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How Scotland is showing that parental involvement matters? Lorraine Sanda National Parental Involvement Coordinator Scottish Government

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Presentation on theme: "How Scotland is showing that parental involvement matters? Lorraine Sanda National Parental Involvement Coordinator Scottish Government"— Presentation transcript:

1 How Scotland is showing that parental involvement matters? Lorraine Sanda National Parental Involvement Coordinator Scottish Government Lorraine.sanda@scotland.gsi.gov.uk Advancing Education Inclusion and Quality in South East Europe 23-24 April 2010, Becici, Montenegro

2 Scotland

3 Context of Scotland 32 Local Authorities 32 Local Authorities Responsible for curriculum, management and quality assurance of schools Responsible for curriculum, management and quality assurance of schools Local Authorities employ teachers Local Authorities employ teachers Approx 2700 Schools, 680,000 pupils, 55,000 teachers Approx 2700 Schools, 680,000 pupils, 55,000 teachers National Curriculum from 3-18 National Curriculum from 3-18 National System of accountability and monitoring standards through government inspection of schools 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 21 st Century) Major changes in all schools and nursery from August 2010 (Curriculum for Excellence – preparing children for the 21 st Century) Strong Focus on importance of Early Years 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.) 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 Scotlands overall strategic Objectives –To become: Smarter Wealthier and Fairer Greener Safer and Stronger Healthier

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

6 Our starting point….cultural change There will always be parents youll never reach There will always be parents youll never reach Teachers are not interested in what parents have to say Teachers are not interested in what parents have to say Parents are happy with what we do Parents are happy with what we do Not all parents can help Not all parents can help They make me feel stupid so Id rather not go They make me feel stupid so Id rather not go Some parents dont care Some parents dont care Parents have busy lives and dont really have time Parents have busy lives and dont really have time Partnership on teachers terms Partnership on teachers terms Teachers hold all the power Teachers hold all the power Its all the parents fault Its all the parents fault Its all the schools fault Its all the schools fault

7 Research Where parents are involved, children do better and achieve more

8 Listening to parents I want my school to be great I want my school to be great I want to be involved on my terms Relaxed Relaxed Flexible Flexible Inclusive Inclusive Fun Fun

9 Recognition of the difference parents make (fathers) Children spend only 15% of their time in school

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.

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 childrens reading scores improve, on average, by between 12-18 months.

13 What difference do parents make? Doing homework regularly through their years at school has roughly the same benefit as an extra years schooling.

14 New legislation New legislation Challenging attitudes Challenging attitudes Changing culture Changing culture Champion Our parental involvement journey… SaboteurCynicSceptic Silent doubter Not involved ObserverParticipant Change agent Energy Level

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

16 Legislation recognises three inter-related elements of parental involvement Learning at home Learning at home parents as first and ongoing educators of their own children parents as first and ongoing educators of their own children Home/School Partnership Home/School Partnership schools, parents and the community working together to educate children schools, parents and the community working together to educate children Parent representation Parent representation parents have an opportunity to have their views represented through the Parent Council parents have an opportunity to have their views represented through the Parent Council

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

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

19 Home/School Partnerships - making the most of parents skills and interests 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 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 If parents contribute their time - together parents and teachers are able to do more Pupils behaviour and attainment improves 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) Parents have useful insights about how schools can best support children –especially important for those with additional support needs (ASL Act)

20 More flexible on what home school partnerships should look like More flexible on what home school partnerships should look like Everyday at home Everyday at home Once a year - e.g. school concert or play Once a year - e.g. school concert or play Once a month – e.g. regular school activities Once a month – e.g. regular school activities Or weekly Or weekly During the school day-volunteering During the school day-volunteering After school After school At weekends At weekends

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

22 Understanding

23 Planning together

24 Learning together Explaining

25 Listening

26 Involvement

27 Parents skills

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

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

30 Why is it successful? Leadership at all levels Leadership at all levels Ministerial involvement Ministerial involvement Taking more account of parents views Taking more account of parents views Building capacity of Parent Councils to be representative and effective voice of parents in schools 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 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 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 AuthoritiesSupport for teachers, schools and Local Authorities Promoting parental involvement at all levels of governmentPromoting parental involvement at all levels of government Making links with other areas of policy and legislationMaking links with other areas of policy and legislation Support for National Parent Forum ScotlandSupport for National Parent Forum Scotland Here for all parents and for all children Here for all parents and for all children Identifying and spreading good practiceIdentifying and spreading good practice Promoting the role of Parent CouncilsPromoting the role of Parent Councils

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

33 What did we use? Scottish Government small team (3 staff) Scottish Government small team (3 staff) National Parental Involvement Coordinator National Parental Involvement Coordinator One year Field Team (teacher, Community Worker and Support Teacher) working with schools directly One year Field Team (teacher, Community Worker and Support Teacher) working with schools directly Training (ongoing) Training (ongoing) Headteachers and teachers Headteachers and teachers Local Area Managers Local Area Managers Parent Councils Parent Councils Community Staff Community Staff Resources Resources Toolkit and Guidance Toolkit and Guidance Leaflets and website for parents and Parent Councils 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 School staff who are able to listen Local Government Managers taking a lead in supporting and developing practice Local Government Managers taking a lead in supporting and developing practice Involving Parent Groups Involving Parent Groups Perseverance Perseverance Having clear goals Having clear goals Giving parents the information they want, not that you think they need Giving parents the information they want, not that you think they need Culture of constantly evaluating and improving Culture of constantly evaluating and improving Using children to reach parents Using children to reach parents Letting parents see and understand what goes on in the classroom 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 Relationships Stereotypical attitudes to parents and to teachers Stereotypical attitudes to parents and to teachers Communication Communication Understanding of partnership Understanding of partnership giving up power and control giving up power and control Respecting and valuing parents views Respecting and valuing parents views Working across different professional boundaries – teachers, community staff, health staff, early years staff 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 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 Helping parents know that they can make a difference Joining up agendas – Early Years, new Curriculum, Additional Support for Learning, support for vulnerable children Joining up agendas – Early Years, new Curriculum, Additional Support for Learning, support for vulnerable children Measuring impact Measuring impact Measuring learning at home 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 Lorraine.sanda@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

38 References Curriculum for Excellence - Scotlands New Curriculum www.curriculumforexcellencescotland.gov.uk Curriculum for Excellence - Scotlands New Curriculum www.curriculumforexcellencescotland.gov.uk www.curriculumforexcellencescotland.gov.uk Website for parents – www.parentzonescotland.gov.uk Website for parents – www.parentzonescotland.gov.uk www.parentzonescotland.gov.uk Scottish Government Early Years Framework 2009 Scottish Government Early Years Framework 2009 OECD Report 2007- Quality and Equity of Schooling in Scotland OECD Report 2007- 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 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 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 Family Involvement Makes a Difference, Harvard Family Research Project, Spring 2007


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