12. Parent Partnership
Most Authorities have a Parenting Strategy which supports the aim of ensuring better outcomes for children by working to reduce inequalities in Child Poverty, Health, Employment and Training. Parenting strategies seek to implement the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 and support parental engagement in children’s learning. The Additional Support for Learning Acts (2004 and 2009) introduced new rights for parents, and young people with additional support needs. As a result of the Acts, parents have the right to:
- ask the Education Authority to find out whether their child has additional support needs;
- request at any time a specific type of assessment and/or examination;
- ask the Education Authority to find out whether their child requires a Co-ordinated Support Plan;
- make a placing request to an independent or grant aided special school if their child has additional support needs;
- make a placing request to another education authority for their child to attend a school under the management of that authority;
- use a free mediation service and a dispute resolution service;
- appeal to an independent tribunal on matters related to Co-ordinated Support Plans;
- appeal against the referral of placing requests to special schools and failure by an Education Authority in relation to their duties regarding school to post school transitions;
- have a supporter or representative with them at any meeting with the school or Education Authority and at Tribunal meetings;
- have access to a free advocacy service in Tribunal proceedings;
- receive advice and information about their child’s additional support needs;
- be informed of the outcome of requests under the Act, reasons why a request is refused and any applicable rights to have a decision reviewed; for example: through mediation or dispute resolution or referred to a Tribunal or an Education Authority appeal committee (where it concerns a placing request where there is no related co-ordinated support plan and the placing request is not fora special school);
- request the Education Authority to establish whether their child needs a Co-ordinated Support Plan or to review an existing plan; and receive a copy of the Co-ordinated Support Plan and for any amended plan to be asked for their views and have them taken into account and noted in the Co-ordinated Support Plan.
Enquire, the Scottish Advice Centre for Additional Support for Learning provides parents and practitioners with useful advice on effective partnership.
The school has token full account of the importance of parents and corers as true partners in the education and core of their child. This has involved exploring the most effective ways of:
Involvement of parents in their child’s learning through:
- ensuring that relevant Additional Support meetings, including for children and young people who are looked after, and transition meetings at all stages are supportive and effective and adhere to the timetable set down within guidance on transition shown at this link. In this way the school can try to allay parents’ fears about the challenges faced by their child ‘moving on’.
- agreeing their children’s needs using the SOI at review meetings so that learning targets are jointly agreed;
- providing a range of written information about the curriculum;
- providing workshops for parents on particular topics such as on using ICT, CfE, Guardianship, Benefits and welfare rights, relationships and sex education.
Communication with parents
- Ensuring from the outset that parents know they are welcome in the school.
- Being open to discussing concerns.
- Listening to parents’ views.
- Producing written information for parents on a range of matters which includes leaflets entitled ‘Who’s Who’; ‘Child Protection’; ‘Close physical contact/touch’; ‘Equalities’; ‘Welfare rights and benefits’; ‘Health and wellbeing’.
Support for parents
- Having a parent room in the school.
- Establishing parent groups or networks and access to voluntary organisations.
- Creating lending libraries of resources for parents to use at home.
- Linking parents of children with similar complex needs: working in partnership with Parent-to Parent, monthly parent group meetings in the parents’
- Developing homework packages.
- Holding clinics in the school for a range of purposes such as for wheelchairs, functional vision assessment, dental checks and nutrition advice.
- Undertaking home visits in certain circumstances.
The school also has effective arrangements for meeting the varying needs of parents, for example, those who need interpreting or translation services or have restricted mobility, visual or auditory impairments.
|Prompt for Reflection
How well do you work in partnership with parents and young people?