An inspection by Education Scotland has found that there is now a clearly articulated vision and a well-defined set of priorities for raising attainment and closing the poverty-related attainment gap within Clackmannanshire.
Inspectors visited the Council for a week in May to evaluate how well the Education service is improving learning, raising attainment and narrowing the poverty-related attainment gap, and the report has just been published. As part of Clackmannanshire’s Raising Attainment Challenge, the Council has invested additional funding from the Government’s Scottish Attainment Challenge (SAC) in work to improve literacy and numeracy attainment, improve health and wellbeing and close the attainment gap between pupils from the most and least deprived areas.
Among the positive aspects mentioned in the inspection are:
· Strong and focused leadership of the Chief Education Officer and her senior leadership team which is beginning to make a positive difference for children and young people
· Partnership working with speech and language therapists operating targeted schools is showing early signs of success. Children's listening skills are improving as is their enthusiasm for writing
· Chief Education Officer and senior staff are fostering a culture of collaborative professional learning across the authority
· Growing focus on leadership development and there is evidence of increasing levels of participation and engagement in a range of leadership programmes at all levels
· Work of Improving Outcomes Principal Teachers are beginning to improve classroom practice
· Educational Psychology service is making a strong contribution to the Scottish Attainment Challenge
Aspects for development include:
· Continuing joint working with partner agencies
· Improve governance arrangements
· Plan for exit strategies from SAC and Pupil Equity Fund
Education Spokesperson Cllr Graham Lindsay commented: “The Council is committed to achieving excellence and equity, raising attainment, tackling inequity and ensuring that high aspirations and positive outcomes are the expected norm for every child in Clackmannanshire.
“I’m very pleased that this inspection reflects the commitment of everyone in the Council to our shared goals, and that as part of the Scottish Attainment Challenge we are working to reduce the attainment gap between pupils from the most and least deprived areas. and to improve literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing. This hard work will continue, and the Education service will be working on the aspects that need to be developed to ensure continued progress for all our young people.”
Education Scotland is confident that the evidence and evaluation indicates that the Council is making satisfactory progress in arrangements to improve learning and the close the attainment gap, with plans and self-evaluation leading to improvements. As a result, they will make no further visits in connection with the inspection.