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Members agree to distribution of funding for counselling, additional teacher resource and digital inclusion in Highland schools

1st October 2020

At yesterday's (30 September2020) meeting of the Council's Education Committee, Members agreed on the approach to the distribution of Counselling funding, and on the approach to use additional funding to support Education Recovery through additional teaching resource and digital inclusion for the financial year 2020/2021.

Chair of the Education Committee, Councillor John Finlayson, said: "It is great that Members have agreed our approach to utilise the monies we have received from funding streams to support our young people and our education recovery. These funds will make a big difference to how we are able to support resilience and attainment in our schools and to the learning experience of our young people across the region. We will continue to have discussions with our schools and Head Teachers about how this money is spent to ensure maximum benefit".

Counselling funding

It is confirmed that The Highland Council is to receive £1,022,000 in the financial year 2020/2021 from the ‘Access to Counsellors through Schools' Project’. This is to be used to increase the number of counsellors in schools.

Included in our next steps is local and regular meetings involving a range of staff to consider needs and response focused on individual young people and a targeted case approach, as well as regular support, in each school for ongoing individual support.

Additional teaching resource

The Scottish Government has provided additional funding of £2,200,000 to The Highland Council to support Education Recovery; this funding is to be wholly spent on additional teacher resource in Highland schools.

Highland schools will use this additional, creative teaching resources over the next year to compensate for any loss of learning suffered during lockdown, as well as to bring much needed resilience to the education system at this challenging time.

Digital inclusion

The Highland Council was awarded £1,188,489 capital and £204,520 revenue funding through the ‘Connecting Scotland Education Programme’ to address digital inclusion for disadvantaged children and young people in Highland Schools.

This grant has enabled us to further expand The Highland Council’s Chromebook estate, invest in an improved management of the Chromebook service and platform and expand connectivity for families with MIFI devices.

Executive Chief Officer for Education and Learning, Nicky Grant, said: "The funding we have received for counselling, the recruitment of teachers, and digital inclusion will help to work to support the recovery of education and the wellbeing of our young people in Highland. Wellbeing and inclusion will remain a priority for us as we navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic. Overall in these papers, the funding streams and the approach to their distribution recognise the need for local decision making assessment of need, resilience and response."

 

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