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."
Highland Council's Trading Standards Team is urging consumers to check whether their tumble dryer is covered by a nation-wide product recall. Safety concerns affect a wide range of models and the manufacturer is offering a brand new machine at no cost to replace the problem items.
The Highland Council is supporting this year's Challenge Poverty Week, which runs from 7-13 October 2019. The Scotland-wide campaign led by the Poverty Alliance is designed to raise awareness that poverty exists in Scotland and restricts people's ability to take part in society.
The Highland Council has once again been alerted to a Council Tax scam whereby scammers are cold calling and claiming that the resident is due a council tax refund or can have their Council Tax band reassessed upon payment of £150. Council Tax bands are determined by the Assessor and Electoral Registration Officer who is independent from the Highland Council.
Motorists are being advised that in the interests of public safety during the Loch Ness Marathon, River Ness 10k Race and River Ness 5k Fun Run charity events taking place this Sunday 6th October 2019, various roads temporary closures and restrictions will be in place. The Infirmary Bridge in Inverness will also be closed to pedestrians and cyclists on Sunday 6th October from 09:00 to 17:00.
The Highland Council has welcomed the announcement that it is to receive nearly £1.3m from the Scottish Crown Estate out of a total of £7.5m which was the net revenue from the marine assets in the 0-12 nautical mile zone for the year 2017-2018. Following the recent devolution of the management of the Crown Estate, this is the first year under these new arrangements which will enable coastal local authorities to fund coastal community benefit across the region.
Wickers are being given the chance to help transform their High Street into a more vibrant, accessible and a welcoming place for everyone to spend time in, as part of the Town Centre Regeneration. The Wick Street Design project is being delivered by Sustrans Scotland in partnership with The Highland Council, Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council and Local Councillors.
The Highland Council is taking the opportunity during Recycle Week 2019 to encourage Highland households and businesses to do their bit and remember to recycle as much as they can. Recycle Week (23- 29 September 2019) is the annual awareness week coordinated by Zero Waste Scotland, aiming to get everyone recycling more by raising awareness of the benefits and promoting easy ways to do more.
Consumer complaints about second-hand cars have topped the complaints "league table" in Scotland for many years. Common problems include mechanical issues, misdescribed cars and history.
Changes to a number of Polling Districts and Polling Places in the Highlands were agreed yesterday (Thursday 5 September 2019) at the meeting of The Highland Council. Members approved a new Scheme of Polling Districts and Polling Places that will be in place for the next four years.
As part of The Highland Council's Redesign, the Council has announced two further appointments to new posts of Executive Chief Officer (ECO). Stuart Black, Director of Development and Infrastructure, will take up the post of ECO for Transformation and Economy at the end of the month.
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