Parental engagement and family learning

Parents, carers and families are by far the most important influences in a child's life. Their support can play a vital role at all stages of their child’s education.  Attention should also be given to the parent’s own learning journey.  This will support parents to be able to meaningfully engage in their child’s learning and life at school, whilst enhancing their own educational skills and employment opportunities.

This page provides information on the policy for Scottish education in relation to parents and families.

Parental engagement

The Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 underpins all parental involvement/engagement policies, strategies and frameworks.  The Act aims to help parents to be:

  • involved with their children’s education and learning
  • welcomed as an active participant
  • encouraged to express their views on all matters relating to education

It places duties on schools, local authorities and Scottish Ministers to help all parents to be involved in their own child's learning, to be welcomed as active participants in schools, and to be able to express their views on school education generally.

Parental engagement is also recognised in the National Improvement Framework as one of seven key drivers in achieving excellence and equity in Scottish education. The engagement of parents and families can help raise attainment for all and help to ensure equality and equity for every child. The National Improvement Framework parental engagement driver includes actions to support improvement in parental engagement, parental involvement, family learning and learning at home.

Family learning

Family learning encourages family members to learn together, with a focus on intergenerational learning. Family learning activities can also be specifically designed to enable parents to learn how to support their children’s learning.

'Family learning is a powerful method of engagement and learning which can foster positive attitudes towards life-long learning, promote socio-economic resilience and challenge educational disadvantage.'
(Family Learning Network, 2016).

Education Scotland supports improvement in parental involvement, parental engagement, family learning and learning at home through the promotion, development, and provision of a range of learning approaches and opportunities for education practitioners working with children and families. We do this in collaboration with external stakeholders, including the national parental organisations and local authorities.

Inspection

Since September 2016, Education Scotland’s inspection of early learning and childcare and How Good is Our School (4th edition) includes a focus on gathering evidence of the impact of parental involvement, parental engagement, family learning and learning at home in individual establishments.

Related links

Parentzone Scotland - Education Scotland website providing information and advice to support parents to take an increased role in their child's education and learning.

Engaging parents and families: A toolkit for practitioners

Family Learning Framework

Review of Learning at Home

Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 aims to help parents to be:

  • involved with their children’s education and learning
  • welcomed as an active participant
  • encouraged to express their views on education.

It places duties on schools, local authorities and Scottish Ministers to help all parents to be involved in their own child's learning, to be welcomed as active participants in schools, and to be able to express their views on school education generally.

Scottish Parent Teacher Council

Engaging parents and families: A toolkit for practitioners