Author Archives: Education News Team

Behaviour in Scottish Schools Research 2016⤴

from @ Engage for Education

The majority of pupils are well behaved and a credit to their school, according to teachers across Scotland.

Behaviour In Scottish Schools Research (BISSR) 2016 is based on feedback from school staff and provides a picture of behaviour and behaviour management approaches in publicly funded mainstream schools.

 The research shows:

  •  The vast majority of staff in schools report pupils as being generally well behaved. Between 79-99% of staff (ranging from support staff to headteachers) reported that pupils are generally well behaved
  • Most staff gave their own school ethos a high rating (between 86% and 96% of staff reported this)
  • The use of restorative approaches and solution oriented approaches increased between 2012 and 2016
  • Most teachers were confident of their abilities to promote positive relationships and behaviour and to respond to indiscipline in their classrooms

 Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“I very much welcome the news that the majority of pupils in our schools are well behaved. We want all our children and young people to behave in a respectful manner, not only to staff but also to one another, and we will continue to work towards making even more progress in this area.

“I would like to thank all our school staff who work hard to promote the positive relationships we want our pupils to aspire to.”

 Councillor Stephen McCabe, COSLA Spokesperson for Children and Young People, said:

“COSLA welcomes the publication of the latest Behaviour in Scottish Schools Research which, as in previous reports, highlights that the vast majority of pupils are well behaved and respectful to their peers and school staff. 

“This is due, in no small part, to the hard work of all staff and pupils in our schools to promote a culture of positive behaviours and I thank them all for contributing to creating that positive ethos. 

We will work with all our partners to make sure that we continue to make progress in this area – for our pupils, families and communities.”

 Tony Rafferty, National Parent Forum of Scotland, said:

“As a parent of an S3 pupil and a member of the National Parent of Scotland, I welcome this comprehensive report. Now all parents will be able to find out what the actual scenario in Scotland is, rather than the perceived situation.”

 Katie Rafferty, Director of respectme, said:

“As Scotland’s national anti-bullying service, respectme welcomes this report and its finding that most staff encounter positive behaviour from pupils all or most of the time. We should however draw lessons from the views of teachers contained within the report about levels of respect and resilience, particularly among primary school pupils. 

“We must ensure that all children and young people experience the positive ethos and cultures within their learning settings that help them reach their full potential. Fundamental to this are relationships that are based on respect; between children and between children and adults.

Ellen Doherty, General Teaching Council Scotland said:

“The General Teaching Council Scotland is always welcoming of research which provides further insight and understanding of the key issues that our registrants face every day and importantly has the potential to impact and the classroom.”

 Larry Flanagan, Educational Institute of Scotland, said:

“Both the research and the report highlight the key role of the teacher-pupil relationship in creating an ethos where positive behaviour can be promoted and negative action, such as bullying, can be challenged.

“Supporting schools by ensuring that adequate resources are in place to allow a focus on relationships to flourish is vital. The EIS is keen to work with other agencies to this end and welcomes the report as a stimulus to action in this area.”

 

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Celebrating Book Week Scotland⤴

from @ Engage for Education

Deputy First Minister John Swinney visited Forthview Primary School in Edinburgh today to celebrate Book Week Scotland and the delivery of this year’s Read, Write, Count bags to Primary 2 and 3 pupils across Scotland.

The Read, Write, Count initiative gives practical support to parents and carers to help them get involved in their child’s learning. Read, Write Count bags are delivered to all children in Primaries 2 and 3 alongside Bookbug bags which are gifted to Primary 1 pupils and Read, Write, Count ‘home kits’ which have been delivered to P4-7 classes in selected schools for the first time this year.

As part of the visit to Forthview Primary School, Mr Swinney met Primary 2 pupils who were reading stories and doing counting activities from the Read, Write, Count bags with the help of Primary 7 buddies.

Mr Swinney said:  “Evidence shows that parental involvement has a significant positive effect on children’s achievement and I was pleased to hear how Read, Write, Count helps children and parents have fun while learning together.

“I want to see standards and attainment improving and literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing are the priorities for our children’s education. Parental involvement and engagement plays a prominent role in our national plan to tackle inequality and close the attainment gap between our least and most disadvantaged children.”

The Scottish Book Trust worked in partnership with Scottish Government, Education Scotland and Creative Scotland to devise and deliver this year’s bags. In total, 453,450 free books will be gifted to children in Primaries 1, 2 and 3 during Book Week Scotland.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “We are delighted to be gifting the ‘Read Write Count’ bags during Book Week Scotland as there is no better time to celebrate the joys of books and reading. Each bag contains books and activities especially chosen to encourage learning and storytelling in a fun way that engages the pupils’ interests, and supports their learning in the classroom. Book Week Scotland encourages reading for pleasure and the ‘Read Write Count’ bags build on this.”

www.readwritecount.scot

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Quality Improvement Awards 2017⤴

from @ Engage for Education

 National award ceremony celebrates quality improvement initiatives.

Nine individuals and organisations have been recognised for their work to improve services for babies, children, young people and families at the Quality Improvements Awards 2017.

The awards are designed to celebrate innovative quality improvement work that is strengthening support and services for families across Scotland, helping ensure every child has the best possible start in life and can reach their full potential as they grow up.

There were nine winners across ten categories including:

  • Achieving Results at Scale: South Lanarkshire Community Planning Partnership
  • Co-production with Families and Our Services: Midlothian Sure Start
  • Excellence for QI in Maternity, Neonatal and Paediatric: Royal Hospital for Children, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
  • Excellence for QI in Early Years: NHS Ayrshire and Arran: SPIN
  • Excellence for QI in Primary Years: Renfrewshire Council, Our Lady of Peace Primary School
  • Excellence for QI in Secondary Years: East Ayrshire Council
  • Inspiring Leadership: Carrie Lindsay, Executive Director Education and Children’s Services, Fife Council
  • Most Inspiring / Innovative Project: Renfrewshire Council, Glencoats Primary School
  • Quality Improvement Champion: Fiona Riddell, Stow Primary School, Scottish Borders
  • Top Team: Royal Hospital for Children, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

The awards were open to those delivering quality improvement work through the Maternity and Children’s Quality Improvement Collaborative (MCQIC), run by Healthcare Improvement Scotland and the Children and Young People Improvement Collaborative (CYPIC), run by the Scottish Government.

This year there were 140 entries across all ten categories, detailing how local people and teams have improved health, early years and family services and schools.

Maree Todd, Minister for Childcare and Early Years said:

“The Quality Improvement Awards provide an opportunity to showcase and share proven approaches that are making a positive and lasting difference to the lives of children, young people and families.

“Evidence shows that collaboration builds capacity and interventions built on collaboration have the biggest impact.  These Awards demonstrate clearly, the link between collaborative working, better practice and improved outcomes and it is clear there are great examples already taking place across Scotland.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the winners and thank everyone who submitted an entry.”

 

Dr Brian Robson, Medical Director, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said:

“The QI awards are a fantastic opportunity to showcase the enthusiasm and commitment demonstrated by professionals and organisations throughout the public sector.

“Their work is imperative in helping to improve the life chances for babies and young people across Scotland.  Congratulations to all the winners and nominees who have shown such dedication to making Scotland the best place to grow up.”

 

Winners were announced at the QI Awards ceremony on Tuesday 21 November at the Glasgow Science Centre.

Further information and videos of the shortlisted and winning projects are available here.

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Making a difference through Quality Improvement⤴

from @ Engage for Education

Today over 700 practitioners representing the early years, health, education, police, social work and third sector services will gather in Glasgow to discuss how to make Scotland the #BestPlacetoGrowUp.

They will be joined by the Deputy First Minister, Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities, the Minister for Childcare and Early Years and the Minister for Public Health and Sport.

 

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Regional Improvement Leads appointed⤴

from @ Engage for Education

Schools across Scotland will be able to draw on a range of expertise through six newly established Regional Improvement Collaboratives.

Each one will be led by a Regional Improvement Lead and will work with schools, using all available evidence, to provide targeted advice and support to drive improvement.

The leads have been appointed by agreement of Local Authority Chief Executives in each regional collaborative, and the Scottish Government advised by the Interim Chief Inspector of Education.

The leads will be responsible for ensuring a detailed Improvement Plan in consultation with their schools and headteachers is in place for each area by 2018. Scottish Government officials, along with Education Scotland, will meet shortly with each collaborative to support this detailed planning process.

Raising standards

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“This government’s overriding priority is to close the poverty-related attainment gap and raise standards for all.

“The new Regional Improvement Collaboratives will help achieve this by sharing evidence of what works and providing expert and practical support for teachers and schools. Having strong leadership is crucial to realising this aim, and I have written to each Regional Collaborative lead today congratulating them on their appointment to these crucial roles and inviting them to join the new Scottish Education Council.  I am confident the six leads – working with Education Scotland – will bring focus and pace to the Collaboratives.”

Improved support

 

Education Scotland has also assigned a regional lead officer to work with each improvement collaborative. They will work with regional improvement leads to identify staff from local authorities and Education Scotland to deliver the improved support for schools.

Graeme Logan, Interim Chief Inspector of Education said:

“The newly established Regional Improvement Collaboratives provide an opportunity to strengthen further and increase pace with the national endeavour to achieve excellence and equity for all children.

“Education Scotland looks forward to working together with the Regional Improvement Leads to improve the quality and consistency of support for schools and partners.”

The Regional Improvement Collaboratives and Leads are:

 

Regional Improvement Collaborative

 

 

Regional Improvement Lead

 

Forth Valley & West Lothian Collaborative

Clackmannanshire Council

Falkirk Council

Stirling Council

West Lothian Council

Robert Naylor, Director of Education, Falkirk Council
The Northern Alliance

Aberdeen City Council

Aberdeenshire Council

Argyll & Bute Council

Comhairle nan Eilean Sar

Highland Council

Moray Council

Orkney Islands Council

Shetland Islands Council

Gayle Gorman, Director of Children’s Services, Aberdeen City Council
South East Collaborative

Edinburgh City Council

East Lothian Council

Fife Council

Midlothian Council

Scottish Borders Council

Carrie Lindsey, Executive Director, Fife Council
South West Collaborative

East Ayrshire Council

North Ayrshire Council

South Ayrshire Council

Dumfries & Galloway Council

Douglas Hutchison, Director of Education, South Ayrshire Council
The Tayside Collaborative

Angus Council

Dundee City Council

Perth & Kinross Council

Sheena Devlin, Director of Children’s Services, Perth & Kinross Council
The West Partnership

East Dunbartonshire Council

East Renfrewshire Council

Glasgow City Council

Inverclyde Council

North Lanarkshire Council

Renfrewshire Council

South Lanarkshire Council

West Dunbartonshire Council

Mhairi Shaw, Director of Education, East Renfrewshire Council

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Record student support⤴

from @ Engage for Education

More Higher Education students than ever before are receiving financial assistance from the Scottish Government.

New statistics show 143,110 students received support in 2016-17, up from 141,000 the previous year.

The figures show that almost 3,000 additional students qualified for a non-repayable bursary or saw their funding increase as a result of the income threshold being raised from £17,000 to £19,000 last year. There was also an increase in the number of students receiving support through the Nursing and Midwifery Bursary scheme, from 8,790 to 8,915.

Infographic showing new statistics from Student Awards Agency Scotland showing record investment

 

 

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Gender balance in STEM⤴

from @ Engage for Education

Today the Minister for Further and Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville, led a roundtable discussion with Scotland’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sheila Rowan, about gender inequality in STEM fields.

They were joined at the Scottish Parliament by representatives from across the sector to discuss actions to tackle the issue as part of the ongoing STEM consultation but also to share some of the great examples already in place throughout the country.

Deputy Head Teacher of Woodmill High School, Zoe Thomson, explained how the school is working with Gender Balance Scotland to encourage not just students, but parents and teachers too in tackling stereotyping in subject choice and career pathways.

Deputy Headteacher of Woodmill High School Zoe Thomson

Deputy Headteacher of Woodmill High School Zoe Thomson

 

 

The first step we took to a cultural shift was to put gender balance onto the remit of a Deputy Head Teacher, this allows gender balance to form part of the whole school improvement planning process. This is important as it enables us to have an overview of the strategic planning in order to involve partners, track progress and interrogate data.

“At Woodmill we have been lucky enough to be part of Shell’s Girls in Energy project. Last session 7 girls from S4-S6 attended Fife College one afternoon a week to look at the work undertaken in the energy industries. The girls took part in industrial visits and met with other students and apprentices, they also earned a National 5 skills for work unit for taking part. The partnership with Shell and Fife College has been crucial in the success of this project providing the students with a taste of “college life” and the opportunity to meet female engineers.

“One of our students from an earlier session has successfully secured an apprenticeship at Leonardo (formerly SELEX). Olivia was supported by members of Equate Scotland during her application and interview process which really helped her confidence and provided additional support we couldn’t offer within school. Another of our former students who took part in an earlier session has gone on to study Civil Engineering at Heriot Watt. Now both girls are  role models for our next cohort leading to 14 girls signing up for the 2016/17 session.

“Feedback from the girls has also been incredibly positive:

“This has shown me engineering is not about getting your hands dirty but more about creative problem solving.” – Sarah M S5                            

                                                         Caitlyn S4 – “I am not sure what I want to do but this has given me more options.”

 

 

“I have had more confidence to offer answers without the intimidation of boys.” – Millie S4

woodmill-high“As a school we work hard to create links with partners and Skills Development Scotland has helped us arrange talks from female apprentices. We have found this is more powerful when the speaker is close in age to the audience and also targeting a smaller group of girls rather than an entire year group.

“Girls rarely make their subject choice in isolation so our next challenge is to work on the unconscious bias and misinformation in parents and teachers. Pupils really only know about a small range of careers and we are working with our partners in Early years to begin to broaden these horizons from age three to ensure girls have equal access to STEM opportunities and the benefits they can bring.”

 

 

 

Widening access – Paula’s story⤴

from @ Engage for Education

At the event to unveil the Fair Access Commissioner at Glasgow University, the new Commissioner and Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville met some of the students who have been able to study at the university thanks to its widening access programme.

Here, one of the students – Paula – shares her story.

Paula Christie

I’m Paula Christie and I’m 40 years old.

I decided to return to education in my 30s after taking time out from a career in financial services following the birth of my two sons. I attended Clydebank College (now West College Scotland) where I completed a SWAP Access course, and from there I moved on to undergraduate study at Glasgow University.

I was awarded a First Class Joint Honours degree in Politics and Central and East European Studies. I was delighted to win a highly competitive 5 year scholarship from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and begin an integrated postgraduate language, Masters and PhD programme.

To date I have been awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Russian Language and a Master of Research (Social Sciences) post graduate degree. I’m currently in year one of a three year PhD course in Central and East European Studies, with my research focusing on democratic consolidation and grass roots initiatives in post- Soviet Latvia.

Without exaggeration, the Glasgow University widening access programme allowed me to change my life and the life of my family completely. Working part time after having my children placed a huge financial strain on us and my career choices were becoming increasingly limited. Although, at times, it was tough to deal with the continued pressure of studying, I received much needed financial support from the University’s Hardship and Discretionary Fund which allowed me to complete my undergraduate study. I was also awarded a bursary from the Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust as a result of academic excellence.

I now have qualifications that I never thought possible before returning to college. I have been able to re-train in a completely different field, and I hope to make a positive impact in European and Democracy Studies with the research I’m conducting. I’ve travelled with my studies to places I’d never heard of and have had the opportunity to meet so many interesting people.

I am now absolutely delighted to be tutoring on the widening access programme myself, as I feel really passionately about giving others the chance to change their lives through education. The programme has given me not only qualifications, but a renewed confidence in myself and my abilities. It’s been an amazing experience and one I’m keen to encourage others to share.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry⤴

from @ Engage for Education

Following the announcement that Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa have been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science, Shirley-Anne Somerville has offered her congratulations. The team won the prize in recognition for their pioneering work in nanotechnology, in particular the design and production of molecular machines. Sir Fraser Stoddart was born and raised in Edinburgh and attended the University of Edinburgh where an annual Stoddart Prize is awarded each year to recognise young researchers.

Ms Somerville said:

“I’m delighted for all the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Their work in connection with the development of molecular machines is truly ground-breaking and could have significant applications to healthcare in the future. Sir Fraser Stoddart retains strong links with the University of Edinburgh and I am sure that his success will energise and encourage students there and across Scotland.”

World Teachers’ Day⤴

from @ Engage for Education

It’s World Teachers’ Day and Education Secretary John Swinney marked the occasion with a visit to Dalgety Bay Primary School, where he met teachers and pupils and opened the school’s new Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) laboratory.

While there he said: “I would like to take the opportunity this World Teachers’ Day to thank our highly skilled and extremely motivated teaching staff throughout Scotland.

“Since taking up post as Education Secretary I have visited schools across the country, meeting with a wide range of teaching professionals and the young people who so clearly value the work they do. These visits have only served to reinforce my view that our teaching workforce provides the bedrock of an education system our country can be proud of.

“I strongly believe that if Scotland is to continue to flourish we Dalgetyneed dedicated, passionate, teachers inspiring our young people for generations to come and I hope the rest of the country, young and old, will join me today in showing appreciation for all our teachers, past and present, for the life changing work they do.”