Argyll and Bute Council has welcomed a report published today (10 August) by Education Scotland which highlights the progress made by the council’s education service in responding to the main points for action in the inspection report published in March this year.
Following the inspection of the local authority in September last year, HM Inspectors carried out a further visit in June to monitor progress.
During this time, progress was identified in a number of areas including:
A detailed improvement plan has been put in place to address the five main points for action that were detailed in the inspection report.
The council formally published its vision and strategy document: Our Children, Their Future in January 2017. Strategic leadership and direction is now more clear, underpinned by the aspirations set out within the document. Inspectors noted this is beginning to bring about a common purpose across the council. Education Services have strengthened the central team to support the priorities outlined in the strategy.
A new Head Teacher Advisory Group, selected by and accountable to their peers, has been put in place. More time is needed to establish how members’ work, as strategic leaders, will help build the capabilities of education services.
The council is continuing its work to improve the quality of communication across its education functions. Centrally based officers are beginning to have more direct and purposeful engagement with schools. Revised approaches to supporting and challenging schools are being put in place with a greater emphasis on consistency and improving outcomes for children and young people.
The Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne Mcneilly said: “It has been almost a year since the initial inspection took place and a number of improvements have already been carried out by the council’s education service in response to the inspection findings.
“Throughout the whole process our main priority has remained the same – our children.We want to ensure that they have the best start in life and are ready to succeed. Our vision, delivered together, is to ensure that we will realise ambition, excellence and quality.
“Our education service has staff and pupils to be proud of, not to mention parents and local communities who are extremely supportive.
“I know the amount of hard work that goes on, and will continue to go on, behind the scenes in our schools and I would like to thank each and every person who contributes to giving our children nothing but the best. I am extremely grateful to each and every one of you.
“We look forward to continuing to working with Education Scotland to make further improvements to raise educational attainment and achievement for all.”
As planned, inspectors will return in September to carry out further inspection of the education functions of the council and will report on our progress in addressing the findings of the original inspection.