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.
The Highland Council's Environmental Health Team is advising users of private water supplies to take preventative steps to preserve their drinking water. Following a mild Winter and Spring, there is increasing pressures on water supplies.
There will be minimal impact on PSA posts due to extensive work done to protect staff through the holding back over 50 vacant posts and identifying other opportunities within the council. We have committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies.
The Highland Council, in partnership with Under One Roof Scotland, are inviting all private landlords to a special seminar specifically to look at issues surrounding common repairs and building maintenance in flats and how to deal with any problems that may arise. Under One Roof Scotland www.underoneroof.scot is an impartial online information site for flat owners and their advisers.
A greatly improved financial position is to be reported to the council's Corporate Resources Committee meeting next week for the financial year 2018/19. The position reflects the overspend reducing by £3M due to management actions in recent months.
Already leading the way when it comes to providing nutritional school meals, The Highland Council has reaffirmed its commitment to put more local fresh seasonal food on school dinner plates. Catherine Pendreigh, Food for Life Partnerships Manager at the Soil Association gave a presentation at today's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee on the accreditation already awarded to Highland Council's school meals and how this could be further developed in the future.
Members of The Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee have welcomed new funding to stimulate economic investments in Highland town centres to help them diversify and flourish. In partnership with COSLA The Scottish Government have provided £50m capital to set up the Town Centre Fund 2019-2020.
The Highland Council is warning anyone considering buying a puppy to ensure they buy from reputable sources. Concerns have been raised that people are illegally importing dogs from Europe to sell without the correct health checks or paperwork.
Parking Enforcement is coming to a street near you. With the Decriminalisation of Parking Enforcement, and establishment of the Highland Council Parking Services in 2016, the local authority has committed to the roll-out of enforcement activities across all population centres in Highland.
Progress in the transformation of Inverness Castle to become a new visitor attraction for the city was marked today with the announcement of contracts awarded to the architect and the creative director for the project. The Inverness Castle project forms part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region deal.
The Chief Executive and Budget Leader are meeting with all budget holders this week to set out the need for tight budget controls to continue throughout the year. The Council approved the Council's change programme "A Sustainable Highland" in February, which is set to deliver £37.456m savings over the next three years.
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