Proof that it's good to talk

29th March 2013 at 00:00
A new resource has opened lines of communication between teachers and parents, Elizabeth Buie finds

The National Parent Forum of Scotland has launched a new resource to facilitate greater dialogue between parents and schools.

One of the key differences between Let's Talk! and other parental involvement resources is its demonstration of the growing use of social media as an effective way of communicating with parents and the wider community (about school events and about homework), says the forum.

It embeds the principles of Getting it Right for Every Child, in that it includes overt information about supporting families in a positive and proactive way, and the principles of Curriculum for Excellence regarding collective responsibilities, community contexts, partnership working and health and well-being. It also articulates the role of schools in post-school options.

Kristina Woolnaugh, the forum's press officer, who created the resource, says it should be seen as an evolving, growing resource that invites parents to make contributions.

Let's Talk! is based on research with teachers, parents, carers and families over the past few months which has resulted in a checklist of pointers for parents and schools to develop. It is available on the forum's website. Ideas include:

- Gathering parents' views through a variety of forms of consultation, such as questionnaires, surveys and focus groups;

- How to make your school a "welcoming school", with Perth Grammar's YouTube welcome cited as an example;

- How to foster effective communications between home, school and community, often through a "mixed economy" of social media.

- How to involve parents and families in their children's learning;

- Advice for parents and families on how to access the support and information they need.

The forum is at: bit.ly11psQtd.

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