Council's ambitious digital learning estate continues to support education in Highland
17th September 2021
The Highland Council's resilient digital learning estate continues to connect and support learners and educators across Highland, including the creation of a new digital toolkit for teaching staff.
Education Chair, Cllr John Finlayson said: "The extensive digital learning estate available across Highland for staff, pupils, parents and carers is an effective way to empower and develop digital opportunities across Highland schools. Our school estate is unique in Highland as we have 203 schools of different sizes across both rural and urban areas. Therefore, our digital learning estate must be flexible and resilient to meet the needs of each school's local circumstances across the region. This is also important as Covid-19 continues to be present in our schools. As cases rise, the need for a dynamic and resilient digital learning estate is essential to support pupils and staff whether they are learning at home or in school."
All pupils in Highland have access to a digital device in schools which may be a Chromebook, a laptop, or another device as appropriate. In the last year the Connecting Scotland grant allowed The Highland Council to support pupils who may be digitally excluded. We continue to work with schools to ensure that learners have access to devices.
In 2021, Highland has:
33,260 active Chromebooks.
14,400 secondary pupils using a 1 to 1 device (for use at home and school).
all P6 and P7 pupils using a 1 to 1 device (for use at home and school).
105 primary schools with a school under 72 using 1 to 1 devices (for use at home and school).
The new digital toolkit is a Google Site that allows us to build on the already able skills of education staff in Highland schools. The toolkit provides staff with links to current good practice, advice, and policies to promote high quality delivery of teaching & learning using digital skills.
In addition, the Highland Online Safety Centre provides a one-stop support for pupils, staff and parents on all matters related to online safety. Further information and resources to support home learning can be found on the Highland Digital School Hub
Local government unions have today issued notices of industrial action to local authorities across Scotland in a dispute over pay for council workers. The Joint Trade Unions have between them mandates to take action in half of Scotland's local authority areas.
Ahead of the Highland Climate Change Conference this week and the Highland Council meeting on 28 October, Council Leader Margaret Davidson highlighted the green ambitions of the Council. She said: "I am delighted there was cross chamber support at our meeting of Highland Council, on 9 September, for a Future Highlands Strategy, with the development of a Green Energy Hub in Highland at its heart.
The Highland Climate Change Conference is taking place tomorrow (Thursday 21) and Friday 22 October 2021. The Conference will bring people together from across and beyond Highland to discuss the climate and ecological emergency, ahead of COP26 next month.
More than 4,000 youngsters across the Highlands are now learning a musical instrument - the highest level since High Life Highland started lessons. The charity began offering music lessons when the service transferred over in 2017 with 2,900 pupils.
The Chairs of two Highland Council Area Committees have spoken of their relief that the voices of communities have been heard following the announcement yesterday that the Scottish Parliament's Local Government and Housing and Planning Committee have recommend that the proposals by Boundaries Scotland to change the electoral wards in Highland be rejected. Chair of the Sutherland Committee, Councillor Richard Gale said: "I am delighted with this result.
The Highland Climate Change Conference is taking place on Thursday 21 and Friday 21 October 2021. Chair of Highland Council's Climate Change Working Group, Cllr Trish Robertson, said: "The conference is a fantastic opportunity to bring people together from across and beyond Highland to discuss the climate and ecological emergency.
Members of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee (which took place yesterday, Thursday 23 September) were presented with a report outlining the areas of work which have been undertaken by Highland Council's Internal Audit section since the Committee’s previous meeting during June 2021. Of the five audit reports considered, three were given the audit opinions of significant assurance or full assurance.
The high point of the year for celebrating our heritage starts on Saturday 25 September. For three weeks, the Highland Archaeology Festival will offer a range of walks, talks, workshops, exhibitions, and activities for all ages.
Zero Waste Scotland has launched a digital recycling tool to help combat confusion and meet Scottish recycling targets. This Recycle Week (20-26 September 2021), Zero Waste Scotland is launching the first ever Recycling Sorter.
Members of the public are being invited to comment on a Draft Gambling Policy Statement for the coming years 2022-25. The Highland Council is consulting on the draft policy statement on behalf of The Highland Licensing Board under the Gambling Act 2005.