Backchat Issue 144 September 2017

2nd January 2018

In the latest edition of Connect's newsletter Backchat Issue 144, we update you on proposals and developments relating to school governance, fair funding and parental involvement legislation. As usual, we will consult you so that our responses to Scottish Government policy proposals reflect your views. Keep them coming!

We share information about Pupil Equity Funding (PEF), part of the Government's Attainment Scotland Fund. £1200 is going to schools for each youngster from P1– 3 who gets free school meals. Head teachers can decide how to spend the money, but any decisions should be made with the whole school community, so parents should play a key part in helping to shape choices. You can see a list of how much each school got, on the Scottish Government website. PEF money should be spent on things that help to improve the reading, writing and number skills of children. Schools can also use it to help with family learning and to make sure that moves from pre-school to P1, or P7 to S1 are as smooth as possible.

Named Person: After a Supreme Court ruling last year the Scottish Government has had to re-think the Named Person scheme and how information about families can be shared. Government has now produced a new Bill which must be considered by Parliament. The Education and Skills Committee asked for comments over the summer and we submitted our views.

Data protection: There are strict new rules coming into force next year about how personal information can be kept and shared. It will affect every organisation, and for parents with kids at school it will affect you and your child’s information. We’ll be writing new guides for Parent Councils, and will also need to make sure SPTC is doing the right thing. We are also looking at how local authorities and schools will have to change what they do, because from 2018 informed consent will be needed for any personal information to be held – that means parents will need to have full information of what data is being collected, how it will be held and how it will be shared.

Our Partnership Schools Scotland programme: This is now in its third year, thanks to funding from Skills Development Scotland, and it’s also growing. We are now working with around 30 schools in five local authority areas. The feedback from that work is very positive and we are gathering great examples of how it is working – look out for our Year 2 report in the next few months.