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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 August, 2004, 09:51 GMT 10:51 UK
Parents told to get more involved
School pupil studying
Parents will be asked to ensure that homework is done
A campaign aimed at getting mothers and fathers more involved in their children's schooling has been launched by Scotland's education minister.

Peter Peacock is asking parents to make sure that their children get enough sleep and turn up to school on time.

He also wants them to ensure homework is done and that there is no bad behaviour in class.

But Eleanor Coner, of the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, accused the minister of "patronising" parents.

Most parents were doing those things already and that it was the teacher's job to teach, she said.

What parents see as parental involvement is access to the school and access to teachers
Eleanor Coner
Scottish Parent Teacher Council

"The Executive still has a problem with realising exactly what parental involvement is," she went on.

"They're being rather patronising by saying 'go to the supermarket and talk to your child about how much change you've got'.

"Parents are already doing that. What parents see as parental involvement is access to the school and access to teachers.

"Where parental involvement works is where schools have an open door policy, where parents feel they can come and see teaching and the head teacher and be spoken to as an equal and not as a lower life form, which quite frankly a lot of head teachers see parents as."

Year-long campaign

But Mr Peacock insisted: "I've become more and more convinced as education minister of the importance of having parents actively involved in their kids' education.

"There is international evidence that where that happens and where it happens effectively, then the performance of young people improves.

"Our objective is to see the education system get even better than it is today and one of the key ways of doing that is to make sure that parents have got the opportunity to be actively involved and that we help them to do that in a whole variety of constructive ways."

Measures include:

  • Information for parents offering practical advice on how to build on what their children learn at school, how to support homework and how to get the best from parents' evenings

  • Support for schools to help them improve dialogue with parents about their children's progress

  • A project to identify good examples of schools involving parents and to share them around other schools.

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