Pupils attending secondary schools in Argyll and Bute are being given the support and guidance they need to help them make the very best of their education and equip them with the skills to make the most of life’s opportunities in the future.
The council’s plans for continuing improvement for all pupils will be presented to members of the council’s Community Services Committee, at their meeting on 11 December. This involves working with individual schools through a comprehensive programme during 2014/15 and beyond.
The council’s Executive Director for Community Services, Cleland Sneddon said, “Through this programme of support and challenge for schools the council aims to see improvement across the school community of Argyll and Bute. The council, the education team, head teachers and elected members will continue to work together to help young people prepare for their role as valuable, strong members of their communities.”
Key approaches include analysis of initial exam results, followed by review of attainment and discussion of subject trends, statistics and performance.
Detailed reports on each individual school’s performance will go to Area Committee meetings in February allowing local members the opportunity to scrutinise school performance across the board.
The council is developing an increasing number of courses relevant to pupils’ individual needs and which increase their chances of leaving school into further education, training or employment.
During 2013/14 1891 pupils studied these alternative qualifications, with 55 different courses on offer. These courses are wide ranging and diverse and include Skills for Work, alternative qualification including ASDAN, Duke of Edinburgh and Princes Trust.
Sixth year pupils also have the opportunity to participate in University of Highlands and Islands courses such as politics, Scottish literature, and a BA in Scotland’s Music.
During 2013/2014 1,998 pupils received an award from the Scottish Qualifications Authority. A significant number of pupils also achieved qualifications in partnership with further education colleges which are not shown on the school attainment results.
An increasing number of looked after children in Argyll and Bute left school into education, employment or training in 2014 – an increase on the previous year.
The report to the committee also provides an update on the new courses and examinations which were introduced by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) for the academic session in 2013/14.
These revised national qualifications are not comparable with examination results in earlier years, but provide a standard against which future progress will be monitored. A further report, providing more in-depth analysis, will be available for consideration in the spring of 2015.