Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


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:

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

Director of Care and Learning Highland Council to retireThumbnail for article : Director of Care and Learning Highland Council to retire
Bill Alexander, Director of Care and Learning, has announced his intention to retire from The Highland Council.   Bill commenced with the Council in 2000, in a joint post with NHS Highland as Head of Children's Services.  
Beware Of Calls From Scammers Pretending To Be The Telephone Preference ServiceThumbnail for article : Beware Of Calls From Scammers Pretending To Be The Telephone Preference Service
Beware of calls from scammers pretending to be the Telephone Preference Service warns Highland Council Trading Standards.   Highland Council Trading Standards wish to warn consumers not to fall for a new telephone call scam in which fraudsters pretend to be calling from the Telephone Preference Service (or TPS).  
Redesign continues to deliver improvements
Recent outcomes of Redesign work were noted by Members at yesterday's Highland Council meeting.   In the first year of the programme, 8 redesign projects were undertaken using a "Lean" approach and 36 staff have been trained as facilitators.  
Resurfacing road works on B862 and B851
Motorists are being advised that The Highland Council is currently preparing to carry out resurfacing works at the following locations: • B862 Fort Augustus - Whitebridge - Torness - Dores – Inverness Road; specifically at Errogie Village (North Gateway), Errogie Village (South Gateway), and Compass Farm; and • B851 Errogie – Strathnairn – Daviot Bridge – Culloden Moor Road; specifically at Aberarder House.   Advanced works notification signage will be provided at various locations from Thursday 15 March 2018.  
Highland Council agrees 5-year Capital Programme
The Highland Council has agreed a capital programme of £482m over the next 5 years.   The Highland Council serves the largest geographical area in Scotland (over 30%) and has just under £2bn of assets on its balance sheet comprising, amongst other things, 203 operational schools, over 6,700km of roads and over 2,000 properties.  
Council Issues More Fines In Caithness For Dog Fouling and Fly Tipping
The Highland Council's Enforcement Officers have stepped up patrols in Caithness in a move to tackle the problem of littering, fly tipping and dog fouling.   A number of fixed penalty notices have been issued recently including an £80 fine for dog fouling in the Stafford Lane and Back Bridge area of Wick, a £200 fine for fly-tipping on Ackergill Street and another £80 fine for dog fouling in Lybster.  
Council Administration to present a programme of investment
Speaking ahead of today's Council meeting to agree the Council's Capital Programme for 2018/19 to 2022/23, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council said:- "This programme delivers significant investment in a range of key projects across the Highlands.  We are investing in schools, roads, bridges, harbours and flood prevention schemes that will benefit our communities.  
Highland Council to make special case for capital investment
Highland Council is to make a special case for extra capital investment in the road infrastructure after a winter period which has seen the Highlands battered by some 57 days of severe weather.   Highland Council area is particularly subject to severe winter weather, which has a significant impact on the roads and other infrastructure.  
Highland Council Winter Road Condition And School Closure Report For Wednesday 7 March 2018
Maps of the Council's gritting routes by priority and policy are available online at   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.  
Wick High Finalist In Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.Thumbnail for article : Wick High Finalist In Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.
The £48.5m Wick Community Campus built by Morrison Construction has been announced as a finalist at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018.   The project is entered in the category for "Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy" against eight other finalists from across the UK with the winner to be announced during a ceremony at Milton Court Concert Hall on 24 May 2018.  

[Printer Friendly Version]