An independent report has praised Renfrewshire Council’s work to close the poverty-related attainment gap between the least and most deprived children and young people over the past five years.
The Education Scotland five-year impact report, which will be put in front of councillors at the next Education and Children’s Services Policy Board on Thursday 21 May, said that Renfrewshire schools had made significant progress in raising attainment for pupils living in the most deprived areas.
Key to their success is how schools and the central education team analyse data to direct teaching and evidence-based programmes to where they will make the most impact to pupils.
Attainment in literacy and numeracy continues to improve and the area’s schools continue to have higher attainment rates than the national average.
Renfrewshire’s poverty-related attainment gap has reduced for pupils in all year groups over the past five years, with more young people living in the most deprived areas heading into positive destinations when they leave school.
The report also praised the professional learning for teachers and classroom assistants, classing it as sector leading.
Councillor Jim Paterson, the council’s education convener, said: “Renfrewshire continues to build on its excellent progress on closing the poverty-related attainment gap while also improving attainment for all. This report highlights the positive outcomes we have achieved as part of our Scottish Attainment Challenge journey over the past five years. It’s welcome news to have it confirmed that we are on the right track.
“We have made significant investments into high-quality professional development programmes for our teaching and support staff as well as working with Stanford and Strathclyde universities to evaluate our evidence-based literacy and numeracy programmes. This has enabled us to develop high-quality learning and teaching that has led to improved attainment and achievement in all our schools.
“A huge part of our success has been prioritising the health and wellbeing of all pupils, and the work we have put in over the years has been pivotal to how we are supporting children and young people to recover for the pandemic.
“Ultimately, our use of data to assess what is working, to build on evidence-based programmes, to provide staff with high-quality professional development, and our work with partners has made these improvements in attainment possible.”