New project is al­ready get­ting 10 out of 10

Paisley Daily Express - - It’s Back To The Classroom For Mums And Dads - Co­lette Crampsey

A new project is help­ing Ren­frew­shire pupils get the most out of school ... by invit­ing their par­ents to get back into the class­room.

Par­ents of pupils in three sec­ondary schools – Castle­head, in Pais­ley, Gryffe, in Hous­ton, and Ren­frew’s Trin­ity High – were in­vited to take part in a pi­lot of the Par­ents in Part­ner­ship pro­gramme to help close the poverty-re­lated at­tain­ment gap.

The pi­lot project, funded by Ren­frew­shire Coun­cil, as­sessed how a child’s at­tain­ment might re­late to parental or carer in­volve­ment.

Par­ents, who at­tended school one morn­ing a week for six weeks, said that the flex­i­ble model of the pro­gramme meant their unique fam­ily cir­cum­stances were taken into ac­count and they were sup­ported by the Homelink ser­vice, who work with iden­ti­fied pupils and their fam­i­lies to im­prove achieve­ment and at­tain­ment.

Teach­ers also found that par­ents were able to read with their chil­dren more of­ten once they re­alised it only needed to in­volve 15 min­utes of read­ing and a chat after­wards.

Ren­frew­shire Coun­cil’s Con­vener of Ed­u­ca­tion and Chil­dren’s Ser­vices Pol­icy Board, Coun­cil­lor Jim Pater­son, said: “Ren­frew­shire is am­bi­tious for our pupils. We want all young peo­ple to reach their full po­ten­tial, re­gard­less of their back­ground.

“Re­duc­ing the im­pact of poverty on at­tain­ment is a key pri­or­ity for the coun­cil and be­ing part of Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s At­tain­ment Chal­lenge, sup­ported by the Pupil Equity Fund, is a big deal for Ren­frew­shire’s chil­dren.

“We’ve al­ready recorded re­sults from adopt­ing the Ren­frew­shire Lit­er­acy Ap­proach in part­ner­ship with the Univer­sity of Strath­clyde, which has seen teach­ers adapt­ing teach­ing styles to develop a love of read­ing in all pupils.

“We know in­volv­ing par­ents and car­ers in school life is a great way to sup­port pupils, with par­ents en­cour­ag­ing read­ing at night, and that has a knock-on ef­fect on how well the child does at school.”

He added: “High school is an un­known world for par­ents, so be­ing able to in­volve them in the school day and en­cour­ag­ing more com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween teach­ers and par­ents has been in­cred­i­bly ben­e­fi­cial.

“Par­ents have told us that they have ben­e­fit­ted from un­der­stand­ing high school life, felt they could talk to their child more about school and that they had much more con­fi­dence in ap­proach­ing teach­ers for sup­port, while pupils have also felt they have more sup­port at home.

“We will con­tinue to build on the project, re­spond­ing to the needs of par­ents and car­ers, as well as the pupils across Ren­frew­shire schools.”

Linda O’Neill, of the Cen­tre for Ex­cel­lence for Looked Af­ter Chil­dren in Scot­land ( CELCIS), which sup­ported the project, said: “We know that work­ing with par­ents and car­ers in a mean­ing­ful way through school has the real po­ten­tial to sup­port fam­ily learn­ing and im­prove the well­be­ing of both chil­dren and their par­ents and car­ers.

“It’s great to see Ren­frew­shire Coun­cil mak­ing a com­mit­ment to develop real and last­ing part­ner­ships be­tween par­ents, schools and com­mu­ni­ties though Par­ents in Part­ner­ship.”

In­volv­ing par­ents and car­ers in school life is a great way to sup­port pupils Jim Pater­son

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