SPTC – what about the parents?

SPTC is the only Scottish charity whose sole purpose is the promotion of quality engagement of parents and families in children’s education. Our funding comes through membership for parent groups (PCs, PTAs etc.) and we provide a wide range of membership benefits, as well as information, support and advice to any parents or carer who contacts us.

We use a mix of traditional and digital media to engage parents and others with an interest in the topic. SPTC also works across the education sector in Scotland, advocating for and sharing best practice around parental involvement.

Parental involvement in children’s education is widely seen as a positive thing but translating that principle into practice is often a challenge for professionals. Digital technology in particular has been identified as an area of challenge: how much can or should parents or carers be involved in digital learning? How to involve them? And whose job is it?

We survey our parent contacts on a regular basis about topics around education. Here are some of the key points from 400 responses on the topic of ICT:

  • Almost half of respondents (46.9%) said their children either submit or access homework online
  • 78.5% of respondents say their child’s school has access to GLOW
  • Respondents repeatedly highlighted how disparate ICT access is in schools around Scotland
  • 24% of those who commented mentioned that budget constraints and bandwidth issues were limiting ICT usage in their child’s school
  • 11% highlighted that their child’s teachers appeared to have little or no training on how to use the technology
  • Many respondents commented they had no idea what technologies their child was using in school, others felt their child was more technologically advanced than they were

The latter point is particularly important – if parents do not have access to up to date information and advice about digital learning, or feel confident in the digital environment – how can they contribute fully? If parents – who are their children’s primary educator – do not have full access to digital technology, how can they support their children’s learning?

One thought

  1. In schools not far from where I used to teach a charging model was introduced to ensure that learners had access to mobile devices, with the argument being that school resources could then be better targeted at those most in need.

    Are we reaching a point where a home provided device will be (in many areas is this already the case?) part of the kit that learners are expected to bring with them into school?

    Or does this approach just further increase the equity gap?

    Lots of questions, but not many answers!


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