Angus Council releases report card

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ANGUS Council’s Education Department has unveiled its first annual report card.

In preparing the Standards and Quality Report for 2011, the department has drawn on a variety of sources.

These have included performance information, particularly where it is possible to benchmark that performance against national performance or the performance of comparable education authorities.

Other sources have included surveys with teachers, parents and pupils; efficiency reviews and an audit of pupil progress.

Among the main achievements and key strengths highlighted in the report are improvements in pupil attainment, the continuing increases in positive destinations for Angus school leavers, a significant reduction in school exclusions, and the delivery of high quality adult learning programmes.

Among the key areas where the service will seek to make further improvements are the need to address underperformance in relation to specific attainment indicators, the development of greater consistency in the use of standardised tests in primary and secondary schools, and to engage staff more actively in decision-making processes.

The report was unveiled at a meeting of the council’s Education Committee on Thursday 19 January. Education convener Peter Nield said:

“I am delighted to note that this first annual report provides encouraging information about the education service in Angus.

“The service’s overall excellent progress in implementing the new school curriculum clearly reflects the very creative and diligent work being carried out by staff across the service to improve outcomes for learners. Much of this work has received national recognition.

“I am absolutely confident that all staff recognise the importance of continually reviewing and evaluating the quality of what we do in order to deliver the best possible outcomes for Angus communities and citizens.

“That commitment to regular and focused review is all the more important at a time of unprecedented financial challenge.”

The findings of the Standards and Quality report will form the starting point for a self-evaluation of the Angus education functions this year which is being undertaken at present jointly by Education Scotland and Angus Council.

“This self-evaluation exercise follows an overhaul of Scotland’s system for the external inspection of public services.

To reduce the costs and the burdens associated with these inspections, the responsibility for identifying improvements now lies with the organisations that provide them, working in partnership with national agencies

These changes will create a much more streamlined approach to the inspection of schools and an end of the external inspections of education services.

“We are proud of our achievements in education in Angus, and can assure residents that we will work closely with Education Scotland colleagues to undertake a rigorous self-evaluation process, to build on these achievements and ensure that the highest quality of education continues to be delivered in the county,” added Councillor Nield.