The quality of education at Queen Margaret Academy in Ayr has been highlighted today (17 January) in the school's latest inspection report. Improving attainment was praised by Education Scotland, while the report also found that further work was needed to develop strategic leadership to help drive future change.
The Inspectors came to their conclusions after a recent visit to the school, which included discussions with parents, young people and staff. As part of the process, evidence was gathered on the quality of leadership, learning and teaching, alongside young people's achievements and wellbeing.
The inspection team found the following strengths in the school's work:
- Relationships between teachers and young people are positive and young people express high levels of enjoyment across many aspects of their learning.
- Improving attainment in National Qualifications, with young people achieving better than learners with similar needs and backgrounds across Scotland.
- Supported Learning Centre (SLC) improvements which allow young people facing additional learning challenges to achieve success in National Qualifications.
- The skills and attributes which many young people are acquiring as a result of the opportunities for achievement being offered by staff and partners.
Areas for improvement were also agreed:
- Develop strategic leadership to ensure that planning and well-paced development of the curriculum are underpinned by a strong, shared vision and effective self-evaluation.
- To build on the enthusiasm of its young people, the school needs to improve the consistency of learning and teaching to lead to the best possible outcomes.
- Further develop young people's understanding of the effective use of assessment to enable them to identify clearly what they need to do to improve.
- Continue to develop wellbeing programmes, relevant to the needs of young people.
Councillor Margaret Toner, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning, said: "We're committed to delivering positive opportunities at all of our schools and we'll continue to work hard to ensure that every young person achieves the best possible outcomes.
"I'm proud of the ongoing commitment of staff at Queen Margaret Academy and I'm confident that the school will build on its positive momentum, while continuing to work to deliver improvements in the areas highlighted in the inspection.
"Part of our long-term plans for the school includes a brand new £25m campus that will deliver a first-class learning environment, with plans for the project already well advanced, so the future is certainly looking brighter on all fronts for Queen Margaret Academy."
Inspectors will continue to work with South Ayrshire Council on the areas outlined for improvement, with a follow-up inspection planned to gauge the progress.
The full published letter and quality indicators (as applicable) are available from Education Scotland: link.