We were delighted to work alongside the Scottish Government and the National Parental Involvement Coordinator during the School Handbook consultation in 2010/11. Co-hosting consultation events for parents/carers proved illuminating for all participants, as parents shared their ideas with enthusiasm and broadened out the scope of the School Handbook in exciting and innovative ways. Parents' responses to the consultation also demonstrate that, given the opportunity, many parents are keen to contribute in a myriad of different ways. The new School Handbooks will reflect this diversity, as schools set out their own exciting parental involvement opportunities.
We firmly believe that the School Handbook plays a crucial role in enhancing and communicating strong and successful school communities. By opening the door on the rich tapestry of school life, the School Handbook is the document which most clearly sets out values and aspirations as it welcomes families into school communities. The School Handbook is the key to establishing clear communication routes and laying the ground for effective partnerships with parents which will endure for several years and which will determine the futures of our children.
This guidance reflects the genuine and deeply-felt interest that parents have in being part of their school community, offering their time and energy in support of shared values and common objectives. There is much research which confirms that parents from all cultural backgrounds, regardless of their own educational experiences, are committed to their children's schooling. We need to capture that commitment early on and then sustain it: the School Handbook lays the foundations for this.
Going forward, we very much look forward to School Handbooks which describe the wonderful opportunities for parental involvement that Scottish schools offer and encourage. Please do contact your own local National Parent Forum representative if we can offer any assistance as you develop your new School Handbooks. We know that parents will appreciate the opportunity of being involved in the process too.
Chair, National Parent Forum of Scotland