Best Practice

The parental view of Scottish education

A new parental involvement action plan hopes to better involve families in school life. Sam Phipps talks to the National Parent Forum of Scotland about the plan and its other priorities for parents and education

The day I met Joanna Murphy at her office in Edinburgh’s Haymarket, the new school year was into its second day and a furore over standardised tests for primary 1 pupils was into its second week.

Widespread reports of upset four and five-year olds who sat the assessments last year, and a union-backed campaign to get parents to opt their children out in 2018/19, were dominating the news. Complaints have ranged from the suitability or otherwise of the computerised material to the way the 45-minute tests were presented and handled.

Meanwhile, a familiar secondary school backdrop of tight budgets and looming industrial action by teachers over pay and conditions, as well as confusion left by the Scottish government’s scrapping in June of planned legislative reforms, might give grounds for gloom as another academic year gets under way.

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