Argyll and Bute pupils achieving well in literacy and numeracy

By Aileen MacLennan

Young people in Argyll and Bute are achieving well in literacy and numeracy according to figures published by the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government collects data every year which details pupils’ achievements in reading, writing, listening and talking and numeracy. These are known as ‘Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Levels’ and focus specifically on pupils in P1, P4, P7 and S3.

At a meeting of the council’s Community Services Committee today, members heard how CfE figures for 2017/18 show that pupils in P1, P7 and S3 are performing better than the national average in all four categories. Pupils in P4 are doing better than the national average too, with the exception of listening and talking, which is just 1% lower.

McNeilly Yvonne.jpg 2Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, pictured right, said: “These figures are extremely encouraging and show just how dedicated our teachers and young people to achieve such fantastic results.

“To be above the national average in even some of these categories is great result, but to be higher in them all, with the exception of one, is truly outstanding.

“We want the very best start for all our young people, and to ensure that they go on to achieve success in life.

“Clearly we are well on our way to achieving this and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved for their tremendous hard work. It’s clear that Argyll and Bute’s young people have a very bright future ahead of them.”

Meanwhile, the Council is making positive progress in preparing for the implementation of the fully funded 1140 hours of free Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) in Argyll and Bute by 2020.

At a meeting of the Community Services Committee today (Thursday), members heard how 27 ELC services are already providing parents and carers with the option to access the additional hours, which are funded by the Scottish Government.

Hermitage logoPlans are also underway to phase all ELC local authority, partners and childminding services in Helensburgh and Lomond, Lochgilphead, Ardrishaig and Campbeltown to 1140-hour provision by August this year.

In order to help address the need for the additional, qualified staff required for the extended ELC entitlement, the council’s Education Service and Learning and Development Team have been working in close partnership with Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

As a result, secondary school pupils across Argyll and Bute were offered a Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services Children and Young People (SSCYP). Six young people started this qualification in August 2018, with a further 12 anticipated to start this year.

SDS is also delivering six Modern Apprenticeships in SVQ3 (SSCYP), and funding has been provided by the Scottish Government for three Graduate Practitioner posts to help enhance literacy, numeracy and outdoor learning.

Councillor McNeilly, said: “We are committed to improvement, and to ensuring that our children get the very best start in life.

“These increased hours will benefit children aged three and four, as well as eligible two years, and will provide high quality, flexible early learning and childcare for families.

“Juggling childcare and work commitments can be a difficult task for parents, but these increased hours will help to give them with the flexibility they need to work, train or study.

“We are making good progress in implementing these additional hours and I look forward to seeing the benefits that families experience as a result.”

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