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Council's Pioneering Approach Praised

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South Ayrshire Council is leading the way in a new approach to reviewing the work of the education authority.

As part of a Collaborative Improvement visit earlier this year, a team from Education Scotland and the Association of Directors of Education Scotland spent two days with staff, parents and young people from a number of primary schools across South Ayrshire. The team were impressed with the fantastic progress the Council has made in recent years to close the attainment gap and challenge every young person to perform to their best potential.

A number of strengths were identified following the visit, and a written report highlighted that our staff are positive, enthusiastic and share our clear and consistent vision. 

The report also praised a range of interventions, such as Making Thinking Visible (MTV), that have improved learning and teaching across the authority, helping us to close the gap and challenge every learner.

It was recognised that our schools have faced many unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, and throughout this difficult time, their understanding of the health and wellbeing needs of children, young people and families really helped to make a difference.

Partnership working across the Council and with other agencies, such as speech and language therapy was recognised as a strength. Locality working was also identified as making a strong contribution to supporting improvements and the focus on care experienced learners, which is led by our 'Virtual Head Teacher' is already showing signs that it's having an impact. 

The report also identified some challenges, and we will prioritise working towards improvement in these areas. We want to embed some of the work which is making a difference to young people into daily practice across all schools, and consider the sustainability of some of the interventions that improve learning. We'll also make more consistent use of the data available to inform learning, teaching and assessment, and ensure the focus on literacy, numeracy, and health and wellbeing doesn't reduce opportunities to close the attainment gap for our young people.                

Councillor William Grant, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People said: "I'm thrilled that this report recognises some of the fantastic progress we are making to close the attainment gap in South Ayrshire.

"I see first-hand the fantastic work schools are doing every day, however, it's wonderful to hear from an external team of experts that we are making a difference for children and young people across South Ayrshire."

Published 28 September 2021