Ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment has im­proved, says watch­dog

Argyllshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

‘Pos­i­tive and con­tin­ued progress’ is be­ing made in the ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment of Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil, ac­cord­ing to a gov­ern­ment watch­dog, writes Laura Maxwell.

A re­port pub­lished by the HM In­spec­tors of Ed­u­ca­tion (HMIE) on Mon­day Novem­ber 26, showed steady and con­tin­ual im­prove­ment since a re­port pub­lished in March 2017 listed a num­ber of ar­eas for im­prove­ment.

These in­cluded read­ing, writ­ing, lis­ten­ing and talk­ing, which has im­proved at al­most ev­ery stage mea­sured, as well as nu­mer­acy im­prove­ments, par­tic­u­larly in pri­mary stages. At­ten­dance has been higher than the na­tional av­er­age across pri­mary, sec­ondary and spe­cial schools, how­ever, over the last five years, stu­dent lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy achieve­ment in Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s sec­ondary schools has been lower than in other Scot­tish schools.

There have been im­prove­ments in Na­tional Qual­i­fi­ca­tions, par­tic­u­larly be­tween 2016 and 2018. At S4, the pro­por­tion of stu­dents achiev­ing awards at Na­tional 5 (SCQF level 5) has im­proved and lev­els are above the na­tional av­er­age. More S5 and S6 stu­dents now suc­ceed at Higher level (SCQF level 6), and lev­els are in line or above the na­tional av­er­age.

How­ever, HMIE would like to see an in­crease in the num- ber of stu­dents gain­ing five or more Higher awards.

One of ar­eas for im­prove­ment out­lined in March 2017 was the pace of change in strate­gic plan­ning and im­prove­ment, which has been sat­is­fac­to­rily amended.

The coun­cil’s pol­icy lead for ed­u­ca­tion, Coun­cil­lor Yvonne McNeilly, said: ‘Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil is fo­cused on de­liv­er­ing an ed­u­ca­tion ser­vice that meets the needs of our chil­dren and young peo­ple. We have staff and pupils to be proud of, many of whom are al­ready achiev­ing award win­ning suc­cess, and I’d like to thank them for their ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment. It’s time for us con­tinue to build on these im­prove­ments and en­sure our pupils are sup­ported to achieve their goals.’

HM In­spec­tors are to make no more visits to Ar­gyll and Bute in con­nec­tion to the March 2017 re­port.

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