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Entries in education (4)


National Parent Forum Conference

The National Parent Forum Scotland annual conference is taking place this Saturday, 6th October, at Bishopbriggs Academy.  There are many workshops covering both parental involvement and practical information about the curriculum for excellence. 

The  Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 explicitly identified non resident parents as a group that the school would have to make efforts to break down barriers to encourage involvement. All the research shows that children do better at school when they are supported by both parents. We have seen few examples of active encouragement. 

FNF Scotland encourages non resident parents to become involved in parent councils and other parent forums.

For further information about the conference visit: www.engageforeducation.org



Ways to become more actively engaged in your child's education

Following separation some parents will find that their relationship with their child's school alters. Although you try your very best to stay involved you may find that the school does not actively engage with you. Unfortunately non-resident parents often become invisible to the important institutions in their child's life. However there are resources out there for all parents. 

Parentzone is a website run by Education Scotland which is full of resources and support for parents. You may have questions about Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) or ways of getting involved which you feel are silly questions. There are never any silly questions but if you feel unable to ask your child's school about such information then there are other ways of being informed. 

Parents have the biggest impact on their child's learning. Being aware of what is happening in school and conversing with your child can improve their learning outcomes. You needn't worry that you don't know the answers to their maths problems. What is most important is that children know they have your support. You may feel that you have little time with them and that homework is not ideal for bonding however learning is not just about academic study. Education Scotland have put together 2 booklets which highlight everyday learning opportunities. 

Every day's a learning day - Birth to 3 years 

Every day's a learning day - 3 to 6 years

If your children are older than 0-6 years then do not feel forgotten about. The National Parent Forum of Scotland has an online blog and produces newsletters in each school session.

Children in Scotland and the Scottish Youth Parliament have recently launched a new website called BeXcellent which sets out information on Curriculum for Excellence for young people. 

Engage for Education have a number of videos on their website about how Curriculum for Excellence is changing the Scottish Education system.

If your children are at secondary school level then the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has information about the new national qualifications under CfE. The SQA website also has a mythbuster specifically for the new national qualifications. 

No matter what stage your child is at in their education there are ways to make yourself informed. Although your child's school may not actively engage with you there is nothing to stop you accessing the resources available. 


Aberdeen event promotes FNF Scotland work

Despite losing one speaker through rail delays, our meeting on 7th December to promote FNF work in Aberdeen resulted in a very useful discussion on a range of issues.  It also highlighted the strong interest in collaborative law amongst Aberdeen family lawyers.

Karen Woodall from the Centre For Separated Families would have talked about their work in supporting the whole family, gender inequality and with high conflict families if her train had made it north of Edinburgh - we hope to invite her back next year, maybe to support our work in Stirling.

Instead, our audience of fathers, family lawyers, educationalists and family support staff (including two people from the newly renamed Avenue mediation, contact and counselling service) heard from Ian Maxwell about how FNFworks to support individuals and also campaigns to change the system.

John Forsyth spoke about "Equal Parents"- the new report from FNF Scotland about clearing the obstacles to involvement of non-resident parents in their children's education. 

Many fathers have contacted FNF Scotland about problems in getting hold of school information about their children, such as the wrongful refusal to release school attendance information to a father because he didn't have parental rights.

John sent a Freedom of Information Request to all Scottish local authorities in mid 2011, asking about their policies on the right of non-resident parents to information about their children, how they collect contact details for non-resident parents, how they make school information available to non-resident parents and whether they know what proportion of their school roll had parents living apart.

The results of this survey, together with an account of the relevant law and examples of good and poor practice are included in the report, which will be modified for publication following further consultation. 

Anyone who has comments on this draft or who can contribute further experience relating to contact or involvement with Scottish schools should contact  john.forsyth@fnf.org.uk.


Consultation on Information From Schools

Families Need Fathers Scotland gave comments on the need to ensure that both parents in separated families receive school information in our response to a recent Scottish Government consultation.

We were pleased to see the following statement in the consultation report, published today by Scottish government.

"There is a need to be inclusive and provide and promote opportunities for communication with parents that might otherwise be overlooked."

Many parents have contacted us about problems in receiving school information, and we are currently studying the practice and procedures of local authorities across Scotland.

Please contact us at scotland@fnf.org.uk if you have any good or bad experiences you feel will be useful in developing this campaign.