Highland Council shares ambitious Education Transformation strategy
29th May 2019
The Highland Council's new Education Transformation programme is taking shape with various initiatives put in place to deliver better educational outcomes for young people, as detailed in a presentation to the Care, Learning and Housing Committee today (29 May 2019).
The Education Transformation programme has the dual purpose of improving outcomes for all children and young people whilst ensuring that resources are used wisely and efficiently.
As a first step, a change team of 5 head teachers has been seconded to the Education Transformation programme for a year to help embed identified improvements in the education system. Improvements will be driven by leading families of schools towards equity and excellence which will see schools with similarities effectively working together offering a much-needed level of support and challenge that Highland has not had before.
There will also be the roll-out of a new comprehensive training strategy for all school based staff and Highland-wide collaboration in responding to the priorities recently identified by head teachers to improve education outcomes. The Council also regularly engages and reflects on the Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF) in monitoring and identifying improvement priorities.
Says Dr James Vance, Interim Head of Education: "The planned changes in our education system are based on national and international research, and on the advice and guidance of Education Scotland, Association of Directors of Education Scotland, Scottish College of Educational Leadership and the Scottish Government.
"Teachers are our ambassadors for delivering quality teaching, the most important determinant in children's outcomes, and this is why we are focussing on leadership development and on adopting a co-ordinated approach to training; to support the ongoing development of our staff."
Councillor John Finlayson, Chair of Highland Council’s Care, Learning and Housing committee, said: “Given the importance we are attaching to educational improvement from 3-18 in all our settings, establishing collaborative practices between teachers within and across schools will inform ongoing improvement priorities based on a culture of trust and reciprocation. Across Highland we will be able to offer expertise, support and challenge in key functions to schools and across identified families of schools.
“Through developing excellence in our schools and working collaboratively with key partners across sectors our aim is that all pupils, regardless of background or circumstances, will become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors with the knowledge and skills needed to participate as they choose in the life of their communities and cultures."
Highland Council's Environmental Health team have identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring in coastal waters at Loch Glencoul, Kylesku area. Eating shellfish such as cockles, mussels, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these algal toxins.
Highland Council's Environmental Health team has identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring in coastal waters at Loch Eishort. Eating shellfish such as mussels, cockles, oysters or razor fish from these areas may pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these algal toxins.
Funding for food and activities during the summer break. More children and young people will benefit from a nutritious meal and a place to play this summer holiday.
At a meeting of The Highland Council on Thursday 27 June 2019, Councillors decided to discontinue the provision of education at Altnaharra Primary School, dividing its catchment area between Tongue Primary, Farr Primary and Lairg Primary schools. A copy of the consultation report, together with the original proposal paper and all relevant appendices can be viewed on the Council's website at: www.highland.gov.uk/schoolconsultations The Council is satisfied that implementation of closure is the most appropriate response to the reasons for formulating the original proposal identified by the authority.
"Highland Council as agreed to allow a question time for members of the public at future Council meetings. The motion was presented by Depute Leader Cllr Alasdair Christie and means that from December 2019, Highland Council meetings will include a time allocation for questions from members of the public.
Highland Councillors have unanimously agreed that the Council will support the continuation of the exemption from UK Air Passenger Duty for flights departing from airports in the Highlands & Islands; and Members also agreed that the Council will continue working with HiTRANS to present the case of the need for, and benefit arising from an exemption from the current UK Air Passenger Duty and any successor duty. The Council's stance comes this week as calls have been made by Aberdeen Airport for greater parity with Highlands & Islands.
Suicide prevention is a key priority for The Highland Council. Members have agreed today, to take forward a piece of research with partners including NHS Highland and Police Scotland, to better understand the current evidence base and experience of suicide in Highland.
The introduction of a service to support the mental health and wellbeing of Highland Council staff and councillors has been approved by the Council as part of a range of measures to improve wellbeing. An Employee Assistance Programme for staff and Members will be put in place to offer telephone and internet-based counselling 24 hours a day.
Councillor Mackie had a written question at today's meeting of Highland council. Item 12 - Question Time To the Chair of the Environment, Development & Infrastructure Committee "Official Highland Council guidance indicates that, unless extended, successful Community Asset Transfer requests should be completed by the Local Authority within a nine months' timeframe.
From highland council Meting today 27 June 2019. Item 12 - Question Time To the Chair of the Corporate Resources Committee "What are the current best estimates for present total Highland Council debt and the annual financial commitment required to service this debt?".
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