Conference highlights transformation of learning in Highland schools
8th May 2017
The transformation of future learning in Highland schools was discussed by around 100 head teachers at a Science and Technology Conference last week in Inverness.
Key speakers from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, the Wood Foundation, Education Scotland, FIRST Scandinavia and the Science and Skills Academy addressed the conference on the importance of STEM experiences and qualifications for young people in the Highlands. They also outline how the use of digital technology can transform learning for young people.
The conference was organised by Highland Council to inform head teachers of the Primary Science Wood Foundation Programme; the development of the Highland Science Skills Academy and the progress of the council's ICT roll-out in schools which includes a commitment to provide a device for every child from P6 to S6.
Stressing the importance of STEM to the economic wellbeing of the Highland area, guest speaker Charlotte Wright, Acting Chief Executive of HIE informed delegates to the conference.
Skills Development Scotland, Head of Region, Anthony Standing supported the welcome outlining the pathways for STEM in Highland.
Conference sponsors, Wood Foundation, Anita Martin explained how the Wood Foundation is supporting Primary Science in the region.
Stuart Black, Highland Council's Director of Development and Infrastructure explained how the City Region Deal funding is enabling the Highland Science Skills Academy to progress.
Stan Elstad, Chief Executive of FIRST Scandinavia informed delegates how Science Skills Academy works in Norway and its relevance and connections to Highland schools.
Andrew Johnston, Project Director of the Highland Science Skills Academy outlined how the Academy will work in Highland, with the first two Newton Rooms in Lochaber and Caithness.
During the afternoon session Ollie Bray Kingussie High School Head Teacher and Fergus Weir, Highland Parent Council Chair highlighted how digital technology can transform learning.
Teachers attending the conference shared their experiences of digital learning and the roll out of chrome books, usage of apps and other education applications to pilot schools.
The Science and Technology Conference was held in Inverness on Wednesday 3 May 2017.
Highland Councillors agreed a council tax increase of 3% which will mean an increase of £35.93 per annum on a Band D property. Overall, the budget gap of £15,146 million has been met by a package of savings which includes increasing Council Tax income by £3.448 million, increasing income by £3,059 million, setting a target of £2,250 million to be saved through Redesign and reducing expenditure by £5.1 million.
Redesign is about the Council being more open-minded to new ways of delivering services, more commercially-minded to raise income to support services and jobs across the region and being more community-minded, listening locally and supporting more community-run services. The Highland Council is seeking to release over £2.2 million in savings this year through redesign projects.
An election will take place for Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council on Wednesday 21 February 2018. The maximum permitted membership for the Community Council is 7 and as 8 nominations have been received, the 1349 electors in the community council area are being invited to cast their vote via a postal ballot.
Over three thousand people visited Inverness Town House last weekend to see for themselves the completion of interior works on the public historic Grade A listed building following recent renovations. Around 2,000 visitors passed through the Town House doors on Saturday 10th and another 1,200 people on Sunday 11th February.
Nomination packs for prospective candidates for the Caol and Mallaig Ward by-election are now available from The Highland Council's website. The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11.
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.
In recognition that roads are a high priority for communities in Highland the Administration at The Highland Council will be putting forward a budget on Thursday (15 February) that protects the budget for local roads. Chair of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson said: "We have nearly 7,000 kilometres of roads in the Highlands and this network is vital to our rural communities and lifeline services.
The Highland Council is asking stakeholders and members of the public for feedback on new draft guidance aimed at ensuring high quality designs for traditional, replacement and new shopfronts. Not only does the draft Shopfront Design Guide: Planning Guidance provide advice to help promote good quality applications but it encourages developers and applicants to consider design at the earliest stage in their proposals.
The Highland Council Budget team have agreed their final budget proposals which will go to Council for agreement on 15 February 2018. Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "We have done everything we can to protect frontline services and jobs in a good budget.
The timetable for the election for the return of a councillor for the Caol and Mallaig ward of The Highland Council has been announced today (Monday 5 February) The by-election is being held following the sad death of Councillor Billy MacLachlan who was one of three Councillors representing Ward 11. The other Ward members are Councillors Allan Henderson (Independent) and Ben Thompson (Independent) The Notice of Election and Nomination Form will be published on the Council's website www.highland.gov.uk (external link) on Tuesday 13 February.
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