Tag Archives: Parents

SDS news: Labour market low down for parents⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

PSDS In-School Infographics AW2arents have been getting the lowdown on the labour market as part of special careers events at two North Lanarkshire schools.

Coltness High School and Airdrie Academy worked with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) on the events for parents and carers whose children were making subject choices.

The events – attended by more than 200 people – were part of work to expand SDS career information, advice and guidance services in schools.

Find out more about the events, and read about calls from the National Parent Forum of Scotland to parents and carers to make the most of the careers services changes.



Have Your Say – National Improvement Framework!⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Small - NIFThe Scottish Government has published a draft National Improvement Framework which brings together key information in a more consistent way, so that greater focus can be given to the progress of children and how we can continually improve Scottish education. Scottish Ministers want children and young people from around Scotland to help shape plans to progress the Framework.

There have been meetings and events with parents, teachers and education staff from local authorities and it is important that children and young people get the opportunity to discuss and share their views on what is important to them about knowing how they are doing at school, and how they would want to see their school improve.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Angela Constance MSP, will also be available during this live Glow TV broadcast to answer your pupil’s questions live!

Join us in Glow TV on Monday 9th November at 11.30am – register now! – Have Your Say – National Improvement Framework!

If you unable to join us for the live event you can always catch up with the recording at another time – Glow TV’s Watch Again.




Parentzone Scotland brings together the contents of the previous Parentzone and Scottish Schools Online websites to form a single resource.

In the Find a school section, you will find all the schools information previously held on Scottish Schools Online – contact details for every primary, secondary and special school in Scotland, as well as information on school awards and links to school websites. This section also now includes information on performance of leavers from S4-S6 for each secondary school in Scotland.

The website also contains:

  • information and resources to help you support your child’s learning from early years to beyond school
  • new resources to help you support your child’s learning at home in literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing and science
  • enhanced support for parents of children with additional support needs.

Sign up for regular Parentzone Scotland updates to get details of news, events and resources for you and your child


I remember it well …⤴

from @ blethers

 I've been thinking about birthdays today - not least because it is the birthday of my firstborn. Now he's a very adult person and has been around for longer than the clarity of my memory would lead you to think, and that's the point, really, of this post. All through Saturday, I was remembering that Valentine's day over 40 years ago, when I was leaving to go to the maternity hospital and suddenly my husband turned up, having been sent home from work because the school boiler was burst. No maternity leave, just chance making the mid-term weekend slightly longer. And then I could go on to remember the very strange day indeed when I was subjected to then customary rigours of being induced on my due date, and faces came and went, and I lost interest in how my life was going to be changed for ever and concentrated on the more pressing (as you might say) matter in hand.

The birthday is actually today, because even with induction and much yelling from two midwives, the business of labour took so long. But it is the clarity of the memories that lead me to the conclusion that actually one's birthday is of far greater importance to one's mother than to oneself.  I think that unless one is a small child excited about presents and parties the whole business of remembering the actual day is one in which only a parent can fully participate. I remember with some angst my lack of
preparation for the birth - my refusal to go out and buy baby garments, for some reason connected with superstition and not counting chickens. My parents, I remember, turned up one afternoon at my flat in Hyndland bearing a Mothercare bag and insisted I stash it somewhere sensible ...

We, of course, had complicated matters by deciding to move to Dunoon. Mr B was already working
there, and the early mornings were fraught with getting up in the dark and wondering if the ferries would be running. There were nights when the boats were off and he couldn't get home. There was the strangely transient feel to my existence at the very time when I suppose I should have been building a nest. And I can remember it all.

I suspect we're all the same, we mothers. My mother - above, holding a rather small me - used to tell me how, high on whatever pain relief they gave you in these days, she hallucinated that there were men dancing on the roofs of the houses on the other side of Great Western Road from Redlands. She also told me they offered her tripe for her tea. (She declined.) And she always made sure she gave me something great for my birthday - many of the most esoteric books on my shelves came through her.

The other baby photo is of the one whose birthday falls today. I won't embarrass him by giving him a name. But I wanted to record the moment I realised that no landmark birthday of my own has ever seemed as unforgettable as his - or his brother's.

But that's next week ...

In celebration of National Adoption Week⤴


Post by Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People

I never fail to feel inspired when I talk to adoptive families, and hear about the hugely positive difference adoption can make, to both adopters and children. The Scottish Government’s ambition is to make Scotland the best place for a child to grow up. We know that living in a secure, stable and nurturing home with a loving family is the best way to ensure that our children and young people get the best start in life.

Adoptive families across Scotland provide the love and security that all children deserve and we want more children to be able to experience this.

The Adoption Register has a key part to play here by enabling children to be matched with potential families from across the country, rather than limiting opportunities within a local authority area. Since its establishment in April 2011, I am pleased to say that the Register has made 127 matches and I look forward to those numbers increasing still further.

It should be added that 17 of the Register’s matches were sibling groups which accounted for 35 children.  This year’s theme of National Adoption Week is the importance of sibling groups and celebrating the importance of our siblings.  We know that it is often in the best interests of looked after siblings to find a family together, rather than experiencing the additional trauma of being separated from their brothers or sisters.  But just as importantly, those who adopt siblings can also find the experience a very rewarding and fulfilling one.

Through the Children and Young People Act 2014, the Scottish Government has put Scotland’s Adoption Register on a statutory basis ensuring that matches can be identified for more children, more quickly. We are now developing regulations which will lay out the detailed operation of the Adoption Register. We will be consulting formally on those regulations in spring next year, and expect them to come into force in April 2016.

The Register is continuing to expand its activities, including national adoption exchange days where prospective adopters have an opportunity to learn more about children who are waiting to be adopted. An encouraging 38 matches have already been made as a direct result of the 9 national exchange days held so far. The Register is also developing a pilot for Scotland’s first adoption activity day, where adopters meet a range of children waiting to be adopted in a prepared, supported, safe and fun environment. I look forward to hearing about the success of this kind of innovative approach in due course.

This time last year, I welcomed the Care Inspectorate’s report on The Quality and Performance of Adoption Agencies in Scotland 2011 – 2013, which found that we were delivering good quality adoption services to looked after children and adopters across Scotland. I made clear, however, that there was much still to do – particularly in relation to the speed with which adoption, and other forms of legal permanence, could be secured.

Since then, we have been working with CELCIS – the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children – to establish our PACE – Permanence and Care Excellence- programme in Aberdeen City and Renfrewshire. The programme aims to reduce drift and delay for looked after children in achieving permanence. It brings together all partners in a local area to develop improvement projects that identify ways of improving children’s journeys to permanence – focusing on the needs of children rather that the needs of the various systems. We plan to expand the PACE programme to other local authorities over the next three years; sharing learning to support further local improvement across Scotland.

As part of National Adoption Week, I was delighted to attend an event hosted by BAAF- British Association for Adoption and Fostering- at the Scottish Storytelling Centre on Wednesday, which celebrated adoption and the importance of brothers and sisters, through writing and music.

National Adoption Week provides an important opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits that come with adoption, not only in improving the life chances of children but also for adoptive parents themselves. I would urge anyone who has ever wondered whether adoption might be for them, to contact BAAF or their local adoption agency, to find out more.

The post In celebration of National Adoption Week appeared first on Engage for Education.

Us Together: Supporting Scotland’s Children and their Fathers⤴


Us Together: Supporting Scotland’s Children and their Fathers officially launched in March 2014 with a clear aim of improving the outcomes of children of lone parent fathers. The project is funded through the Third Sector Early Intervention Fund to deliver the service in Dundee, Edinburgh, Falkirk and North Lanarkshire. Us Together is part of the national third sector organisation, One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS), providing one to one support, parenting programmes, peer mentoring and family activities.

Around 8% of Scotland’s 165,500 single parents are fathers. This means approximately 13,240 families in Scotland are headed by a single dad. Single Fathers can often find it difficult to find the information that’s relevant to them. Some feel that they are viewed differently or that sometimes it’s not easy to find the right support tailored to a father’s needs. Fathers have told us all of this can make the job of bringing up children on their own feel very isolating. There are times when single dads need support that’s more tailored to their situation, and that when they are dealing with a problem they may find it more helpful to hear how other dads have coped.  This links with The National Parenting Strategy which recognises that parents are the strongest influence on their child’s life and deserve quality, expert support to be available and easily accessible when they need it. One father described becoming a single dad “When we separated it was a shock to be left with the kids. It was the amount you need to deal with as well as the emotional turmoil. It’s having to learn so much so quickly! In the evenings at home you are alone. After the kids are in bed that’s when you worry – money, hanging on to your job, feeling no-one is there to turn to…juggling work and the kids. Will I be able to keep my job- that’s what goes through your head”

One of the Family Activity Days – Mini Commonwealth Games at Beecraigs Country Park

Us Together aims to support fathers to give their children the best start in life. Neil McIntosh of OPFS said “We believe that in order to get it right for every child we need to get it right for their family. We do this by looking at the whole family and what needs to change to enable the child to reach their full potential. We recognise that working in partnership with schools and other support services is key to this. We work with the father to build his skills and confidence in continuing the child’s learning into their home and community.

Us Together impacts on children in many ways but we are increasingly noting influences on educational attainment. One father commented “[The Children and Fathers’] Project has brought us together. It’s just brilliant, especially for the kids. My son’s nursery teacher has even told me that he is now sharing with the other kids and is more co-operative.”Teachers are telling us of improvements in attendance and reductions in late comings, more children having a bedtime story, improvements in literacy and numeracy and in grades. In this video https://vimeo.com/106269504 Lorna Stewart, Head Teacher at Craigroyston Primary in Edinburgh talks about the improvements in father/child relationship and improved relationship with the school.

Stephen Beath, Depute Head Teacher at Graeme High School in Falkirk also recognised how the project helps to improve outcomes of children and young people. The impact and importance of this work could not be higher.  In our setting it was initially about advocacy.  We had not realised we were dealing with a parent who was virtually non-literate. Rather than our ongoing communications about their child being helpful they were a source of considerable anxiety and stress that helped make the situation worse.  When the Children & Fathers Worker was able to share this with us we were able to stop the unhelpful actions and start to build the positive.  The Workers role changed at this point from simple advocacy to mediation.  He was able to work with both father and child to help them understand what the school wanted and how best to support this.  In this situation there has been a huge turnaround in attitude, behaviour and attainment”.

For more information about Us Together please visit www.opfs.org.uk or follow on twitter @OPFSUSTOGETHER

Us Together’s work shows the vital role families can have in children and young people’s education. To support further family engagement and partnership working the Scottish Government commissioned a new web resource to support parents, schools and communities access the very latest Scottish, UK and international research evidence to support effective family engagement strategies. It has a particular focus on engaging with vulnerable families and those living in our more deprived communities, as well as engaging with fathers and looked after children. http://engagingwithfamilies.co.uk/

The post Us Together: Supporting Scotland’s Children and their Fathers appeared first on Engage for Education.

Aileen Campbell Blog – Parenting Strategy 2 years on⤴


The National Parenting Strategy was launched in 2012 with the clear purpose of ensuring that we properly value and support parents and carers to be the best they can be.

We know that parents are the strongest influence on their child’s life and deserve quality, expert support to be available and easily accessible when they need it.

The strategy set out more than 80 measurable action points that included the legislation that saw the Children and Young People Act passed earlier this year.

This week tens of thousands of parents and carers will start gaining from extra hours of free early learning and childcare support, with funded provision for 3- and 4-year olds increasing to almost 16 hours a week and being extended to thousands of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged two year olds this year.

We are continuing our work to make made good on our promises at the outset of developing the Parenting Strategy to have support in place for whenever the family need it.

Aileen Campbell Play Day 2014 East Ayrshire

Photo © East Ayrshire Council

Today (Tuesday August 12, 2014) I am meeting with others from healthcare and family services to reflect on how far we have come in the past two years.

We have collaborated with numerous groups and provided funding support to encourage more flexible, family friendly working arrangements and taken steps to help family services better represent the needs of fathers and male carers in the information they provide.

One of the things we discovered as we set out to deliver our goals with our partners was that there is a lot of excellent guidance available already. The issue was that all too often parents and carers didn’t know where to access the information.

Through joined up working we are all much more aware of what each other is doing and better placed to point parents and carers to a wider range of useful advice and services.

The strategy has been supported with significant investment from various sources. The Early Years Change Fund alone has contributed £150,000 to support early intervention programmes that will improve the long term prospects for children.

£18 million is being invested in local authorities and Third Sector organisations over three years to improve family services. The ground-breaking Early Years Collaborative continues to provide a forum to share expertise and experience to bring a greater consistency to the support available across Scotland.

There is still much to do and we are all committed to continuing to develop how we serve families. Today is a chance to hear from the people on the front line of family services and support and will be invaluable to keeping up the momentum in making Scotland the best place to grow up.

Aileen Campbell

Minister for Children

When childcare backfires! by @TeacherToolkit⤴


I am no expert on childcare. In fact, despite my 20 years in classrooms, I am a complete novice. But, I do know when childcare let’s you down. Believe it or not, I have much to learn about all-things-education. I wouldn’t normally write about Early Years or childcare; but as this blog does discuss the … Continue reading

Raising aspirations and equal-access by @TeacherToolkit⤴


“The UK education system faces a range of inter-related challenges: students from non-selective state schools are under-represented at top universities; with schools increasingly accountable for progression to higher education.” (Source) Context: This week, I’ve been touched by two stories I’ve heard from my own students. Both heart-wrenching; real and poignant. But, what is moving about … Continue reading