Sustaining Education in Highland Communities
30th May 2018
The work of Highland Council's Care and Learning Service to provide sustainable quality education in Highland communities was further endorsed today by members of the Council’s Care, Learning and Housing Committee.
Members gave their approval to the reframing of the previous "Management in Schools Programme" to an updated and revised “Sustainable Education in Highlands” programme.
Cllr Andrew Baxter, Chair of the Care, Learning and Housing Committee said: “I am pleased to see that the Sustainable Education in Highlands programme is moving forward with drive and determination. This reflects the Council’s Programme priority to ‘Protect the delivery of education in our schools by implementing an ambitious school’s management programme to support our Head Teachers and staff, securing long term sustainability, especially in our rural communities.”
Bill Alexander, Highland Council’s Director of Care and Learning said: “The Sustainable Education in Highland Communities programme is about providing confidence in the quality of education in local communities across the Highlands. It is about supporting the sustainability of our communities.”
Members approved 5 work streams (and the creation of a programme team) required to deliver the revised programme plan. The work streams are:
• Achieve high quality educational outcomes;
• Management structures and school groupings;
• Support for schools;
• Workforce planning and development; and
• Communication of the programme.
Members noted the progress to date regarding discussions on the management of schools and agreed that engagement with communities will be progressed in Gairloch, Kinlochleven, Inverness High, Thurso and Wick associated school groups.
The creation of local stakeholder groups in other Highland associated school groups, which would link in with Community Planning and other local partnerships, was also endorsed by the Committee.
On 22nd January 2019 the Moray West wind Farm planning application returns to the North Planning committee but merely fro some slight changes to the location of some turbines to lessen the impact on certain views. The original permission and this one is not within the power of the committee but they have the ability to enter and objection.
Police in Lochaber can confirm that a 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with alleged consumer protection offences in Fort William. It follows an investigation by Police Scotland and Highland Council Trading Standards, after a report was received this week of "bogus workmen" in Fort William and alleged fraudulent activity relating to charges for work carried out on a house in the town.
DETAILED analysis of the Scottish Government's funding settlement, which makes up the vast proportion of the Council's budget, has been carried out and the net result is that the Highland Council will see a reduction in its grant funding to provide the current level of services. This, together with the additional pressures equates to a £31.2M budget gap for 2019-20.
Highland Council Trading Standards have produced guidance on how to spot the signs of scams that target businesses and also remind businesses to inform their employees on what to look out for when dealing with unsolicited telephone calls, emails and texts. All businesses as well as non-profit organisations (such as charitable organisations) may spend a lot of time dealing with potential scammers.
The Highland Council has written to parents and carers of school transport pupils to inform them that D&E Coaches have recently transferred a number of Highland Council contracts to Stagecoach and some school transport routes are included. These changes are to take effect from the first day back after the school holidays, Monday 7th January 2019 and timetables have been supplied for the routes affected.
Twenty nine members of The Highland Council's Care and Learning team have celebrated their success in completing the Council's 15 month ‘Lead On’ programme. ‘Lead On’, is a programme designed to develop practitioners’ understanding of change leadership and apply this through a change initiative in their place of work.
Highland Councillors are looking forward beyond the current Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal and asking: "What next and where?". Following publication of the Deal's annual report, Leader of The Highland Council Cllr Margaret Davidson said: "A meeting will be convened in the New Year with Councillors who have a particular interest in the City-Region Deal to talk about where we can go next and what we can do.".
Work underway to determine Highland's Budget allocation. Commenting after the news received last night of Councils' individual allocations, from the Scottish Government’s draft Budget, Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "Having received the details of our allocation just last night, it will take some time to work through the proposed settlement and do a detailed analysis.
THROUGHOUT the month of November, The Highland Council's Chief Executive and members of the budget team have met with staff, groups and communities across the length and breadth of the Highlands. These sessions were part of a budget engagement exercise which also included facebook chats, survey, leaflet, video, and a budget challenge to raise awareness of budget challenges and gather views and priorities.
The Highland Council is to carry out a public consultation on the implementation of a transient visitor levy in the New Year. During the Council's public engagement activity during November, a strong theme was support for raising income from tourism, including a tourist levy, which could support local infrastructure, as well as the tourism sector itself.
[Printer Friendly Version]