Education Business and Improvement Plan

Purpose and Priorities

Purpose and Priorities 

The purpose of the Education Service is to deliver excellence and equity for all children, young people and families. The shared vision is that all children and young people have the same opportunities to succeed in educational outcomes, wider achievements, positive leaver destinations and life chances. The Education Service strives to improve attainment and outcomes for all learners, with a particular focus on reducing inequalities and narrowing the poverty-related attainment gap. The Education Service provides high quality provision across:

  • 22 Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Centres
  • 23 Partnership Early Learning and Childcare providers
  • Thirty-two Primary Schools
  • Eight Secondary Schools
  • Two ASN Schools (These will merge and transition to a new school in Summer 2023)
  • Primary and Secondary Wellbeing Support Services
  • Three Primary and Three Secondary Enhanced Learning Resources (ELRs), based in localities across the Council

The refreshed Local Outcomes Improvement Plan (LOIP) is the shared plan for the Community Planning Partnership (CPP), outlining how and why services will work together to reduce inequalities. The Education Service has responsibility for delivering and/or contributing to three of the six Local Outcomes. The Service contributes to Local Outcome 2: Our people are equipped with knowledge and skills for learning, life and work; and Local Outcome 4: East Dunbartonshire is a safe place to work, live and visit. The Service has a lead role in Local Outcome 3: Our children and young people are safe, healthy and ready to learn.

The Education Service supports children, young people and families through highly effective partnership working. The Delivering for Children and Young People’s Partnership (DCYPP) is the multi-agency strategic planning group responsible for progressing actions to achieve Local Outcome 3 priorities. Key partners include the Education Service, Health and Social Care Partnership, Voluntary Action, Police Scotland, Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Other partners include Skills Development Scotland, Education Scotland and Glasgow City Regional Improvement Collaborative (West Partnership).

Strategic Priorities

Strategic priorities for the Education Service are underpinned by National policy: Achieving Excellence and Equity: National Improvement Framework and Improvement Plan (NIF).

The NIF complements the three pillars of the Scottish education system: Curriculum for Excellence (CfE); Getting It Right for Every Child (GIRFEC); and Developing the Young Workforce (DYW).

Excellence is achieved through raising attainment and improving outcomes, ensuring that every child and young person achieves the highest standards in literacy and numeracy; as well as the values, attitudes, knowledge and skills to shape a sustainable future as successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors. Equity is achieved by ensuring that every child and young person has the same opportunity to succeed, no matter their background or shared protected characteristics, with a particular focus on narrowing the poverty-related attainment gap.

Strategic priorities across all sectors of the Education Service are:

  • Placing the human needs and rights of every child and young person at the centre of education
  • Improvement in children and young people’s health and wellbeing
  • Closing the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged children and young people
  • Improvement in skills and sustained, positive leaver destinations for all young people
  • Improvement in attainment, particularly in literacy and numeracy

These priorities are achieved through drivers for improvement:

  • School and ELC leadership
  • Teacher and practitioner professionalism
  • Parent/carer involvement and engagement
  • Curriculum and assessment
  • School and ELC improvement
  • Performance information

Strategic priorities are underpinned by legislative requirements in the Education (Scotland) Act 2016, the NIF and Council policy and planning, with particular reference to the LOIP and the Integrated Children’s Services Plan.

Work of the Teams

The Interim Chief Education Officer is responsible for the strategic leadership of the Education Service and for advising the local authority on functions as set out in the Education (Scotland) Act 2016. The Interim Chief Education Officer has direct line management responsibility for the Education Leadership Team (ELT) and all Head Teachers.

The Education Leadership Team have strategic remits to support planning, improvement and performance across the Education Service. ELT membership includes:

  • Interim Chief Education Officer
  • School Planning and Improvement Manager
  • Quality Improvement Manager (QIM) Early Years and Supporting Families
  • QIM Additional Support Needs (ASN) and Children’s Services
  • Interim QIM Primary and Quality Assurance
  • Interim QIM Secondary and Provision
  • Principal Educational Psychologist
  • Skills for Life, Learning and Work Manager

Quality Improvement Officers (QIOs) support improvement and the implementation of the NIF and Education Service Plan. Link QIOs are allocated to schools and centres in Learning Partnership Groups (LPGs), to provide support and challenge, focusing on attainment and  outcomes for children and young people. QIOs support quality assurance, self-evaluation for continuous improvement, career-long professional learning and policy development across the Education Service.

QIOs lead and participate in Quality Improvement Reviews and support schools and centres to continue to build on their strengths and work on areas of focus for improvement.

QIOs have individual remits to action sector specific priorities and tasks. They also collaborate to develop cross-sector approaches to a range of developments. Examples include but are not restricted to Developing the Young Workforce (DYW), Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), Learning for Sustainability, Play/Enquiry Based Learning, Wellbeing and Inclusion.

Early Years and Supporting Families Team

The Quality Improvement Manager (QIM) is the strategic lead for Early Years and Supporting Families.

The Council is responsible for provision of high-quality early learning and childcare for all children aged three to five, eligible two-year-old children and under 2s in ‘Place’ areas. The implementation of the expansion of early learning and childcare for all eligible children was delivered in August 2021.

Family Learning Champions and Family Learning Assistants provide both universal and targeted parenting support across all localities. There is dedicated work in the Hillhead, Harestanes, Lennoxtown, Twechar and Auchinairn areas as part of the ‘Place’ development to provide bespoke programmes for children and families. The team also provide support to childminders and out of school care providers. A holiday playscheme for children with  additional support needs is delivered during school holidays. A Snack and Play programme is provided during school holidays for eligible children and young people from the six priority family types identified as being at the highest risk of experiencing child poverty.

Early level support teachers provide guidance and training to all centres, including funded providers. Support Officers monitor and support funded providers to ensure that they are meeting the terms and conditions outlined within the commissioning contract.

Additional Support Needs and Children’s Services Team

The QIM is the strategic lead for Additional Support Needs and Children’s Services.

The provision of education for children with Additional Support Needs (ASN) is a statutory requirement in the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 amended 2009. Young people, identified with additional support needs, are among the most vulnerable in society and require significant levels of additional assistance to allow them to access their learning and the curriculum. Through the presumption of mainstream, parents have the right to have their child educated in a setting which best meets the needs of the child or young person.  Accordingly, the appropriate support has to be provided to give these young people equality and equity of opportunity.

All secondary schools provide support for young people with additional support needs who can access some of their learning in a mainstream setting. Three Enhanced Learning Resources (ELRs) in secondary schools continue to provide support for young people with a broader range of need. This links with provision of three locality ELRs in the primary sector. In addition, Primary and Wellbeing Support Services provide targeted interventions and approaches, with the goal of supporting children and young people to return to mainstream. The wider team includes a range of specialist support services: Sensory Impairment; Language and Communication; Wellbeing Support and the Assistive Technology Teacher

The Quality Improvement Team leads on the development and implementation of key policies and statutory duties across the Education Service. These include the GIRFEC framework, Child Protection and Safeguarding, Children’s Rights, The Promise, Equalities, Diversity, Inclusion and Child Poverty.

The team continues to support schools to #KeepThe Promise made to care experienced young people that they will grow up to be loved, safe and respected, through multi-agency working.

It continues to support the implementation programme of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) legislation, to ensure that Children’s Rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. Pupil voice has been strengthened through the Pupil Forum. The team continues to integrate UNCRC principles in policy and practice.

Primary and Quality Assurance Team

An Interim QIM is the strategic lead for Primary Education and Quality Assurance.

The team supports all primary schools to deliver excellence and equity through the NIF and the Education Service Plan. This includes leading on planning and reporting for the Scottish Attainment Challenge to provide support across all sectors of the Education Service. The team supports and challenges schools to improve attainment and outcomes for all children and young people, with a particular focus on reducing inequalities and narrowing the poverty-related attainment gap.  

The team leads on policy development, frameworks and professional learning to support self-evaluation and quality improvement, including statutory requirements.

The QIM co-ordinates planning and reporting on performance across the Education Service.

Primary QIOs lead on Curriculum for Excellence and Career-Long Professional Learning across all sectors (3-18) in all curricular areas, with a particular focus on Literacy, Numeracy and Health & Wellbeing. The Primary team co-ordinates the Teacher Induction Scheme for probationers, Early Career Teacher support, student placements, the Career-Long Professional Learning (CLPL) programme, Professional Review and Development (PRD), Professional Update (PU), Improving Our Schools/Classrooms and Leadership.  

Secondary and Provision Team

An Interim QIM is the strategic lead for Secondary Education and Provision. This includes Instrumental Music, Outdoor Education and Awards and the Vocational programme.

The team supports all secondary schools to deliver excellence and equity through the NIF and the Scottish Attainment Challenge. The team supports and challenges schools to improve attainment and outcomes for all young people, with a particular focus on narrowing the poverty-related attainment gap. The team develops frameworks to support self-evaluation for self-improvement in secondary schools, including statutory requirements.

The team works in partnership with Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Developing the Young Workforce (DYW), Skills for Life, Learning and Work Team, Business Partners and schools to ensure there is a continued focus on bespoke learning pathways for young people, which is based on robust evidence of the labour market, and annual participation measures to ensure sustained positive leaver destinations.

The team monitor and support schools in key quality assurance processes including improvement planning, school self-evaluation, curriculum development, learning and teaching and Career-Long Professional Learning.

School Planning and Improvement Team

The School Planning and Improvement Manager has direct line management responsibility for the teacher workforce, Council statistics, Estates improvement planning, including school rolls and admissions.

The team supports all sectors of the Education Service. Workforce planning includes probationer placements, the recruitment of permanent supply teachers, staffing provision in all schools (including supply staff) and classification structures in primary schools.

The team manages and supports schools to use information systems and data. This includes the annual Census and attainment data and management of the Seemis Education Management Information System, Groupcall and the Parent’s Portal.

Close working with the Education Shared Services Team supports school admissions, placing requests and transport.

Service planning is supported through the work of the team in roll projections, accommodation schedules and updating Procedure Manuals.

There is a strategic link with Major Assets and Facilities to support ongoing work across the Education Estates. This includes remedial work across the existing estate and major capital projects, including new builds and refurbishments.

The School Planning and Improvement Manager liaises with Trade Unions to negotiate updates for the Local Negotiating Committee for Teachers (LNCT).

Educational Psychology Service (EPS)

The Educational Psychology Service (EPS) is a statutory Service which supports the Council in addressing national and local priorities for education through the application of psychological knowledge and skills. This is in partnership with children and families in their local communities, with educational establishments, and at authority level.

The Service has 5 core functions which are evidenced across the 3 levels: consultation, assessment, intervention, training and research.

Current work at authority level includes Nurture Intervention (primary, secondary and early years), supporting mental health and wellbeing (suicide and self-harm guidance, mental health training), language and communication friendly environments, Research Professional Support Group (supporting multi-agency partners with research and evaluation), supporting children and young people with social and communication needs (Autism Adviser programme) and Learning through Play.

Skills for Learning, Life and Work Team

The Skills for Learning, Life and Work Team aims to improve the life chances of young people, adults and communities. The service also makes a key contribution to the Council’s Workforce Strategy.  A key strand of this work is early careers development that aims to improve the employability skills of young people through apprenticeships and other work experience opportunities.

The Local Outcomes Improvement Plan (LOIP) aims to reduce inequalities. The Skills for Learning, Life and Work Team is central to this. The Service works with partners to deliver on Local Outcome 2: Our people are equipped with knowledge and skills for learning, life and work. A key area of work will be continued co-ordination of a multi-agency Employability Action Group to implement local and national strategies and plans. A key focus of work will be to continue to co-ordinate and implement the new Scottish Government No One Left Behind programme which provides all age employability support. The team leads on the following key areas: Employability; Adult Learning; Young Peoples’ Services; Early Careers programmes; and Opportunities for All and No One Left Behind.

This work makes a significant contribution to Community Learning and Development (CLD) and the Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce plans for each school. Skills for Learning, Life and Work also leads on the regional approaches to skills and learning provision being developed through the Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal Initiative and the Regional Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) group. To support this work the team will continue to access and manage a range of external funding including and Scottish Government funds.

Key Improvement Actions for 2023/24

Key improvement actions have been identified through self-evaluation and consultation with stakeholders. They are set out under each NIF priority and summarised as follows:

  • Compliance with Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy, Equalities Legislation and Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) framework.
  • Introduce The Circle framework (Child Inclusion Research into Curriculum, Learning and Education) to support inclusive practices in schools.
  • Whole Family Wellbeing Fund (WFWF): implement preventative whole family support measures.
  • Continue to implement #The Promise made to care experienced young people.
  • Continue to implement Children’s Rights.
  • Continue to implement EDC Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Nurture Strategy.
  • All children and young people continue to be supported through the Including Every Learner (IEL) Policy Framework.
  • Promote statutory guidance on nutritional requirements for food and drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations 2020.
  • Implement refreshed Play and Outdoor Learning Strategy.
  • Improve attainment for all children and young people, reduce inequalities and narrow the poverty-related attainment gap.
  • Promote poverty-aware policy and practice.
  • Increase uptake of places for eligible two-year olds in ELC.
  • Continue to implement parenting and family learning programmes.
  • Continue to implement Snack and Play provision during holiday periods.
  • Offer appropriate pathways in the senior phase and support sustained positive school-leaver destinations for all young people.
  • Increase the uptake of vocational qualifications in the Senior Phase.
  • Enhance partnership working with Skills Development Scotland, Developing the Young Workforce, Community Learning and Schools.
  • Youth workers support skills development and associated accreditation in relation to employability skills.
  • Deliver an all-age employability service to priority groups.
  • Support post school employment and training through No-one Left Behind and Community Learning and Development.
  • Support young people through Positive Achievements.
  • Develop a range of actions to improve the employability of parents with a view to addressing child poverty.
  • Develop and deliver a range of adult learning provision.
  • Provide high quality learning, teaching and assessment, focusing on equity for learners in Literacy and Numeracy.
  • Provide targeted support to raise attainment.
  • Improve transitions across all sectors through cross sector and cluster working.

Read the Education Improvement Actions