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Education engagement website
Everyone with an interest in Scottish education will have the opportunity to engage directly with Government and share their views on what is going well and what needs to change.
Engage for Education - http://www.engageforeducation.org/ - is a new website for teachers, young people, parents, school staff and others across the wider education community. Participants will have the opportunity to influence government policy by providing feedback on the key issues facing Scottish education.
The process will be two-way, with quick responses from the Scottish Government - including direct input from Education Ministers. 'Workshops' on hot education topics will help facilitate discussions and encourage feedback, while all three Education Ministers will share their own views through regular blogs.
Education Secretary Michael Russell launched Engage for Education on a visit to St Ninian's High School in Kirkintilloch, where he held a discussion session with a mix of pupils, teachers, support staff and parents.
Mr Russell said:
"Scottish education can only improve if the people delivering, consuming and participating in education are fully involved and listened to. That's why, since I became Education Secretary in December, I have been seeking the views of many people across Scotland about what is going well and what we can improve.
"Engage for Education is a fresh and innovative new tool that gives young people, teachers, schools staff, parents and others an opportunity to share their views. It's important that as we take forward changes to Scottish education, we do so in an open and accessible way, which values and encourages input.
"Engage for Education will help put in place an open dialogue with the people whose opinions really matter. Education isn't about squabbling politicians, it's about our young people and those individuals who support their development.
"I want to hear their opinions - and provide my own direct feedback - as we build consensus on the changes that will help make Scottish education better. This is all the more important at a time when we are taking forward real, progressive changes through Curriculum for Excellence."
Gerry McTiernan, Vice-Chair of the National Parent Forum Scotland, said:
"We welcomes the launch of Engage for Education and see it as an exciting addition to the communication between parents, schools, education professionals and the Scottish Government. The Forum is pleased that the Education Secretary has continued his commitment to ensuring the parents of Scotland have a voice and are given the chance to be heard.
"Curriculum for Excellence needs parents to play their role in the education of our young people. Parents have to engage with schools and take education beyond the school gates and into the home.
"In particular, homework is a vital link between learning in the classroom and home life and we are pleased to see that the new website starts discussion in this area. We would encourage all parents and Parent Councils to use the website and make their voices heard."
Engage for Education provides an online space for everyone involved in Scottish education to provide their views and feedback.
A series of workshop sessions will be held on the website, which will refresh with new subjects regularly, focusing on topical issues to gather views. The initial workshops will focus on: Curriculum for Excellence and the support teachers need; attitudes towards Modern Languages; the Continuing Professional Development needs of teachers; and how homework can be both effective and enjoyable - from the perspective of young people, teachers and parents.
Michael Russell will host a blog within the website, alongside blogs from Adam Ingram, Minister for Children and Early Years, and Keith Brown, Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning. Over time the website will also reflect actions taken as a direct result of feedback received through Engage for Education.