Parents as Partners in School Improvement Planning

Dumfries and Galloway welcomes, parents as active participants in the life of the school and encourages parents to express their views on school education generally and to work in partnership with the school.

All staff, pupils, parents, and partners should be involved in improving the life and work of the school. A School Improvement Plan is written by the Headteacher and staff but should reflect a range of stakeholders who take lead roles in aspects of school improvement. This includes children and young people, parents, and partners.

The Parent Council plays a key role in this, and Parent Councils should have arrangements in place for gathering the views of parents. Schools are also offering parents more opportunities to engage with their child's learning through better use of new technology and face to face opportunities.

Areas in which parent views could be sought may include:

  • How the school communicates with parents.
  • Supporting delivery of Curriculum for Excellence by tapping into parents' skills, experiences, and expertise.
  • The process involved in preparing children for key transitions, such as from nursery to primary, primary to secondary and leaving school.
  • Discussing the opportunities available to children during key periods of their school career, such as the Senior Phase (S4-S6).
  • Revising existing school policies and introducing new policies.
  • Any significant changes (for example, building works).
  • Developing the School Handbook.
  • Contributing to school priorities (the School Improvement Plan).

School Improvement Planning is a continuous collaborative process of asking "What is working well and What needs to improve". Your school will create a plan by:

  • Collaborating with parents/carers, community partners and cluster schools.
  • Responding to evidence and data.
  • Focusing on a small number of key priorities.
  • Considering local and national priorities.

Schools and Education Central Staff work to a National Improvement Framework - often referred to as the NIF. The NIF priorities and 'drivers' are looked at when schools develop their Improvement Plan.

For Schools and Practitioners, the four priorities are:

  • Improvement in attainment, particularly in literacy and numeracy.
  • Closing the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged children.
  • Improvement in children's and young people's health and wellbeing.
  • Improvement in employability skills and sustained positive school leaver destinations for all young people.

A School Improvement Plan must:

  • Take account of the local authority's plan and strategy for parental involvement.
  • Set objectives for the school (including objectives to involve parents in the education provided).
  • Contain a statement of the local authority's ambitions for the school.
  • Include an account of the ways in Dumfries and Galloway Council:which, and extent to which, the Education and Learning Directorate.

For Schools: To help with school improvement planning a 'toolkit' for staff has been developed by Education Scotland entitled Engaging Parents and families. Within this toolkit are activities and reflective questions that can be used as a starting point and/or tool to measure and evaluate current practice in parental involvement and engagement in early learning and childcare settings, schools or local authority. The activities and reflective questions can be used in partnership with Parent Council or parent groups.

Dumfries and Galloway Council's Education and Learning Directorate prepares an Education Authority Annual Plan that reports on the NIF and shares this for parents at Education Authority Annual Plan - Dumfries and Galloway Council (

School Improvement includes involving Parents:

DYW: Developing the Young Workforce

Key Contacts and Links:

National Improvement Hub | National Improvement Hub (

Parentzone Scotland | Parent Zone (

Further information

Page last updated: 09/03/2023
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