Celebration of learning in Ayr North
Education Scotland visited Ayr North and villages of Annbank, Mossblown and Tarbolton during February and March 2019 to assess the quality of Community Learning and Development (CLD).
During their visit, inspectors talked to children, young people, adults and community organisations. They work closely with CLD managers, CLD providers, partners, paid staff and volunteers to gather evidence to support their findings with evaluations ranging from 'good' to 'very good'.
The inspection team found the following strengths in CLD services in Ayr North and villages:
- There is a strong commitment across partners and leaders to improving lives
- Volunteers are enhancing learning programmes and strengthening communities
- There is a wide range of high quality and well-targeted learning activities
- Learning opportunities increase wellbeing and reduce social isolation.
The inspection report highlighted the work of the Champions Board; made up of care experienced young people, the board is effective at ensuring young people's voices are heard.
The Council's employability programmes are also noted with 90% of young people on the 'Work Out' programme progressing to a positive destination.
The number of young people living in lower income areas who have registered with the CLD service, has risen substantially from 1,697 in 2015-16 to 3,885 in 2017-18.
Women's Groups in Ayr North provide vital support to women facing challenges in their lives. The groups are well-run and not only help to reduce social isolation but improve wellbeing too.
The following areas for improvement were identified in the report:
- There is a need to develop more efficient and sustainable planning and delivery structures at all levels
- Joint targets should be set and self-evaluation across partners should be increased
- More partners should feel empowered.
Douglas Hutchison, Director – People at South Ayrshire Council said: "This is a very positive report and underlines the importance of partnership working when it comes to achieving the best possible outcomes for our people and out places.
"Working closely with our communities means we will continue to close the poverty-related attainment gap, reduce social isolation, tackle health inequalities and empower residents.
"There are a few things we need to improve on such as ensuring people in our communities have even more opportunities to influence decision making but overall those involved in Community Learning and Development should be proud."
The inspection team was able to rely on high quality self-evaluation provided by the Council. Partners have a good understanding of their strengths and areas for improvement and communities are achieving their aims. As a result of these findings, Education Scotland has ended their inspection process at this stage.
The report is available to view at https://education.gov.scot/other-sectors/community-learning-and-development/688124