “It’s all the schools fault”

7 Where parents are involved, children do better and achieve more
Research Where parents are involved, children do better and achieve more Research shows that parents involvement leads to better outcomes for children. It shows that parents make a difference.

8 Listening to parents ‘I want my school to be great’
“I want to be involved on my terms” Relaxed Flexible Inclusive Fun A group of parents having a relaxed meeting in the school. The new law is not just about the change from School Boards or about being on committees. It is about much more than that. It’s about the three areas I’ve just mentioned and much more. It is about the difference Parents make.

9 Recognition of the difference parents make (fathers)
Children spend only 15% of their time in school Many people – including parents themselves – are often surprised to know that children so little of their time in school. Much of children’s learning takes place at home and through interacting with their friends and the wider community.

10 What difference do parents make?
85% of the language we use as adults is in place by the time we are five years old and 50% is in place by the time we are three years old. Parents play an important role in informal learning through everyday situations and with everyday conversations. This statistic shows just how important it is to talk to children and to listen to what they are saying

11 What difference do parents make?
Most differences in achievement by 14 year olds in English, Maths and Science are due to home influences.

12 What difference do parents make?
When parents are actively involved in reading with their children at home their children’s reading scores improve, on average, by between months.

13 What difference do parents make?
Doing homework regularly through their years at school has roughly the same benefit as an extra year’s schooling. Although doing homework regularly does make a difference to outcomes for children, children’s happiness is just as important and in many ways more important. So we need to be careful that homework is kept in proportion. Parents can be involved with their school in making decisions on homework policies, deciding how much homework should be set.

14 Our parental involvement journey…
Champion Our parental involvement journey… Saboteur Cynic Sceptic Silent doubter Not involved Observer Participant Change agent Energy Level New legislation Challenging attitudes Changing culture

15 New Legislation, New Opportunities
Parents as Partners in Children’s Learning New Legislation, New Opportunities Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006

16 Legislation recognises three inter-related elements of parental involvement
Learning at home parents as first and ongoing educators of their own children Home/School Partnership schools, parents and the community working together to educate children Parent representation parents have an opportunity to have their views represented through the Parent Council Recognising and valuing the vital role that parents and other carers play in children’s learning and development. Developing the home and community as learning environments. Providing information and support to help parents develop their child’s learning at home. Developing effective home/school partnerships to ensure that children get the most out of their school and the education system. Providing information that helps parents engage with school and their children’s education. Involving parents in the life of the school. Formal structures for communicating with and consulting the parent body. School Boards were established by legislation and Parent Teacher and Parent Associations also provided structures for schools to engage with parents. Bill has now been published and is progressing through parliamentary stages outlining a new structure. New structures proposed include a Parents Forum – the whole parent body of a school – from which a representative Parent Council is formed. Terminology interesting and can be seen as a parallel to Pupil’s Councils with the possible potential to form a combined School Council Further information on the Bill will be shared at a series of information sharing meetings to be held across the country from January 2006

17 New legislation, new opportunities
Old School Board legislation seen as prescriptive and not meeting the needs of all schools or all parents. More recognition of the important role that parents play in outcomes for children More support for more parents to get involved in their child’s learning in ways that suit them Strengthening of rights of parents to information, support and representation New legal duties on Authorities, Schools and Ministers to promote parental involvement

18 Learning at Home Valuing learning at home Support where needed
Helping parents understand learning and how they can help More interesting and different types of Homework Better quality information Family Learning approaches

19 Home/School Partnerships - making the most of parents’ skills and interests
Huge benefits for schools Parents bring a great range of different skills which complement teachers’ experience If parents contribute their time - together parents and teachers are able to do more Pupils’ behaviour and attainment improves Parents have useful insights about how schools can best support children –especially important for those with additional support needs (ASL Act) Big question here … why would we want parents to be involved. Huge benefits … Range of benefits Together we can do more Behaviour and attainment improve You have valuable insight into your child and their education

20 More flexible on what home school partnerships should look like
Everyday at home Once a year - e.g. school concert or play Once a month – e.g. regular school activities Or weekly During the school day-volunteering After school At weekends When could you be involved We need to be flexible to personal circumstances It could be once a year – at say the fete Once a month to coincide with a particular event Or for parents with more time – once a week The timing should also be arranged when convenient for you ,,

21 Role of Parent Councils
Thinking about what type of information and support parents need Organise parent events around learning Identify skills and expertise within parent community and make connections with voluntary sector, community, health and business Feedback to Headteacher on school improvement Challenge Local Authority and National Government Talk to young people themselves…… Much more…...

22 Understanding

23 Planning together

24 Explaining Learning together

25 Listening

26 Involvement

27 Parents’ skills

28 Progress so far Approx 90% schools have Parent Councils
Far more parents, from different backgrounds involved Parent Councils getting involved to support children’s learning Local Area Parent Forums – issues in local areas National Parent Forum Scotland established November 2009 Schools being recognised for their strong home/school partnerships by Inspectors

29 And more progress… Growing commitment to parental involvement at all levels Growth in whole school community approaches to involving parents successfully Growth in social capital Parents feeling empowered….

30 Why is it successful? Leadership at all levels
Ministerial involvement Taking more account of parents views Building capacity of Parent Councils to be representative and effective voice of parents in schools Emphasis on what makes the biggest difference to children – link with learning Joint planning between Authorities, schools, community staff, and others to involve parents effectively and meaningfully

31 Success? Role of National Parental Involvement Coordinator
Support for teachers, schools and Local Authorities Promoting parental involvement at all levels of government Making links with other areas of policy and legislation Support for National Parent Forum Scotland “Here for all parents and for all children” Identifying and spreading good practice Promoting the role of Parent Councils

32 Markers of success Recognition of the value and importance (and challenge) of involving all parents Equality and Diversity issues recognised and addressed Demonstration of a change in language and communication – more outward looking Parents encouraged into school in creative and fun ways Parents involved at all levels on their terms – child, school, local area and nationally More learning events for parents, with greater numbers attending Analysis of current parental involvement and clear strategy within

33 What did we use? Scottish Government small team (3 staff)
National Parental Involvement Coordinator One year Field Team (teacher, Community Worker and Support Teacher) working with schools directly Training (ongoing) Headteachers and teachers Local Area Managers Parent Councils Community Staff Resources Toolkit and Guidance Leaflets and website for parents and Parent Councils

34 Lessons from small projects on what makes successful parental involvement in schools?
School staff who are able to listen Local Government Managers taking a lead in supporting and developing practice Involving Parent Groups Perseverance Having clear goals Giving parents the information they want, not that you think they need Culture of constantly evaluating and improving Using children to reach parents Letting parents see and understand what goes on in the classroom Report from Scottish Government Parental Involvement Field Team, May 2009

35 Challenges remain.. Relationships
Stereotypical attitudes to parents and to teachers Communication Understanding of partnership giving up power and control Respecting and valuing parents’ views Working across different professional boundaries – teachers, community staff, health staff, early years staff Government – national and local, and schools seen to be listening and acting on what parents say Helping parents know that they can make a difference Joining up agendas – Early Years, new Curriculum, Additional Support for Learning, support for vulnerable children Measuring impact Measuring learning at home

36 A hundred years from now it will not matter what kind of car you drove, what kind of house you lived in, how much you had in your bank account, or what your clothes looked like. But the world may be a little better because you were important in the life of a child. Margaret Fishback Powers

37 Thank you and best wishes for
your own future parental involvement journey! Lorraine Sanda

38 References Curriculum for Excellence - Scotland’s New Curriculum Website for parents – Scottish Government Early Years Framework 2009 OECD Report Quality and Equity of Schooling in Scotland Engaging Parents in Raising Achievement – Do parents know they matter?, Harris and Goodall – University of Warwick, July 2007 Desforges, D., and Abouchaar, A. (2003) The impact of parental involvement on pupil achievement Family Involvement Makes a Difference, Harvard Family Research Project, Spring 2007

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