Schools and education services across Argyll and Bute are continuing to make good progress.
In a report to the Community Services Committee, members heard details of the significant achievements of the area’s young people and the commitment of its education staff over the last 12 months.
In particular, the success of the introduction of Skills for Work Courses was highlighted. These courses focus on skills that are needed for success in various workplaces and are delivered in partnership with local employers and colleges. They give young people the chance to spend time in a different learning environment, meet new people and face new challenges. Courses include construction crafts, travel and tourism, rural skills and automotive skills
Through partnership working, education staff and secondary schools teachers have also been developing a variety of wider achievement courses that enhance opportunities already offered in the senior phase curriculum. These courses allow young people to further develop their skills for learning, life and work. These include the John Muir Award; The Saltire Award Scheme; Food Hygiene Certificate and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
A total of 2,022 young people participated in these courses and programmes in the last year, developing their skills further and supporting their progress into positive and sustained destinations after leaving school. Figures show that between August 1st 2013 and 31st July 2014, 91% of young people left school to go onto further education, employment, training or voluntary work. Figures revealed this week for 2014-15 show even greater progress with a further 2.1% improvement meaning 93.1% of last year’s leavers have achieved a positive destination in employment, training, higher or further education.
Schools in Argyll and Bute have also been celebrating a number of successes at both local and national level. Particularly notable is the success of St Mun’s primary 7 class which won the coveted Rolls Royce Science Awards and Dunoon Primary winning the UK Kodu Cup final at the Microsoft headquarters - a highly prestigious award.
Whilst the report demonstrates a wide range of achievements in our early years, primary and secondary broad general education stages, Argyll and Bute has also seen improved results overall in National 4, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications, whilst the number of young people staying on to S5 and S6 is consistently above the national average at 78%.
Pupils are experiencing two hours of quality PE, enhancing their health and wellbeing. There is also greater emphasis in schools on joint planning and reviewing of learning and a framework model for leadership development at all stages of a teacher’s career has been established with targeted support.
Councillor Rory Colville, Policy Lead for Education said, “This report highlights the many excellent improvements in the service and recognises the dedication of staff, pupils, parents and wider partners in supporting our young people to be ambitious and realise their full potential.
“From the busiest town centre to highland glen or to the most remote island, Education Services deliver a pathway to achieving attainment in some of Scotland’s most challenging and unspoilt environments. As policy lead I believe that our staff and our children and young people are the greatest assets we have and I congratulate them all.”