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Gla s g o w City Co u n c il
F o l l o w - u p In s p e c t i o n R e p o r t
2 3 S e p t e mb e r 2 0 0 4
Contents
________________________________________
Page
Introduction
1.
The aims, nature and scope of the inspection
2.
Changes in the operational context of
Education Services
3.
Continuous improvement
4.
Progress towards the main points for action
5.
Conclusion
i
Introduction
The education functions of each local authority in
Scotland will be inspected between 2000 and
2005. Section 9 of the Standards in Scotland’s
Schools Etc. Act 2000 charges HM Inspectorate of
Education, on behalf of the Scottish Ministers, to
provide an external evaluation of the effectiveness
of the local authority in its quality assurance of
educational provision within the Council and of its
support to schools in improving quality.
Inspections are conducted within a published
framework of quality indicators (Quality
Management in Education) which embody the
Government’s policy on Best Value.
Each inspection is planned and implemented in
partnership with Audit Scotland on behalf of the
Accounts Commission for Scotland. Audit
Scotland is a statutory body set up in April 2000,
under the Public Finance and Accountability
(Scotland) Act 2000. It provides services to the
Accounts Commission and the Auditor General
for Scotland. Together they ensure that the
Scottish Executive and public sector bodies in
Scotland are held to account for the proper,
efficient and effective use of public funds.
A member of Audit Scotland is on each inspection
team which also includes an Associate Assessor
who is a senior member of staff currently serving
in another Scottish local authority.
All inspections of the education functions of
educational authorities are followed up by
inspection teams, normally around two years from
the date of the original published inspection report.
i
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Glasgow City Council
Follow-up Inspection Report
1. The aims, nature and scope of the inspection
The education functions of Glasgow City Council were
inspected during the period December 2001 to February
2002 as part of a national inspection programme of all
education authorities in Scotland over a five-year period.
The local authority prepared and made public an Action
Plan in August 2002, indicating how it would address the
main points for action identified in the original HMIE
inspection report published in May 2002.
An inspection team revisited the authority in May 2004 to
assess progress made in meeting the recommendations in
the initial report.
2. Changes in the operational context of Education
Services
Since the initial inspection of the education functions of
Glasgow City Council in December 2001 to February
2002, there had been a number of changes within the
Council and significant changes in the leadership and
management structure of the Education Service.
Following the local government election in May 2003,
the Labour Party continued to lead the administration
which had a new Convenor of the Education Services
Committee. This Committee had reviewed and
strengthened its role in decision-making and scrutinising
the work of the Education Services Department with a
view to improving its effectiveness. As a result, the
1
Committee had disbanded the former Standards and
Quality Sub-committee and established member/officer
working groups to focus on key Council priorities. The
first of these working groups, comprising elected
members and officers representing Education Services
and Direct and Care Services, had focused on health and
diet in schools. At the time of the inspection, a working
group including school and Trade Union representatives
was examining issues relating to discipline in schools. A
further member/officer working group, focusing on pupil
attainment and achievement, was to be convened in
August 2004. Elected members were demonstrating a
continuing and strengthened commitment to challenging
Education Services and schools to improve performance
and were striving to close the gap in attainment between
Glasgow and national average figures.
Among the significant changes in the management
structure of Education Services were the appointment of a
new Director and a reduction in the number of Depute
Directors from three to two. One had responsibility for
personnel and finance, and the other for planning and
performance. The number of Heads of Service had been
increased from four to seven. Four Heads of Service
were each responsible for managing, respectively, pre-5
and childcare services, primary schools, secondary
schools, and provision for pupils with special educational
needs (SEN). Each also had pastoral responsibilities for
all schools in one of four geographical areas. The other
Heads of Service new to post had strengthened
professional expertise in managing areas such as
personnel, finance and information and communications
technology (ICT). The changes in the structure had
increased the clarity of remits and responsibilities and
strengthened the capacity of the Directorate to manage
and improve the work of Education Services.
The Council continued to face major challenges in
tackling extensive social and economic deprivation across
the city. Priorities for elected members and officers
2
continued to focus on regeneration, inclusion, tackling
poverty and countering disadvantage. Key objectives for
the Council included better attainment in education,
improved health for the population as a whole, and an
improving economy with increased opportunities for
employment.
3. Continuous improvement
Since the inspection report was published in May 2002,
the education authority had continued to improve many
aspects of its overall effectiveness. Some key initiatives
to promote health, well-being and social inclusion had
improved the quality of provision for pupils and their
families. Other initiatives, such as those to improve the
quality of learning and teaching and attainment, had yet
to make a significant impact.
Elected members and officers in Education Services had
given high priority to raising the attainment of pupils in
primary and secondary schools. There had been some
modest improvements, notably at the early stages of
primary schools, in increasing qualifications by the end of
S6 and in reducing the percentage of S4 leaving school
without qualifications. Increasing numbers of pupils
were going into training on leaving school. Generally
Glasgow had not yet succeeded in its aim of reducing the
gap between the levels of attainment of its pupils and
national averages. Further information on attainment is
given in 4.1 below.
Over the last two years, HMIE undertook inspections of
38 primary schools, six secondary schools and 12 special
schools in the authority. Over the same period, HMIE
engaged in follow-up inspections of 32 primary schools,
nine secondary schools and eight special schools. In
addition, a wide range of pre-5 and residential provision
was inspected in partnership with the Care Commission.
The results of pre-5 inspections were generally very
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positive. Inspections of primary and secondary schools
indicated that most were providing a good quality of
education. There were occasional examples of
outstandingly good or unsatisfactory provision. Overall,
strengths were frequently noted in aspects relating to
ethos, pastoral care and partnership with parents.
Weaknesses were found in self-evaluation and in aspects
of attainment. In special schools, the quality of provision
was highly variable. Inspections of schools catering for
pupils with complex learning difficulties identified
several examples of very good practice. However, in a
number of the schools making provision for pupils with
social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, key aspects
of education had some important weaknesses, including
leadership. In one of these schools, a follow-up
inspection found that the authority had failed to respond
effectively to improve aspects of provision identified as
requiring improvement in an inspection report.
The Council had given a strong lead in supporting and
celebrating diversity in its population. Priorities in
promoting racial equality were being addressed very well.
School inspection evidence indicated that primary pupils
were responding positively to imaginative initiatives
aimed at reducing racism and sectarianism. To underpin
the arrangements to support looked after and
accommodated children, Education Services and Social
Work Services had established a clearly expressed joint
protocol. At the time of the follow-up inspection, the
number of asylum seekers enrolled in Glasgow schools
had increased to over 2,000. The authority had continued
to support these children very effectively. In 2002, in
partnership with Save the Children, it had published the
results of a research exercise into the experiences of
asylum-seeking young people and children in Glasgow.
The authority had drawn on the very positive results of
that survey and acted on its recommendations to further
improve the quality of support provided. Education
Services had considerably increased their involvement in
working in partnership with other agencies. An expanded
4
range of in-service training opportunities had been
developed for teachers to further improve provision for
asylum seeker children and their families.
Since 2000/2001 there had been an increase of 2% in the
overall pupil attendance rates in secondary schools. In
session 2003/2004, secondary school pupils attended
school on average four and a half days more than during
session 2000/2001. Attendance rates in primary schools
over the same period from a higher base, had improved
slightly. In both primary and secondary schools there had
been a marked reduction in the number of exclusions per
1000 pupils since 2000/2001. This trend was most
evident in secondary schools where the number of pupils
excluded per 1000 declined from 212 in 2000/2001 to
188 in 2002/2003. The percentage of pupils staying on in
S5 post Christmas had increased by 1% each year over
the last three years.
A very effective ‘Nurture Class Evaluation Initiative’ to
support children, mainly in the early years in primary
schools, had been established in a sample of schools
across the city. Additional support was given to
vulnerable young children who displayed immature and
anti-social behaviours limiting their ability to learn.
Thorough evaluation showed that almost all children
involved in the initiative significantly altered their
behaviour and became more motivated to learn. There
was some evidence of improvement in levels of
attainment of the pupils involved. This initiative is to be
extended to provide a facility in each of Glasgow’s New
Learning Communities.
The percentage of pupils entering full-time higher
education had remained stable, but below national
averages, over the last three years. The percentage
entering further education was above the national average
and had increased in recent years. A number of
initiatives, conducted in partnership with Careers
Scotland, other Council departments and employers,
5
enhanced education for work and enterprise including
vocational training. These initiatives were beginning to
have a positive impact in increasing significantly the
number of young people entering training and reducing
the numbers who were unemployed on leaving school.
However, continued efforts were required to increase the
number of pupils entering full-time higher education and
reduce further the percentage of unemployed school
leavers.
In response to the serious health problems associated with
very high levels of poverty and deprivation in the city, the
authority had continued to improve and extend the wide
range of activities and initiatives to support health, diet
and physical activity. These had been developed in
partnership with Cultural and Leisure Services, Direct
and Care Services and the Greater Glasgow Health
Board. These developments had supported an
increasingly corporate approach to addressing the key
Council priority of improving the health and well-being
of children and young people in the city. School meals
were effectively promoting healthy eating. The ‘Big
Breakfast’ programme provided a breakfast service in
every primary school and pre-school establishment. The
‘Fruit Plus’ initiative made fresh fruit available daily free
of charge to pupils in primary and pre-school
establishments. Drinks machines in schools have been
de-branded and the availability and uptake of carbonated
drinks reduced significantly. ‘Refresh’ provided chilled,
fresh drinking water to all primary and secondary schools
in the city. Free school milk was provided to all Primary
School pupils at lunchtime. An extensive programme,
called ‘Glasgow’s Health’, provided important aspects of
health education at all stages in schools. A Drug,
Alcohol and Tobacco Education pack has been issued to
all primary schools. Transport initiatives enabled schools
in Social Inclusion Partnership Areas to access free
transport to visit sports centres and parks. Pupils had free
access to Council swimming and tennis facilities. The
‘Active Schools’ programme provided a wide range of
6
sports and leisure opportunities and was being extended.
As a result of this extensive programme of positive
initiatives, the Council was on track for all schools
becoming health promoting schools by 2006, a year
before the Scottish Executive target date.
In April 2002 the Council adopted a policy to bring
together the New Community Schools pilot programme
with the Learning Communities pilot initiative, under the
heading of New Learning Communities. The original
plan was to phase the development of the City’s 29 New
Learning Communities to be completed by the middle of
2006. However, the Council had taken action to
implement fully the programme from April 2004. The
New Learning Communities now included pre-school
establishments as well as primary and secondary schools
in each area. Good links were developing with Special
Schools. Overall, the system represented a significant
extension of partnerships among schools, joint work with
external agencies and a radical re-organisation of aspects
of the management of schools in the city.
Two external evaluations of the Learning Communities
pilots had identified improvements in the co-ordination of
approaches to planning and the deployment of resources.
The evaluations identified a greater sense of collective
responsibility among headteachers for the education of
children and young people in their area. Clarification of
roles of senior staff in each Learning Community had
helped improve the efficiency of decision-making and
administration. Education Services and the Social Work
Department were working closely together and with
health services to improve joint planning and services to
children, young people and their families. There was also
evidence of improved co-ordination of support for pupils
and better transition arrangements between schools. It
was as yet too early to demonstrate directly the impact of
New Learning Communities on their main objective of
raising attainment and achievement.
7
The authority had continued to develop the range and
quality of provision for Gaelic medium education.
Primary and pre-school provision of Gaelic had been
expanded, with facilities now available for children
of 0-3 years. Plans were agreed to consult on further
extension of provision, particularly for secondary school
pupils.
Project 2002, a major initiative to modernise the city’s
schools, had been completed successfully. All
mainstream secondary schools had been rebuilt or
substantially refurbished to provide a modern school
estate and an enhanced environment for effective learning
and teaching. A managed ICT service provided
up-to-date technology for all teachers and pupils in
primary, secondary and special schools.
4. Progress towards the main points for action
The initial inspection report published in May 2002
identified seven main points for action. This section
evaluates the progress the authority has made with each
of the main action points and the resulting improvements
for pupils and other stakeholders.
4.1 Take further steps to identify, support and
challenge areas of underperformance,
particularly in secondary schools.
The education authority had made fair progress towards
meeting this main point for action. Although Education
Services had taken further steps to identify and challenge
underperformance in schools, the impact of these
measures on raising attainment was not yet fully evident.
Procedures for analysing pupils’ attainment in the 5-14
curriculum and Scottish Qualifications Authority
examinations in each school had been revised and
strengthened. Schools received comprehensive data, their
8
performance was discussed annually with headteachers
and action plans prepared to deliver improvement.
Underperforming subject departments in secondary
schools were identified and followed up by advisers with
some success. The follow-up to the authority’s
evaluative reviews of establishments had increased in
rigour.
The Education Services Committee received and
scrutinised regularly data on the performance of schools.
A new officer member working group focusing on
improving attainment was to start work in autumn 2004.
A common approach across schools to monitoring and
evaluating teaching and learning had recently been agreed
with a focus on improving learning, teaching and
attainment. The role of principal teachers in quality
assuring and securing school improvement had also
recently been enhanced. These appropriate measures had
potential to secure the Council’s objectives in relation to
challenging underperformance and raising attainment.
Since 2000/2001, pupils’ overall attainment in reading
and mathematics in primary schools had remained static.
In writing, there had been a small but steady increase.
Levels of attainment in literacy and numeracy in the early
stages had improved. In secondary schools at S2, levels
of attainment in reading, writing and mathematics had
increased from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002. In 2002/2003
performance in reading and writing had remained
relatively stable. However, the previous improvement in
mathematics had not been maintained. Since 2000/2001
the gap had widened between Glasgow City Council and
the national average levels of 5-14 attainment,
particularly in reading and mathematics.
In secondary schools over the last three years, the
percentage of pupils who, by the end of S4, had gained
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five or more passes at each of Levels 1 3, 4 and 5 or better
had not increased. The gap between the Glasgow City
Council figures and the national averages had not
narrowed. However, the percentage of S4 pupils who did
not gain any award had reduced from 10% to 7% of
presentations. The percentage of pupils who gained five
or more passes at Level 4 or better by the end of S6 had
improved by 5% and the gap between Glasgow’s figure
and the national average had reduced by 3%. The
percentage of pupils who gained five or more passes at
Level 5 or better by the end of S6 had also improved,
broadly in line with the national average increase. The
percentage of pupils who gained three or more or five or
more passes at Level 6 or better by the end of S5 or S6
had remained static. Similarly, the gap between the
Glasgow City figures and the national averages at these
levels and stages had remained broadly the same.
The authority had maintained as a key priority the need to
improve levels of pupils’ attainment and close the gap
between attainment levels in Glasgow City Council and
the national average. The will of elected members of the
Council to achieve this priority had been re-inforced.
The pattern of attainment in schools across the city,
however, over the last three years remained too variable.
The Council still faced a major challenge in addressing
underperformance and raising levels of attainment.
1
10
Level 3 = Standard Grade at Foundation Level or Access 3
Level 4 = Standard Grade at General Level or Intermediate 1 at A - C
Level 5 = Standard Grade at Credit Level or Intermediate 2 at A - C
Level 6 = Higher at A - C
Level 7 = Advanced Higher or CSYS at A - C
4.2 Extend arrangements for quality assurance
across all sectors. Increase the rigour of school
reviews and target resources where needs are
greatest to raise pupils’ attainment. Monitor and
evaluate initiatives more systematically.
Overall, the education authority had made good progress
towards meeting this main point for action. The
authority’s arrangements for quality assurance had been
extended and a more rigorous approach to self-evaluation
had been promoted across establishments.
The process of annual school reviews had been
strengthened. In primary schools, 5-14 attainment was
monitored each year by advisers and linked to the process
of headteacher review. Schools were required to provide
an action plan to address areas of under-performance. In
secondary schools the annual review focused on pupils’
performance on the 5-14 curriculum and National
Qualifications. This annual review had been augmented
with a more in-depth review of each establishment every
three years. These reviews were based on the school’s
self-evaluation, moderated by advisers and senior staff
from the authority. Advisers and, helpfully, peer
principal teachers were involved in reviewing all
departments in secondary schools. A similar process was
carried out in primary and pre-school establishments on a
reduced scale. Areas of weakness identified were
followed up with additional support provided by advisers.
Very recent changes had further strengthened the review
process by including opportunities for external evaluators
to directly observe practice in learning and teaching. The
process of establishment review had been adapted for use
in special schools and was currently being extended to
that sector.
These reviews had led to some positive actions. At
authority level, the evaluation of data resulted in better
targeting of resources to improve attainment. The
monitoring of HMIE reports and longitudinal tracking of
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pupil performance identified aspects of education which
needed attention across the City, such as problem solving
in mathematics, talking and listening in English
Language and aspects of teaching and learning. This had,
in turn led to the ‘Coaching in Context’ initiative which
trained effective practitioners in primary schools to act as
mentors in 21 school clusters. There was now a need to
ensure that analyses of the overall performance of schools
lead to the identification of individual schools requiring
priority action to address underachievement.
The revised procedures for quality assurance had clear
potential to increase levels of challenge to schools by
providing them and the authority with more detailed
information on progress across a range of quality
indicators. There was now a need to ensure that the
outcomes of the annual school reviews and the
three-yearly establishment reviews were effectively
followed up and showed clear impact on school
improvement over time.
The authority had taken positive and effective steps to
improve the monitoring and evaluation of its initiatives.
A number of external evaluations had been commissioned
for major projects including the development of the New
Learning Communities and the Fruit Initiative. All policy
documents now identified the procedures to be used in
monitoring and evaluating their effectiveness. Regular
Evaluation and Monitoring Reports went to the Education
Committee. Substantial resources had been invested in
monitoring the performance of the Public Private
Partnership (PPP) initiative, for buildings, facilities
management, lifestyle maintenance and the managed
information and communications (ICT) service which
was an integral part of the project. This had resulted in
savings and improvements to the service provided to
schools. A Curriculum Strategy Group, including Heads
of Service and a Depute Director, now met regularly to
evaluate proposals for initiatives and to monitor progress.
The authority should continue to refine the focus of its
12
initiatives to identify and support those most likely to
improve pupil’s attainment.
Overall, arrangements for quality assurance had been
strengthened. However, they still required to be
rigorously applied in special schools, particularly in
schools for pupils with social, emotional and behavioural
difficulties
4.3 Improve policy making by providing clearer
more succinct policy statements and provide
further advice on how to implement policies.
The authority had made good progress overall towards
meeting this main point for action. It had gathered
together a very useful overview of policy advice for
pre-school centres. Some progress had been made in
creating a similar summary of policy guidance for
primary, secondary and special schools. Education
Services had started to bring all policy advice on
learning, teaching and the curriculum into a compendium
covering all sectors of education.
The policy guidance available for pre-school centres was
summarised in a very useful four-page document. It
included a list of materials available to support provision
across the seven key areas of The Child at the Centre2.
Support available from the authority was grouped within
the headings of the five National Priorities for Education.
The document identified relevant continuing professional
development (CPD) opportunities to assist access to
training events and up-to-date materials. It also listed
advice available on Care Commission and HMIE
integrated inspections. Dates of draft and final versions
of policy documents were stated clearly, and dates
identified when policies were due for review. This
document provided establishments with a very useful
2
The Child at the Centre – Self evaluation in the Early Years, SEED, 2000
13
summary of the key guidance and support available to the
pre-school sector.
A good range of policy guidance was available for
primary, secondary and special schools. Education
Services were working to clarify and summarise the main
thrust of the key policies on learning, teaching and the
curriculum. Following the pattern established for the
pre-school sector, advice was helpfully being collated
under the headings of the National Priorities for
Education. Recent policy documents were based on
sound design principles which included clear
arrangements for the authority to support and monitor the
implementation and impact of policies. For example, the
success of policy on provision of vocational and
pre-vocational courses in providing pupils with pathways
to employment was being monitored closely.
Although the authority was appropriately committed to
offering flexibility in the implementation of policy, it was
conscious of the need to provide a clear and consistent
rationale and framework within which schools should
operate. The authority was, for example, in the process
of finalising interim guidance on age-and-stage
arrangements and curriculum flexibility. This was an
important priority, particularly since some secondary
schools were reviewing and adjusting the design of the
curriculum, particularly in S1 to S4. Education Services
should finalise advice on curriculum design as a priority,
and monitor its implementation carefully to ensure that
all secondary schools adhere to a clear, coherent and
sound set of principles in planning the curriculum to meet
the various needs of pupils and raise attainment.
4.4 Give further consideration to how the issues
of over-capacity and maintenance in primary
school buildings will be addressed.
Good progress had been made towards meeting this point
for action.
14
Audit Scotland’s Performance Indicators for 2000/2001
indicated that two thirds of Glasgow’s primary schools
had less than 60% occupancy levels. In 2002/2003, this
had reduced to just over half of the schools. Some
effective action had therefore been taken by the authority
to address the issue of over-capacity. However, in recent
years the decrease in primary school population had been
substantially greater than the reduction in capacity.
Following the Best Value review of primary education,
the Education Services Committee accepted a series of
proposals for a pilot rationalisation project based on the
strategy document Modernisation of Pre-12 education in
Glasgow, Raising Standards for the Learning Age. This
established the Pre-12 Strategy where, as appropriate,
primary, pre-school and special education provision was
to be brought together on one campus. It was agreed to
commence with a ‘primary pilot action plan’ for a
£25.8 million investment programme for five new build
establishments, with improved community facilities,
based on closures and amalgamations. These were due
for completion by October 2004. As a result of the pilot
rationalisation plan, capacity in the schools concerned
had been reduced from 3,580 to 1,830.
The school estate management plan 2004/2005
Relocation, Reinvestment and Regeneration had
re-inforced the authority’s key principles for the reform
based on the Pre-12 Strategy. It clearly stated that one of
the Council’s aims was to achieve improvement in the
quality and range of educational facilities in the city. The
potential link between the provision of good quality
accommodation and the raising of levels of attainment
was clearly recognised.
The Director of Education was requested in August 2003
to bring forward further proposals for rationalisation of
Pre-12 provision. The Council had now agreed to the
extension of the Pre-12 Strategy, subject to consultation,
15
with 11 new proposals for implementation by 2005/2006
which would involve some £55 million of investment. In
addition, it was proposed to close two special schools and
build a new day school to cater for children with
specified special needs at an estimated cost of £6 million.
The Council was also engaged in other projects to
improve the condition and capacity in primary schools.
Some effective action had also been taken by the
authority in relation to maintenance issues identified in
the initial inspection report. Building Services’ Area
Managers had met with all primary headteachers to
discuss their concerns and to consider how the service
could be improved. A focus group of primary
headteachers expressed satisfaction with the
improvements that had resulted from the establishment of
a dedicated Local Repair Team. In a further attempt to
address the needs of their clients, Building Services were
currently undertaking a Best Value review of their
service.
School business managers had been appointed in the pilot
Learning Communities to help take forward the
recommendations in Time for Teaching 3. In recognition
of their wider role, they had now been appointed to all
New Learning Communities with an enhanced remit
including the management of repairs and maintenance
issues.
Investment through the Pre-12 Strategy, together with
Project 2002 which involved all the City’s mainstream
secondary schools at a cost of £225 million, clearly
demonstrated the commitment of the Council to
rationalisation and investment in the school estate.
Nevertheless, the Council was aware that the Pre-12
Strategy pilot and current plans would only impact on a
small proportion of the primary school estate. While
£1.5 million had been earmarked in 2004/2005 for ‘major
3
16
Time for Teaching – HMIE and Audit Scotland, 1999.
works’ on education establishments, there were, as yet,
no fixed plans nor agreed future funding streams to
address condition and capacity for the remainder of the
school estate. There remained a backlog of major
maintenance work in the primary sector of some
£152 million. The Council needed to continue to
implement its plans to undertake the further development
of Glasgow’s primary school stock and continue to
reduce over-capacity.
4.5 Take further steps to improve the quality,
focus and transparency of consultation and
ensure stakeholders are fully informed of
decisions taken.
The Council had made very good progress towards
meeting this main point for action.
The range and quality of consultation on issues such as
school rationalisation and rebuilding had improved
significantly. Respondents to consultation on the Pre-12
Strategy pilot schools clearly supported the new build
option as opposed to refurbishment and future proposals
were formulated on this basis. Headteachers of the pilot
schools indicated that they had been fully involved in site
progress meetings and had been able to influence
elements of the ongoing work. Headteachers from
schools due to be rebuilt in the next phase considered
consultation to be very helpful. They had been able to
influence the design and layout of the building. Pupils
had been consulted on, for example, the availability and
use of playground space. As part of the formal
consultation process, meetings had been held with School
Boards, staff, trade unions, parents and other interested
parties. The Education Convener and the Director of
Education had participated in a successful on-line
consultation over a pre-agreed time period which had
been well advertised throughout the city. There was clear
evidence that some of the original proposals for
17
developments had been altered to respond to the views of
staff, parents and the local community.
A survey had been undertaken of primary headteachers
on the format, pattern and content of their regular
business meetings. As a result, it had been agreed to
continue with the eight Local Area Forum meetings.
Secondary headteachers had supported the proposal to
introduce seminars in addition to regular business
meetings. Headteachers were consulted on the content to
be discussed at these meetings. Overall, headteachers
considered that consultation had greatly improved and
that they felt more involved in strategic decision-making
in the education authority.
The introduction of the Local Negotiating
Committee - Teachers (LNCT), with membership drawn
from the trade unions, headteachers, members and
officers had had a positive effect on improving
consultation. Both teachers and management commented
on its effectiveness in negotiating agreements and
managing change.
Consultation had been further enhanced by the
introduction of a Primary Pupil Council which had been
set up in December 2002 to complement that already
established for secondary school pupils. In addition, Best
Value service reviews had drawn on pupils’ views as part
of the consultation process to improve services.
Overall, the level and quality of consultation had
improved significantly. It was now more sharply
focussed and better targeted on key issues. Focus groups
were used more widely and effectively to gain a broad
representation of stakeholders views.
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4.6 Continue to develop an overall strategic
framework for SEN provision.
The Council had made good progress towards developing
a strategic framework for most aspects of provision for
pupils with special educational needs. However,
important weaknesses remained in the provision for
pupils with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.
The Education Services Committee had recently agreed a
revised policy on special educational needs. This policy
set out clear principles for the provision of support for all
children and young people with additional support needs,
including learning difficulties, disability and social and
emotional difficulties. The policy confirmed a
commitment to meeting the wide range of needs through
a combination of a range of special schools and support
in mainstream schools. It also clarified the relationship
between these approaches and between the various
components of specialist provision.
The Council was carrying out a phased review of the
different aspects of provision. It had completed a much
needed Best Value review of arrangements to support
pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties in day
schools. As a result, Education Services were in the
process of reconfiguring the support provided by special
schools. This involved a reduction in rolls of specialist
schools, a redeployment of staff to provide greater
support within mainstream schools, the development of
service level agreements with providers of alternatives to
school provision, and more systematic arrangements to
help ensure that pupils received the most appropriate
form of support. While considerable progress had
already been made, several of the recommendations
arising from the Best Value review had still to be
implemented. Education Services had not yet fully
implemented national guidance to increase the length of
the week in special schools to that provided in
mainstream schools. The Best Value review had not
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included consideration of the support provided in
residential schools. The Council should give the highest
priority to improving provision in residential special
schools for pupils with social, emotional and behavioural
difficulties.
Education Services were now reviewing provision for
pupils with moderate learning difficulties. It had carried
out an audit of pupils’ needs and was preparing proposals
for changes to staffing and the curriculum in light of the
audit. Education Services had also begun discussion and
consultation on proposals for developments relating to
support for pupils with complex learning difficulties.
As part of the development of the special educational
needs strategy, the Council had established a programme
to improve the stock of special school buildings. It had,
for example, approved the building of a new facility for
children with sensory impairment and multiple
disabilities and three new schools for pupils with
complex learning difficulties. These would be located on
Pre-12 campuses being developed in relation to the
review of primary education.
The Council had implemented successfully a number of
improvements arising from its review and development of
the special educational needs strategy. The establishment
of clear links between special schools and New Learning
Communities had resulted in a better partnership between
special schools and mainstream schools which was
bringing benefits to pupils in both sectors. Support for
pupils with autism had been enhanced through the
opening of an additional unit within a secondary school
and the allocation of more staff. Provision of ICT in
special schools had improved considerably. The
Educational Development and Improvement Service
(EDIS) was giving more support to the special
educational needs sector, including improved
opportunities for continuing professional development of
staff. Headteachers of special schools reported that their
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pupils were benefiting from these changes. They
presented a very positive view of the support provided by
the Council. However, more remained to be done to
implement the findings of reviews. Other areas of
provision for pupils’ additional support needs still
required review and development in order to achieve the
aims set out in the recent policy. In most respects it was
too early to assess the full impact of changes on pupils.
Education Services should ensure that its developing
arrangements for assuring the quality of provision for
pupils with additional support needs are more effective.
4.7 Extend approaches to identifying and
disseminating good practice to contribute to
raising pupils’ attainment.
The Council had made fair progress towards meeting this
main point for action.
Education Services had extended its approaches to
identifying good practice. The new system of school
reviews provided a good mechanism to inform
centrally-deployed staff about features of effective
practice in schools. However, they had only recently
introduced opportunities to directly observe good practice
in learning and teaching. Mechanisms for analysing data
about pupils’ performance in relation to 5-14 attainment
and national examinations had been further developed
and comprehensive information was now available for
each primary and secondary school. This information
had been used to good effect to identify areas of good
practice, for example in secondary subject departments.
Education Services had also improved arrangements to
disseminate good practice. Headteachers' meetings, and
meetings of other groups of staff from schools, such as
principal teachers or S1/S2 coordinators, now featured
regular sessions where aspects of good practice were
shared. While these were worthwhile opportunities, they
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did not always focus on areas most in need of
improvement.
EDIS staff were maintaining an electronic database of
good practice identified through school reviews. They
shared this with colleagues within the service. They had
made some effective use of this information, for example,
to identify a subject department in one school which
could provide advice and support to a department
experiencing difficulties in another school. EDIS had
plans to further develop this good practice database and
make it more widely available to staff in schools, but
technical difficulties had delayed this development.
Similar difficulties had delayed plans for more general
electronic dissemination of good practice through the
Glasgow Schools Network, but some interim use had
been made of the Council website.
Other approaches to disseminating good practice included
the distribution of documents such as case studies relating
to the role of principal teachers and exemplars of
effective practice observed during reviews of pre-five
establishments. The ‘open doors’ scheme provided
worthwhile opportunities for school staff to visit special
educational needs provision to learn from successful
practice. More generally, staff development courses and
seminars often included information about wider aspects
of effective approaches.
These steps had not had time to make a significant impact
on raising pupils’ attainment. Also, Educational Services
had sometimes been too slow in responding to areas
identified as requiring improvement through the
spreading of good practice, such as S1/S2 mathematics.
Education Services needed to continue to develop a more
systematic approach to identifying and disseminating
good practice in those areas most in need of
improvement.
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5. Conclusion
Glasgow City Council Education Services continued to
operate within a context of highly significant levels of
deprivation and disadvantage which provided particular
challenges. Since the inspection report was published in
May 2002 the authority had continued to strengthen many
aspect of provision. There were signs that it had
improved aspects of its capacity to improve.
Restructuring had strengthened management and
enhanced expertise. Policy development had been
developed further and clearer guidance provided to staff
in many areas. The quality and effectiveness of
consultation had been improved. A strategic framework
to support aspects of provision for pupils with additional
support needs had been developed. Arrangements for
quality assurance and the monitoring and evaluation of
initiatives had been extended and improved. The Council
had put in place a number of innovative approaches to
combat the serious health problems in the city and
improve the health, fitness and well-being of young
people.
Officers and elected members had demonstrated bold and
effective leadership in preparing and implementing plans
for the improvement of the school estate. They
recognised the need to continue to take action to address
the future development of the primary school stock and
address over-capacity in this sector. The education
authority had worked hard to improve consultation,
particularly in relation to planned improvements in the
school estate.
The Council maintained a very clear and relevant vision
for education and was fully committed to further
development and innovation. Although in some
important areas progress was clear, the desired outcomes
and impact had yet to be confirmed. New Learning
23
Communities had been extended across the authority and
there was evidence of more joint-agency working to
support young people and their families. However, it was
not yet possible to measure their success in raising
attainment and achievement. Steps had been taken to
strengthen quality assurance, challenge underperformance
and promote good practice. However, much remained to
be done to reduce the variability in attainment between
schools across the authority and narrow the gap between
attainment in the City and the national averages. While
some positive work had been undertaken to improve
aspects of provision for pupils with additional support
needs, some important weaknesses remained particularly
in respect of pupils with social, emotional and
behavioural difficulties in residential settings.
HMIE will maintain contact with the Council to review
progress in the areas for further development outlined in
this report. The authority should provide HMIE with a
progress report on action points one and seven by
30 June 2005.
Ian Gamble
HM Chief Inspector
Directorate 5
September 2004
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How can you contact us?
If you would like an additional copy of this report
Copies of this report have been sent to the Chief Executive
of the local authority, elected members, the Head of the
Education Service, other local authority officers, Members
of the Scottish Parliament, Audit Scotland, heads of the
local authority educational establishments, chairpersons of
the local authority School Boards/Parents Associations
and to other relevant individuals and agencies. Subject to
availability, further copies may be obtained free of charge
from HM Inspectorate of Education, Area 1-B South,
Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ or by telephoning
0131 244 0747. Copies are also available on our website:
www.hmie.gov.uk.
If you wish to comment about education authority
inspections
Should you wish to comment on any aspect of education
authority inspections, you should write in the first instance
to Mr Ian Gamble, HMCI, at HM Inspectorate of
Education, Room 1-B95, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6
6QQ.
Our complaints procedure
If you have a concern about this report, you should write
in the first instance to Hazel Dewart, Business
Management Unit, HM Inspectorate of Education,
T1 Spur, Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh
EH11 3XD. A copy of our complaints procedure is
available from this office or by telephoning 0131 244
8468 or from our website at www.hmie.gov.uk.
If you are not satisfied with the action we have taken at the
end of our complaints procedure, you can raise your
complaint with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman is fully
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independent and has powers to investigate complaints
about Government departments and agencies. You should
write to The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, 4-6
Melville Street, Edinburgh EH3 7NS. You can also
telephone 0870 011 5378 or e-mail
[email protected] More information
about the Ombudsman’s office can be obtained from the
website: www.scottishombudsman.org.uk
Crown Copyright 2004
HM Inspectorate of Education
This report may be reproduced in whole or in part, except
for commercial purposes or in connection with a
prospectus or advertisement, provided that the source and
date thereof are stated.
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