Education in crisis? Time to send parents back to school!
PARENTS will be sent back school under a radical scheme aimed at halting the slump in Scotland’s classrooms.
They will be encouraged to brush up on reading, writing and maths – so they can help their children with homework.
The plan is aimed at achieving Nicola Sturgeon’s top priority – ‘significantly’ closing the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils.
A report by Education Scotland has backed a national roll-out of ‘family learning’, with classes to be run by teachers and education professionals, with the promise of extra cash to pay overtime.
The scheme will be aimed at improving parents’ numeracy and literacy, especially if English is not their first language.
The gulf in attainment between pupils from rich and poor backgrounds remains high, with proportionately fewer children from the most deprived parts of Scotland reaching university than in the rest of the UK.
Education Scotland said the scheme was the ‘first of its kind’ in Scotland. A spokesman added: ‘Done well, family learning helps close the attainment gap through breaking the cycle of deprivation and low attainment, leading to positive outcomes for both adults and children.
‘We expect this review will give education professionals who work with families a deeper undercrucial standing of different approaches to family learning that are proven to work well.’
Scottish Parent Teacher Council executive director Eileen Prior said: ‘Children spend a relatively small proportion of time in school. Supporting families to support learning at home is a real win-win in terms of outcomes for kids.’
Scottish Tory education spokesman Liz Smith said: ‘Parents are a part of addressing the attainment gap.
‘This is particularly true in the early years, which have to be the main focus for improving the life chances of all our children, including many who don’t speak English as their first language.’
Larry Flanagan, general secretary of teaching union the Educational Institute of Scotland, said: ‘All teachers are acutely aware active and supportive parental involvement is crucial in delivering the best opportunities for pupils and is one way of addressing the attainment gap.
‘But any new initiatives must take account of teachers’ excessive workloads and will need a significant investment of time and resources.’
A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘Our National Improvement Plan included a commitment to developing and implementing a programme of family learning by December 2018.
‘The programme will be developed in partnership with parents’ organisations to ensure parents are fully involved in their children’s learning.’
‘Breaking the cycle of deprivation’