Primary and secondary schools across Renfrewshire will receive £4,558,000 from the Scottish Attainment Challenge fund in 2018/19 to help boost the attainment levels of the most deprived pupils.

Nine local authorities in Scotland and an additional 74 individual schools will share £50 million funding from the Scottish Attainment Challenge fund for initiatives targeted at children living in communities affected by high levels of deprivation.

This brings the total Attainment Scotland Fund investment to £170 million this year – helping raise attainment in schools across the country.

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

“The latest Scottish Government investment of £4,558,000 in Renfrewshire schools will help us significantly drive up standards in education and raise attainment in our schools.

“We want to ensure that every child in Scotland has the best possible start in life, no matter their background, and this investment will help us narrow the poverty-related attainment gap across Paisley.

“We now have hundreds more teachers in classrooms the length and breadth of Scotland as a direct result of the Attainment Scotland Fund – and the SNP Government’s £170 million investment this year will help us raise the bar higher still.”

Schools in Renfrewshire will receive over £4.5m in 2018/19 to help close the poverty-related attainment gap, the Scottish Government announced today (Tuesday 22nd May 2018)

£50 million of dedicated funding will be provided to primary and secondary schools across Scotland in 2018/19 to help pupils living in communities affected by high levels of deprivation.

The Scottish Attainment Challenge is providing £750 million during the course of this Parliament to tackle the poverty related attainment gap. It prioritises improvements in literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing of children adversely affected by poverty in Scotland’s Primary and Secondary schools..

Renfrewshire is one of nine local authorities which have been allocated funding from the Scottish Attainment Challenge, for education initiatives and projects targeting Scotland’s most deprived children.

Commenting, Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay said:

“Improving the education and life chances of our children and young people is the defining mission of the SNP in government.

“The Scottish Government are providing £750 million during the course of this Parliament to tackle the poverty-related attainment gap – and schools in Renfrewshire will benefit to the tune of £4.5million this year through our Attainment Challenge. This is in addition to thePupil Equity Fund, which will see £4.2m going directly to head teachers in Renfrewshire this year.

“This latest round of funding will ensure that schools where the need is greatest have substantial additional funding for the coming year to improve literacy, numeracy and health and well-being.

“I’m delighted that schools in Renfrewshire are benefitting from this funding, which is targeted to improve the life chances of children and young people in Scotland.”

SCHOOL pupils are to receive a boost with thousands of pounds worth of new sports equipment being provided for local schools by Renfrewshire Leisure.


The new kit is being provided as part of Renfrewshire Leisure’s Active Schools programme that provides hundreds of youngsters with extra-curricular sports sessions held in schools and sports centres.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “Encouraging young people to take part in sports activities is an important part of the work we, along with sportscotland do in Renfrewshire schools.

“The new sports equipment will make sure pupils have a wide variety of sporting activities to choose from.

Joyce explained that it’s not just pupils who benefit from the Active Schools programme in Renfrewshire. Volunteers helping run the programme are also given training in sport and leisure, gaining qualifications that mean they can apply for jobs in the sector.

“We’re delivering a high quality Active Schools programme to pupils in Renfrewshire with fully-trained staff. And with our volunteers receiving training and being able to gain qualifications, we’re also providing a pathway to employment for them.”

Paisley is the place to be this summer! Paisley First is bringing Jurassic Bricks – a free, interactive LEGO® Brick Dinosaur Trail to the town centre!

From Saturday 30th June until Sunday 12th August, there will be 15 large dinosaurs made out of Lego bricks on the trail plus two interactive play zones, a selfie zone and a find the Hidden Dinosaur Competition!

All of the dinosaurs will be situated within local businesses and everyone who completes the trail will have a chance to win prizes.

Paisley First Chairman, Graeme McGowan, said:” This will be a great event to showcase everything that Paisley has to offer this summer. “We are sure families will come from far and wide to enjoy this great, free day out during the school holidays.

“And after hitting the shops and enjoying our Jurassic entertainment, visitors can take advantage of our many cafes, restaurants and bars.

“There is so much to see and do in the town already and this will help cement the town’s reputation as a visitor destination.”

Paisley First will also be running the Golden Ticket Competition once again this summer with a weekly draw offering visitors the chance to win £250 of Paisley town centre gift vouchers! Come to Paisley for a great family day out this summer!

For more details see www.paisleyfirst.com

West College Scotland’s Principal, Audrey Cumberford, is leaving the organisation to take up a similar role at Edinburgh College.

Ms Cumberford has been Principal and Chief Executive of the College since its formation five years ago, following the merger of Clydebank College, James Watt College (Inverclyde) and Paisley’s Reid Kerr College. Before merger, she had been Principal of Reid Kerr College.

In a message to all College staff, Keith McKellar, who is Chair of the Board of Management, said:

“I want to record our deepest thanks to Audrey for her outstanding leadership of our College.

“Audrey led us through a period of unprecedented change and significant turbulence in the sector.  In doing so, she built for the College a reputation as one of Scotland’s most dynamic and highly-regarded educational institutions.

“Whatever challenge Audrey faced over the past five years, she did so with integrity, honesty and openness.  These qualities are her hallmark. For me, her greatest achievement has been to ensure those same qualities now define the culture of the organisation which she led so well.”

Ms Cumberford, who is widely regarded as among the most influential and forward-thinking leaders in the sector, commented:

“Having worked at Reid Kerr and then West College Scotland for nearly twenty years, it will be a wrench for me to leave so many wonderful professionals and good friends. Together, we met many challenges and I want to thank them all for the support they have shown me throughout.

“I am confident the ambitious plans we have developed will allow the College to continue to enhance its reputation as a first-class provider of education and training, delivered in state-of-the-art facilities in Clydebank, Greenock and Paisley.

“I am now looking forward to taking up my position at Edinburgh College, which is where I began my career in the sector in the 1990s.

“In the meantime, I wish everyone at West College Scotland the very best for the future.”

The Board of Management will now begin the process of appointing a new Principal.

Ambitious £42m plans to transform Paisley Museum into an international-class destination have pulled off a major coup, with the appointment of AL_A – the award-winning architects behind some of the world’s most striking buildings.

The firm’s founder Amanda Levete – a former winner of UK architecture’s top honour, the RIBA Stirling Prize – says the Paisley Museum project is ‘one of the most radical briefs she has read’.

It will be the first Scottish commission for the London-based practice, who have designed landmark projects including the Victoria & Albert Museum Exhibition Road Quarter – for which they this week won the prestigious RIBA London Building of the Year 2018.

They were also this month shortlisted for the competition to redesign the visitor experience at Paris’s iconic Eiffel Tower.

The Paisley Museum transformation is the flagship project in Renfrewshire Council’s planned £100m investment in cultural venues and infrastructure – key to Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid legacy, and the wider plans to use the town’s unique assets to transform its future.

The museum will close this autumn and re-open in 2022 as a revitalised home for Paisley’s internationally-significant textile heritage and outstanding natural history, art and science collections, expected to nearly quadruple current visitor numbers to 125,000 a year.

The project will include a contemporary addition to the existing Victorian-era building, creating a new entrance and museum spaces – including a cafe and shop – landscaping and significantly-improved access.

There will be major revamps to all four museum buildings including the Coats Observatory, while a complete internal redesign will reimagine the visitor experience and double the number of objects on public display.

Current AL_A projects include the revitalisation of the historic Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris; a new centre for the cancer care charity Maggie’s in Southampton; and two new buildings for Wadham College at the University of Oxford. Completed projects include Central Embassy, a 1.5m sq ft luxury shopping mall and hotel in Bangkok, and Sky TV’s new London media campus.

Levete was recently named the winner of the 2018 Jane Drew Prize, an annual lifetime achievement award for an architect who has furthered the progress of women in the industry.

She said: ““This is one of the most radical briefs I have read – it triggered in us a desire to tell the untold history of Paisley and search for a narrative thread that will drive the design. The project is bigger than the building itself and I am excited to re-imagine the relationship between the street and museum.

“This is not only about finding the way to best show the museum’s collection, it’s also about showing the world how an ambitious cultural project can have a profound impact on a community and its identity.”

Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure – which operates the museum – added: “For Paisley to have attracted a design team of such global reputation to come to Scotland for the first time shows we are being noticed around the UK and abroad.

“Being the first ever town on a UK City of Culture shortlist took our profile to new levels – but this appointment also says a lot about the scale and ambition of the museum project, and the worldwide importance of Paisley’s heritage and collections.

“The museum was gifted to the people of Paisley more than a century ago by Peter Coats, at the time his family were building a global thread empire headquartered right here.

“Now, AL_A will honour that legacy by designing a striking 21st-century facility to open up our unique heritage to future generations and be a valuable educational resource for our young people.

“At the same time, the new museum will be the centrepiece of the work to transform the area’s fortunes by using our unique selling points to make us a destination and drive huge volumes of new footfall into the town centre.”

AL_A were among more than 120 firms to tender for the Paisley Museum project and will lead an Anglo-Scottish multi-disciplinary design team including conservation consultants Giles Quarme and Associates, landscape architects GROSS.MAX, and engineers Arup.

They will also provide a wide range of benefits to the Renfrewshire community, including further education and school visits, work experience placements and careers events.

The £100m investment in Paisley town centre over the next four years also includes projects to transform Paisley Town Hall and Arts Centre into 21st-century venues, a new learning and cultural hub on the High Street, major investment in outdoor spaces and the town’s transport links, and new sporting facilities and events space at St James Playing Fields.

The plans build on the investment already made in the publicly-accessible museum store Paisley: The Secret Collection, opened last year on the town’s High Street, and the launch of the new destination brand and website at www.paisley.is

The museum project is also being funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

Thousands of people descended on Paisley to see more than 130 of the world’s best pipe bands compete in the first of the summer’s calendar of major piping events.

The British Pipe Band Championships saw more than 4,000 pipers and drummers descend on the town’s St James Playing Fields, from throughout the UK and Ireland, and as far afield as Denmark.

The event – organised by Renfrewshire Council and the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association – was in Paisley for the third year in a row.

The championships will return to Paisley for another three years from 2019 to 2021 as part of the expanded programme of events planned via the legacy of the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

A huge turnout of families from Renfrewshire and beyond enjoyed entertainment including a funfair and Highland dancing competition, plus sporty activities from Renfrewshire Leisure, Paisley Rugby Club, and Renfrewshire’s award-winning Street Stuff team.

Many pipers and their pals also took the chance to relax in the sunshine at the bar and international food village, while there was a range of street traders in attendance.

Transport to the event was free, with McGills running shuttle buses to and from Paisley Gilmour Street station, St Mirren’s Paisley 2021 Stadium, and West College Scotland.

In the piping arena, local interest came from the Johnstone Pipe Band, the Kilbarchan Pipe Band and the Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band – who were making their major championships debut.

Handing out the prizes as event chieftain was Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, who said: “Once again, the British Pipe Band Championships was a wonderful family day out and it was a pleasure to be part of it.

“It brings with it a massive audience from the length and breadth of Scotland and internationally, and that influx of visitors is worth a six-figure amount for the local economy.

“Today was also a chance for those visitors to explore Paisley and all it has to offer – hosting events like this is helping to establish us as a key destination within Scotland.

“It was also great to see our own school pupils get the experience of competing as part of a major championships – and showcase the musical talent we have here in Renfrewshire.”

Ian Embelton, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, added: “Today kicked off our annual calendar of majors and the standard of piping was top class – as you would expect from a field containing most of the world’s top bands.

“Once again, Paisley and Renfrewshire made a great host and we look forward to bringing the event back here over the next three years.”

During Mental Health Awareness Week, Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, met with Renfrew YMCA to discuss the vital work they do in the local community and the role they play in supporting young people with mental health issues.

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is centred around stress and the fact that two thirds of individuals experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes. In addition, mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 people children and young people.

Renfrew YMCA run activities to promote a healthy lifestyle by organising awareness sessions on a range of subjects including mental health. They provide a safe environment for young people to discuss issues in an open and honest manner. They also work with young people to break down barriers in the community and build positive relationships with other community members, supporting them to reach their full potential.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“Mental Health problems affect around 1 in 10 of our children and young people and it’s clear that we all need to devote greater attention on this issue to help people who are experiencing poor mental health. It is alarming that 70% of children and young people who have experienced mental health problems have not had the appropriate early intervention. It is therefore extremely important that those affected have the correct support available as emotional wellbeing is just as important as physical health.

“Organisations such as Renfrew YMCA can play an important part in helping those young people who suffer from poor mental health. They regularly engage with young people and are in a fantastic position to positively help those young people who have mental health problems. The Renfrew YMCA already support young people through physical activity, involvement in community activities or offering a safe space. All these activities are key in helping to improve a person’s mental health”

A campaign to boost foster carer numbers in Renfrewshire is asking  ‘Can you help us reach 100?’

Renfrewshire Council is aiming to increase numbers of foster carers by almost a fifth, from 81 to 100.

A series of drop in events were set up to allow anyone who thinks the role may be for them to meet the Council’s specialist team, as well as existing foster carers.

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, visited one of the information and advice sessions at Paisley’s Lagoon Centre, held to mark Foster Care Fortnight which runs until 27 May.

He said: “It was great to come along today and meet some of our foster carers and hear what amazing work they do.

“By becoming a foster carer you could make a positive difference to a child or young person’s life.

“What is also apparent is how much that the foster carers themselves personally get out of the role and how rewarding it is.

“We want to encourage people who think that becoming a foster carer could be for them to get in touch.

“You will be fully supported, with specialist training and also support from your peers.”

Foster carers can be in work or unemployed, be single, married or in in a same sex or heterosexual relationship and can own or rent the property they live in.

As well as training and support, carers receive an allowance.

Anyone interested in more detail can call the team at Renfrewshire Council on 0300 300 1199 or email at childrenandfamilies@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Last weeks open evening for former and present pupils to attend to see the old building before it is replaced by the new School under construction right in front of the old building right now, many memories were shared, old faces recognised and friendships over the years were rekindled at the school which was opened in 1960 and has seen many generations of Foxbar youngsters attend the school.

Many thanks to Fiona McCreadie for the photographs.

Thanks to Norma Connelly & Mrs Gavin, Louise Maher the head teacher who organised the celebration evening.

What a fantastic evening we had to celebrate the 58 years of success of this school building. Huge thanks to all those who turned out, around 300 over the course of the evening. I am sure you will agree that Fr Joe Burke, celebrated a beautiful mass and there has been great feedback about how valued and appreciated this event was by many people.

Thanks to the staff who worked hard to prepare especially Mrs Connelly, Mrs Gavin and Mrs Nicholson and also to Mrs Scott from St Andrew’s Academy who supported us with music preparation. The liturgy of the mass made this a truly memorable event. The psalm was beautifully sung by the Welsh family and the parent council helped serving refreshments to the many visitors. A real community event and a wonderful atmosphere. Hopefully will have many more events to come.

Goodbye St Pauls old building hello new..