Key Driver: Parental engagement
Early Parent-Child Activities
The Growing Up in Scotland report ' Language Development and Enjoyment of Reading: Impacts of Early Parent-Child Activities in Two Growing Up in Scotland Cohorts' has shown that:
- The overall frequency of home learning activities undertaken with children when they were aged 3 did not differ between the 2004/05 and 2010 birth cohorts. However, children who were aged 3 in 2013 (59%) were slightly more likely than children aged 3 in 2007/08 (56%) to have played at recognising letters, words, numbers or shapes 'most days' in the last week.
- Children aged 3 in 2013 were more likely than children aged 3 in 2007/08 to be doing activities by themselves, with their mother, and with their father.
Specifically, there was an increase in the proportion of children doing all four of the following activities with their father (looking at books/reading stories, singing songs/ reciting nursery rhymes, drawing/ painting and playing at recognising letters, words, numbers or shapes).
- In both the 2004/05 and the 2010 birth cohorts, children living in advantaged circumstances were more likely to undertake frequent home learning activities than children living in less advantaged circumstances. Overall, this relationship was similar across the two cohorts. The study found no evidence of any 'narrowing of the gap' in relation to the frequency of activities undertaken at age 10 months or 3 years.
- Amongst parents who read with their child once a week or less when the child was aged 10 months, almost nine out of ten had increased the frequency at which they read with their child by the time the child was aged 3. Parents in the 2010 birth cohort were slightly less likely to increase their frequency of reading than parents in the 2004/05 birth cohort.
77% of parents recalled having received a Bookbug pack by the time their child was aged 10 months. Of those who recalled receiving the Bookbug pack, the vast majority had used at least one of the items enclosed in the pack.
82% of parents had not accessed the PlayTalkRead website at the time the 10 month or age 3 years interviews.
Those living in more advantaged circumstances (such as in high income households, in the least deprived areas, and with high levels of educational qualifications) were more likely to report having received and used the Bookbug packs and were more likely to have accessed the PlayTalkRead website.
Satisfaction with schools
Every year, the Scottish Household Survey asks adults (not only parents) how satisfied they are with a number of local services, including schools. The latest findings of the survey are published in the 2015 survey report. These showed that:
74% of adults were very or fairly satisfied with the quality of local schools in 2015. This was broadly the same for people living in the most deprived and least deprived areas.
The percentage of adults very or fairly satisfied with local schools has fallen over the last four years, from a high of 85% in 2011 to the current level of 74%.
Before school inspections take place, HM Inspectors issue questionnaires to parents. These give an indication of parents' satisfaction with their schools to inform the inspection. The results are not representative of all parents across Scotland.
4,860 parents of pupils in primary, secondary and all-through schools completed the questionnaire between September 2015 and June 2016. Of those:
93% agreed that overall, they are happy with the school
93% agreed that their child’s learning is progressing well
2,643 parents of pupils in early learning and childcare settings completed similar questionnaires in the same period. Of those:
98% agreed that overall, they are happy with the care and education their child gets in the early learning and childcare setting
96% agreed that their child’s learning is progressing well
The pre-inspection questionnaires also ask questions about parents' satisfaction with the extent to which schools involve them with the school and their child's learning. Again, the results are not representative of all parents across Scotland.
Of the 4,860 parents of pupils in primary, secondary and all-through schools who completed the questionnaire between September 2015 and June 2016:
84% agreed that the school keeps them well informed about their childs progress
80% agreed that the school asks for their views
70% agreed that the school takes their views into account
Of the 2,643 parents of pupils in early learning and childcare settings who completed the inspection questionnaires:
92% agreed that the early learning and childcare setting keeps them well informed about their child’s progress
90% agreed that the early learning and childcare setting asks for their views
88% agreed that the early learning and childcare setting takes their view into account
The SSLN pupil questionnaire asks pupils how involved their parents or other people at home are with their schoolwork. In 2015 the following percentage of pupils said that someone at home 'very often':
The Programme for International Student Assessment ( PISA) includes surveying parents on a range of issues. The latest published data from 2015 showed that:
84% Of parents agreed or strongly agreed that their child’s school provides them with regular and useful information on their child’s progress
86% Of parents agreed or strongly agreed that their child’s school provides effective communication between the school and families
86% Of parents agreed or strongly agreed that their child’s school provides an inviting atmosphere for parents to get involved
74% Of parents agreed or strongly agreed that their child’s school involves parents in the school’s decision-making progress
73% Of parents agreed or strongly agreed that their child’s school informs families about how to help students with homework/other school-related activities
38% Of parents agreed or strongly agreed that their child’s school offers parent education (e.g. courses on family literacy) or family support programmes (e.g. to assist with health, nutrition)
85% Of parents agreed or strongly agreed that their child’s school informs co-operates with other services in the community to strengthen school programmes and student development
The Scottish Government commissioned the National Parent Forum of Scotland to conduct an independent review of the impact of the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) (Scotland) Act 2006. The review included independent research and a call for evidence.
The National Parent Forum of Scotland will provide their full report in early 2017. Initial findings include the following:
- Parents generally preferred schools to communicate through direct forms of contact such as emails, letters and text message, rather than providing information that parents would have to seek out (e.g. on a website).
- Parents saw time as the main barrier to greater involvement in the life of their child's school. Busy working lives, having young children or having children at different schools were reported as the challenges that parents faced when trying to find time to get involved with wider school activities.
The chart below, drawn from the research for the review, shows
the proportion of
parents who engaged in the various forms of parental engagement in primary and secondary schools.