Learning together: national action plan on parental involvement, engagement, family learning and learning at home 2018 – 2021

Sets out a vision for parental involvement and engagement from pre-birth to age 18 and takes account of national and international evidence base and Scottish education system expertise. Provides a national vision but allows for local and community innovation and flexibility.


Child/Children: When the plan refers to "children" or "child" it means a person under the age of 18.

Parent/s: The term "parents" means anyone with parental responsibilities and others who care for or look after children or young people. The plan acknowledges that individual family units will comprise a wider range of people who might also contribute to a child’s learning at home experiences. Although the plan is titled a ‘parental’ involvement and engagement plan, there are a wide variety of parenting roles. The plan recognises the important role of grandparents, kinship carers, foster parents, wider family (uncles, aunts, cousins) and separated parents. The term "parents" and "parents and carers" are therefore used interchangeably throughout this plan.

Parental Involvement: Parental involvement describes the ways in which parents can get involved in the life and work of the early learning and childcare setting or school or the ways that parents can get involved in "schooling". Parental involvement includes activities such as parental representation in the development of policies, improvement plans and key decisions. It can include involvement in the life and work of the establishment, for instance through volunteering opportunities. Parental involvement can also include help with homework or keeping track of children’s work and on-going, two-way communication between home and school or early learning and childcare setting.

Parental Engagement: Parental engagement is about parents’ and families’ interaction with their child’s learning. It can take place in the home, at school or in the community. Where it takes place is not important. The important thing is the quality of the parent’s engagement with their child’s learning, the positive impact that it can have and the interaction and mutual development that can occur as a result of that interaction.

Family Learning: Family learning encourages family members to learn together as and within a family, with a focus on intergenerational learning. Family learning activities can also be designed to enable parents to learn how to support their children’s learning. ‘Family learning is a powerful method of engagement and learning which can foster positive attitudes towards life-long learning, promote socio-economic resilience and challenge educational disadvantage’ (Scottish Family Learning Network, 2016)

Learning at Home: Learning at home is the learning which happens in the home, outdoors or in the community. It can take place through everyday activities that families already do and can overlap with aspects of organised or active learning activities.

"Parental Involvement / Engagement is" Quotes

Throughout this plan you will find "parental involvement is…" and "parental engagement is…" quotes. The quotes have been gathered from parent organisations, education agencies, educationalists and parents themselves. They are intended to capture what the terms mean in practice.


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