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December 2016 E-News Update
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Hello and firstly many, many thanks for all the responses to the NPFS review of the Parental Involvement Act - I have been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of replies from individual parents and parent councils and the review team are busy reviewing the data and will be publishing the finished report in March......

I had the pleasure of welcoming the Deputy First Minister to our September meeting of the full forum (my first meeting as chair). During the meeting Mr Swinney gave the reps his "vision" for Scottish education and then they quizzed him on the Education Delivery plan. He enjoyed himself so much that he invited himself along to our November meeting specifically to discuss the Governance Review (see article below). I would urge you - as parents, or in your parent councils, clusters or Local Authorities to respond to this consultation. I know it is very wordy and difficult to understand but have a look at our webpage  to read the core questions simplified (a bit!) by Mr Swinney himself. Ask yourself "what gets in the way of my child's learning?" Think about what works well and what needs to change-and then tell him ......This is important and decisions made following this review will be with us for a long time.....so now's your chance to tell him !
 
In other news - Look out for several new nutshells in January - one on" career conversations" for all ages and a couple of more specialised ones on apprenticeships and digital tech. Watch out on our website for their launch dates......

Finally- I hope you all enjoy the Christmas break.

Yours,
Joanna

The Governance Review

Empowering teachers, parents and communities to achieve Excellence and Equity in Education

We are hearing from lots of parents who are struggling to engage with the Governance Review documents and when we express these concerns to  Mr Swinney, Deputy First Minister, he  suggested that parents answer the following points and send them to Government Governancereview@gov.scot

How do we want schools to be run?

Where should influence lie?

What adds value to the learning experience?

What should parents do ( within education)?

A STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland

The Government is consulting on their approach to delivering a high quality Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) education and training offering, across the education system. The draft STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland has two aims to improve levels of STEM enthusiasm, skills, and knowledge in order to raise attainment and aspirations in learning, life and work; and to encourage the uptake of more specialist STEM skills required to gain employment in the growing STEM sectors of the economy, through further study and training.  Take part here.
“You shouldn't feel bad if you need extra help. Remember, you’re not alone.”   
That’s the key message from the 75 young people who have been involved in the development of Reach, a new website for young people by Enquire, which provides advice and information about how they can get the help they need at school and what kind of support might be available.
Life issues covered on the website include being bullied; changing and leaving school; struggling with difficulties at home; feeling low or anxious; finding it hard to take part at school; being care experienced; and many more.  Reach is full of young people’s voices and experiences; giving advice on what has helped them.
The name Reach symbolises a really positive message that nobody is out of reach and the right support can make all the difference.
New SCQF Leaflet For Parents & Carers
With our input, the SCQF Partnership has revised and improved its leaflet for parents and carers. The leaflet has been simplified to make it easier for parents and carers to better understand how the SCQF can help their children plan their lifelong learning journey. It highlights some of the wider achievement programmes that young people might undertake  and also contains a refreshed version of the SCQF diagram, which now also features Foundation Apprenticeships. The leaflet will be available in hard copy and to download from the SCQF website from mid-December. Visit http://scqf.org.uk/resources_cats/learners-parents-carers/ for more information.

Interactive guide to school careers services

Skills Development Scotland has produced a handy interactive guide giving an overview of the career information, advice and guidance support their professionally qualified advisers offer in schools. 
Running from Primary 5 to S6, the guide shows the support pupils, parents, carers, teachers and practitioners can expect at each school stage.
You can click through from each section of the table for more information on the careers support on offer.
SDS is the national skills agency and has careers advisers working in every state secondary school in Scotland and from its careers centres and community venues across Scotland.
See the interactive guide.
Find out more about SDS careers services

Early Learning and Childcare Expansion

The Scottish Government launched a consultation in October on the expansion of early years and childcare. A Blueprint for 2020 sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for transforming early learning and childcare, which is underpinned by the four principles of quality, flexibility, accessibility and affordability. The consultation, which runs until 9th January 2017 seeks the views on the range of key policy choices required to deliver this vision. As part of the consultation the Scottish Government is running a series of parental engagement events in December. These events will be held in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

SCQF 15 Years On

This year marks 15 years of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). Since 2001, the SCQF has been Scotland's national framework, helping people of all ages plan their learning journey, as well as supporting and informing schools, colleges, universities, training providers, employers, national and local governments and many others. This anniversary provides an excellent opportunity to understand how the SCQF is used and the impact it is having in Scotland. This short, anonymous online survey aims to understand people's awareness and use of the SCQF and the impact it is having. 
 The closing date for completion is Friday 9 December. Take the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SCQFImpact.

PISA 2015

The results of the 2015 Programme for International Student Assessment have been published this week. Scotland’s scores in the PISA assessments were similar to the OECD average in science, maths and reading. In the previous survey in 2012, Scotland was above the OECD average in reading and science, and at the average in maths. 

Contact Us

Join our database to receive this E News Update and other relevant information from the National Parent Forum by emailing us your contact details.

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Vacancies


We currently have vacancies for representatives in the following areas: Angus, Argyll and Bute, Midlothian and Scottish Borders. Please contact us or your local authority for further information.
 

Parents' Perception of the National 4 Qualifications

Are you the parent of a child who has sat a National 4 qualification?  We would be interested to hear your views in this very short survey.   

The National Care Standards

Following on from the consultation of the National Care Standards in 2014, the next phase of the National Care Standards Review is to develop a set of Standards linked to the overarching Principles which were approved by the Cabinet Secretary in February 2016.  In reviewing the current Standards, we all have a unique opportunity to contribute to how our services are planned, commissioned, delivered and improved. To take part click here.

Assessing your child's progress

More information has been launched about how children's progress will be assessed at school, including information on the new national standardised assessments being rolled out in August 2017 that have a role within assessment more broadly.
Information has been made available for parents and carers on assessment and can be found
here.

Contact your local NPFS rep
Would you like to get in touch with your local NPFS rep and find out more about what's happening in your area and how you can get involved? Is there an issue you would like to raise with the Forum? Or perhaps you have an event that you would like the Forum to support. If so, you can find the contact details of all our local reps here.

Useful Contacts

Enquire is the Scottish Advice Service for Additional Support for Learning

Parent zone Up to date information about your child's education from education Scotland .


SQA helps people to fulfil their potential and to achieve their ambitions.
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