£1 million for school libraries over 3 years
30th September 2017
The Scottish Government is allocating £1 million to improve school libraries over the next three years.
Launched today by the Deputy First Minister, the School Library Improvement Fund will be open for education authorities to apply for funding on behalf of school libraries in their area.
It will fund projects designed to enhance library provision at schools, as part of a wider approach to improve literacy skills and educational attainment.
Meeting pupils and library staff at Gracemount High School, Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary, John Swinney, said:"School libraries play a vital role in supporting literacy and improving attainment.
“The launch of the School Library Improvement Fund will further strengthen that role - giving school libraries access to additional resource that can improve the service they provide to pupils.
“This could be improvements to the library environment, funding for additional activity to engage more young people to use the school library or projects that will encourage wider engagement with the local community.
“We want to know what school librarians, teachers and education authorities think would work best in their school.
“It is part of a range of new measures to improve and invest in our school libraries -including new improvement guidance and the development of a new national strategy for school libraries in Scotland."
The School Library Improvement Fund will work alongside new guidance from the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC), How Good is Our School Library, published earlier this month. Projects will be funded this year on the basis of how well they support the principles outlined in the guidance.
Pamela Tulloch, Chief Executive, SLIC said:
“School libraries have a huge contribution to make to education and learning. We know from our research that a well-run, well-resourced school library, with professionally qualified librarians, leads to higher educational attainment and positive attitudes to learning among pupils.
“With this new fund, along with the evaluation framework and the new national strategy, school libraries will be able to formalise and cement their role in learning and education.
“A national strategy will allow us to create a consistent approach to service, meaning all pupils across Scotland will have equal access to learning support from a school library.”
The fund will be administered by SLIC to support projects in four priority areas - reader development, digital creativity, information literacy and health and social wellbeing.
Details on how to apply are available on the SLIC website: www.scottishlibraries.org/funding/school-library-improvement-fund/
The funding will be split over three years as follows:
2017/18 - £100,000
2018/19 - £450,000
2019/20 - £450,000
The Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) is leading the development of a new school library strategy, and a working group has been appointed to facilitate cross-sector contribution. The strategy will be published in summer 2018, ahead of the start of the new academic year.
The Highland Council and its Commercial and Procurement Shared Services partners Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils are running a series of events to help businesses supply to the public sector. Some of the events are hosted by other organisations and we will be signposting suppliers to these as well.
Leader of the Highland Council, Margaret Davidson has moved to reassure communities about forthcoming budget decisions. She said: "No decisions will be made until the Council meets on 15 February.
At Highland Council work has been ongoing for some months to prepare a Revenue and Capital Budget for 2018/19 and beyond, with the anticipation of a significant cut to available funds. The Scottish Government's proposed grant settlement was announced on 14 December 2017.
Around £3 million of funding has been agreed for a ground-breaking Highland project that could transform the lives of people with complex health needs as part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal. The business case for the ‘FitHome' assisted living project was approved in November last year with £3m funding from the Scottish Government.
An article in the Press and Journal today 9th January 2018 highlights the cuts in staffing levels across Scottish councils with Highland being one of the highest. In 2009 Highland had 9953 Full-time Equivalent Staff and in 2017 it had dropped by 21% to 7838.
Highland Council Trading Standards team has recently seen an increase in scams targeting Highland businesses. The most common scams reported by businesses relate to marketing and publishing but other frauds such as those involving demands for payment for unsolicited goods sent to businesses (such as ink cartridges which were never ordered) are also on the rise.
Cognitive improvements to be included in Blue Badge scheme The disabled person's parking badge pilot, which was launched in April 2016, has been made permanent by the Scottish Government. The eligibility criteria were revised and extended under a pilot to allow carers and relatives of people who pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic to apply for a disabled person's parking badge, provided they meet the criteria.
People looking to pick up a New Year bargain in the sales on the internet, by mail order or on the high street are being encouraged by The Highland Council's Trading Standards team to be aware of their consumer rights and to stay safe online from scams and fake websites that try to dupe inexperienced online shoppers trying to buy a bargain. Consumers have extra protection when they shop online.
The British Hospitality Association secured a major victory today (21 December2017) as the Scottish Government confirmed that any plans for a ‘tourist tax' in Edinburgh - or any other Scottish cities - are firmly off the table. The BHA has been campaigning consistently for over six years against the implementation of any such additional and uncompetitive tax and is delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised our reservations.
Chief Executive of The Highland Council, Steve Barron said: "The Council is continuing to do all it can to support employees who lost their jobs following the change in contract for the processing of recycled waste. Evanton-based William Munro Construction laid off the staff after Highland Council transferred a recycling contract.
[Printer Friendly Version]