Understanding the Scottish education system can be difficult, particularly with new exams being introduced and the huge variety of choices that are available to young people on leaving school. Many children who arrive in Scotland aged 14 or 15 will only have a short time in school before having to make big choices that will effect the rest of their lives. Getting support and guidance from parents at this stage is vital but not all parents have the knowledge and confidence to be able to support their children.
At St Mungo’s Academy in the east end of Glasgow a pilot group was started to help EAL (English as an Additional Language) parents. This group was started by St Mungo’s EAL teacher, Abdul Latif Fathi and EAL area leaders Rosaline Martin and Shagufta Ahmed. Latif and Shagufta kindly agreed to be interviewed about the group, the challenges involved and what they have learned from the process
Shagufta and Latif explain why they decided to start the group and some of the challenges they encountered
Shagufta and Latif reflect on what they learned from running the parent group and what advice they would give other schools planning to hold similar groups
Reflections on the advantages of getting the EAL students involved in the group
Latif talks about the importance of engaging with secondary school parents
As Shagufta and Latif make clear in the interview, it is really important to have the help and support of senior management to make the group a success. Mrs Milton, the head teacher at St Mungo’s Academy was completely behind the project. The school had previously run a group for parents of children with autism and she understands the importance of bringing parents together to explore how they can help their children’s learning. We were able to meet with her and made a podcast of the interview exploring what the school has learned from the group and what advice she would give other schools considering something similar.