Publication - Strategy/plan

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

Published: 21 Aug 2018
Directorate:
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Children and families, Education
ISBN:
9781787811133

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.

51 page PDF

844.1 kB

51 page PDF

844.1 kB

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

51 page PDF

844.1 kB

Evidence, inspection and improvement

We have seen a number of improvements in the way that we reflect parental involvement and engagement within our national inspection and improvement frameworks as well as school and early learning and childcare improvement activities. Education Scotland has increased the focus on parental involvement and engagement within the ‘How Good is our…’ self-evaluation framework. Revised pre-inspection parental questionnaires were introduced in January 2017. Scotland’s National Improvement Framework includes a specific ‘driver’ on parental involvement and engagement. The ‘Growing up in Scotland’ study has provided a wealth of information about the role of parents and carers.

Education Scotland will continue to ensure that it hears the voice of parents as part of inspection activity. [14] Inspection will play an important role in helping to assess the extent to which parents are being fully involved in the life and work of their child’s school.

As part of the National Improvement Framework, evidence will be gathered through pre-inspection questionnaires and other sources. The Scottish Government will seek to consolidate and enhance our national evidence base via continued investment in the ‘Growing Up in Scotland’ study as well as the piloting of a new national survey of parents. We will support a collaborative and innovative approach to improvement activity in early learning and childcare settings and schools, looking to encourage new methods to involve parents in the improvement plan.

As with other sections in this plan, the themes of equalities and equity will be considered within all of our actions.

Key steps at local authority level:

  • Ensure that parental involvement and engagement strategies are up-to-date and accessible to parents.
  • Involve parents in the development of strategies.
  • Feed back to parents on progress with parental involvement and engagement strategies.
  • Provide and share expertise on parental involvement and engagement.
  • Consider available data on deprivation, employment, community resources as part of parental involvement and engagement strategies. Share that data with schools and early learning and childcare providers.

Key steps – practitioners, managers, families:

  • Collaborate with parents and families in the development of improvement plans, the investment of Pupil Equity Funding and other key activities.
  • Fully integrate parental involvement and engagement activities into broader improvement plan activity
  • Ensure two-way communication as part of the improvement planning process.
  • Make sure that parents are involved in early learning and childcare and school improvement, and consider parental involvement and parental engagement in their children’s learning as areas for improvement.
  • Evaluate how you are doing – but do so in partnership with parents. Consider quality of involvement as well as numbers.
  • Share good practice in involving parents in school improvement planning.

Spotlight on…collaboration and improvement at a regional level

Parental involvement and engagement are vital at every level of the education system. An important aspect of this are regional improvement activities - the arrangements for collaboration across and amongst local authorities. Regional Improvement Collaboratives ( RICs) will facilitate the sharing of best practice and innovation across local authority areas throughout the timescale for this plan. They will support collaboration leading to high quality learning opportunities across a wide range of education improvement matters.

Action 39 The Scottish Government will work with local authorities, Regional Improvement Collaborative Leads and national parent organisations to ensure meaningful parent stakeholder involvement in relation to the priorities for the RICs [15] .

Goal L: Ensure that parental involvement and engagement are fully reflected in strategic policies, improvement activity and inspection processes

Action 40 The Scottish Government will retain parental engagement as one of the key drivers within the National Improvement Framework.

Action 41 Local authority Parental Involvement Strategies will be reframed as strategies for involvement and engagement, with a requirement to review strategies every three years.

"Further consideration should be given to improving the consistency of local authority parental involvement strategies. Improvement could be made in four key areas:

* More regular review and monitoring

* Parental Involvement Strategy to contain clear, measurable aims

* Parental Involvement Strategy to be easily accessible online to parents

* Strategies to be available in a format that is easily understandable to all parents, free from jargon and technical language
IPSOS Mori (2017) Research to inform the review of the impact of the Parental Involvement Act

Spotlight on…Local Authority Parental Involvement & Engagement Strategies

Research by IPSOS Mori illustrated the importance of having up-to-date parental involvement and engagement strategies, with clear objectives and easy-to-understand content, made available on-line and in accessible formats. A recent example of this is East Lothian’s strategy.

Cover Example

Action 42 The Scottish Government will engage with Connect's Partnership Schools programme (funded by Skills Development Scotland) throughout the timescale for this plan, with a particular focus on reforming the culture and approach in relation to school improvement. The government will identify and share lessons and ensure that any national training, guidance or support materials take account of the initiative. This will help to support a more collaborative approach to improvement planning. [16]

Action 43 Education Scotland will work with the Care Inspectorate to develop a new shared inspection framework for early learning and childcare settings. This will be implemented in 2019 and will include an appropriate focus on parental involvement and engagement.

Action 44 Education Scotland will continue to ensure that parental involvement and engagement are considered in the development of new and revised inspection frameworks. National parent organisations will also be fully involved in the on-going review of Education Scotland’s self-evaluation frameworks up to 2021.

Action 45 By the start of the 2019/20 academic session the Scottish Government will create a new National Network on Parental Involvement and Engagement, drawing together practitioners, academics, researchers and policy makers to review evidence, share expertise and build new connections. The aim will be to improve the connections between policy, research expertise and what is actually happening on the ground. As part of this commitment, the government will identify champions for parental involvement and engagement amongst parents and carers, families, practitioners and support workers.

Case Study: Bellshill Academy

The leadership of the headteacher, staff commitment and partnership working with parents and external agencies were central to Bellshill Academy's home-school partnership project, entitled Working Together to Raise Standards and Transform Lives.

The school appointed a Principal Teacher Support for Learning and Inclusion, and a Principal Teacher Nurture. They had the support of a Community Learning and Development Home School Partnership Officer who was trained in nurture and meditation.

Parental partnerships focused on improving family learning. A sub-group of the Parent Council was engaged in evaluating existing practice and planning and developing a more focused approach. The initial drive for this approach came from discussions with the large and very active Parent Council and focused on strategies to address the poverty related attainment gap.

Parents consulted through questionnaires, presentations at parents’ meetings, open evenings and study skills evenings.

Young people’s attainment, achievement and attendance increased as a result of effective, tailored interventions for individuals and groups based on the tracking approach illustrated.
A comprehensive home-school partnership programme contributed to an ethos of success, increased attainment and engagement with parents through family learning. The programme includes strategies for raising attainment, peer support, pupil support, key transitions, wider achievement and parental involvement.

Goal M (Evidence): Improve the evidence base

The Scottish Government will work with a range of parents to improve the evidence base on parental involvement and engagement. We will also work to improve access to the available evidence for practitioners, parent groups and others. Our aim will be to provide a true "one stop shop", providing access to the available evidence and analysis.

Key steps at local authority level:

  • Identify, gather and analyse relevant data on parental involvement and engagement.
  • Act on the evidence available, for example including specific actions within the improvement plan.
  • Identify and address any gaps in data.

Key steps – practitioners, managers, families:

  • Find out from parents and carers what they would like to know about their child’s education and progress, and respond to their needs.
  • Analyse relevant data and self-evaluation findings.
  • Share learning with others.

National actions:

Action 46 As part of the annual National Improvement Framework cycle the Scottish Government will gather, analyse and publish key performance information on parental involvement and engagement on an annual basis and throughout the timescale for this plan.

Action 47 The Scottish Government will work with local authorities to pilot a new national survey of parents and carers by summer 2019, with a view to wider roll out in academic year 2019/20.

Action 48 The Scottish Government will ensure that the Growing up in Scotland ( GUS) study provides reliable, relevant and impactful data relating to the links between parental involvement and engagement and children’s learning outcomes, publishing the next GUS report by the end of 2018.

Action 49 The Scottish Government will ensure that activity under Scotland’s Research Strategy for Education reflects parental involvement and engagement, family learning and learning at home. The Scottish Government will work with the National Parent Forum of Scotland to review the extent to which research activity under the current strategy incorporates parental involvement and engagement. An initial analysis will be developed by end December 2018. The Scottish Government will consider the further steps that may be needed in order to provide a single "one stop shop" summarising the available evidence.

Action 50 The Scottish Government will ensure that key national policies relating to parental involvement and engagement take full account of the latest research and evidence. As part of this commitment, the Scottish Government will seek appropriate expert input and advice from independent academics throughout the timescale for this plan.

Goal N (Funding): Provide appropriate levels of funding for parental involvement and engagement at national, regional, local and school level

The Scottish Government will continue to provide funding to support core education provision, including the relevant funding to support the work of Parent Councils. The government will continue to provide significant additional funding to schools through Pupil Equity Funding and Scottish Attainment Challenge, with associated guidance reflecting the themes of parental involvement and engagement.

National Actions:

Action 51 The Scottish Government, through the Attainment Scotland Fund, will provide funding to the Child Poverty Action Group in 2018/19. This will help to promote awareness of the financial barriers that pupils from low income families face, demonstrate the ways in which these barriers prevent full participation and provide practical steps to address those barriers.

Action 52 The Scottish Government will work with regional partners to share advice and guidance on ways to engage with families living in the most deprived areas in Scotland. This will include the Toolkit for Parent Councils on the Cost of the School Day developed by the Child Poverty Action Group and the National Parent Forum. [17]

Key steps at local authority level:

  • Ensure that there is appropriate funding in place to support effective and inclusive parental involvement and engagement.
  • Develop fair and equitable criteria to allocate funding to Parent Councils.
  • Making funds available for childcare facilities that will allow ALL parents and carers to be involved.

Key steps – practitioners, managers, families:

  • Consider the potential to use Pupil Equity Funding to enable parents to engage in their children’s learning, exercising the wide discretion available via the guidance.
  • Collaborate with parents and families on how to best target available Pupil Equity Funding.

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