IRVINE, 3 June 2008 - At a Meeting of the Education Executive of North Ayrshire Council at 1.00 p.m.
John Bell, Tom Barr, Margaret McDougall, Peter McNamara, David O'Neill and John Scott.
I. Snodgrass, Chief Executive; C. Kirk, Corporate Director; M. Docherty and J. Ward, Heads of Service; and G. Syme Quality Improvement Officer, PE, Sport and Physical Activity (Educational Services); G. Lawson, Corporate Support Manager and P. Shiach, Corporate Support Officer (Chief Executive's).
Councillor Bell in the Chair.
Apologies for Absence
Reverend David Karoon, Very Reverend Matthew Canon McManus and John Reid.
1. Self-Evaluation and Service Improvement Plan
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Educational Services) on the Educational Services Self-Evaluation and Service Improvement Plan for 2008-2011.
Under the terms of the Standards in Scotland's Schools Act 2000, local authorities have a statutory requirement to prepare and publish a statement of education improvement objectives and a progress report on their success in meeting the objectives set in their previous statement. The Council's Performance Management Framework also includes regular reports to Scrutiny Committee on the performance of the Service together with its plans for the coming year
Educational Service undertook a rigorous self-evaluation of educational functions during 2007/08 using Quality Management in Education 2 (QMIE2). This self-evaluation highlighted a number of key strengths and identified a number of areas requiring further action. Full details were contained within the report. Educational Services' draft Service Improvement Plan 2008-2011 and a draft Self-Evaluation of the Education functions of the authority were attached to the report as appendices 1 and 2 respectively.
The report indicated that the two major priorities for Educational Services 2008-2010 will be raising educational attainment and achievement for all young people and significantly reducing the impact of disadvantage, with levels of attainment in literacy and numeracy a major component of the Improvement Plan.
The Education Executive agreed to approve the draft documents attached at appendices 1 and 2 to the report.
2. Care Commission Reports
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Educational Services) on the outcome of Care Commission inspections of services providing Pre-five Care Education since August 2007.
The Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 required the setting up of the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care, known as the Care Commission. The Commission took up its duties from 1 April 2002.
The National Care Standards for Childcare are used as the benchmark in all inspections. They apply to the services operating in the public, private and voluntary sectors in domestic and non-domestic premises which provide services for over 2 hours a day for 6 days or more a year. Services covered include nursery centres and classes, creches, childminders, after-school clubs and playgroups. Inspections are carried out annually in nurseries providing a service for children aged 0 to 5 and bi-annually in those providing a service for children aged 3 to 5 years. Care Commission officers carry out Regulation and Support Assessments (RSA) to determine the level of support required by the centre. The Care Commission reports identify requirements and recommendation and set out enforceable action required of a service provider, and within a specified timescale, in order that the service complies with current legislation.
Within North Ayrshire, the local authority has responsibility for 40 pre-five centres and a further 27 centres in the private and voluntary sector which are contracted by the Council to provide pre-school education.
Twenty-four inspections have been carried out in North Ayrshire in the period since August 2007, 11 in local authority establishments and 13 in the partner providers. Of the local authority nurseries inspected, only 1 required to put further procedures in place. Of the partner providers inspected, 8 out of 13 had no requirements.
All of the requirements indicated by the Care Commission will be met within the allocated timescale and from within existing budgets.
3. Holistic Health Drop-Ins
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Educational Services) on a proposal to pilot holistic health drop-ins in two secondary schools in North Ayrshire.
North Ayrshire Council and NHS Ayrshire and Arran work in partnership to provide a school nurse for each cluster of schools. School nurses play a key role in the Health Promoting Schools agenda. In secondary schools this includes individual work with vulnerable pupils or groups, individual health advice, education programmes on healthy eating, risk reduction in relation to alcohol, tobacco and drugs and the delivery of sexual health education, including the TOTS Programme, aimed at postponing parenthood.
NHS Ayrshire and Arran have identified a need for school nurses to be able to give more specific advice and help relating to sexual health and related issues and are in discussion with the three Ayrshire local authorities regarding the establishment of holistic health drop-ins in secondary schools.
The School Nursing Service regularly involves young people in reviewing the Sex and Relationships Education programme and feedback from young people has indicated that they find the programme provides them with adequate and appropriate information about sexual health issues. However, they indicate that they would like to access one to one confidential services locally in order to discuss and get information on individual issues.
Representatives from NHS Ayrshire and Arran attended the Educational Services Leadership Team meeting on 23 April and provided an overview of the proposal to establish holistic health drop-ins in schools. At that meeting it was proposed that drop-ins be piloted within 2 secondary schools in North Ayrshire.
An appropriate area within each pilot school requires to be made available for the drop-in and it is important that the approach taken by staff is welcoming, inclusive, friendly and non-judgemental. NHS Ayrshire and Arran have agreed:-
to conduct consultations in schools with all the appropriate stakeholders, including young people and parents; and
to produce a detailed information pack regarding protocols and service provision. This will be made available to Educational Services to enable further discussions to take place with the 2 pilot schools
The Corporate Director (Educational Services) advised that full consultation will be undertaken with Parents Groups prior to the introduction of the pilot scheme.
The Education Executive agreed (a) to pilot holistic health drop-ins in 2 secondary schools in North Ayrshire; and (b) to receive a report on progress in due course.
4. Implementation of Immunisation Programme: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Educational Services) on the planned immunisation programme which is due to commence in schools in September 2008.
The Scottish Government has confirmed that starting in September 2008 it will implement a routine Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) immunisation programme for girls aged around 12-13 years (secondary year 2). A "catch-up" programme for HPV for girls under 18 years will also commence at the same time. In 2008/09, all girls aged 16 or 17 years whether in or out of school will be offered the vaccine. It is estimated that the national immunisation programme, which will be school-based, will involve 30,000 girls in each school year.
The main objective of the programme is to reduce the levels of cervical cancer and other forms of HPV-related diseases in Scotland. A national advertising campaign will take place during the summer months to raise public awareness.
NHS Boards have been tasked with delivering the complex and large-scale immunisation programme and NHS Ayrshire and Arran provided details of their plans to manage the programme to the Educational Services Leadership Team on 23 April.
Educational Services will continue to liaise with NHS Ayrshire and Arran prior to and during the implementation of the programme. Parents and young people will receive information directly from NHS Ayrshire and Arran.
In response to concerns raised, the Corporate Director (Educational Services) confirmed that parental consent would, where appropriate, be sought in relation to the vaccination programme.
5. Active Schools Programme in North Ayrshire
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Educational Services) on the progress made in implementing the Active Schools Programme, and to seek approval for the proposed changes in the staffing profile for 2008-2011.
The health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland provides the driver for the Active Schools Programme. The programme aims to develop the capacity of schools to provide opportunities for young people to be active and encourage and support their lifelong involvement in healthy physical activity and sport.
The Active Schools Programme, which was developed from two very successful national pilot programmes - School Sport Co-ordinator Pilot and Active Primary School Pilot - has been in place since 2004. In North Ayrshire the programme employs a number of staff, some full time and some part time, whose function it is to assist in developing the number and range of opportunities available for young people to be active. Each cluster of schools has a small team of staff to support this process. The programme is funded through a partnership between Sportscotland and North Ayrshire Council.
From 2004-2007, the programme focused on 10 target areas. These are reflected in the 8 key outcomes within the Active Schools Award Scheme attached to the report as Appendix 1. North Ayrshire currently has 1 school with a Commitment Award, 38 schools with a Credit Award and 18 schools with an Excellence Award. Nine schools still have to finalise their submission.
In 2007-2008, the programme reviewed its progress and direction. This resulted in 5 new programme targets being introduced to supersede and build on the previous work. These targets recognise the need to work with the community and take account of the fact that opportunities may be different in each local area. They also recognise the need to provide targeted support for some specific groups and the importance of family involvement in lifestyle changes. The revised targets are:
Create, build and develop Community Club links;
Recruit, support and develop volunteers;
Establish and support a competition framework;
Develop active families;
Impact on specific target groups:
- girls and women;
- young people with additional support needs; and
- young people from deprived socio-economic backgrounds.
Appendix 2 to the report contained a Progress Report and provided more detailed information with comparisons against the national picture. The examples of good practice and the community regeneration initiatives show some of the work behind those outcomes for schools and the development of infrastructure and capacity being undertaken to achieve the outcomes.
In 2008, the Government made a further funding commitment to Sportscotland to allow the Active Schools Programme to progress to a second phase covering 2008-2011. Alongside this new funding there is a requirement to rationalise the staffing profile, replacing part time co-ordinators, who in the main are PE teachers in the secondary school, with full time co-ordinators who will have responsibility for working across the whole cluster including primary, secondary and additional support needs schools where appropriate.
There were some concerns that the removal of all part-time co-ordinators would be detrimental to the programme and Sportscotland have agreed and allowed the retention of 5 part-time staff, each having one day per week involvement in the programme. The new staffing profile was attached to the report as Appendix 3.
Each year Sportscotland provides £318,000 for Active Schools in North Ayrshire. The local authority provides partnership funding of £170,000. All 32 local authorities receive funding based on this model. North Ayrshire Council has identified its share of this funding for 2008-2011.
The Education Executive (a) noted the progress of the Active Schools Programme to date; (b) agreed to (i) approve the revised staffing profile for 2008-2011; and (ii) receive an annual report on the Programme.
6. Largs Academy: HMIe Report
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Educational Services) on the HMIe Report on Largs Academy.
Largs Academy was inspected by Her Majesty's Inspectors of Education (HMIe) in January and February 2008 as part of a national sample of secondary education. HM Inspectors evaluated pupils' achievements, the effectiveness of the school and the environment for learning. There was a particular focus on the work of the English, mathematics, biology and S1/2 science and geography departments.
The Report by HM Inspectors was published on 13 May 2008, and highlighted the strengths within the school as well as the areas requiring attention. In consultation with the designated Quality Improvement Officer and staff, the Head Teacher will incorporate the recommendations of the HMIe report into the School Development Plan, as detailed in the report. In terms of follow-through arrangements, as a result of the high performance, strong record of improvement and effective leadership of the school, HMIe will make no further reports. Educational Services will report progress to parents within 2 years of the HMIe report.
The Education Executive agreed (a) to approve the proposals made to address the key points for action contained in the Inspection Report, (b) note the arrangements for follow-through, and (c) to send their congratulations on the outcome of the inspection to the Head Teacher of Largs Academy.
7. Irvine: Broomlands Primary School and Nursery Class: HMIe Report
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Educational Services) on the HMIe Report on Broomlands Primary School and Nursery Class.
Broomlands Primary School and Nursery Class were inspected by Her Majesty's Inspectors of Education (HMIe) in January 2008 as part of a national sample of primary and nursery education. HM Inspectors evaluated learning, teaching, nursery children's and pupils' achievement and how well pupils are supported.
The Report by HM Inspectors was published on 22 April 2008, and highlighted the strengths within the school as well as the areas requiring attention. In consultation with the designated Quality Improvement Officer and staff, the Head Teacher will incorporate the recommendations of the HMIe report into the School Development Plan, as detailed in the report. In terms of the revised follow-through arrangements, HMIe have indicated that as a result of the high performance, strong record of improvement and effective leadership of the school, HM Inspectors will make no further reports in connection with this inspection.
The Head Teacher of Broomlands Primary was in attendance at the meeting and the Chair congratulated her on the positive outcome of the inspection.
The Education Executive agreed to approve the proposals made to address the key points for action contained in the Inspection Report, and noted the arrangements for follow-through.