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."
The Highland Council has launched a free helpline to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support during Covid19. The single line number - 0300 303 1362 - will connect callers to relevant Council specialist teams and will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.
Highland Council will be providing e-vouchers to families to support access to free school meals from week commencing 30 March 2020. This innovative and easy-to-use service will ensure over 4,000 school children will continue to receive support for school meals while schools are closed.
The Council has been working at pace to set up centres for the children of key workers. Anyone who has applied for a place at one of the key worker hubs in the Highland Council area will be contacted by the end of today (Wednesday 25th) with confirmation of the arrangements that have been put in place.
THE HELPLINE GOES LIVE TODAY FROM 2:00pm ONWARDS. The Highland Council has launched a free helpline to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support during Covid19.
Due to the COVID19 restrictions and the closure of Council Service Points, there has been a change in the way Highland Council provides its Homeless services. If you become Homeless, please contact the Council's Service Centre on 01349 886602 (during office hours) and 01349 886691 (out of hours) for further help and support.
As a landlord, the Council's priority is maintaining the welfare of our tenants and providing you with essential services at this difficult time. The situation is changing daily, but this bulletin contains the most up-to-date information about where you can seek advice if you have any concerns about your wellbeing, income or other tenancy matters.
The Highland Council today launched on behalf of the Scottish Government, the COVID-19 business grant scheme. Grants of £10,000 and £25,000 are available for eligible businesses.
In light of the UK and Scottish Government's decision tonight to begin a three-week lockdown in order to delay the spread of the Coronavirus, the Highland Council has taken the decision to cancel the provision of school meals tomorrow Tuesday 24th March. The current format of provision would involve staff and children gathering at school premises and this would go against national advice and directives.
The Highland Council is offering its 9,500 staff and their family members, a new, free and confidential Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) service. The local authority has partnered up with an organisation called Spectrum.Life to provide staff with free mental wellbeing support, fitness plans, legal assistance, financial advice, and eLearning content related to a variety of wellbeing topics.
The Highland Council is preparing to launch dedicated Freephone helplines from tomorrow. One will focus on providing advice and support for people who want to know how they can volunteer and for anyone needing assistance and help.
[Printer Friendly Version]