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Showcasing education success to Deputy First Minister

Deputy First Minister John Swinney was welcomed to East Renfrewshire on Tuesday (11 October) to hear first-hand how we continue to close the attainment gap whilst still delivering record-breaking results.

Science experiment

Mr Swinney, who is also the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, met with pupils and staff at St Luke's High, in Barrhead, where he was given an insight into the area's successful approach.

Pupils from all the schools in the St Luke's cluster showcased a series of workshops and explained to Mr Swinney the benefits of the pupil-centred approach which is taken here in East Renfrewshire.

In working towards the Education Department's vision - Everyone attaining, everyone achieving through excellent experiences - a systematic, detailed and rigorous analysis of pupil performance, from nursery through to secondary, is used to ensure a targeted approach for every child.

This rigorous tracking and monitoring system focused on each individual pupil is at the heart of the council's success in raising the bar for all - which most recently delivered the best ever exam results across all key indicators.

During his visit, Mr Swinney heard how our schools work closely with parents and partners to provide a curriculum that meets the needs of every child. 

This ensures that the children and young people develop the skills and knowledge required for being successful at school and when they make the transition into further education, training or employment.

Our strategy for ensuring excellence and equity has been branded as the 'Team Sky' approach, translating the concept of lots of small incremental gains adding up to phenomenal success made famous by 'Team Sky' cyclists, into the education arena.

It is my absolute priority to ensure that every young person in East Renfrewshire and across Scotland is supported to achieve and prosper through their education, no matter their background. I am firmly committed to substantially closing the attainment gap over the lifetime of this parliament. Ensuring schools and communities are learning and sharing best practice is central to achieving this ambition. I am delighted to be in East Renfrewshire to see first-hand the impact their pupil-centred approach is having on attainment, and encourage other schools to consider whether working together in this way could deliver similarly strong results for the young people they support.
- John Swinney - Deputy First Minister

We continue to see excellent results across the board in East Renfrewshire, with children from all backgrounds achieving and reaching their potential. Our approach recognises that all children progress at a different pace and need to be supported appropriately. Each child is an individual and will excel in different areas so we strive to provide a rounded education and a wide range of experiences, which allows all our pupils to achieve. The combination of the close working of our cluster schools, strong leadership, the use of data and our inclusive ethos has helped us to continue to achieve excellence in all our schools. We were delighted to have the opportunity to meet with Mr Swinney and outline our successes and vision for the future. All of the children who were representing our schools today were absolutely fantastic and it was so impressive to see their confidence and enthusiasm for learning.
- Councillor Elaine Green - Convener for Education

Another successful strategy implemented at our schools is the ongoing commitment to developing a high quality and motivated workforce, prepared to go the extra distance for pupils.

Our Education Department maintained its gold award in Investors in People last year and it's very evident in all teaching staff.

We create a framework where all staff are supported to excel, whether that's in career-long professional learning, or forging partnerships that allow them to provide the best possible learning experience for each and every young person. All our staff demonstrate huge commitment to the pupils and to each other. The support provided to pupils from across the area, including in disadvantaged areas, is paying dividends and we continue to see all our pupils achieving fantastic results in a wide range of disciplines.
- Mhairi Shaw - East Renfrewshire Council Director of Education

View photographs from the visit

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