Children's Services are provided by the Education and Youth Employment Directorate and the Health and Social Care Partnership.
Education and Youth Employment
North Ayrshire Council is the 5th most deprived local authority area in Scotland. Although there is a link between deprivation and educational performance, the Education and Youth Employment Directorate is determined that deprivation should not be seen as a barrier to our young people achieving a positive post school destination.
The Education and Youth Employment Directorate supports and enables children, and young people, in North Ayrshire to:
- develop their capacities as successful learners
- promote equality of educational opportunity and inclusion
- reduce inequalities and improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young people
- support our young people to enter positive and sustained post school destinations.
Health and Social Care Partnership
Children, Families and Justice Services are part of North Ayrshire’s Health and Social Care Partnership. The Service has responsibility for providing support to local families and young people who have reached, or at a risk of, crisis. The key areas of support delivered by the service are: Child Care and Protection and Prevention and Early Intervention.
Support is delivered across the services, Fieldwork, Intervention Services, Looked After Children and Universal Early Years. Children, Families and Justice Services provide:
- focused supports for those suffering disadvantage
- targeted support and protection for those at greatest risk.
We place children and families at the centre of everything we do.
There are 27 Childrens' indicators in the Local Government Benchmarking Framework:
|Indicator Ref and Name||2013/14 Value||2014/15 Value||2015/16 Value||2016/17 Value||Scotland Value 2016/17|
|CHN1 Cost Per Primary School Pupil
|CHN2 Cost per Secondary School Pupil
|CHN3 Cost per Pre-School Education Registration
|CHN4 % achieving 5 or more awards at SCQF Level 5
|CHN5 % achieving 5 or more awards at SCQF Level 6
|CHN6 % of pupils living in the 20% most deprived areas gaining 5+ awards at level 5
|CHN7 % of pupils living in the 20% most deprived areas gaining 5+ awards at level 6
|CHN8a The Gross Cost of "Children Looked After" in Residential Based Services per Child per week
|CHN8b The Gross Cost of "Children Looked After" in a Community Setting per Child per Week
|CHN9 Balance of Care for looked after children: % of children being looked after in the community
|CHN10 % of Adults Satisfied with Local Schools
|CHN11 Proportion of Pupils Entering Positive Destinations
|CHN 12a Overall Average Total Tariff
|CHN 12b Average Total Tariff SIMD Quintile 1
|CHN 12c Average Total Tariff SIMD Quintile 2
|CHN 12d Average Total Tariff SIMD Quintile 3
|CHN 12e Average Total Tariff SIMD Quintile 4
|CHN 12f Average Total Tariff SIMD Quintile 5
|CHN 17 Percentage of children meeting developmental milestones
|CHN 18 Percentage of funded early years provision which is graded good/ better
|CHN 19a School attendance rates (per 100 pupils)
|CHN 19b School attendance rates (per 100 ‘looked after children’)
|CHN 20a School exclusion rates (per 1000 pupils)
|CHN 20b School exclusion rates (per 1000 ‘looked after children’)
|CHN 21 Participation rate for 16-19 year olds (per 100)
|CHN 22 Percentage of child protection re-registrations within 18 months
|CHN 23 Percentage LAC with more than 1 placement in the last year (Aug-Jul)
Of the indicators shown above, 13 have improved performance in 2016/17 from the previous year. Nine indicators have declined. There are five indicators where there is no comparison between 2015/16 and 2016/17.
Compare our performance against other councils on the My Local Council website. For comparative performance data at school level you can check Parentzone – on the Scottish Government website.
Steps to improvement
We have continued to invest in services for vulnerable children and families to ensure that parents/carers are receiving a high level of targeted and appropriate support. We brought together our Universal Early Years team to include, social worker, health visiting, speech and language therapy, Money Matters, mental health nursing, support workers and family.
The Directorate of Education and Youth Employment is now in its fourth year of ‘Scottish Attainment Challenge’ funding as a ‘Challenge Authority’. This is part of the £750m ‘Attainment Scotland Fund’, which is a targeted Scottish Government initiative focused on improving outcomes of children and young people in local authorities with the highest concentrations of deprivation and poverty. The 'Attainment Scotland Fund' is centred on reducing the poverty related attainment gap by improving literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing outcomes of children and young people. The Directorate of Education & Youth Employment has 6 key areas of focus as part of Scottish Attainment Challenge activity which are:
- Establishing the Professional Learning Academy (focusing on improving teaching and learning in literacy & numeracy)
- Enhancing school leadership capacity in areas of highest deprivation
- Creating nurturing schools
- Developing and maintaining good mental health and emotional wellbeing
- Supporting enhanced family learning
- Enhancing assessment and better use of data to target improvements
North Ayrshire schools have embedded in their practice various benchmarking, standardised assessment and tracking and monitoring tools to ensure performance management from pupil level, to school level to authority level. We are using the Scottish-Government provided Insight benchmarking tool to monitor school performance in the Senior Phase of secondary school, and authority-standardised tracking and performance evaluation packs for primary schools and S1-S3 pupils during their Broad General Education Phase. Schools are also developing their own performance management tracking tools using information from our School Management Information System (SEEMIS) and commercial standardised assessment packages to support teacher judgement.
We have implemented our Quality Improvement Framework. This sets out our approach to self-assessment and evaluation in order to support establishments on their journey to excellence.
Our schools and our Extended Outreach Service are continuing to focus on supporting leavers as a key priority. Curricular developments, designed to improve employability skills in pupils and work with external partners to promote a range of options are being enhanced.
We have developed Career Long Professional Development opportunities to support professional growth, which combines a balance of academic and research based learning alongside practical experience. Examples of this include access to Masters level qualification, Scottish Qualification for Headship as well as newly qualified practitioners leading Teachers Learning Communities.
The Health and Social Care Partnership place a high priority on Prevention and Early Intervention. By identifying and supporting potentially vulnerable young people and families at risk of crisis at the earliest opportunity, we aim to prevent the long term involvement and reliance on statutory support services. Examples of this work in practice include:
- Children and Families Early Years Workers
- Stop Now And Plan (SNAP) Team
- Multi Agency Domestic Abuse Response Team (MADART)
- Multi Agency Assessment Screening Hub (MAASH)
These services aim to support families and young people before they require statutory involvement.
The 'Positive Pathways' contact centre has been developed to facilitate contact between 'looked after' and accommodated children and their parents. This allows for greater:
- observation of contact between parent and child
- evidence to support the rehabilitation or permanency planning process.
Getting it right for you, the North Ayrshire Children’s Services Plan 2016–20 has been published to support local children and young people.
In response to the plan we are in the process of developing ‘Teams Around Children’ which will see professionals working together to ensure our young people and their families receive the right support at the right time by the right person.
How to get involved
Parents, pupils and other agencies are encouraged to contribute to regular planning and reviews. Over the last 12 months we have consulted with local communities in relation to the provision of free nursery education for 3 and 4 year olds and on two proposals for the modernisation of the school estate in both Ardrossan and Largs.
The Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) held open consultation on our Strategic Plan. Respondents replied from all areas of our communities. We have developed specific facilities that help service users, carers and stakeholders engage with North Ayrshire HSCP.
Care and Support in North Ayrshire (Carena) was launched as an independent model to help people find the best health and social care services to meet their needs.
Provider Forums build relationships and facilitate development with the independent and third sectors. Communication is delivered in various formats. Evidence suggests this has resulted in improved relationships between the local authority, providers and third sector.
Local people can apply to be Foster Carers to our looked after children. Full support is given to those wishing to foster. More information can be found on the Fostering and Adoption North Ayrshire Facebook page.
We have encouraged community engagement as part of the redesign of our services. Our 6 Locality Planning Forum are now functioning across North Ayrshire.