Scottish Government Education Secretary, Angela Constance, has ordered a review of the impact and success of current legislation on the involvement of parents in their children’s education.
The review comes ten years after the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act was introduced, and will be led by the National Parent Forum Scotland (NPFS).
Ms Constance said:
“The NPFS, who will conduct the review on behalf of Ministers, will speak directly with parents, schools and children to get their views on how parental involvement in education works in practice and how it can be improved. We will also be able to use the review findings to inform the on-going development and implementation of the National Improvement Framework. I look forward to considering the review’s conclusions.”
Ian Maxwell, national manager of FNF Scotland has warmly welcomed the initiative.
"There is a raft of evidence from the UK and around Europe that children do better when both parents are fully involved in their experience at school - not only in educational attainment but also in their broader wellbeing in and out of school.
The 2006 Parental Involvement Act and the Guidance that went with it were quite explicit in placing a responsibility on schools and councils to 'work hard' at engaging with fathers in general and non-resident parents in particular and to ensure that both parents are treated with equal respect if they no longer live together. The experience reflected in our casework is that most schools and most teachers understand that. Unfortunately we still hear too frequently of examples of unjustified and unexplained hostility to some non-resident parents who feel they are not treated equally and who feel they are walking on eggshells with the school in case they are seen as 'difficult'.
We will certainly share our considerable experience with the NPFS review and make positive proposals about improving systems within schools to ensure non-resident parents are recognised in their own right; that communications within school and between school and parents are more explicitly inclusive of non-resident parents (fathers and mothers); and that schools and councils fulfill the expectations set down for them in 2006 that they will 'work hard' to include non-resident parents."
FNF Scotland published the Equal Parents guide earlier this year, outlining the legal rights for fathers with and without Parental Rights and Responsibilities and suggesting ways to approach the school.