Category Archives: Scottish Parent Teacher Council

SPTC eNewsletter – August 2017

Back to School

Welcome back! The summer has flown by and it’s almost time for the new school year to begin. This month, our new look eNewsletter is packed full of useful things for the year ahead. Simply click on the menu buttons below to jump down to the article you want to read.

Exam results
Exam results came out this week – we hope your teenager got what they were hoping for! Nationally, the results held steady for the third year in a row. There was a drop in the number of pupils being presented for Highers and National 4’s, however, passes for Higher stayed at over 150,000. Click here to read more.



Exam Results Helpline
If your child didn’t quite achieve what they were hoping to, or did better than expected, the Skills Development Scotland Exam Results Helpline is open until Wednesday 16 August. Trained advisors are on hand to help your young person decide on their next steps. They can also offer advice to you as a parent. The number to call is 0808 100 8000. You can find more information about the service here.



Understanding your child’s qualifcations
Do you fully understand your child’s exam results and the meaning of their qualifications? The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework can help you compare your child’s qualifications to your own, and enable you and your teenager to make decisions about future learning and progression routes. Click here for more information.




Help for Parent Councils & PTAs
If your parent council or PTA has new members or office bearers, or maybe your whole group is new to the world of parent councils, fear not. SPTC has a huge resource of leaflets and guides for every role, every event, every eventuality. Find them here.





Using the SPTC website
Some of our resources are visible for members only on the website – to log in and view these just pop on to our website, click on the member login box on the right hand side and fill in your details. Any parent at a member school can create an account: register one for free as part of your SPTC membership!

easyfundraising is an easy and effective tool for parents and supporters to raise money for your parent group. When shopping online at most retailers, if you use your easyfundraising link, you can raise money for your parent group. Find out more about this here. 

Free Information & Training sessions
SPTC offers a variety of different information and training sessions for members, face-to-face and online depending on your membership level. Sessions we offer include: Parent Council Essentials, Helping to Improve your School, Involving All Parents and many others. Find out more here.

If you are on our mailing list, you’ll receive an email when there is an information session happening in your local area. You’ve received this email, so you’re already on our mailing list, but if other members of your group would like to join, they can do so here –
We’re Hiring
We’re looking for a new Regional Adviser in West and South West Scotland. This is a sessional post for someone passionate about parental engagement. Click here for more information.





Scottish Learning Festival
Registration is now open for this year’s Scottish Learning Festival. Taking place on the 20th and 21st of September from 9am – 4pm, the SLF is the annual exhibition for the education sector in Scotland. It is free to attend and parents are welcome to come along. You can register for your free place here.









SPTC eUpdate – April 2017

Hello! We hope everyone had a restful and/or fun-filled Easter break. We’re heading in to the final term for this school year. Here is your April news for parents and carers.

For daily updates on what is going on in Scottish education and the latest news for parents and families, make sure you’re connected with us on Facebook and Twitter.

We hosted our AGM & Lecture on 23 March and it was a fantastic evening! Thanks to all who came along and to those of you who listened online to our live broadcast of Dr Janet Goodall’s lecture. If you missed it, you can listen back to the lecture on RadioEdutalk online and Dr Janet Goodall’s slides are available for download on that page as well.

Usually we only have one event a year, but this year is special – it’s our 70th Birthday! We’re planning something special, so keep an eye out for news about that in the next few months..

What does your school run look like? For April’s Parents survey, we’re working with Sustrans, a national transport charity, who are conducting a survey to better understand the concerns and challenges of school travel faced by parents. They will use your answers to shape their services, resources and initiatives.

Click here to take part
Please take this opportunity to have your say. For more information about Sustrans and what they can do for your child’s school please contact:

This survey will close on Monday 24 April.

If your child has access to Glow, they will now be able to download all the Microsoft Office 2016 applications for free, through their Glow account. This offer is available for use on up to 15 personal devices; up to 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets (Windows, iPad and Android) and 5 phones.

The Office apps – which include Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote provide a learning platform that translates beyond school and into the world of work.

To download the Office 2016 apps, log in to Glow and either click on the Download Office Now tile or go to the Office 365 Home tile and once in O365, click on “Install Office 2016” at the top right of the page. Click here for more information.

It’s almost membership renewal time again! If the contact details of your parent council have changed since August 2016, please get in touch with us and let us know! We will shortly be sending out renewal information and membership packs for the upcoming year.


 Things to look out for

We’re hiring in Edinburgh and the Lothians. We’re looking for a new Regional Adviser to deliver our Information and Training Sessions in schools in the area.

Full training will be given, we’re just looking for someone who is confident and organised. A background in training or education would be beneficial, an interest in parental engagement is essential.

If this sounds like you, contact Eleanor at or call 0131 474 6177. Click here for more information and a full job description.

Remember to keep an eye out on our EventBrite page to see if any of our free training sessions are happening in your area.

Bikeability Scotland is a cycle training programme that supports more than 33,000 children to develop an essential life skill every year. This national scheme is designed for delivery within the school setting (typically P5-S1), and comprises of 3 main levels, aimed at supporting the next generation of confident and responsible cyclists.

When your child takes part in the Bikeability Scotland cycle training scheme at
school, they’ll learn how to ride confidently and safely; skills that will stay with them forever.

Bikeability Scotland cycle training is happening now in schools across the country. Join the Revolution – Find out more at

Our Partnership Schools Scotland project has been featured in the April-May copy of Children in Scotland magazine. Read the article here.

Over on the SPTC Blog, Nick Thorpe from Fathers Network Scotland is looking at the evidence around the importance of father-child relationships, and our Executive Director Eileen has been trying to clear up some of the confusion around what is really happening with National 5 next year.

Our Annual Report for 2015-2016 and the Our Year in Numbers summary are now available to view on the SPTC website. You can find them here.

How should Education in Scotland be run? November eNews from SPTC


Hello! November is here already with its short days, long nights and cold, cold weather. It’s not long now until the Christmas holidays and there’s lots of exciting things to be planning and thinking about! Here’s the news for parents this month.

For daily updates on what is going on in Scottish education and the latest news for parents and families, make sure you’re connected with us on Facebook and Twitter


This short questionnaire is for all members – it will take no more than ten minutes to complete. It includes questions taken from the Scottish Government’s Governance Review which looks at how education is run in Scotland. We will use your answers to give the Government feedback on their proposals, making sure that parents’ opinions are represented in this important review. There are also some questions about the work we do at SPTC. Filling this out will help us improve our services.

There are three ways to complete the survey:
You can complete it online here –
Get in touch with us and we can send you a copy via e-mail which you can either e-mail back to us or;
Print it off then return a hard copy to us by post.


As you know, we’re an organisation for parents, run by parents. If you are passionate about improving parental engagement in schools, why not consider becoming a director on the SPTC Board? We’re especially looking for people with business skill such as HR, accountancy or legal but we welcome applications from any parent or teacher who is passionate about our cause. If this sounds like you, contact us for a nomination form.
Deadline for submissions: 31 December


That’s the title of our new continuous professional development course for teachers, which we launched in Shetland last month. We’ve already had some fantastic feedback, so we’re really excited to be delivering the course in both Glasgow and Aberdeen at the beginning of 2017. Places are filling up quickly, so if you’re an educator who is interested in improving parental engagement in your school, get in touch with us!


It’s the time of year for planning Christmas fairs and discos. If you need inspiration, have questions about how to run an event or have questions about your membership-linked insurance cover, you can find all of this and more on the SPTC website.

If you can’t find the answer to your question on our website, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

booksThings to look out for books


Is a new Xbox or Playstation top of the Christmas list this year? Are there old games consoles in your house that are heading for the bin in the Christmas clear out? Get Well Gamers UK is a fantastic charity that accepts donations of old consoles and games to give to sick children in hospitals across the UK. If you’d like to donate please send a quick email to

This is a date for your diaries: 23rd of March 2017. That’s when SPTC will be holding our annual AGM and Lecture in Glasgow [venue tbc] and we’d love to have you along. We’re excited to be welcoming Dr Janet Goodall from Bath University as our keynote speaker. Janet has done lots of excellent work on meaningful parental engagement in children’s learning, especially as a means of school improvement. Get in touch to reserve your place. Stay tuned for more information!


Did you see our guest post from Child Poverty Action Group about the true cost of a school day? There are some great ideas for PCs and PTAs on how to make school activities inclusive for low-income families. Take a look –


Thanks to everyone who took part in the latest Parent’s Voice survey which focused on the Upstart Scotland campaign. We had a great response, we’ll publish the results soon. The next Parent’s Voice survey won’t be until January 2017 as we focus on the members and governance review survey on the run up to Christmas.


November is the busiest month of the year for retail. Black Friday falls on the 25th of November this year. If you’re like us and will be doing your Christmas shopping from the comfort and warmth of your own home, why not raise money for your group through easyfundraising. Find out more about this here –

SPTC Backchat – January 2016






Happy new year and welcome to 2016! We’re kicking off the new year planning now for our next Annual Lecture (and AGM) on 8 March and working on possible changes to our membership for 2016-17. Members will soon receive a short survey to help us work out the best way to re-design our memberships, so you have more choice and flexibility about the member benefits you pay for.  Here’s what else you can read about in this issue

  • Parents’ Voice on IT and technology
  • What’s new with Partnership Schools?
  • Insurance changes
  • Your thoughts on the National Improvement Framework

Download your copy of Backchat and your leaflet on the role of the PC Treasurer.  We hope you enjoy reading this term’s issue – and remember Ordinary Members of SPTC are entitled to a paper copy of Backchat – just let us know that you would prefer to receive your copy this way. Telephone 0131 474 6199 or email sptc@sptc.infoAll at SPTC

Parent Council Essentials Training


We are running a Parent Council Essentials training session at Cortachy Primary on 22 October. Please click on the link below to get more details of the event:

You can register by getting in touch with us.



Lydia House, Communications Officer, SPTC
Mansfield Traquair Centre
15 Mansfield Place
Enquiries: 0131 474 6199
Direct Number: 0131 474 6184
Twitter: @parents_sptc
Facebook: SPTC – Scottish Parent Teacher Council
Company No SC151086; Charity No SC019168

SPTC Update – October 2015

Welcome to our October newsletter! We’re back in full swing working on new training sessions and resources to share with you. Read on to find out what we’re up to.

We’re hiring!

Would you like to join the busy SPTC office team? Or know someone who might? Do you have experience in Sage and strong admin skills? There’s a vacancy in the office in Edinburgh for the right person to take on this vital role, helping to manage our finances and keep the office ticking along smoothly. The hours are part time (21 per week) and can be worked flexibly. Starting salary £19,000 pro rata.

Download the application materials on our website.

What’s on at SPTC?

We’re rolling out some new training sessions for you to try – this time online!

We know that not everybody can physically be there for our training sessions and we want to make sure that our work is as accessible as possible.

Protection of Vulnerable Groups Legislation for PCs/PTAs

This session has been designed to give PCs and PTAs straightforward information on how the PVG system works and what you need to know. Click on the links below to register for your free place.

Monday 5 October: 12:00 – 13:30

Monday 5 October: 19:00 – 20:30

Social Media Surgery

This online forum will help you build your confidence around using social media effectively for your parent group.

Tuesday 27 October: 12:00 – 13:00

Thursday 29 October: 18:30 – 19:30

New resources from SPTC

We’ve been busy over the summer updating our services and producing new resources that will be useful for parents:

You may have also noticed that we’ve started the Eventbrite online booking system for our training sessions. This is so we can streamline our booking process and you’ll get a clear confirmation of your place and a reminder. Take a look at all our scheduled training sessions here.

‘Representing Parents in Europe: The First 30 Years’

The European Parents’ Association is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and is holding its Jubilee Conference ‘Representing Parents in Europe: The First 30 Years’ in Luxembourg. SPTC director Laszlo Novak is attending and we’ll post a report on the website. You can register for the event here.

Draft National Improvement Framework

First things first – don’t be put off by the dull name! The Draft National Improvement Framework is very important for parents. It’s about measuring and evaluating performance in schools and puts specific responsibilities on parents and carers as part of the process. Importantly the draft framework reintroduces standardised testing – read here for the key points.

It is really important that you make your feelings known about the framework and how this will impact on your child. Free tickets are going quickly for the consultation events so book now!

Digital engagement in education

We’ve sent out our latest Parents’ Voice on the topic of technology in the classroom. With increasing numbers of schools in Scotland using tablets, laptops and mobiles in the classroom we want to know how schools are engaging with parents so that they are not left behind.

You can take part in the survey by following this link. Or why not sign up to Parents’ Voice, our online survey group and take part in a variety of different surveys?

Become an SPTC Director!

SPTC directors are a mix of parents and teachers (though the chair must always be a parent). Any parent from an SPTC member group can stand for nomination to the board and you would have the opportunity to influence policy development for the good of all Scotland’s children.

Find out more about becoming a director and download the nomination forms on our website.

Safer Internet Day 2016 

Safer Internet Day 2016 takes place on 9 February with the theme Play your part for a better internet!

Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre the celebration sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

You can download resources to help your parent group or school get involved on the website.

Would your community cope well during a crisis?

The British Red Cross is looking to have contact with local groups, to find out how communities feel about resilience and to try and raise awareness of how best communities can bounce back from disruption.  If you would like to find out more please visit our website or contact David Karikas, Project Manager on 01463 79 66 15 or

Consultations to get involved in

  • The General Teaching Council for Scotland is taking comments on its Registration and Standard rules – the proposed changes involve teachers qualified outside of Scotland. You can find out more about this consultation which closes on 2 November here.
  • The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on complaints relating to the Named Person and Child’s Plan – find out more here. This closes on 9 October.

The Scottish Government is intending to lodge further amendments at Stage 2 of the Education (Scotland) Bill – this includes the draft National Improvement Framework. To have your say write to by 3 November.

Update from SPTC – August



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.


SPTC – Focus on Communications – Thursday 28 May 2015



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.