Education authorities and schools should ensure regular, timely and clear communication with their school communities about the approach they are adopting to a phased return to schooling in line with the Education Recovery Framework and supporting guidance.
The main concerns for parents and carers are likely to be the safety and wellbeing of their children in schools as well as practical considerations on how the new arrangements will work. In line with requirements under the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 education authorities and settings should make arrangements to communicate with parents and carers. As part of this it is important to consider appropriate dialogue and engagement with the Parent Council and the wider parent forum. Advice and support may be available internally from those in the education authority who are responsible for parental involvement. Two-way communication is vital. The gathering of questions, issues or concerns from parents and carers will be just as important as clear communication to parents and carers about how things will work.
National information, Q&As and other material on education recovery, parental communication and home learning can be used to complement any communications locally and at school level. This includes Parent Club’s dedicated COVID-19 web pages, the National Parent Forum (website and weekly newsletter), information from Connect, Education Scotland’s “Scotland Learns” and Parentzone Scotland websites and other sources.
Schools and settings will wish to develop arrangements for good quality dialogue with and communication with pupils about the new arrangements. A variety of methods can help to gather pupil views, questions and issues, and can help to clarify and address difficulties prior to return. Pupil Councils, pupil panels and other pupil voice arrangements remain very important at this time. General advice on good principles and methods for learner participation is available from Education Scotland as well as a range of third sector organisations.
Authorities and settings may wish to consider the information and evidence available from available national level survey work with young people on COVID-19. This includes the work conducted jointly by Young Scot, Scottish Youth Parliament and YouthLink Scotland as well as guidance and information from Children’s Parliament and Children in Scotland.