Parental Involvement and Engagement Census Scotland 2021/22

Statistical publication providing information on the Parental Involvement and Engagement Census 2021/22.

Parental Involvement and Engagement

The engagement of parents and families can help raise attainment for all and help to ensure equality and equity for every child. This survey aims to provide local and national information on the parental involvement and engagement in local authority schools in Scotland from the perspective of parents and carers of pupils using them.

Parental/carer involvement and engagement covers parental and family engagement in the learning of children and young people, as well as parental involvement in the life and work of school.

Parental involvement includes parental representation in decision-making, collaboration between parents and educators in matters such as school improvement, planning and communication between the child’s home and their school. It is about the partnerships and links between home and school, and the opportunities for parents and families to get involved in activities in school.

Parental engagement focuses on ways in which parents, carers and families can best be supported to develop the skills and confidence to engage in, and encourage, their children’s learning in school and in everyday life. Schools and partners can play a vital role in supporting families to do this effectively and with confidence.

Parental involvement and engagement is recognised in the National Improvement Framework as one of six key drivers in achieving excellence and equity in Scottish education. The National Improvement Framework parental engagement driver includes actions to support improvement in parental engagement, parental involvement, family learning and learning at home.

The Learning together: Scotland’s national action plan on parental involvement, parental engagement, family learning and learning at home 2018 – 2021 sets out the guiding vision is that every parent and family should be supported to be involved and engaged in their child’s education throughout their learning journey, setting goals on representation, collaboration, communication, information technology, and volunteering.

The Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 underpins all parental involvement/engagement policies, strategies and frameworks. 

It places duties on schools, local authorities and Scottish Ministers to help all parents to be involved in their own child's learning, to be welcomed as active participants in schools, and to be able to express their views on school education generally.

Background to the Parental Involvement and Engagement Census

For many years, schools have been surveying their parents, seeking their views on many aspects of school life and using this information to make improvements. This is a central feature of school improvement planning, providing opportunities for parents to share their experiences of engagement with the school and contributing to priorities for the school going forward.

Previously these surveys have asked bespoke questions depending on what subject the school is seeking parent’s views on. Also, the surveys have taken place at varying times of the year, without local authority co-ordination thus making it challenging to generate a picture of parental involvement and engagement across Scotland.

The Parental Involvement and Engagement (PIE) Census aims to rationalise the collection of parental involvement and engagement data by providing a set of questions that all authorities are invited to ask in their respective areas. This means each local authority which undertakes its PIE Census has their own evidence, on a consistent basis nationally, providing national data for use in the National Action Plan on Parental Engagement and the National Improvement Framework.  This results in comparative data being collected once, and used to drive improvement at every level of the system.

For the 2021/22 school year, local authorities were invited to use the PIE Census to collect data for research and statistical analysis. Local authorities collect the data for their own informing and monitoring of improvement activity. Local authorities shared their data with Scottish Government for national reporting within the National Improvement Framework and National Action Plan for Parental Engagement.


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