Progress made in education services

Rothesay Academy.
Rothesay Academy.

Education services across Argyll and Bute are continuing to make progress with a number of successes highlighted at Argyll and Bute Council’s Community Services Committee on Thursday, December 8.

Exam results for National 4 rose to 96.1 percent this year compared with a national average of 93.2 percent, and pass rates for Highers have risen to 78.3 percent in 2016 - the national average being 77.2 percent.

Vast improvements have also been made to early years settings, with 93 percent receiving ‘good’ or above grades from the Care Inspectorate by the end of June.

Members of the committee heard how the number of young people going on to a positive destination, such as further education, employment or training, after leaving school currently stands at 92.7 percent. Looked after young people are increasingly entering positive destinations too, with 88.2 percent in 2015, compared with 68.4 percent in 2014.

In the last 12 months the council, in partnership with Argyll College UHI, West College Scotland, local employers and secondary schools, offered a variety of 56 skills for work courses to 535 young people. A total of 1,535 pupils also accessed wider achievement qualifications including The Saltire Awards Scheme, Duke of Edinburgh and Basic Food Hygiene.

Education Services continue to develop the Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) Practice model, including the development of the national wellbeing application for use in Argyll and Bute.

Individual schools and educational staff have also excelled, with a number of schools winning national awards and staff members receiving professional awards.

The Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Rory Colville said: “I firmly believe that success can only be achieved through the hard work and dedication of every member of our staff, our children and young people and our communities. They are our greatest assets and I offer my sincere congratulations and thanks to them all.

“Whilst much has been achieved across the service during the last year, we recognise that further important improvements are still being taken forward by the service as part of our ambitious change programme. A programme which is aimed at responding to a period of significant national change and development for Education.

“The council is committed to improving education services across the area and has already started implementing a number of positive initiatives, including a detailed five-year plan.

“As a result of Training for Trainers events, a training plan has been developed for staff and there will be a review of literacy and numeracy strategies to ensure positive outcomes for learners, including adult learning.”

The council will also evaluate the impact of the work on the Curriculum Design and develop a rigorous approach to targeting further support of required. Key actions arising from the revised Parental Involvement Strategy will also be taken forward and there will be developments to leadership improvement and staff empowerment.

Policies will continue to be developed in line with national and local priorities, in particular the education Scotland Act 2016 and the National Improvement Framework, and the Council will further develop approaches to engaging children and young people in shaping the quality of their learning experiences through the progression of Our Children, Their Future, the official launch of which will take place in January.

This vision will be delivered for all children through the following six key objectives:

- Raise educational attainment and achievement for all

- Use performance information to secure improvement for children and young people

- Ensure children have the best start in life and are ready to succeed

- Equip young people to secure and sustain positive destinations and achieve success in life

- Strengthen high quality partnership working and community engagement

- Strengthen leadership at all levels