Wednesday, 25 March 2015

School partnerships

Despite Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) and Curriculum for Excellence to improve children`s outcomes in Scotland, it seems that that is not going to be enough to produce successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors. It does make you wonder how much it is going to take.

The Education (Scotland) Bill 2015 has the objective of narrowing the attainment gap between children and young people from more and less disadvantaged backgrounds.

Does this mean more teachers, more support workers, smaller classrooms, providing the best qualified teachers in the most disadvantaged schools perhaps ?

Not exactly.

The Government expects Education authorities to work in partnership with schools, parents and other relevant bodies to deliver this change. Notice how disadvantaged parents are right in the middle of this. There is no doubt that as well as being worked with, parents will be worked on. A clue can be found in the National Parenting Strategy.

"The National Parenting Strategy seeks to turn that aspiration (i.e GIRFEC) into practical action - by championing the importance of parents to Scottish society, by strengthening the support on offer to parents and by making it easier to access that support. Put simply, by helping our nation`s parents be the very best they can be to make a positive difference to children and young people..."

"It`s well proven that children do better when parents and schools work together. However, not all parents find it easy to be involved in their child`s learning. Challenging family circumstance, separation, busy working lives and communication difficulties - these are some of the barriers that parents face and that schools must do their best to overcome in order to help every parent support their child at school."

Parental Supports

Every Day`s a Learning Day
Healthy weight programmes
Secure Parent-child attachments
Triple P
Parenting Years

There are bound to be more programmes as Education authorities begin working in partnership with schools, parents and those unnamed `other relevant bodies.`

And if parents don`t agree? The named person will be sure to have some wellbeing concerns.

How useful are parenting programmes?
Parenting can be learned but not taught according to Frank Furedi:
(The) project of transforming parenting into a skill does have negative and potentially harmful consequences. When human relationships are recast as skills to be managed by professional trainers something very important happens in the way we conduct our personal affairs. As I argue in my study Paranoid Parenting such policy interventions cultivate a kind of learned helplessness among parents. Through exaggerating the complexity of child-rearing, parenting experts contribute to the eroding self-reliance of modern mums and dads. Inevitably, the principal outcome of such interventions is to distract parents from learning from their own experience. And yet learning from experience is the key to developing the confidence for making those crucial judgment calls that confronts parents on a daily basis.

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