Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  

 

Highland Council driving quality improvement in education

7th September 2017

Chair of the Highland Council's People Committee, Councillor Alasdair Christie, today questioned proposals for changes to the governance of schools, set out in the Scottish Government programme announced this week.

Speaking at today's Council meeting, Councillor Christie said: "The biggest risk to our goals for improving children's attainment in education is in the Scottish Government’s plans to dilute the role of Local Authorities. We are proud of our teachers and our schools, and proud of the quality of education in Highland Council. We are not complacent and always seek to improve, but there is no evidence that a new regional body will improve learning and teaching, or the educational outcomes of our young people. Highland schools should be managed in the Highlands, and not from Edinburgh."

He continued: "I believe that local democratic accountability must be at the heart of the delivery of Scottish education. In Highland, we are committed to continuous improvement in education, to achieve the best outcomes for children as part of an integrated children’s service.

"The Council considered the Scottish Government’s proposals at its meeting in June, and was concerned that they removed local democratic accountability for the delivery of education, and would impose new layers of bureaucracy, which would do nothing to support Head Teachers, improve educational performance or help close the attainment gap.

“Local government across Scotland has raised similar concerns, and I am extremely disappointed to see no evidence that these have been taken account of in the Government’s announced programme.

“The Highland Council has committed to work with Government to endeavour to influence these proposals in a more positive and constructive direction. We will continue to do that, and over the next few weeks we intend to issue a number of briefings and public statements on this issue."

The Scottish Government’s proposals for school governance are set out in a Next Steps report, published in June and available at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/06/2941

Next Steps proposes only one model for the future governance of Scottish Education and suggests that these proposed arrangements constitute the only way to raise attainment for all and the only way to close the attainment gap.

The report proposes largely ‘back office’ support functions for local authorities. It does not provide well founded rationale for the proposed removal of the local authority from its current, democratically mandated strategic leadership and management role.

Elected Members of the Highland Council currently work closely and effectively with their schools and parent councils. They provide clear, strategic leadership to officers and have always demonstrated a high level of commitment to the quality of education provision for Highland communities.

The Council has a sound track record of innovative practice; e.g. the development of integrated services for children and families. Furthermore, the Highland Council can demonstrate clear and determined commitment to collaborative working with other Local Authorities in order to improve outcomes for pupils.

The proposed new governance structures indicate a centralisation of decision making regarding education, which will mean more bureaucracy for Headteachers, and will be unhelpful for parents, pupils, communities and schools.

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

18/12/2017
Food business fined for food safety rules after ignoring previous warning
The Highland Council has successfully prosecuted a food business after discovering unsafe hygiene practices in the transportation of food.   An investigation by officers of the Council's Environmental Health Team discovered that N E Meats Ltd of Newcastle had been transporting and delivering foods from the North of England to the Highlands without any temperature control measures.  
15/12/2017
Commission On Highland Democracy Report LaunchedThumbnail for article : Commission On Highland Democracy Report Launched
The Commission on Highland Democracy has this week launched its report at the meeting of The Highland Council.   The Commission, which was supported in its work by The Highland Council, but is independent, has produced a comprehensive analysis of the state of democratic participation in Highland.  
15/12/2017
Highland Council winter road condition and school closure report for Friday, 15 December 2017
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.  It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.  
14/12/2017
Highland Council discusses education governance
Highland Councillors considered Scottish Government's proposals for changes to the management of schools at today's meeting of the Council.   The Scottish Government is proposing new legislation on education, which would include a Headteachers Charter, placing even more responsibility and accountability for the running of schools on Headteachers, with other responsibilities passing to a new collaborative organisation covering Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Shetland, Orkney, Western Isles, Argyll and Bute as well as Highland.  
14/12/2017
Highland Council winter road condition and school closure report for Thursday 14 December 2017
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.  It is not intended to imply that any individual route is entirely snow and ice free and drivers must be aware that conditions can change rapidly and make their own assessment of conditions for travelling.  
14/12/2017
Council to make a case for national energy company to be based in Highland
The Highland Council today welcomed the proposal by the Scottish Government to establish a national not-for-profit energy company and agreed to make a case for the proposed company to be based in the Highlands.  The motion, put forward by Cllr Richard Laird and Cllr Iain Cockburn, sets out the belief that Highland customers do not always experience the benefits of the energy produced in our communities and therefore proposes that the Council engage with the Scottish Government to make the case for the energy company to be based in the Highlands, where much of the energy is produced, and bringing jobs and benefits to the region.  
14/12/2017
Highland Council To Set Up Tourism Working Group
The Highland Council has agreed to set up a tourism working group to take a strategic overview and set priorities to support the success and growth of tourism in the Highlands.   The Council has also agreed to identify financial support that allows EventScotland and their partners to bid for future major International events to be hosted in Highland.  
14/12/2017
Highland Council response to extreme weather
The Highland Council is reassuring people in the region that since Storm Caroline and the arrival of winter weather to the region, the Council's Community Services has been deploying all of its available resources to tackle the condition of Highland Council pavements and roads.   The Council's gritting fleet includes 105 gritters, 42 footpath tractors and over 200 staff providing winter maintenance services.  
14/12/2017
Highland Council Indicates Severe Cuts In 2018/19 Budget
Budget update Council will today consider a potential budget gap of £33.5 million in the next financial year in 2018-19.   It will take several days to achieve clarification of the precise settlement to The Highland Council following the Scottish Government's draft budget announcement.  
13/12/2017
Highland Council winter road condition and school closure report for Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at www.highland.gov.uk/gritting .   The information provided is a summary of reports from operational staff and is intended to give a general indication of typical conditions in each area at a point in time.  

[Printer Friendly Version]