Irvine, 11 October 2006 - At a Meeting of the Educational Services Standing Sub Committee of North Ayrshire Council at 2.00 pm.
Jacqueline Browne, Jean Highgate, Elaine Shaw and John Scott.
J Leckie, and J Ward, Heads of Service and M McLarty, Quality Improvement Manager and G Syme, Quality Improvement Officer (Educational Services); and P Shiach and E Fisher, Corporate and Democratic Support Officers (Chief Executive's).
Councillor Browne in the Chair.
Apologies for Absence
Drew Duncan, Peter McNamara, John Reid and Donald Reid.
1. Irvine Library Monitoring Report
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Educational Services) on the impact of the new Irvine Library which opened on 27 June 2006.
The library, which has been well received by the public, has a number of new features. These have proved successful and this is reflected in a number of indicators which report on an increase in borrowing activity and represent a significant impact when compared to the corresponding period in 2005:-
Adult book issues by 28%
Children's book issues by 63%
Computer issues by 26%
Detailed statistics for July to September 2006 were detailed at Appendix 1 and a selection of written customer comments detailed at Appendix 2 to the report.
The Sub Committee agreed to (a) note the significant impact of this facility; and (b) receive further progress reports on the impact of the library.
2. NEET Statistics for North Ayrshire
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Educational Services) on the numbers of young people aged 16-19 in North Ayrshire who fall into the NEET category (North in Education, Employment or Training).
At its meeting on 20 September 2006 the Educational Services Committee approved a report providing broad data on the NEET group and agreed to proposals for developing a NEET Strategy for North Ayrshire. The Scottish Executive provided statistics for each local authority and North Ayrshire's statistics were detailed at Appendix 1 to the report.
Action Plans are to be developed to address the needs of this group and establish targets and procedures for monitoring and reporting on progress. These require to be submitted to the Scottish Executive by the end of October 2006.
An audit has been undertaken of current programmes designed to support young people at risk of becoming NEET and those already NEET. This information will be used along with the North Ayrshire NEET Statistics to establish local targets for NEET avoidance and reduction.
The Sub Committee agreed to receive monitoring reports on the achievement of targets.
3. Primary PE Project: Progress Report
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Educational Services) on progress made by the Primary School PE Pilot Project in North Ayrshire.
The Physical Education Review Group Report set out a number of recommendations and key challenges around the future direction of physical education in Scottish Schools. These were detailed in the Appendix to the report.
The Scottish Executive in June 2005 offered funding to pilot possible solutions to key challenges identified by the Physical Education Review Group. North Ayrshire was one of 6 successful pilot projects funded across Scotland. The North Ayrshire Pilot focussed on 3 of the challenges facing local authorities, namely:-
development of the quality of Physical Education delivered in the primary school;
a systematic support for primary schools by physical education specialists; and
effective and strategic use of additional PE staff to support development.
To date progress achieved has been:-
establishing a clear role for the PR specialist in the primary school;
making full use of the expertise of the primary class teacher
developing support that is systematic and focussed on the needs of the individual;
developing a career pathway leading to "professional recognition" in primary PE; and
identifying and developing teachers for future programmes.
The pilot scheme is being extended for a further year with a view to impacting further on the quality of PE provision for younger pupils.
The Sub Committee agreed (a) to note the progress made during the first year of the pilot project; and (b) to receive a report on the project next year.
4. Active Schools: Progress Report
Submitted report by the Corporate Director (Educational Services) on the progress made by the Active Schools Programme during 2004/05 in increasing the levels of physical activity of young people in North Ayrshire schools.
The Active Schools Programme was launched in North Ayrshire in 2004. The aim of the programme, which is funded by the Scottish Executive through Sportscotland, is to develop opportunities for increasing the level of physical activity undertaken by young people outwith the school curriculum.
A core team of Active School Co-ordinators and sporting volunteers is working to deliver 10 targets set for the programme, details of which were contained in the progress document appended to the report. The short term success of the programme was highlighted in the appended Active Schools Progress Report and the intended longer term benefits are as follows:-
putting in place a systematic support for physical activity;
developing the local capacity for providing physical activity; and
helping provide lifeling opportunities to be physically active.
In view of the progress made across Scotland, the Scottish Executive has committed to continue funding until 2008.