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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 education.
Parents who take on a supportive role in their children’s learning make a difference in improving achievement and behaviour. The active involvement of parents can help promote a learning community in which children and young people can engage positively with practitioners and their peers.
Practitioners can benefit from developing positive partnerships with parents by involving them in all decisions affecting their children’s education and learning. Engaging with parents gives them the chance to understand the role that they play in their children’s learning and development and fosters parental involvement.
The role of the Parental Involvement Act
In May 2006, the Scottish Parliament passed the
Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act that 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
The Act was introduced to help parents, carers and schools work together as partners in children's learning. It places duties on schools, local authorities and Scottish Government to make it easier for parents to become involved.
The Parental Involvement Act gives schools the freedom to decide locally on the best way of having parents represented in the life of the school.
Find out more about the Act on the Scottish Government website:
Guidance on the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006.
Although the Act refers to schools, the information can be related to other settings for information and support on engaging parents and families.
Involving all parents
Parents are the first and on-going educators of their own children and should receive information and support to help develop learning at home and in the community.
Learning at home
Parents are the first and ongoing educators of their children and, as such, should receive information and support to help develop their children's learning at home and in the community.
Effective home-school partnerships are essential to ensure that each child gets the most out of their school and the education system. Schools, settings and practitioners should be open to the involvement of parents in the work they do and should consider opportunities to encourage meaningful involvement to engage with services and their children’s education.
Parent Councils, forums and associations give parents and carers the opportunity to have their views represented to the setting and local authority on policy matters and decisions affecting the education of their child.
Family learning and community links
Family learning is recognised as having significant benefits for parents and children of all ages and can be delivered in a range of settings and by a variety of practitioners working in partnership.