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, MontenegroLorraine SandaNational Parental Involvement CoordinatorScottish Government
3 Context of Scotland 32 Local Authorities Responsible for curriculum, management and quality assurance of schoolsLocal Authorities employ teachersApprox 2700 Schools, 680,000 pupils, 55,000 teachersNational Curriculum from 3-18National System of accountability and monitoring standards through government inspection of schoolsMajor changes in all schools and nursery from August 2010 (Curriculum for Excellence – preparing children for the 21st Century)Strong Focus on importance of Early YearsDrive 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 ObjectivesTo become:SmarterWealthier and FairerGreenerSafer and StrongerHealthier
5 Effective Contributors Confident Individuals OutcomesParental Involvement is part of Scotland’s aspirations for all Scottish childrento become:Successful LearnersResponsible CitizensEffective ContributorsConfident 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 ResearchWhere parents are involved, children do better and achieve moreResearch 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”RelaxedFlexibleInclusiveFunA 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 schoolMany 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.
15 New Legislation, New Opportunities Parents as Partners inChildren’s LearningNew Legislation, New OpportunitiesScottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006
16 Legislation recognises three inter-related elements of parental involvement Learning at homeparents as first and ongoing educators of their own childrenHome/School Partnershipschools, parents and the community working together to educate childrenParent representationparents have an opportunity to have their views represented through the Parent CouncilRecognising 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 CouncilFurther 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 childrenMore support for more parents to get involved in their child’s learning in ways that suit themStrengthening of rights of parents to information, support and representationNew 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 helpMore interesting and different types of HomeworkBetter quality informationFamily Learning approaches
19 Home/School Partnerships - making the most of parents’ skills and interests Huge benefits for schoolsParents bring a great range of different skills which complement teachers’ experienceIf parents contribute their time - together parents and teachers are able to do morePupils’ behaviour and attainment improvesParents 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 benefitsTogether we can do moreBehaviour and attainment improveYou have valuable insight into your child and their education
20 More flexible on what home school partnerships should look like Everyday at homeOnce a year - e.g. school concert or playOnce a month – e.g. regular school activitiesOr weeklyDuring the school day-volunteeringAfter schoolAt weekendsWhen could you be involvedWe need to be flexible to personal circumstancesIt could be once a year – at say the feteOnce a month to coincide with a particular eventOr for parents with more time – once a weekThe timing should also be arranged when convenient for you ,,
21 Role of Parent Councils Thinking about what type of information and support parents needOrganise parent events around learningIdentify skills and expertise within parent community and make connections with voluntary sector, community, health and businessFeedback to Headteacher on school improvementChallenge Local Authority and National GovernmentTalk to young people themselves……Much more…...
28 Progress so far Approx 90% schools have Parent Councils Far more parents, from different backgrounds involvedParent Councils getting involved to support children’s learningLocal Area Parent Forums – issues in local areasNational Parent Forum Scotland established November 2009Schools being recognised for their strong home/school partnerships by Inspectors
29 And more progress…Growing commitment to parental involvement at all levelsGrowth in whole school community approaches to involving parents successfullyGrowth in social capitalParents feeling empowered….
30 Why is it successful? Leadership at all levels Ministerial involvementTaking more account of parents viewsBuilding capacity of Parent Councils to be representative and effective voice of parents in schoolsEmphasis on what makes the biggest difference to children – link with learningJoint 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 AuthoritiesPromoting parental involvement at all levels of governmentMaking links with other areas of policy and legislationSupport for National Parent Forum Scotland“Here for all parents and for all children”Identifying and spreading good practicePromoting the role of Parent Councils
32 Markers of successRecognition of the value and importance (and challenge) of involving all parentsEquality and Diversity issues recognised and addressedDemonstration of a change in language and communication – more outward lookingParents encouraged into school in creative and fun waysParents involved at all levels on their terms – child, school, local area and nationallyMore learning events for parents, with greater numbers attendingAnalysis of current parental involvement and clear strategy within
33 What did we use? Scottish Government small team (3 staff) National Parental Involvement CoordinatorOne year Field Team (teacher, Community Worker and Support Teacher) working with schools directlyTraining (ongoing)Headteachers and teachersLocal Area ManagersParent CouncilsCommunity StaffResourcesToolkit and GuidanceLeaflets 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 listenLocal Government Managers taking a lead in supporting and developing practiceInvolving Parent GroupsPerseveranceHaving clear goalsGiving parents the information they want, not that you think they needCulture of constantly evaluating and improvingUsing children to reach parentsLetting parents see and understand what goes on in the classroomReport from Scottish Government Parental Involvement Field Team, May 2009
35 Challenges remain.. Relationships Stereotypical attitudes to parents and to teachersCommunicationUnderstanding of partnershipgiving up power and controlRespecting and valuing parents’ viewsWorking across different professional boundaries – teachers, community staff, health staff, early years staffGovernment – national and local, and schools seen to be listening and acting on what parents sayHelping parents know that they can make a differenceJoining up agendas – Early Years, new Curriculum, Additional Support for Learning, support for vulnerable childrenMeasuring impactMeasuring 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 involvementjourney!Lorraine Sanda
38 ReferencesCurriculum for Excellence - Scotland’s New CurriculumWebsite for parents –Scottish Government Early Years Framework 2009OECD Report Quality and Equity of Schooling in ScotlandEngaging Parents in Raising Achievement – Do parents know they matter?, Harris and Goodall – University of Warwick, July 2007Desforges, D., and Abouchaar, A. (2003) The impact of parental involvement on pupil achievementFamily Involvement Makes a Difference, Harvard Family Research Project, Spring 2007
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