Teachers, pupils and parents praised for adaptability during lockdown

Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, policy lead for education at Argyll and Bute Council

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Education staff, pupils and parents across Argyll and Bute were today praised for their commitment and ability to adapt to change during lockdown, when the council’s community services committee approved the annual education plan for 2020/21.

The plan brings together a range of information about the work of the service for parents, pupils, staff, carers and communities.

As well as setting out the key priorities for children and young people in Argyll and Bute over the next 12 months, the 2020-21 plan also looks at the education service’s continued response to Covid-19 and reflects on the progress made with respect to priority actions within last year’s plan.

The council’s policy lead for education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly, said: ‘The Covid-19 pandemic presented, and continues to present, an unprecedented challenge for education services across Scotland. Remote learning has played a vital role in maintaining education provision in Argyll and Bute, and I would like to express my sincerest thanks to all of our teaching staff for pulling this together so quickly, and to the parents, carers and pupils for their understanding and exceptional support during what was a very difficult time.

‘While the 2020/21 education plan takes account of these challenges, it also celebrates the wide range of work that has been carried out by the service to support our children and young people, and outlines what our key priorities are over the next 12 months. The council’s central education team has put a lot of hard work and effort into preparing this plan and taking forward these initiatives, working collaboratively with head teachers, for the benefit of our young people.

‘Prior to Covid-19, we had already developed a change programme, which meets the Scottish Government’s requirements and the regional improvement plan for the Northern Alliance Collaborative, of which we are part of. The change programme highlights our key objectives and the actions we need to consider and has played an integral part in outlining our priorities in the Annual Education Plan.

‘The plan highlights the key objectives and actions that need to be addressed by the service, and by schools, as an integral aspect of their improvement planning processes for session 2020/2021. It places an increased focus on improvement planning and, importantly, performance reporting for education in Argyll and Bute.

‘We are fully committed to ensuring that every child and young person in Argyll and Bute is given the opportunity to thrive; that they have the best possible learning experiences; and that, as they move into adulthood, they are supported in moving onto positive destinations. We want Argyll and Bute to be the best place in Scotland for children and young people to grow and learn, and we are dedicated to improving the lives of each and every one of them.’

A copy of the education plan will now be now be submitted to Scottish mMinisters, as required by the legislation.