About Us

Scotland, People and Language Forum

i Feb 23rd No Comments by

On Friday 20 February Gathered Together, in partnership with Education Scotland and Bilingualism Matters held a networking event bringing together people who teach languages and those who support people who have English as an additional language. We were really pleased with the diversity of people who attended- from colleges that provide English language classes, teachers that support children with English as an additional language, language teachers and the community groups that work with people who do not have English as a first language (including the deaf community). The breadth of experience of the delegates helped to make the discussions enriching- giving the third sector and education the opportunity to share experiences and highlighting gaps.

One of the focuses for the event was the “1+2 language learning policy”, the Scottish government’s policy to ensure that children have the opportunity to learn two languages in addition to their mother tongue. While everyone in the room was positive about the aims of the policy there was a lot of concern about how it would be introduced- the training needed for teachers, would community languages like Polish or Urdu be represented and what could be done to support parents from EAL families to get involved in this process. We were lucky enough to have Louise Glen, Senior education officer for literacy and language at Education Scotland and Judith McKerrecher from the SCILT Scotland’s National Centre for Languages to introduce the policy and address some of those questions.

We were also treated to an energetic mini lesson in Spanish from Martha Robinson from SOFT to show us how children in primary school can be introduced to a new language. I loved it and still remember the names and actions for the characters in the story- Martha spoke passionately about how positive the children were about learning a new language, but also about the challenges she faced in getting the teachers and parents involved. Teaching a new language takes confidence and some teachers preferred to take a step back and let Martha get on with the activities rather than joining in.  Martha’s research also chimed with Gathered Together experience when talking to Educators and EM Parents about the gaps and misunderstandings in communication on both sides.

Over the course of the morning we had wide ranging discussions- sharing good practice and the challenges faced- we’ll be attempting to summarise these in a report. We are hoping to follow up the event with a seminar at the Scottish Learning Festival and to use our contacts to add to the ever growing bank of good practice for engaging with parents that we’re developing. Keep your eyes on the website for more information!

Gathered Together in Aberdeen!

i Oct 6th No Comments by

As part of our work to support ethnic and cultural minority parents to become more involved in their child’s education and the school community we will be holding sessions for parents in ABERDEEN at the end of October.

We have two sessions booked for Parents and one for Parent Councils, have a look below for details of the sessions.


Scottish Learning Festival- open to parents!

i Sep 4th No Comments by


The Scottish Learning Festival is an annual event, held in Glasgow’s vast SECC over two days in late September. It brings together teachers, local authorities, organisations working with children and for the first time this year parents. It is an opportunity to hear from experts in the field of education, attend seminars and network with professionals. We are delighted that parents are able to attend this year, the theme is “raising achievement and attainment for all” and parents are key partners in improving children’s outcomes in education. Our partners at the Scottish parent Teacher Council and the National Parent Forum Scotland are hosting a “parents connect” zone full of sessions for parents and to share the importance of parental involvement.

Gathered Together will be delivering a seminar (25th at 12pm) looking at the impact of parents being involved in their children’s education and the benefits of getting parents from different cultures to the school and the children. Our seminar will also be the world exclusive premier of our video! We are going to create a resource bank of good practice of supporting parents to become more involved in their children’s education and school community to be shared on our website including videos of parents, schools and parent councils talking about their experiences. The videos will be added to our website but you can see it first at the SLF.

To give you a taster of our session here’s a question from a little quiz we’ll be doing at the start:

What is the most accurate predictor of a student’s achievement in school?

  • Household income
  • Parental involvement
  • Ethnic background
  • Parents’ level of education

We hope you can make it along and find the answer!

Q & A with Ahlam Souidi, member of Parent Council at Oakhill Primary School

i Aug 21st No Comments by

Q Why do you think parental involvement is important?

Ahlam: It is important for parents to be involved in the school, to help the performance of the school – their voices will be heard and taken on board in order to make positive changes from which our children will benefit. The involvement of the parents in the school will increase not only parents’ confidence but also their children’s.

Q How did you first get involved in your parent council? (more…)

Calling Community Champions in Falkirk

i Jul 21st No Comments by

After our incredibly successful first training in Edinburgh we have decided to keep the momentum going and start gathering champions all across our pilot areas. This next training will be in Falkirk and we encourage all those in the Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire who are interested to come along!

We need passionate and dedicated parents from diverse backgrounds who are actively involved in their community to volunteer with Gathered Together.Champions through the support being offered will empower ethnic minority parents to be more confident to get involved in their child’s education and school community.

Champions will gather evidence of parent’s experiences, share stories of parental involvement and be our link to the grassroots communities through the work they are already a part of and be able to engage with other local community groups and schools. They will gain skills to further their personal and professional development but most importantly have the opportunity to make a genuine difference.

Through the support being offered the volunteer will empower ethnic minority parents to be more confident to get involved in their child’s education and school community. 

Gathered Together are running training sessions for individuals interested in becoming Community Champions. Lunch will be provided and we can help with travel costs. Our second session has been booked for:

28th August at 11.00am

CSREC, Community Education Centre, Park Street, Falkirk, FK1 1REX

If you are interested in coming along, or if you have questions about the role or training in other areas then please contact Richard, our Training and Development Officer at Gathered Together who will be more than happy to speak to you  on 0131 474 6154 or email him at richard.bloodworth@bemis.org.uk.