Parental involvement is poor cousin

23rd January 2009 at 00:00

In spite of much praise for the quality of relationships between parents and schools in Scotland, last week's HMIE report Improving Scottish Education found that pre-five centres and schools continue to face challenges in helping some parents contribute effectively.

It said family learning is increasing and being effective in developing interest and aptitude among parents and children in early literacy activities. Yet this effective type of parental involvement remains the poor cousin of the education system, dependent on the whims of local bosses.

We have reached a critical juncture in supporting family learning. Will it survive the economic downturn? It must. The school improvement movement has achieved remarkable progress, but what holds us back is the failure to recognise the strength of learning at home and in the community, and to fund and support it.

Jeannie Mackenzie, Convener, Scottish Network for Parental Involvement in Children's Learning.

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