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


Closing the attainment gap in Highland

19th October 2017

Highland Council is fully supportive of the aim to close the poverty-related educational attainment gap between children and young people from the least and most disadvantaged communities.

In Highland, 1537 Primary and 1006 Secondary School children live in the most deprived data zones.

Highland Council's focus is to target interventions to support raising attainment in reading, writing and numeracy. Schools have been supported to make best use of available funding, through existing improvement planning processes, and a ‘bureaucracy-light' approach.

The Pupil Equity Fund was launched in session 2017-18. Allocations are based on the number of pupils from P1 to S3 who are eligible and registered for free school meals, with schools receiving £1,200 per pupil. This involved 90% of Highland schools, receiving almost £4m.

Approximately 55% of Highland pupils attend the five Primary and four Secondary Schools supported directly by the Scottish Attainment Challenge (SAC) funding. There are 1646 pupils being targeted for extra interventions in these schools.

Health and Wellbeing for Families and Communities is an integral part of tackling educational attainment. Family Link Workers are making a positive difference to attendance, engagement, attitude and ultimately learning in each of four schools.

The Positive Relationships Co-ordinator was appointed in January 2017 and initially worked with schools to establish and develop a nurturing approach. This has led to a raised awareness and understanding for all staff of the importance of social and emotional learning, and the development of a nurturing approach.

Chair of the Highland Council's People Committee, Councillor Alasdair Christie said: "Highland shares the features of many other rural authorities, in having a significant attainment gap between the highest and poorest performing pupils. The attainment challenge funding is provided to help close the gap in those schools with the highest levels of multiple deprivation. The funding model does not best suit rural schools or address rural deprivation, and I understand the Scottish Government is looking at that and will hopefully address this weakness.

"Our focus is to target interventions to support raising attainment in reading, writing and numeracy. There is large amount of quantitative and qualitative data around measuring the impact of interventions, and there are already positive signs starting to demonstrate impact. We have seen very positive results where parents have been more involved in schools and their children's education.

"Health and wellbeing of families and communities is a fundamental part of an holistic approach to improving educational achievement and the best outcomes for our young people and I am keen to see that we continue be innovative and to work hard with partners to provide the best environment for children to grow and thrive and learn in."

He added: "I welcome the constructive dialogue which has taken place between the Scottish Government and Local Authorities and the recognition of our important role in educational strategy and governance.

"However, there still remains too much uncertainty around the role of the new regional improvement collaboratives and how they will enhance the delivery of education and improve attainment.

“The last thing that parents and teachers want is another layer of bureaucracy and governance and Headteachers are particularly concerned about being given additional roles and responsibilities that may impact on learning and teaching time."

He continued: “The pace of change is very rapid and we will continue to work with the Scottish Government and other partners to ensure that education reform has the best outcomes for our children."

Wick comes in for special mention as Wick High School and Newton Park are to receive funding.

See the full report at -


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Leader Of Highland Council Speaks After Budget Process LeaksThumbnail for article : Leader Of Highland Council Speaks After Budget Process Leaks
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.  
Highland Council Revises Budget Figures But Still Anticipates Big CutsThumbnail for article : Highland Council Revises Budget Figures But Still Anticipates Big Cuts
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.  
Highland Residents To Benefit From Pioneering Fithomes Thanks To £3m City-region Deal WindfallThumbnail for article : Highland Residents To Benefit From Pioneering Fithomes Thanks To £3m City-region Deal Windfall
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.  
The staggering true scale of council job cutsThumbnail for article : The staggering true scale of council job cuts
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 Businesses Urged To Be On Scam Alert
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.  
Permanent Extension To Blue Badge Scheme CriteriaThumbnail for article : Permanent Extension To Blue Badge Scheme Criteria
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.  
Stay safe with New Year sales advice from Trading Standards
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.  
Scottish Government rules out ‘tourist tax' measures
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.  
Employees compensated following change to recycling contract
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.  
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.  

[Printer Friendly Version]