Educators deem 2013 “outstanding”

TOP MARKS? Although 2013 saw record school results, critics believe NLC still lags behind the rst of Scotland.
TOP MARKS? Although 2013 saw record school results, critics believe NLC still lags behind the rst of Scotland.

North Lanarkshire Council has hailed 2013 as “a year of outstanding success” for education.

A recent performance report on the council’s Learning and Leisure Services department highlights the best ever performance overall in national qualifications, vocational education and wider achievement.

Further, more people have been involved in the Duke of Edinburgh Award, with recipients increasing by 27 per cent to 847. Adult learner numbers have risen 68 per cent to 3,904 and the council’s Active Literacy programme was also praised for improving children’s reading skills. Andrew Sutherland, executive director of Learning and Leisure, said: “Our aim is to provide the highest quality education services for our children, young people and adults to ensure all learners experience a curriculum which is relevant, meets their needs and allows them to develop skills for learning, life and work.

“Last year we increased pupil performance in attainment and achievement. And, in particular, we increased our efforts on behalf of the most vulnerable children, young people and their families to support secondary school leavers making the transition into positive destinations.”

Councillor Jim Logue, Convener of Learning and Leisure Services, said: “I’d like to congratulate all the learners and those involved in delivering learning opportunities and experiences throughout North Lanarkshire.

“Over the years we’ve invested hundreds of millions in providing outstanding new school and community facilities throughout North Lanarkshire and developed a wide range of learning opportunities for all people regardless of age and I’d encourage our residents to take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

“We are not complacent and we remain 100% committed to increasing attainment levels across the board and driving up standards.”

Councillor Tom Johnston, depute leader of the opposition group at the council, said: “There is a lot of good progression here, but pockets of deprivation are still the biggest challenge facing this authority.

“Although the results are the best ever, so are the results across the rest of Scotland and North Lanarkshire is still in the bottom quarter for national qualifications and below the national average.

“As recently as four years ago the fabric of 46 per cent of primary schools in North Lanarkshire was categorised as “poor condition, major defects” or “very poor condition, risk of failure” while the national average at that time was 30 per cent.

“The progress since then still represents catch-up with the rest of Scotland.”