Home-learning is excluding some separated parents

Shared Parenting Scotland has raised with the Scottish Government that some separated parents are being excluded from the systems that have been set up to support home learning during COVID-19.

National Manager, Ian Maxwell, has written to John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills and Deputy First Minister, observing that the COVID-19 emergency has thrown light again on systemic issues that tend to discriminate between parents.

”While schools have been active in creating interactive schoolwork and daily work diaries we are hearing repeated examples where these go only between the school and one parent.

Schools are using a range of software vehicles that allow not only the pupil but also parents to interact with teachers about work tasks. Again, these seem to bypass the second parent no matter how involved with their child’s learning they are in normal times.”

Mr Swinney was scheduled to take give his view on a range of COVID-19 issues to an online session of the Scottish Parliament Education and Skills Committee on Wednesday (May 6th).

Some newspapers carried a story this week that the Education Committee is being advised that some ‘non-resident parents’ are seeking to exploit the current emergency situation to persist with coercive control.

Ian Maxwell writes, ”You may not be surprised to hear that the experience of those who contact us is rather different, with resident parents withholding contact – even court ordered contact – without any relevant health reason and in defiance of the explicit guidance by UK and Scottish Governments and by the Lord President of the Court of Session that court orders should continue.

We give exactly the same information to all callers, male or female, referring to the relevant guidelines that are all pointing in favour of continuity where there are no symptoms and both households have been practising self isolation.”