Our statement of commitment describes the nature of the education service in East Ayrshire within which the local improvement objectives will be delivered.
We are committed to:
"Developing excellence in education and improving opportunities for all through Quality, Equality, Access and Partnership"
- Creating a climate of achievement
- Identifying good practice
- Disseminating good practice
- Establishing means to monitor and evaluate the work of the Department
- Equality of opportunity for all, irrespective of gender, race or disability
- Valuing diversity in individuals and communities
- Ensuring a fair distribution of resources
- Counteracting discrimination and victimisation
- Open for all
- Assisting those in greatest need to benefit from the service
- Determining views locally
- Promoting lifelong learning
- Forming strong and constructive partnerships
- Working with parents, school boards and community groups
- Working with local businesses, industry, higher education and Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire
Through this commitment, we will provide life-long opportunities for all of the residents of East Ayrshire.
The hallmark of the service will be the priority given to core skills, particularly, increasing confidence and raising levels of attainment in literacy and numeracy for learners of all ages. This will be achieved through quality provision in Early Years establishments, all schools and Community Learning and Development.
Access to quality services is an entitlement for all learners irrespective of where they live in East Ayrshire, or their gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, learning difficulty or disadvantage.
All aspects of the service will be subject to rigorous monitoring, evaluation and continuous improvement. This monitoring will extend to all services and aspects of resourcing that support the educational process.
Through strong partnerships, particularly with social services in a merged department, learning opportunities will be enhanced. Whenever possible new ways of improving learning will be identified. Unique opportunities exist to draw together a broad range of resources in support of those involved in the department, whether they be students, parents or service providers.
As an education authority we have always been in the forefront in terms of developing the provision for our children and young people. These achievements can be found in our published Standards and Quality Reports. Because of this tradition we see this document as being much more than the fulfilment of a legal requirement.
Our local improvement objectives are integrated into an overall approach to quality management. This is why they have been combined in this document with our statement of commitment and our vision for schools. Taken together these three statements provide a clear idea of the direction in which the service is to develop and the expectations that accompany the development.
Through the service and improvement planning mechanisms this direction can be turned into a programme that meets local and establishment needs. The needs of our young people are at the centre of our planning. We are always striving to improve the support for young people. This is our key priority.
An important part of the process of producing these objectives has been the involvement of both users and providers of the service. This level of involvement will continue in the various planning processes that follow. We are also committed to reporting to parents, service users and staff on the progress that has been made as a result of this substantial investment in an ambitious programme for improvement.
This statement will, therefore, be of considerable significance to all those with an interest in education in East Ayrshire. We hope that you find it helpful as a guide to how we will plan for improvement.
Graham Short, Executive Director of Educational and Social Services
Councillor Iain Linton and Councillor Jim Roberts, Spokespersons for Lifelong Learning
How this statement will contribute to the improvement of educational services
There is a long tradition of planning for improvement at the level of schools and services. East Ayrshire was also one of the first Authorities to publish a Standards and Quality Report.
The production of an annual statement of improvement objectives is, however, a requirement of the Standards in Scotland’s School etc Act 2000. This sets out a system for educational improvement at national level.
In this statement you will see that five National Priorities have been set by the Scottish Ministers. East Ayrshire is required to identify Local Improvement Objectives for each of these national priorities.
Measures have also been identified for each priority. This is to allow an assessment to be carried out on the level of success that has been achieved in relation to each priority. These measures have themselves been largely determined at national level, as a result of wide consultation.
At Authority level, a Service Plan has been developed using these objectives to provide a focus for improvement initiatives.
This Service Plan provides detail on matters such as timescales; the groups of staff, establishments or services that will be involved; and the resources and funds that are forecast as being necessary to deliver the improvements. The standards and targets that are used in conjunction with each measure were developed in full consultation with schools. Further detail on these standards and targets are in the Service Plan.
Schools and educational services will use these objectives to help identify their own priorities for improvement. These are published through establishment improvement plans. Parents are entitled to have access both to establishment improvement plans and a summary of these important documents.
At the end of the year the Authority publishes a report summarising the achievements in relation to these objectives. This report, in turn, influences the production of a new, or revised, list of objectives for the next planning cycle.
How this statement was produced
This annual statement of improvement objectives has been produced as a result of a major series of consultation exercises within East Ayrshire. The groups that have been involved include:
Head teachers of all primary, secondary and special schools
Heads of all Early Years establishments
Groups of teachers
Staff other than teachers who are employed in schools
Groups of parents
Staff from educational and other Council services
Other stakeholders with an interest in education