Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Gathered Together?

    Gathered Together is a pilot project created by BEMIS (the umbrella organisation for ethnic minority groups in Scotland) and Scottish Parent Teacher Council. Gathered Together is working to support ethnic minority parents to become more involved in their child’s education and the school community. We are also working with parent councils to engage more with all the parents at their school, particularly parents from ethnic minorities whose voices are often under-represented in schools. We are funded from April 2013 – March 2015 by the Scottish Government’s Early Intervention Fund, managed by  Big Lottery.
  • Why did it start?

    The project was started by BEMIS and SPTC because research they carried out found that 77% of the parent councils who responded did not have any ethnic minority parents involved in their parent council, despite the increase in Scotland’s ethnic minority population. Many of the respondents to the survey said that they struggled to get parents involved, particularly from ethnic minorities. Parental involvement and support in a child’s education has a big  impact on their outcomes in later life, not just in the classroom. Gathered Together is working to improve parental involvement and support parents from diverse communities to become more involved in their child’s education.
  • Where do you work?

    The project is working in seven different local authorities- Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Stirling and Clackmannanshire.
  • Who do you work with?

    We are able to work with  schools in the pilot areas and their parent councils to support them in engaging with parents, sharing good practice and helping them recognise and overcome barriers that ethic minority (EM) parents face when it comes to participating. In supporting EM parents we work with all parents who identify themselves as having an EM identity- including Scottish Asian, EU migrants, gypsy- travellers and asylum seekers and refugees.
  • How can you help parents from ethnic minorities?

    We have developed training for parents from ethnic minorities, to find out what their experience of contact with schools is like and what barriers they face – from language, time, to low confidence. We give information about rights as parents to help ensure all voices are heard within the school. We use the information gathered to inform schools and parent councils and help them develop strategies to overcome these barriers. Our sessions work to build parents’ confidence and encourage them to participate with their child’s school in any capacity. We are also identifying “champions” within local EM communities to help build relationships and closer links between the school and community.
  • How can you help parent councils ?

    We work with SPTC which is already very involved with parent groups. We have developed training for parent councils, to give them the opportunity to discuss how they are recruiting members, involving parents and representing the voices of the parent forum.  Parent Councils often struggle to get parents involved, and with SPTC we’re developing practical steps PCs can take to get a good cross-section of parents involved. We share good practice and help parent groups to develop strategies that work We are identifying examples of good practice and will make sure that these examples get spread as far as possible.
  • We would like a training session, can you arrange this?

    We are able to work with groups of ethnic minority parents and with parent bodies. If you are able to co-ordinate a group we can do the rest, (including covering room hire, child care and travel costs if necessary). All our sessions are advertised on our website- please have a look and let us know if you would like to attend a session.

    Remember that we are only funded to work in the seven local authorities at the moment.

  • How much are the training sessions?

    Training sessions are completely free and we can help provide costs for the venue, refreshments and travel costs.

If you want to know more or want to book a session contact us!