Sep 042015

National Parent Forum
Parents – What does attainment mean to you? Would you like the opportunity to hear from, and put questions to, leading figures in the world of education about attainment and how you can help your child achieve their full potential?

The National Parent Forum of Scotland are delighted to announce that this years conference will be held on Saturday 14th November at the University of Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Centre in central Glasgow. The theme of the conference will be attainment and achieving from a parental perspective. The conference is completely free to attend and all are welcome. We are keen to get as many parents along as possible so please spread this information widely!

On the day there will be a keynote speech and Q&A session, along with full agenda of seminars and workshops run by leading figures in education, and an exciting kid’s programme, including a creche.

Further details and information on how to book a place will be available shortly. In the meantime, please register interest by emailing

Sep 042015



Welcome to SPTC’s August newsletter! For parents of senior pupils who now have results, we’ve compiled some of the best resources for students and parents of students about post exam life below. For all parents, we’re also busy planning our stand at this years’ Scottish Learning Festival – details on how to sign up can be found below.

We’re now into our 2015 – 2016 membership year and we’ve received loads of renewal forms from you. However if your Parent Council or PTA normally has SPTC membership and you haven’t renewed, then your membership has expired! Please get in touch if you cannot find your form – we can send you out a replacement. Your Parent Council may also be part of a local authority that pays for group membership – this means all Parent Councils in the local authority have SPTC membership. To check if your local authority is a group member then please visit the website.

Parents Connect 2015

This year SPTC will again be part of our Parents Connect stand at the Scottish Learning Festival along with NPFS, the Scottish Government and Education Scotland, plus some guest organisations. The festival takes place at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow on 23 and 24 September. It’s totally free to register and, if you are representing your PC and PTA, you could even use your parent group funds to pay for travel! If you can’t make the SLF, why not encourage teachers from your school to pop along to Parents Connect? We’ll have information on our new Partnership Schools project as well as other information and resources. You can see the programme at Parents Connect here

My World of Work needs you!

My World of Work is a web based tool kit offering support and resources for those finishing their education and moving on into the world of work. There is a section on the website specifically for parent and carers and My World of Work would like to find out how well this is working. Send them a direct message on Twitter or Facebook them to give your feedback.

Health and Safety blog

Judith Hackitt, chair of the Health and Safety Executive, has written a great blog post all about the importance of outdoor play and (some!) freedom for kids. You can read this here. Meanwhile if you’ve ever had any queries about health and safety the HSE website has a great section, busting commonly held myths around health and safety – take a look here.

Partnership Schools Update

We’re excited to announce that we have begun to roll out our Partnership Schools programme in three local authority areas; Edinburgh, Glasgow and Angus. We’re also in the process of developing a new section on our website just for the Partnership Schools Project where you’ll be able to find updates on what we’re doing as well as resources from the sessions, good practice stories and a special e-newsletter for those interested in the project.  To find out more about Partnership Schools please get in contact with Eleanor Coner at

Exam Resources

Last week students all over Scotland received results for their exam results. While many celebrated, not everyone got the results they were hoping for – luckily many organisations offer advice and information for those wondering what to do next.

  • Advice from My World of Work for parents and carers with children receiving exam results
  • SQA has provides guidance on what the exam certificate actually means
  • Moving On is a useful tool for young people finishing school, with information on careers and qualifications in a variety of subjects.
  • SCQF has published a guide for parents and carers on the SCQF levels has plenty of resources all about work experience, alternative qualifications, apprenticeships and much more.

Dates for your diary….

Thursday 1st of October, Stirling We’re pleased to announce our first Parent Hub event. It’s a chance for parents to meet up, share stories and ideas about what you’re doing in your school. Keep your eyes peeled on the events section of the website for more details!

The Dunblane Centre –  The Gift that Keeps Growing

The Dunblane Centre, which was founded in 2004 from donations following the tragedy in the town, runs a youth club and leisure classes for the community. They have produced a book all about the creation of the centre and how the donations received have created a positive legacy for the town. You can buy the book on Amazon or directly from the Dunblane Centre and funds raised will directly support the centre’s work.


May 262015



Focus on Communications –  Webster’s High School, Kirriemuir,   Thursday 28th May

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Communication is the key to success for Parent Councils and PTAs. This session looks at the best ways to communicate with the Parent Forum, with the school, the local community and with the local authority. You will also learn something about social networking and get advice about the best way to run surveys and questionnaires.

If you would like to register for this event then please drop us an email at or call us on 0131 474 6199 and let us know your name, school and contact details.

All training sessions  are  free of charge but we need to have an idea of numbers and a way of contacting you should the event change.

May 222015

the NPFS

Focus Group for Parents

Glasgow 26 May 2015 – 7-9pm

Are you the parent or carer of a pupil in S4, S5 or S6? Would you like to share your thoughts on how the Nationals and new Higher qualifications have gone this year? If so, we’d like to invite you to take part in our focus group for parents.

We value your reflections on the 2014/15 session and any suggestions for ways that could help the progression for the next year of pupils sitting N4, N5 and Higher qualifications. The NPFS will in turn feedback this parental perspective, at a national level, to the CfE Management Board, members of which include Scottish Government, Education Scotland and the SQA.

Venue: Room A426 in the Govan Mbeki Building,  Glasgow Caledonian University Map

Please RSVP to Joanna Murphy, NPFS Glasgow representative, at or call 0131 313 8841 for more information.


May 142015

the NPFS

SPRING Newsletter 2015

I hope everyone enjoyed the spring break and that, for those of you with children sitting exams, revision is going well and stress levels are under control. If you are looking for resources to help support your child in their exam preparations, be sure to have a look at our revision guides for the new Highers and our updated National 5 revision guides.

Here at the National Parent Forum of Scotland we aim to ensure the parental voice is heard in all discussions around education in Scotland. We gather parents’ views through focus groups, web surveys and through our local representatives and their networks. Recently, we heard from parents about additional support for learning and their views on what ‘attainment’ means to them. If you are interested in taking part and having your say, there are lots of opportunities coming up – see below for details. If you’d like to get in touch with your local representative and find out what’s happening in your area and how you can get involved, you can find their details here.

Over the past few months, we provided an authentic parental perspective at a range of meetings and events, all of which were attended by our volunteer parent representatives. We gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee on parental involvement in raising attainment; facilitated and spoke at the Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce Learning Event; took part in the Raising Attainment For all Conference; and shared views at the Commission for Childcare Reform’s workshops, as well as attending our regular meetings of the GIRFEC National Implementation Support Group and the National Digital Learning Forum, amongst many others. We also took part in a wide range of local events and conferences at which we shared our publications and had lots of very interesting and useful conversations with parents. Our reps have all been all over the country as part of the judging process for the Scottish Education Awards. It has been heartening to see the amount of good work that is taking place out there in our schools and communities.

Please email if you would like more information about any of these meetings, or indeed any other information about NPFS.

All the best for the rest of the academic year!

Yours in partnership,

Iain Ellis, Chair


Survey Reports

Many thanks to everyone who filled in our recent Early Learning and Childcare, and ASL Surveys.

The Early Learning and Childcare Report can be found here. We have sent the results to Ministers and look forward to discussing with them further.

Going forward, we plan to work with nurseries to ensure that information on CfE is communicated to parents; with local authorities to improve the consultation process; and with the GIRFEC team to ensure information for parents is effective and available.

The ASL report can be found here. We used several of the comments in our written evidence to parliament on the attainment gap. We have sent the summary onto Ministers and are also writing to the Scottish Commissioner for Children and Young People, in conjunction with many other organisations, expressing our concerns.

Upcoming Focus Group

On May 26th we will be hosting a focus group in Glasgow for parents. We are very interested in discussing how you have found the first year of the new Higher Qualifications and how the roll out of the N5 Qualifications has progressed.

We value your reflections of how you feel that the session 2015/16 has gone and ways that could help the progression for the next year of pupils sitting N4, N5 and Higher qualifications.

The NPFS will in turn feedback this parental perspective at a national level, to the CfE Management Board, members of which include Scottish Government, Education Scotland and the SQA.

GIRFEC EVENT – June 20th, Glasgow

Parents – what do you need to know about GIRFEC? Come along to this event and have your say. Participants will help make sure all families in Scotland know what GIRFEC is, and understand what will be happening next year, and create design work that will go to the Scottish Government and will be used in their communications strategy.

The event is aimed at parents, children and young people, with separate activities for each age group. It will be an engaging and interactive day of discussions, idea development, designing and planning. It will be more active and creative than a traditional focus group. At the end, there will be an opportunity to present each group’s ideas. You’ll be guided through the process, and supported to use your knowledge and experience.

As a thank you for taking part, parents will receive a gift voucher. All eligible travel costs will be reimbursed and catering will be provided throughout the day. A crèche will be provided for under-5s if required. Numbers are limited so if you are interested in attending please contact our office for more information.

Commission For Childcare Reform

We have been pleased to support the work of the Commission over the last year. The Commission have now published their interim report and are gauging reaction to the proposals which include:

  • That up to 50 hours per week of free or subsidised childcare should be available throughout the year, and the cost to families should be capped.
  • The initial focus of any new money should be on ensuring affordable childcare for those living in or near poverty.
  • Funding for childcare, including through the tax and benefits system, needs to be simple, fair and easy to understand for all who access it.

We look forward to reading the final report in June this year.

Learning with technology

A National Digital Learning Forum (NDLF) was established last year and comprises representatives from a range of educational establishments, local authorities, third sector and others. The purpose of the forum is to engage stakeholders in exploring and recommending approaches to digital learning. John Lamont, our Clackmannanshire representative, provides a parental perspective to the Forum.

The NDLF welcomes parental involvement in the online community that is being formed and there is an opportunity to have your say on the NDLF blog – what do you want to talk about? There are also plans to issue regular updates on what is happening in relation to digital learning and teaching across Scotland.

Education Awards

The Scottish Education Awards celebrate the hard work and success which takes place in Scottish education. They recognise the achievements of people who dedicate their lives to children and young people and showcase the valuable work and innovation in Scottish classrooms. Lots of our reps have been involved in judging the awards this year, including Cheryl Burnett our South Lanarkshire representative who said this about the experience:

‘Recently I was asked to take part in the Scottish Education Awards as a phase 1 judge. This was a fantastic experience which truly opened my eyes to the lengths that some individuals will go to enhance childrens’ education. I was judging the Best Teacher category and read through pages of nominations from all over Scotland, from young people, peers, and parents who all thought that their teacher went above and beyond their job description – there are some truly inspirational people out there. Every person on that list deserved to be recognised and narrowing it down was a difficult process. Being part of this amazing is experience is one that I would love to do again.’

Tackling Bureaucracy

Our Vice Chair, Joanna Murphy is a member of the Curriculum for Excellence Working Group on Tackling Bureaucracy. The group issued a follow up report in March setting out key actions and messages to tackle unnecessary bureaucracy in schools.

The report states that schools should involve parents in developing more simple and effective means of reporting that emphasise quality of engagement rather than reams of paperwork. The report contains a link to our report for parents Sharing Learning, Sharing Assessment which takes account of parental perspectives for more streamlined and effective reporting to parents.

Education guide for refugees and other New Scots

The New Scots Strategy education working group has produced a simple guide on Scottish education to support refugees and others arriving in Scotland. The guide includes useful information for parents about: when children and young people attend school; the support services offered within schools; details of the curriculum areas and the importance of health and wellbeing. There are also details of where to seek further information in the local area or online.

Read, Write, Count: Literacy and Numeracy Campaign

The Scottish Government is preparing for the formal launch of its Read, Write, Count literacy and numeracy campaign later this year. The campaign, for P1-P3 children and their parents, will build on the success of the Play, Talk, Read campaign in the early years.

Every child in Scotland will have access to a library of suitable books and educational materials. Sessions to support parents will be run locally to build a bridge between school and home and there will be a particular focus on investment in our most deprived communities. We will be one of the key national partners for this important and exciting campaign. Watch this space for further news in our summer edition.

Are you the parent of a 16+ year old? The Scottish Apprenticeship week highlights the benefits of apprenticeships bring to businesses, individuals and the economy.

Contact Us

Join our database to receive this E News Update and other relevant information from the National Parent Forum by emailing us your contact details.

Visit our website. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook by clicking the icons at the top of this E Newsletter.


We currently have vacancies for representatives in the following areas: Argyll and Bute, East Ayrshire, Fife, Midlothian and the Western Isles. Please contact us or your local authority for further information.

New Rep

NPFS are delighted to introduce a new representative in Angus.

‘My name is Kirsty Stevens. I have 2 daughters. One is in P4 and the other in pre-school and starting P1 after the holidays. The girls go to a rural school with 35 pupils. I am a mental health nurse and try to juggle everything together and I hope that I get the balance right like most other parents!!’

Kirsty can be contacted on

The Education Bill

The Education (Scotland) Bill has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament. It contains provisions on: closing the attainment gap; additional support for learning and children’s rights; the right to request Gaelic medium primary provision; and other topics, such as ensuring that councils have a Chief Education Officer in post.

We have contributed to a parents’ leaflet explaining the Bill that can be found here.

Education and Culture Committee – Closing the Gap

As part of its work on educational attainment, the Education and Culture Committee has been looking at how parents and schools can work together to raise pupils’ attainment, particularly those who attainment is lowest. Written evidenceto the Committee was submitted, and our Chair, Iain Ellis appeared to give evidence at the meeting on 31 March 201. The Committee has also commissioned a short survey seeking the views of parents, the report of which is now available.

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 18-22nd May

Modern Apprenticeships are jobs open to anyone aged 16 or over. They combine a real job, with real pay, and training that leads to an industry-recognised qualification. There are more than 25,000 new Modern Apprenticeship places in Scotland each year, ranging across industries from engineering, ICT, construction and life sciences to food and drink, tourism and retail – and could provide a great start to your child’s career. Find out more here.

Useful Contacts

The Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit has been prepared to support dyslexic children and young people, containing section for professionals, parents and young people themselves.

Children in Scotland is the national agency for voluntary, statutory and professional organisations and individuals working with children and their families in Scotland.

Education Scotland’sParentzone website provides you with up to date information about your child’s education.

Enquire is the Scottish Advice Service for Additional Support for Learning

My World of Work Scotland’s national careers advice website. Find work, skills and learning opportunities.

Parentline helpline provides support and information for parent / carers and families on 0800 282233

SQA helps people to fulfil their potential and to achieve their ambitions by providing a wide range of high quality, internationally recognised qualifications and associated services.

Instrumental Music Implementation Group

At the end of June 2013 the Instrumental Music Group reported to the Scottish Government with a list of recommendations. The Implementation Group was then formed to see the recommendations through and their final report was published earlier this year. Our East Dunbartonshire representative, Douglas Chappelle, was involved in the work of these groups and has said the following:

‘We have successfully raised the profile of instrumental music tuition in Scottish schools. Councils who were charging for tuition while students study for National Qualifications in the instrument all stopped doing so, going some way to addressing inequalities across Scotland. I was already well aware of the benefits of learning an instrument, during my time with the Instrumental Music Group then the Implementation Group I have watched my oldest daughter develop as a flute player, from the first hesitant notes to performing at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow. I suspect that long after the stresses of exams pass it will be experiences like these that she will look back on most fondly.

It is worth remembering that your local council’s instrumental music service is a discretionary service. If your children are not learning an instrument please try to find out about the service in your area as music has a massive impact on the lives of young people.’

Revision in a nutshell

Exam revision time? Have a look at our revision guides for the new Curriculum for Excellence Highers. The leaflets provide a clear summary of what you need to know for the exam, including links to specimen papers and other useful sites. You can find them here.

We have also updated all of our National 5 Revision nutshells for 2015 to include the past papers and up to date resources.

Old versus New : A Guide to National Qualifications

In partnership with SQA, the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Partnership has produced a guide to national qualifications in Scotland.

This guide shows how current and old qualifications relate to one another in terms of their SCQF level. The SCQF level of a qualification provides a way of comparing how demanding or difficult the learning involved in achieving a qualification is. This table can be used by anybody with a need to understand National Qualifications normally awarded at school. The leaflet is available in hard copy upon request or to download from the SCQF website.

Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

The SQA have collated lots of information for Parents and Carers on one page. With links to Study Guides, useful Exam Tools, as well as a handy guide to the new qualifications, it is a useful resource.

Additionally this Jargon Buster could be helpful if you’re struggling to understand the new terminology.

Parentzone Scotland

These pages from Parentzone Scotland have lots of tips on how you can help your child prepare for exams and supporting study at home. There are sections on managing time,encouraging study and keeping well as well as lots of useful links.

Exam Help

My World have Work have put together a useful page featuring advice on where to start with studying and tips to take some of the stress out of revising.

More revision resources

Bright Red Publishing have developed and produced Study Guides for the new Curriculum for Excellence qualifications, and have also worked with Edinburgh Napier University to create to further support Scotland’s students and teachers.

The SCQF in your SQA Exam Results

A short film explaining what the SCQF level & credit points information on SQA exam certificates means is available for parents/carers and learners to view on the SCQF website.

Exam Stress

NHS provides information for parents and carers on how you can look after your childs’ wellbeing during this stressful time.

May 052015

the NPFS      

The following 3 events are open to all Parent Councils / PTA’s


Parent Council Essentials, Tuesday 5 May 2015, Muirfield Primary School, Arbroath, 6pm – pm

E Parent Council Essentials


Involving all Parents, Tuesday 26 May 2015, Monikie Primary School, 7pm – 9pm

E Involving all Parents


Focus on Communications, Thursday 28 May 2015, Webster’s High School, Kirriemuir, 7pm – 9pm

E Focus on Communications


Report a Glow concern