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.
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.’
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.