Tag Archives: schools

One year on – what’s happened since the first annual Cabinet meeting with children & young people?⤴

from @ Engage for Education

I am delighted to publish our progress report on the actions agreed at our first annual Cabinet meeting with children and young people, which took place on 28 February 2017 at Bute House.

Representatives from the Children’s Parliament and Scottish Youth Parliament attended this meeting and raised issues that were important to them.

A short film, co-produced by the children, highlighted school and teachers, feeling safe in the community, bullying, and what children need as areas to be discussed.

On the young people’s agenda were “Lead the Way” (Scottish Youth Parliament  manifesto), children and young people’s rights, “Speak Your Mind” campaign (on mental health), and the future of Scotland’s relationship with Europe.

At the end of the meeting, Cabinet members and children and young people collectively agreed actions for the year ahead. These actions have been taken forward by relevant Scottish Government policy teams over the past year. The report sets out our progress on these actions. We have also developed a children and young people’s summary.

The purpose of the annual meeting of Cabinet members and children and young people is to support the development of a more coordinated, systematic and sustainable approach to engaging with children and young people, enabling them to lead discussions by raising issues that matter to them and to inform the government’s agenda over the coming year.

Agreed actions from the previous event will be reviewed at the meeting of Cabinet Ministers with children and young people the following year.  This demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that children and young people are at the heart of decisions that affect them,  as set out in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

We are committed to meaningfully and credibly engaging with children and young people at a national level and ensuring they are at the heart of decisions which affect them, with the aim of improving policy development and implementation.

Access the reports here:

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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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First meeting of new Scottish Education Council⤴

from @ Engage for Education

Today I chaired the first ever Scottish Education Council, a new body established to the oversee the work we are doing to improve education in Scotland.

It brings together young people, education leaders and representatives from local authorities and the teaching profession, with a common national purpose of improving education in Scotland. I hope that it will be a forum for frank and open discussion about what is working in education and where improvement is required. I am in no doubt that members of the council will be able to provide us all with their expert advice and guidance and honest opinions and views, which will enable the council to oversee progress on the implementation and direction of improvement priorities.

Strong leadership and working together are vital to driving improvement and ensuring that all children and young people are able to reach their potential. As we work towards an education system that is led by teachers and schools, it is essential that we have the right national oversight and support in place. I am keen that this council works closely with local government and key stakeholders, including the new Regional Improvement Collaboratives, reflecting the significant role local partners play in the delivery of system-wide improvement.

Improving education is not one person’s responsibility, it is in all of our interests to get this right. I am confident that these new arrangements will ensure a shared responsibility and improve transparency of decision-making while driving our relentless focus on improvement. Rather than just talking about raising standards in education, the new council will deliver them.

Deputy First Minister with the young people representatives ahead of the first meeting of the new council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Membership of the new Scottish Education Council:

  • Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills (Chair)
  • Stephen McCabe, COSLA Children and Young People spokesperson
  • Five young people representatives on the council, with two attending each meeting. They will be supported by Young Scot and their names are: Josh Traynor, Cahal Menzies, Rowan Watkins, Olivia Stobart and Amelia Szypczynska
  • Janet Brown, Scottish Qualifications Authority Chief Executive
  • Larry Flanagan, General Secretary, The Educational Institute of Scotland
  • Graeme Logan, interim HM Chief Inspector of Education and Chief Education Adviser
  • Ken Muir, Chief Executive, General Teaching Council for Scotland
  • Joanna Murphy, Chair, National Parent Forum of Scotland
  • Morag Redford, Chair of the Scottish Council of Deans of Education
  • Fiona Robertson, Scottish Government, Director for Learning
  • Maureen McKenna, President of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES)
  • Jim Thewliss, General Secretary, School Leaders Scotland
  • Bernadette Malone, Chief Executive, Perth and Kinross Council
  • Sheena Devlin, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, Tayside Collaborative
  • Gayle Gorman, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, The Northern Alliance
  • Douglas Hutchison, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, South West Collaborative
  • Carrie Lindsay, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, South East Alliance
  • Robert Naylor, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, Forth Valley and West Lothian Collaborative
  • Mhairi Shaw, Regional Improvement Collaborative Lead, The West Partnership

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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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Respect for All anti-bullying guidance launches⤴

from @ Engage for Education

Anti-Bullying Week provides us with the opportunity to send a clear and positive message that bullying of any kind, whether it takes place face to face or online, is totally unacceptable and when it happens, we all have a responsibility to address it.

Today we are launching our refreshed anti-bullying guidance for everyone who works with children and young people – Respect for All: the National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People. It’s every child’s right not to be bullied so we need to intervene early, and deal with bullying quickly, and effectively.

The main purpose of the refreshed guidance is to support all adults working with children and young people to develop environments where bullying cannot thrive. Environments that promote respect, celebrate difference and promote positive relationships and behaviour are less likely to see bullying as acceptable behaviour.

I want all children and young people to be included fully in their learning and to learn tolerance, promote respect and celebrate difference. Bullying of any kind must be challenged whenever and wherever it occurs. It should never be seen as a typical part of growing up.

‘Respect for All’ builds on the positive work which has already taken place in Scotland to address bullying and provides a framework for all adults working with children and young people.

It reflects Getting it Right for Every Child and recognises that bullying impacts on wellbeing and attainment. In order to thrive and achieve their full potential, children and young people need schools to be safe, nurturing, respectful and free from fear, abuse and discrimination.

In the seven years since our first National Approach to Anti-Bullying was published, Scotland has seen huge legislative and policy change, such as the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, Education (Scotland) Act 2016, and the UK Government Equality Act 2010, that have put greater focus on the health and wellbeing of children and young people.

We now understand more about how an individual’s confidence, resilience, participation and attainment can be affected by bullying. In particular, ‘Respect for All’ is clear about the impact of prejudice-based bullying – including homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying – and includes guidance to help schools, youth and sports organisations respond appropriately.

Support and training

Additional supporting guidance for schools and local authorities on recording and monitoring bullying incidents will be developed and issued in the coming months. This will streamline the process and ensure uniformity in recording and monitoring by schools and local authorities.

To support the roll out of this guidance, joint training events will be held across Scotland in the New Year led by the Scottish Government, Education Scotland and respectme,our national anti-bullying service in the delivery of anti-bullying work across Scotland.

We will continue to listen to the views of our teachers, support workers, parents, carers, children and young people to ensure that the approach in ‘Respect for All’ is working and is making a difference to the lives of children and young people in Scotland.

Director of respectme Katie Rafferty said:

“We are delighted to support the launch and implementation of Respect for All and we look forward to working with partners across Scotland to help deliver a consistent and cohesive approach to anti-bullying.

“We welcomed the opportunity to work collaboratively with the Scottish Government and others to develop this national guidance – reflecting our learning from ten years of anti-bullying work and the experiences of children and young people and the adults who play a role in their lives.

“respectme will continue to offer free training, policy support and resources that are designed to enable adults to prevent and respond to bullying effectively, and help children and young people realise their right to live free from bullying and harassment.”

You can download Respect for All: The National Approach to Anti-Bullying for Scotland’s Children and Young People here: http://www.gov.scot/RespectforAll

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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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Enhancing Learning and Teaching Through The Use of Digital Technology⤴

from

[Previously posted at openscot.net]

Last week the Scottish Government launched their new digital learning and teaching strategy for Scottish schools: Enhancing Learning and Teaching Through The Use of Digital Technology. The strategy outlines:

“a comprehensive approach to deliver the increased effective use of digital technology in education and bring about the equity of opportunity that is the key focus for this government.”

Key themes to emerge form the strategy are closing the attainment gap, developing digital skills, embedding technology right across the curriculum, and using digital technology to improve the assessment process.

The strategy is structured around four strategic objectives that will replace the existing five ICT in education objectives.

  • Develop the skills and confidencescotgov_strategy of educators in the appropriate and effective use of digital technology to support learning and teaching.
  • Improve access to digital technology for all learners.
  • Ensure that digital technology is a central consideration in all areas of curriculum and assessment delivery.
  • Empower leaders of change to drive innovation and investment in digital technology for learning and teaching.

The strategy emphasises that all four objectives must be achieved in order to realise the overarching vision for Scottish Education:

  • Excellence through raising attainment: ensuring that every child achieves the highest standards in literacy and numeracy, set out within Curriculum for Excellence levels, and the right range of skills, qualifications and achievements to allow them to succeed; and
  • Achieving equity: ensuring that every child has the same opportunity to succeed, with a particular focus on closing the poverty-related attainment gap.

The strategy also outlines what Scot Gov and Education Scotland will do to deliver this vision and identifies action plans for each strategic objective as follows:

Objective 1: Develop the skills and confidence of educators in the appropriate and effective use of digital technology to support learning and teaching.

  • Ensure Professional Standards for Registration and for Career-Long Professional Learning reflect the importance of digital technology and skills.
  • Ensure that all Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers instil the benefits of using digital technology to enhance learning and teaching in their students, in line with GTCS Standards for Registration.
  • Ensure that a range of professional learning opportunities are available to educators at all stages to equip them with the skills and confidence to utilise technology appropriately and effectively, in line with the GTCS Standards for Career Long Professional Learning.
  • Ensure that a range of professional learning opportunities are available to educators at all stages to equip them with the skills and confidence to utilise technology appropriately and effectively, in line with the GTCS Standards for Career Long Professional Learning.

Objective 2: Improve access to digital technology for all learners.

  • Continued national investment into initiatives that support digital access in educational establishments.
  • Provide guidance at a national and local level around learner access to digital technology.
  • Promote approaches to digital infrastructure that put users’ needs at the heart of the design.
  • Encourage and facilitate the development of partnerships that will improve digital access and digital skills development opportunities for our learners.

Objective 3: Ensure that digital technology is a central consideration in all areas of curriculum and assessment delivery.

  • Ensure aspects of Curriculum for Excellence relating to the use of digital technology and development of digital skills are relevant, ambitious and forward looking.
  • Support, develop and embed approaches to assessment that make effective use of digital technology.
  • Support, develop and embed approaches to assessment that make effective use of digital technology.

Objective 4: Empower leaders of change to drive innovation and investment in digital technology for learning and teaching.

  • Ensure that the vision laid out in this strategy is adequately captured in Professional Standards, self-evaluation guidance and inspections of educational provision in Scotland.
  • Support leaders and decision makers to lead change in their local contexts through accessing and sharing relevant research in order to identify effective approaches to the use of digital technology in education.

Implications for Open Education

The Scottish Government has clearly placed raising attainment and achieving equity at the heart of its digital learning and teaching strategy. While it is encouraging that the strategy acknowledges the potential of digital technology to enrich education, enhance learning and teaching, equip learners with vital digital skills and lead to improved educational outcomes, it is disappointing that it does not acknowledge the significant role that open education can play in achieving these objectives. Although this may be regarded as something of a missed opportunity to place openness at the heart of the government’s vision for education in Scotland, it is to be hoped that the new strategy lays a firm foundation on which to build evidence of the role that open education can play in closing the attainment gap, developing digital skills, improving the assessment process, creating new opportunities for learners, supporting social inclusion and expanding equitable access to education for all.

Links

Enhancing Learning and Teaching Through the Use of Digital Technology documents: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/09/9494/downloads

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.”
 

 

 

DFM responds to EIS decision to suspend industrial action in schools⤴

from @ Engage for Education

This is welcome news from the EIS and I am delighted that they have confirmed suspending a programme of industrial action in relation to teacher workload.

Over the past few months, I have listened carefully to what teachers, parents, young people and others have had to say on workload, and have responded positively with a range of actions to help reduce workload pressures.

As part of this, I have now announced the removal of mandatory unit assessments from National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher courses. This will significantly reduce the workload for our teachers, giving them more time to focus on what is most important – teaching our young people – while maintaining the core principles of Curriculum for Excellence.

I have taken swift action in response to feedback from teachers and others, to de-clutter the curriculum guidance and review the workload demands placed on teachers by local authorities. The new measures around the qualifications, ratified by the CfE Management Board yesterday, will build on this work, reducing workload and over assessment for teachers and learners.

I am glad that the EIS have recognised these efforts and I hope that together we can move forward to ensure that teachers in Scotland have more time to teach, and contribute to closing the attainment gap.