Education services praised

North Lanarkshire is making good progress in improving learning, raising attainment and narrowing the poverty-related attainment gap

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That's the verdict of a major new report from pdf icon Education Scotland following their in-depth inspection [401kb] of North Lanarkshire Council.

The independent report, published this week, highlighted the leadership of Education, Youth and Communities, an improved use of data to plan, effective professional learning and support for families and the work of the educational psychology service.

Councillor Frank McNally, convener of education for North Lanarkshire Council, said: "This is a hugely encouraging inspection report and demonstrates the progress we are determined to make in raising attainment and closing the poverty-related attainment gap.

"One of our priorities is to ensure that every child can achieve their full potential and the independent inspectors agree that we are taking very positive steps to achieve that."

Inspectors spent a week meeting with staff at all levels, visiting schools and talking to children and parents. They concentrated on three key aspects:

  • How effective is the education service's leaderships, government and management of resources?
  • How effective is the education service's use of data to target, select and evaluate the impact of initiatives?
  • The contribution of the educational psychology service

In terms of leadership, the inspectors found that assistant chief executive Isabelle Boyd and her senior team had a strong commitment to improving learning, raising attainment and closing the poverty-related attainment gap, and that clear direction was provided within the council's overall ASPIRE approach.

The report highlighted the use of high quality, accurate data in planning and evaluation and reaffirmed that children's attainment is showing improving trends. There was also praise for the way in which educational psychology is making a very strong contribution, with the service making a positive impact on children, young people and families.

Isabelle Boyd, assistant chief executive for education, youth and communities, said: "There is much work still to be done but the progress has been outstanding and I would like to thank all the staff, teachers, pupils and young people who work so hard to improve. The inspectors have given us some aspects for development and we will be addressing these to ensure we keep improving outcomes for children."

Paul Jukes, chief executive of North Lanarkshire Council, added: "The inspectors agreed that our 'one council' approach to our priorities provides a good framework. What this means is that the whole council is invested in young people and this report is evidence that this approach works. But we must keep improving and I'm confident we can do that."

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