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SNP Funding Boosts Teacher Numbers Across Paisley

MSP Praises Education Commitment In Face Of Tory, Labour And Lib Dem Opposition

SNP Government education funding has boosted teacher numbers across Renfrewshire – part of an increase of 543 teachers across Scotland – as part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to education, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam has said.

Teacher numbers in Renfrewshire have risen from 1,633 to 1,656 – while the number across Scotland has increased substantially to 51,513 – 543 more than last year, with 666 full-time equivalent teachers being funded through the Attainment Scotland Fund, money that the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems voted against.

There has also been an improvement in the pupil teacher ratio across Scotland, while skills in reading, writing, listening, talking and numeracy are strong – with the proportion of S3 pupils achieving Curriculum for Excellence Third Level or better being between 88% and 91% for each skillset.

Commenting, George said:

“These figures prove that the SNP Government’s approach is working for schools across Paisley and throughout Scotland.

“Despite Tory, Labour and Lib Dem opposition, the SNP is delivering funding aimed at increasing teacher numbers and cutting the attainment gap – and this is already bearing fruit.

“We now have 23 more teachers in Renfrewshire than we did this time last year, and an additional 543 across Scotland. With this record of delivery, it is no surprise that pupils are performing strongly across reading, writing, listening, talking and numeracy.

“The SNP has made closing the attainment gap a key priority of this parliament – and these latest statistics show that our efforts are making progress on this, with 666 full-time equivalent teachers across Scotland being funded by the Attainment Scotland Fund.

“It is important that we don’t get complacent and keep working to improve education in Scotland – but given the clear progress that has been made, it would be good to see the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems dropping their political opposition and getting behind our positive efforts to support our young people across Paisley.”

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Six key sectors to a thriving Renfrewshire economy

Renfrewshire businesses are forming specialist teams to grow six key sectors of the local economy.

RDC Business Panel UWS 28.8.17

Members of Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel – which brings together the region’s business and education experts – have identified the six target areas of culture, health and childcare, manufacturing, skills, tourism and transport.

Now plans are in place to create six groups who will meet in January as they formulate specific strategies for each area of emphasis.

The Leadership Panel was established in the summer to drive Renfrewshire’s future economic success. Its membership is drawn from companies large and small across the area together with representatives from the public sector, further and higher education and national agencies.

Its first task is to support the development of a long-term economic strategy for Renfrewshire from 2018-2035 and the sector specific groups will play a key role.

Audrey Cumberford, Principal and Chief Executive of West College Scotland and Chair of the Renfrewshire Economic Leadership Panel said: “This panel is about taking action and about each organisation recognising its responsibility to develop Renfrewshire’s economic potential.

“These teams will focus on areas we know are hugely important to Renfrewshire’s economic health and will ensure people with the right knowledge and expertise play their part in accelerating the area’s economic fortunes.”

These latest developments come as Councillors on the Leadership Board today (Tuesday 12 December, 2017) approved a new Renfrewshire Economic Profile, providing bitesize data on how the local economy is faring.

The six-monthly snapshot will be shared online and give councillors a handy tool to track local progress.

The example November 2017 profile shows Renfrewshire’s employment rate at 74.7 per cent, outstripping the Glasgow City Region and higher than the Scottish average.

It also shows a five per cent unemployment rate, again bettering the national position, with average weekly earnings £14 up on the average Scot.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are committed to putting the measures in place which attract new jobs and opportunities to Renfrewshire. The Economic Leadership Panel provides vital strategic direction and the formation of these new teams are most welcome to devise specific plans for these six hugely important sectors to the Renfrewshire economy.

“It is only through partnership working that we can achieve our collective goals and at the same time having this regular profile of our economic performance enables us to make the strategic directions to deliver a thriving Renfrewshire.”

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Renfrewshire pupils are on song at Paisley Abbey

The sound of music flowed through Paisley Abbey as pupils from across Renfrewshire performed in the annual schools Christmas concert.

Aspiring musicians from a variety of Renfrewshire schools utilised the stunning acoustics of the historic venue to showcase their talents and musicianship to the local community.

The performance began with the violins and cellos of the Renfrewshire Schools String Ensemble’s as they performed ‘The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’.

This was followed by a moving performance of Africca and Tron Legacy by the assorted battery of the Schools Percussion Ensemble, which incorporated an array of instruments including timpani, drums, marimba, tubular bells and more.

The Senior Concert band then played a range of Gershwin Classics, as well as music from Shrek, leaving the Abbey reverberating with the sounds of trumpets, saxophones and flutes.

Culture and tradition then enveloped the Abbey as the Feis Phaislig Choir opened the second half with a selection of Gaelic songs.

The Senior Ceilidh Band had the audience tapping along as they concluded the concert with a fantastic rendition of ‘Let Ramensky Go’, featuring Sorcha Alcorn Stewart on vocals.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, said: “We have a wealth of aspiring musicians in Renfrewshire and it’s fantastic to see our pupils bring their talents together to put on such an extraordinary performance.

“It is vital that we encourage our young people to express themselves musically which is why we committed to offering free music tuition to our school pupils, allowing them the opportunity to find their talent from an early age.

“We want our pupils to aim high and achieve their dreams and what better inspiration than performing in the same venue as our home-grown success story Paolo Nutini did so recently.”

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Business leaders welcome National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland to Renfrewshire

Business leaders welcome National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland to Renfrewshire

Renfrewshire’s business community has welcomed the news that Scotland’s National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) will be established in Renfrewshire.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday (Monday 11 December) announced the industry-led institute will be built on Abbotsinch Road, next to Glasgow Airport, and will become the anchor tenant of a new 130-acre business and manufacturing innovation district in Renfrewshire.

A collaborative project between the Scottish Government and national skills and enterprise agencies together with the University of Strathclyde and Renfrewshire Council, the Institute will bring together skills, expertise, research and innovation to attract investment and develop Scotland into a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

The enabling infrastructure of roads, bridges, cycleways and pedestrian routes are being delivered by Renfrewshire Council through the £39.1million Glasgow Airport Investment Area project, funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Chair of Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel, Audrey Cumberford, feels the new institute will allow Renfrewshire to realise its economic potential.

She said: “Choosing Renfrewshire as the base for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland is a clear indication of the area’s potential to be a leading light in the global manufacturing sector.

“The levels of private investment this could bring to Renfrewshire cannot be underestimated and this will provide a substantial boost to the area’s economic growth.

“The investment, combined with the significant improvement to infrastructure in the area, will be a key contributor in making Renfrewshire a more attractive, vibrant and sustainable place to live, work, visit and invest in.”

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Bob Grant, has also welcomed the announcement citing the promise of thousands of new jobs coming into the area.

He said: “It is fantastic that Renfrewshire has been chosen as the home for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland and it is recognition of our growing position within the international manufacturing sector.

“Thousands of highly-skilled jobs are set to be created across the next 20 years in a boost to employment across the area, while also providing an opportunity to inspire young people into an exciting and rewarding career within the industry.

“New and existing businesses in the area will feel the benefit of the increase in skilled workers in Renfrewshire, as well as the expertise and technological advances the institute brings, as it aims to allow Scotland to compete globally in manufacturing.”

The announcement builds on the recent development of the £8.9million Lightweight Manufacturing Centre, set to open in May 2018 at the Doosan Babcock site in Westway, Renfrew.

The centre will develop new manufacturing processes for lightweight materials for the aerospace and automotive industries.

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First Minister leads messages of goodwill to Paisley as City of Culture competition comes to an end

Nicola Sturgeon has said she believes Paisley’s UK City of Cuture  bid will lead to ’ lasting benefit’ for the town.

Paisley Abbey and Town Hall Lit in anticipation of the City of Culture 2021 result. 7.12.17

The First Minister has led an outpouring of good wishes for the town with the close of the competition.

Paisley was the sole Scottish place on the shortlist which included Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea and Coventry, who took the title, announced live on BBC’s The One Show in front of a live TV audience of millions.

The contest saw Paisley involve 34,000 residents in the bid across a two year journey to change the town’s future for the better using the town’s unique culture and heritage story.
The First Minister said: “Everyone involved in the Paisley bid, from bid director Jean Cameron to the many people who have been involved
formally and informally over the last two years, can be rightly proud of their efforts.
“To gather the support of businesses, cultural and community groups, and secure the involvement of more than 30,000 people is a tremendous achievement.
“Although they will naturally be disappointed at the result, I believe the bid will lead to lasting benefits for Paisley, in terms of its profile and cultural life, and that is what we should focus on today.”
Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson also sent her best wishes to the town and praised the bid.
She said: “Everyone involved should feel a great deal of pride in the way they put forward such a positive case. It show Paisley is a place on the up.”
She added that the bid means the town will continue to be a ‘magnet for jobs and investment.
A wealth of other political and community voices also sent supportive message to the town.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop  tweeted: “Paisley2021 and all Buddies have made us all proud of
Paisley- you have unleashed a cultural and  creative energy which will propel you on.”
Scottish Secretary of State David Mundell said: “Massive commiserations to Paisley 2021 but you’ve achieved so much during the bid and it will be a springboard for the future. You are a credit to Scotland.”
The University of Glasgow added its voice on social media to tweet: “So disappointed for neighbours Paisley 2021 missing out on being named UK City of Culture2021 – congratulations to Coventry 2021.”
Artist Matt Baker said: “Thank you Paisley 2021 you have held a mirror up to all that is brilliant about Scottish culture and utterly redefined the way the country now sees you.”
Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard tweeted: “Huge commiserations to all the Buddies and the Paisley 2021 team who worked so hard to be crowned City of Culture 2021.
“The passion and inspiration shown by all involved has been fantastic and you should all be proud.”
The Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Ros Kerslake, said: “There has been an incredible level of support and passion from across communities – a testament to how special the town is and how excited people are for its future.
“Heritage is of course a key part of what makes Paisley unique and we look forward to continuing to invest money raised by National Lottery players into projects across the town.”
Bob Grant, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The outcome is of course disappointing but we are still in a great position compared to where we were two years ago. Our public and private sector partnerships are far stronger and there’s so much goodwill and momentum created by the bidding process.  This is a great opportunity to capitalise on that enthusiasm and renewed confidence for the good of the visitor economy and tourism, as well as the town centre economy.
“The key thing is to maximise that opportunity and take advantage of where we’re at now through the bidding process.”
Sharon McAulay from the Paisley-based STAR Project said: “What an amazing journey we’ve had! Yes we’re gutted we didn’t win but we’re also proud of what we’ve achieved over the past two years. Paisley’s journey is far from over. We’ll continue to be brilliant, creative, and full of potential and our plans to transform our town will also continue. Paisley has great things ahead and my belief in what we can achieve together remains steadfast and true. “
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Derek Mackay MSP Comments – UK City of Culture 2021 Result

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Pinnacle Training drive for Foodbank donations

Pinnacle Training offer Training Courses in various sectors, as well as professional services and freelance staff. Pinnacle Training are campaigning hard for the Renfrewshire Foodbank as well as other causes over the festive period.

Here is the GoFundMe link for our fundraising for Renfrewshire Foodbank

We are now taking donations, be it cash or food!
Cash and food will be donated to Renfrewshire Foodbank!

If anyone wishes to donate toys/gifts, Paisley Corps – The Salvation Army will be accepting unwrapped gifts (full details here: https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/christmas-present-appeal )
As will the Paisley Daily Express: https://www.facebook.com/paisleydailyexpress/photos/a.330870066929585.103750.309522389064353/1999125730104002/?type=3&theater

If anyone wishes to donate food, we will be taking food donations as well the foodbank, suggestions include:

· Tinned Potatoes
· Tinned Tomatoes
· UHT Milk
· Litre Cartons Juice
· Tinned fruit
· Tinned rice/custard
· Breakfast Cereal
· Jams/spreads
· Coffee/Tea (small)
· Dried Rice
· Tinned spaghetti/ravioli
· Noodles/Cup A Soups/Snacks
· Super noodles/Pasta ‘N’ Sauce
· Strong Carrier Bags
· Toiletries
· Household cleaning
· Tinned vegetable
· Tinned meat/fish

Christmas foods such as selection boxes, biscuit boxes, stuffing mix boxes, instant mash, gravy mix, etc must be in by the first week of December in order to distribute. Anything else can be donated up until 22nd December.

We are also hosting a Paediatric First Aid Course with all proceeds going to Renfrewshire Foodbank. This is a fully certified accredited course and with it being for charity, there will be a chance to win a bottle of something festive and maybe a game or two! Details here:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/PinnacleTraining/events/?ref=page_internal

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St Mirren continue to fly the flag for the town’s UK City of Culture bid at Paisley 2021 Stadium

St Mirren FC will continue to fly the flag for Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid with an extension to a deal to keep its stadium name in place until the end of May 2018.

If the town takes title there will be an option to extend the sponsorship to retain the name of the Paisley 2021 Stadium until May 2022.

The news is announced as the club erected new signage outside the stadium and is an extension of the original two year two-year sponsorship and stadium naming rights deal struck with Renfrewshire Council in November 2015.

The venue was renamed from St Mirren Park to mark Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

Paisley is shortlisted for the title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea. The winner will be announced tomorrow evening by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which organised the competition.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “St Mirren are at the heart of the community and we are delighted to have their continued support. Paisley’s bid journey has been a positive one and will continue no matter what the outcome.

“The Paisley 2021 stadium forms part of this legacy and keeps the name going.”

St Mirren Director Tony Fitzpatrick said: “The fortunes of the town and the club are interlinked and we are delighted to continue with our support of Paisley 2021.

“A winning year of culture would be great for both the town and the club.

“With the UK City of Culture decision imminent, we wish Paisley the very best of luck in its bid for the title.”

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Make a date with history at new museum store

PEOPLE can make a date with history at the town’s new treasure trove of interesting artefacts. Dates and booking arrangements have been announced for free guided tours of the new £3.7 million Paisley: The Secret Collection.

The new facility, in a former retail unit in Paisley’s High Street, is the first publicly accessible museum store on a High Street in the UK and will house thousands of items from Renfrewshire’s collections in a purpose-built storage unit.

The opening comes as the town is only days way from finding out if it has won the UK City of Culture 2021 accolade. Public tours of Paisley: The Secret Collection are being held on Wednesday and Thursday, January 24 and 25 and every Wednesday during February, between 2pm and 3pm. School tours are also available on these dates at 10am.

All visits have to be booked in advance by emailing tours@renfrewshireleisure.com  logging on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/thesecretcollection or by phoning 0141 618 5129 <tel:0141%20618%205129>  between 10am and 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday. The facility is being run by Renfrewshire Leisure, whose chief executive, Joyce McKellar said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for people to explore their heritage by seeing items that they probably never knew existed.

We’ve already got one guided tour fully-booked, so people should contact us as soon as possible to make sure of their place.

“There are thousands of items of hidden treasure for people to see and we expect there will be a huge amount of interest. “Paisley: The Secret Collection is part of a wider push to transform Paisley’s future by using its internationally-significant heritage and cultural assets to turn it into a key destination for visitors and events.”

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Reading is in the good books for Renfrewshire pupils

Pupils have caught the book bug this week as schools across Renfrewshire took part in the national reading campaign Book Week Scotland.

Raising literacy levels in children and young people across all early years, primary and secondary schools is a significant part of Renfrewshire’s ambitions.

The Renfrewshire Literacy Approach, a cutting-edge partnership between Renfrewshire Council and the University of Strathclyde, has supported children and young people to develop a love of reading from a young age.

During Book Week Scotland, families, pupils, teachers and support staff at Todholm Primary School launched biodegradable balloons for each child and their favourite book. The child whose balloon travels the furthest will receive a personal copy of the book of their choice.

S1 pupils at Trinity High School have been raising money for children in hospital by taking part in a read-athon, with teachers also getting involved and making their own reading recommendations.

Kilbarchan Primary pupils took part in an Extreme Reading Challenge, swapped books, read books in their PJs and asked resident author (and Primary Teacher at the school) Lindsay Littleson about why she started writing books.

The Skoobmobile proved to be a lot of fun for Howwood Primary School pupils, with P1 and P2 classes receiving Read, Write and Count bags and older children received a visit from local author Lindsay Littleson.

Kirklandneuk Primary School pupils dressed as their favourite character and took part in fun reading sessions, including a reading lunch and ‘Drop Everything and Read’ events.

Renfrewshire-based author Vikki Gemmell popped into Castlehead High School for a creative workshop with S3 pupils, while Anne Donovan visited Renfrew High to discuss her short story collection, Hieroglyphics.

DIY bath-bomb making and yoga workshops were also held in Renfrew High to showcase different aspects of nourish on top of reading for pleasure.

“Guess the shelfie” also proved popular at Castlehead High, as pupils tried to guess which teacher the bookshelf belonged to.

Everyone at St James’ Primary School, Renfrew, took part in a mannequin challenge based on their favourite book, while P7 pupils created a flash mob and P5 pupils learned about storytelling techniques from reading patron Renita Boyle.

P7 pupils at St James’ Primary School, Renfrew, created a dance flash mob, while everyone took part in

Schools also held I Am Reading challenges, took part in Bookbugs, visited libraries and held reading assemblies.

Fiona Mackenzie, Headteacher at Kilbrachan Primary School, said: “From extreme reading to cosy corners, the activities during Book Week Scotland has helped to foster a love of reading that will develop life-long literacy skills in order to raise the attainment of all.”

Lindsay Littleson, author and teacher at Kilbarchan Primary School, said: “I really enjoyed talking to the pupils in Kilbarchan Primary about how I became an author. I’m hoping to inspire some young writers.”

Claire Hall, Challenge Leader of Literacy and Numeracy/Principal Teacher at Todholm Primary School, said: “Our Balloon Launch was spectacular and we were delighted with the number of parents, grandparents and carers who attended.

“Family learning sessions were held by each class and familes took the resources home with them afterwards. We had a large queue of parents around the school waiting to come in. We are delighted with the response the event has had.”

Robin Dunlop, School Librarian at Renfrew High, said: “Book Week Scotland is a great opportunity to promote and integrate a reading culture in schools – via interactive and engaging means.

“This year’s theme of health and wellbeing has proved an inspiring subject matter to expand awareness and integrate a reading culture for a healthy mindset.”

Renfrew High are also one of a few secondary schools in Scotland taking part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge – in partnership with Scottish Book Trust and Waterstones – and each day during Advent, one of their pupils will receive a free book.

Renfrewshire is one of nine local authorities in the Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge, supporting the Council’s work to close the poverty-related attainment gap and raise attainment for all.

Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “Book Week Scotland is a fantastic way to celebrate reading in our early years, primary and secondary schools. Getting children and young people hooked on reading from an early age is the aim of the successful Renfrewshire Literacy Approach, developed in partnership with the University of Strathclyde.

“It has already boosted reading levels by empowering teachers to adapt their teaching style as needed to develop a love of reading in all pupils. We continue to build upon our approach to literacy and numeracy as we work towards achieving our ambitions.”