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George Adam MSP Speak Easy

GEORGE ADAM MSP BACKS CHARITY’S CAMPAIGN CALLING ON RESTAURANTS TO CONSIDER CUSTOMERS WITH HEARING LOSS

George Adam MSP is backing a charity campaign calling on restaurants across Paisley to consider improving their acoustics for customers who have hearing loss.

 

As part of its Speak Easy campaign, Action on Hearing Loss Scotland is highlighting that high levels of background music or the buzz of loud chatter between customers can cause difficulties for people who use hearing aids to follow conversations with their fellow diners.

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, said: “Everyone loves going out for a meal but Action on Hearing Loss Scotland tell me they are often contacted by people who are hard of hearing about intrusive levels of background noise, exacerbated by hard surfaces, which can create real difficulties in hearing their dining companions.

 

“I’m pleased to support the charity’s Speak Easy campaign which is encouraging customers with hearing loss to give feedback to restaurants so that they can consider the many small but very effective ways in which they can be more accessible.”

 

Delia Henry, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “Restaurants in Paisley which may be inadvertently deterring customers with hearing loss from making bookings can significantly improve their accessibility by reducing the volume of background noise in perhaps parts of their venue, using soft furnishings that better absorb sound, and by considering investing in better acoustic treatments.”

 

The charity’s campaign is also urging customers to leave reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor to help others to decide if the restaurants they have visited are suitable for hard of hearing people.

Action on Hearing Loss’s Speak Easy campaign pack can be downloaded www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/SpeakEasy

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Mhairi Black Welcomes Investment in Childcare

Mhairi Black MP
The Scottish Government have reaffirmed their commitment to invest £840 million into childcare by 2021 – 2022. The Scottish Government currently spend on average £420 million a year but this commitment will see spending on childcare in Scotland doubled. This will be in line with the increase in childcare hours that parents will be entitled to, which is almost doubling from 16 to 30 hours from August 2020.
Mhairi Black MP
This move will see parents save around £350 per child, per month for all 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds. The Scottish Government will begin talks with local authorities this autumn, to agree a multi-year funding package to implement this investment. Local MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South Mhairi Black has praised this move by the scottish Government.
Mhairi Black MP said
“This is a welcome investment from the Scottish Government. Parents are struggling to make ends meet and the £350 saving they will be able to make will help to ease financial problems they may experience in securing childcare.
“Every child deserves the best start in life. High quality care and learning are essential in the early years of child development.”
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Paisley’s Spree festival launches with Scottish-Indian concert link-up

The town which gave the world the Paisley Pattern is set to celebrate its close links with India by forging a musical friendship as its flagship The Spree arts festival starts tomorrow (FRIDAY).

Paisley is hosting the Spree for the sixth year, with more than 60 shows taking place over 12 days, as the town waits to hear whether it will be the first Scottish place to become UK City of Culture, in 2021.

Headline acts this year include an eagerly-anticipated homecoming charity show from the town’s musical megastar Paolo Nutini in Paisley Abbey (Oct 20), and a unique collaboration between Frightened Rabbit and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (Oct 16) in the same venue.

And the festival starts tomorrow night with a special Musical Tapestry, celebrating Paisley’s friendship with India through its textile heritage, where three Scottish musicians – piper Ross Ainslie, musician and composer Angus Lyon and singer-songwriter Ross Wilson (aka Blue Rose Code) – team up with Indian counterparts Smita Bellur, Asin Khan Langa and Sawai Khan, for a special collaboration fusing traditional music and instruments from both countries.

The six have just arrived in Scotland after performing the same show last week at the Rajasthan International Folk Festival, with which The Spree has been twinned, thanks to support from the British Council as part of their UK/India Year of Culture 2017.

The Scottish leg will be recorded for BBC Scotland’s Travelling Folk programme and broadcast next Wednesday and is accompanied by a digital tapestry, where school pupils from both countries will work together on an art project to be revealed later in the year.

Some of the participants today met up in the specially-erected Spiegeltent in County Square – which will host tomorrow’s opening concert and the bulk of the Spree action.

Ross Wilson – aka Blue Rose Code – said: “People can expect something genuinely new – we bandy around the terms unique and special but this is a genuine fusion of styles people won’t have heard before.

“As musicians we have been outside our comfort zone but we have learned a lot and really grown together. Last week we performed this show in a 15th-century Indian fort to 3,000 people and the energy was palpable – it couldn’t have been any better.”

Spiegeltent highlights include Yola Carter with Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards (Oct 14), Sharon Shannon with Fara (Oct 15), Dougie MacLean (Oct 18) and Breabach with Kris Drever and Talisk (Oct 20), as well as BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth and Vic Galloway shows (Oct 19).

Other musical moments include a Paisley: The Untold Story show with James Grant in Paisley Abbey on Oct 21, while Paisley Arts Centre will host Emma Pollock and RM Hubbert (Oct 15) and a Lost Map Records night hosted by the Pictish Trail (Oct 22).

There will also be two Best of Scottish Comedy nights with the Gilded Balloon, as well as theatre, poetry, film, dance, and a full programme of kids shows during the October school holidays.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “The Spree festival is firmly established as a key date in Scotland’s festival calendar and we look forward to welcoming people from across the country for this year’s bill, which is the biggest and best yet, with a range of artforms and some incredible performers

“We are delighted to be welcoming musicians from India to help kick off the packed programme tomorrow night – our UK City of Culture 2021 bid aims to use Paisley’s place as the one-time centre of a global industry to reconnect us to the world and this is a great way to show what that will look like.”

The Spree is taking place in partnership with local bar Burger and Keg and Fosters, who have programmed additional acts in the Burger and Keg Live Tent in Abbey Close during the festival including comedians Rab Florence, Billy Kirkwood and Tom Urie and Janey Godley. More info at burgerandkeg.co.uk

The festival is also accompanied by the Spree For All fringe, which will see gigs taking place in local pubs and venues during The Spree fortnight. More info at thespree.co.uk/spree-for-all

The festival is organised by Renfrewshire Council, programmed by Active Events, and supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and the British Council.

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting The Spree, and it is exciting to see such a strong programme showcasing Paisley’s cultural and creative vibrancy, especially as they bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

“In particular, we look forward to this year’s opening concert ‘A Musical Tapestry’, which will provide a fantastic platform for exploring the shared heritage and ties between Paisley and Jodhpur, through a line-up of some of Scotland and India’s best folk and traditional music performers.”

Paisley is the only Scottish place to make the final UK City of Culture 2021 shortlist – alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea – with the winner to be announced in December.

The bid is part of a wider drive to transform Paisley’s future using its internationally-significant heritage and cultural story, and thriving events programme.

Spree tickets and info are available from www.thespree.co.uk and from the box office on 0300 300 1210.

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Canadian comedian to front Paisley fashion fundraiser

Canadian comedian to front Paisley fashion fundraiser

Canadian comedian Katharine Ferns is set to call out the catwalk at a charity fashion fundraiser in aid of the Scottish Huntington’s Association (SHA).

Katharine will host the ladies night event at Paisley Town Hall on November 2 to raise money to help families living with the degenerative neurological condition, Huntington’s disease (HD). Fashion show models will showcase clothes from local boutiques and fashion stores.

There will also be Christmas stalls, drinks and nibbles and a variety of fashion pop up shops.

This year Katharine’s critically acclaimed show ‘Ferns is in Stitches’ played to packed crowds at, among others, the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Manchester Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe and the Vancouver Fringe.

Katharine has been a finalist at many comedy awards in Britain and in her native Canada.

The Paisley based SHA is the only charity in the country supporting families impacted by HD through its network of of HD specialists, a world leading youth support team and a financial wellbeing service.

HD is a complex neurological condition with symptoms that typically begin to develop between the ages of 30 and 50. It causes three main groups of symptoms: changes to thinking processes – a type of early onset dementia, loss of muscle control and involuntary movements which lead to loss of speech and swallow along with mental illness. Those impacted by HD may eventually lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, drink, make decisions or care for themselves and will eventually need 24 hour care. It is also hereditary with each child of those diagnosed at 50% risk developing the disease. There is no cure.

It is estimated there are around 1100 people living with HD in Scotland and between 4-6000 potentially at risk.

‘This is shaping up to be a brilliant night at a great venue and the first 80 tickets sold also get a free gift from our exhibitors, so get your tickets early,’ said SHA community fundraising officer,’ Gemma Powell.

Tickets are £10 from fundraising@hdscotland.org or 0141 848 0308.

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MHAIRI BLACK MP WELCOMES CHARITY’S SOCIAL SECURITY ADVICE SERVICE FOR DEAF CONSTITUENTS

Mhairi Black MP is urging deaf people in Paisley and Renfrewshire South who have queries about benefits decisions to use a charity’s specialist welfare rights advocacy service.

The service, which is run by the charity Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, can provide people who are Deaf or have hearing loss – including British Sign Language (BSL) users – with information, advice and, where possible, formal representation to challenge benefits decisions.

 

Mhairi Black MP said: “Information about welfare and social security can often be difficult to understand and navigating the systems to ensure you get the support you are entitled to can put many people off applying.

 

“I’m pleased to see Action on Hearing Loss Scotland providing this service and encourage deaf or hard of hearing people in Paisley and Renfrewshire South to use the charity’s support if you have queries, claims or want to make an appeal about social security benefits.”

 

Delia Henry, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “Our welfare rights advocacy service can provide details and advice about a range of benefits including Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

 

“If you are Deaf or have hearing loss and need some help to understand what processes to follow to apply for support you may be entitled to, or are confused about letters you have received regarding your benefits, we would be delighted to help you make sense of it all.”

 

For information about Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s social security advice service, call telephone: 0141 341 5346, textphone: 0141 341 5350, email: SocialSecurity@hearingloss.org.uk or visit www.hearingloss.org.uk/SocialSecurity.  British Sign Language users can contact via the ContactSCOTLAND-BSL service.

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Danny Kyle open stage launches at the Spree Festival

While he was alive, the late Paisley music legend Danny Kyle was a great champion of new talent.

His memory and influence lives on with the Danny Kyle Open Stage at this year’s Spree festival, which offers up and coming musicians the chance to shine.

The free event at the Spiegeltent throughout the 12 day Paisley extravaganza will be broadcast live on Celtic Music Radio 95FM on Liz Clark’s show ‘Travels with my Auntie Liz.’

The top three acts from a total of 15 will compete in a final showcase on Sunday 22nd, with the successful acts offered opportunities including a supporting live stage slot with a more established act and studio time.

Acts taking part this year include Fallen Arches, Rebekah Kirk, The Connections, Bobby Dreams and Lisa Kowalski.

Liz Clark, who was a close friend of Danny’s before his death in 1998, said competition was fierce to perform on the stage, first made famous at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival.

She said: “The acts all get a twenty minute slot to strut their stuff. To get on stage people have to be out there gigging and trying to get their foot on the ladder.

“Danny always encouraged people and believed in everyone being given a chance, When he was alive he used to recommend up and coming acts to folk clubs festivals.

“It’s a free event and is always great fun.”

Danny’s son Rikki Kyle says his dad would be delighted with the legacy he left.

He said: “He used to run a ‘Giez a Break’ club at festivals to give new acts a leg up and it’s something he was very proud of. He would love the fact that the open stage is still doing that in his name in his home town. It’s a great legacy to leave.”

The first event runs from 5-6pm on Saturday 14th, followed by Monday 16th-Wedenesday 18th with the final showcase on Sunday 22nd.

Some of the acts will also take part in The Spree for All Festival Club at The Old Swan in Paisley town centre. The open stage event there will run for the duration of the festival and will feature solo acts, jamming sessions and poetry readings with details found daily on the venue’s Facebook page.

Paisley’s national festival runs from Friday 13th October until and takes place as part of the push for the town’s bid to be named the UK City of Culture 2021

This year’s event features some of the biggest names in the Scottish worlds of entertainment, music and comedy, including a sold-out homecoming show from Paolo Nutini.

Other acts on the bill include indie rockers Frightened Rabbit, and singer songwriter  Dougie MacLean .

The Spree is taking place in partnership with local bar Burger and Keg and Fosters, who will be programming additional acts in the Burger and Keg Live Tent in Abbey Close during the festival. More info at burgerandkeg.co.uk

The festival is also supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and the British Council.

Tickets and info are available from www.thespree.co.uk and from the box office on 0300 300 1210.

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Gavin Newlands MP highlights the positive effect of arts and good health

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has praised Paisley’s cultural contribution to the country, highlighting the positive effect that the arts can have on improving health outcomes.

During a debate the Westminster on the effects that the arts can have on a person’s health, Mr Newlands spoke about the emphasis that the Paisley 2021 bid is placing on the role that culture can play in helping to regenerate parts of the town.

 

The Member of Paisley and Renfrewshire North spoke about a number of Paisley-based projects which specialise in using the health to combat a range of health problems, including loneliness, poor mental health and old age.

 

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

 

“The role of the arts and culture in our society is extremely important and wide ranging, including helping to combat longstanding health inequalities. Existing evidence confirms that the arts can combat a range of health problems, including mental health and loneliness.

 

“I was therefore delighted to take part in this debate, stressing the positive relationship between the arts and good health and being able to highlight the range of Renfrewshire-based organisations who use culture to help produce positive health outcomes.

 

“Paisley is leading in this field and our bid to be named as the UK’s City of Culture is built on the belief that the arts can play a fundamental role in help to transform our town. From the Scottish Mental Health Festival, which will take place in the town next week, to projects like Buddy Beat and the Star Project – it’s clear that Renfrewshire is forward thinking in using culture to promote good health.“

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Hat-trick of wins for Kilbarchan AAC in annual sports awards

COACHES from Kilbarchan Amateur Athletic Club ran out with a hat-trick of wins at the annual Renfrewshire Sports Awards.
Arthur Smith won both the Community Coach of the Year and Dedication to Sport awards along with John Rodger, who lifted the Event Volunteer of 2017 award.

Arthur has been a member of Kilbarchan AAC for more than 50 years and has been coaching young athletes for three decades, including Scottish internationalist, Laura Stark and GB runner, Jemma Reekie.
John has been involved with the club for more than 20 years and has been instrumental in the development of athletics – cross-country, road race and track and field events in Renfrewshire’s schools. He is also heavily involved in organising the popular annual Paisley 10k Race and Fun Run.

Other winners presented with awards at the event,organised by Renfrewshire Lerisure and held at a ceremony in Johnstone Town Hall, were – Development Coach of the Year, Susan Wright, who is head coach of Clyde Judo Club; Young Coach of the Year, Claire Scougall, who coaches Paisley Juniors Netball Club and Volunteer of the Year was won by Joanne McDowall, who has developed sporting activity at Barsail Primary, in Erskine.
Young Volunteer of the Year went to Lusia Steele, who delivers school health days at Barsail Primary and volunteers at the Johnstone Jets cycling club; Disability Coach of the Year is Rachel Killens, who is a disabled athlete herself and coaches swimmers with additional support needs.

And Jack Thomson, a referee at the Basketball Paisley Friday Night Superleague, West Regional Development League and other Scottish League games, won the Technical Official of the Year award.
The Honour Our School Sports Award was given to one student from every local secondary school who has shown commitment to sport. The winners were –
Alan Rice, Linwood High; Amy McCann, Renfrew High; Craig Kennedy, Park Mains High; Eilidh Murphy, Gleniffer High; Franca Paterson, St Andrew’s Academy; Gemma Whyte, St Benedict’s High; John Martin, Johnstone High; Mario Girasoli, Trinity High and Rebecca Telford, from Gryffe High.

A Level Six Award in Higher Sports Leadership was presented to Alan Rice, Calum Findlay, Emma Driver, Heather Fawcett and Laura-Rose Reid.
The special guest at the awards ceremony was Corinne Hutton, from Lochwinnoch who has defied the odds after having had both her hands and legs amputated when she suffered acute pneumonia and septicemia.
Since losing her limbs, Corinne has gone on to set three world records including becoming the first female quadruple amputee to climb Ben Nevis. She has also set up a charity called Finding Your Feet to support families affected by amputation, or limb differences through a range of sporting and social inclusion initiatives.

Corinne took to the stage for a Question and Answer Session with the event host, broadcaster Lorraine Herbison.

Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa Marie Hughes said: “These awards showcase the talent, dedication and commitment of individuals in our community.

“With Paisley’s bid to become UK city of Culture 2021, sport plays a large role in the culture of our community. We have a vibrant and exciting sports network in Renfrewshire, which adds energy and passion to the overall bid.”
The successful event was sponsored by Renfrewshire Council, West College Scotland, Renfrewshire Sports Network, and SportScotland.

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Paisley statues yarn bombed

She was infamous for not being amused but even Queen Victoria would have raised a smile as her statue was one of a string across Paisley to be yarn bombed.

Passers-by stopped in their tracks when they saw the legendary monarch, who stands in Dunn Square, sporting a specially created tartan crinoline skirt and traffic cone crown.

The William Dunn memorial was also dressed and given silver knitted cups to mark the fact it used to be a water fountain.

Robert Tannahill’s statue in Abbey Close also enjoyed a makeover with the town’s famous weaver poet dressed in a knitted scarf with musical notes, waistcoat and gaiters.

A knitted lawn with flowers completed the yarn bombing to mark his catalogue of songs and poems celebrating nature.

The installations are part of the Winter Coats yarn bombing project, where a series of local groups worked with textile artists Ashley Holdsworth and Bex Smith to research historical figures and then create a garment for them.

With the support of the NHS’s Network Services, Capability Scotland, the Phoenix Activity Group, Craft to Recover, Laugh n Craft, the Disability Resource Centre and patients from wards at Dykebar and Leverndale all took part.

Their colourful creations were installed to coincide with the start of Renfrewshire’s contribution to the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.

The display of street art also saw statues of Sir Peter and Thomas Coats beside Dunn Square dressed in a Paisley pattern kilt and a waistcoat decorated with thread and ribbon to represent the family’s textiles empire and history.

At the town’s Russell Institute, where local children used to receive their inoculations, some of the infant statues were draped with sock teddy bunting. The cuddly toys were crafted to come with miniature slings and walking sticks in recognition of the institute’s child welfare clinic roots.

The town’s other illustrious textile family weren’t forgotten, with George Clark’s statue given a mortar board in honour of his family’s passion for education.

Renowned ornithologist and poet Alexander Wilson’s statue at Abbey Close was yarn bombed with a bird cage and birds.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “The project is a fitting contribution to the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival and shows how the different groups all researched and understood the history of the statues and who they commemorate.

“It’s a great way of shining a light on our unique cultural heritage as we bid to be UK City of Culture for 2021. “

The Winter Coats initiative is part of a wider five year project, Renfrewshire Council’s Paisley Townscape Heritage Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2.

It has also received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland and has a total budget of £4.5m.

Ten per cent of the funding is allocated to a Cultural and Heritage programme which aims to engage the community in the architectural and textiles heritage of Paisley.

Lucy Casot, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland said: “Thanks to funds raised through the National Lottery, a new sense of belief and pride in Paisley’s past is growing. Fun projects like this, rooted in the town’s historic past clearly demonstrate the creative spirit alive today.

“We have invested in many projects across the town which have seen historic buildings restored, communities exploring their heritage and also confirmed our latest commitment with initial support for the transformational plans for Paisley’s museum.”

Michael Easson from Historic Environment Scotland, which partly funded the project, said: “It’s exciting to see an innovative and fun new initiative to engage people across myriad backgrounds with their local built environment.

“I hope this brings a wider awareness to the Renfrewshire Mental Health Arts Festival as well as the Historic Environment Scotland supported Paisley TH.CARS2 scheme.”

The practice of yarn bombing is thought to have started in the US by Texas knitters who wanted to find a creative way to use their leftover and unfinished knitting projects. It’s since been adopted across the globe.

A wider network of groups have also been making scarves to tie onto railings which will be donated to the homeless service in Paisley’s Abercorn Street.

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Pupils supported by their parents heading back to school

An innovative education project is helping Renfrewshire pupils to reach their full potential by inviting their parents to get back into school.

Parents of pupils in three secondary schools – Gryffe, Castlehead and Trinity High – were invited to take part in a pilot of the Parents in Partnership programme between August and October 2016 as part of a series of projects supporting Renfrewshire Council’s ambition to close the poverty related attainment gap.

The pilot project – funded by Renfrewshire Council in association with the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS) at the University of Strathclyde –  assessed how a child’s attainment might relate to parental or carer involvement.

CELCIS, who work with local authorities to make lasting improvements in the wellbeing of children and young people living in and on the edges of care and their families, looked at how the programme made a difference for parents and the benefits it had on pupils, with the results published in the report Parents in Partnership 2016 Evaluation.

Parents, who attended school one morning a week for six weeks, said that the flexible model of the programme meant their unique family circumstances were taken into account and they were supported by the Homelink service, who work with identified pupils and their families to improve achievement and attainment.

One parent explained that attending the sessions helped open the lines of communication, while another said it was now much easier to approach the school to ask for support.

Teachers also found that parents were able to read with their children more often once they realised it only needed to involve fifteen minutes of reading and a chat afterwards.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “Renfrewshire is ambitious for our pupils. We want all young people to reach their full potential, regardless of their background.

“Reducing the impact of poverty on attainment is a key priority for the Council and being part of Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge, supported by the Pupil Equity Fund, is a big deal for Renfrewshire’s children.

“We’ve already seen results from adopting the Renfrewshire Literacy Approach in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, which has seen teachers adapting teaching styles to develop a love of reading in all pupils.

“We know involving parents and carers in school life is a great way to support pupils, with parents encouraging reading at night and that has a knock-on effect to how well the child does at school.

“The report by CELCIS shows good progress on supporting those who need that extra bit of assistance through school and reinforces that parents and teachers are all working together to provide the best opportunities for children.

“High school is an unknown world for parents, so being able to involve them in the school day and encouraging more communication between teachers and parents has been incredibly beneficial.

“Parents have told us that they have benefitted from understanding high school life, felt they could talk to their child more about school and that they had much more confidence in approaching the school for support, while pupils have also felt they have more support at home.

“We will continue to build on the project, responding to the needs of parents and carers as well as the pupils across Renfrewshire schools.”

Linda O’Neill, Education Programme Lead from CELCIS, who developed this approach, said “We know that working with parents and carers in a meaningful way through school has the real potential to support family learning and improve the wellbeing of both children and their parents and carers.  It’s great to see Renfrewshire Council making a commitment to develop real and lasting partnerships between parents, schools and communities though Parents in Partnership”

All secondary schools in Renfrewshire, including the Mary Russell School, run similar parental engagement programmes.

To find out more about the Parents in Partnership programme evaluation, visit www.celcis.org.

Ends

Notes to Editor:

1. Image caption:

Parents from Gryffe and Castlehead high schools with Anne Marie Haddow, Deputy Head at Trinity High School, Chris Anderson, Principal Teacher (attainment) at Gryffe High School, Jim Russ, Education Support Manager at Castlehead High School, Linda O’Neill of CELCIS and Cllr Jim Paterson, Education adn Children’s Services Convener at Renfrewshire Council.

2. To read the full report, visit www.celcis.org/knowledge-bank/search-bank/parents-partnership-programme-evaluation-2017/.

3. Renfrewshire Council Home Link Service aims to help parents engage in supporting their children’s education. Research suggests parental engagement in education makes an important contribution to a child’s educational attainment throughout the school years. This is particularly true for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

4. In Scotland a child’s socio-economic status is the strongest predictor of educational attainment, which leads to a significant gap in attainment between pupils from the least disadvantaged and those from the most disadvantaged backgrounds (OECD, 2010). Current research indicates that “only parental involvement makes a significant contribution to closing the attainment gap” (JRF, 2014).

5. CELCIS, based at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, is committed to making positive and lasting improvements in the wellbeing of Scotland’s children living in and on the edges of care. Taking a multi-agency, collaborative approach towards making lasting change, CELCIS works alongside leaders, managers and practitioners to break down barriers and forge new paths in order to change thinking and ways of working with everyone whose work touches the lives of vulnerable children and families. CELCIS builds on national experience to inform its work in different countries around the world and plays a key role in the work of the University’s Institute for Inspiring Children’s Futures.