Paisley Grammar School pupils, parents and teachers are celebrating a strong school inspection report.
Education Scotland published its inspection findings today (Tuesday 12 February 2019) which highlights the positive relationships between staff and pupils.
Learning, teaching and assessment and raising attainment and achievement were all evaluated as ‘good’ in the glowing report which follows a visit to the school in November.
The report also praised headteacher Janice Levens and the school’s senior team for having a clear sense of direction and priorities.
Welcoming the report findings, Janice Levens said: “We are very pleased with the report and would like to thank all of those involved in the work of the school – our pupils, staff, parents and partners. It recognises the very positive relationships we have with pupils and the work we do to provide our pupils with the best possible learning experience.
“Our values are important to us and the report notes the positive inroads we have made in making these part of our school culture, together with improvements in attainment and the work to develop our curriculum to provide every opportunity for pupils to move onto a positive destination. Our aim is to continue improving our work and improving the outcomes for the young people of Paisley Grammar School.”
During their visit, the inspection team talked to pupils, parents and school staff and the report gives recognition to the important progress being made in establishing the school values and celebrating the school’s diverse community.
Staff working in the flexible learning resource were also recognised for their efforts in providing a safe and nurturing environment which is re-engaging young people in learning.
Inspectors encouraged the school to continue its focus on offering high-quality learning and to further develop its assessment process, so pupils are fully aware of their strengths and areas for improvement.
Third Year pupil Nathan said: “I like the wide range of opportunities. In third-year we have two periods for wider achievement where you can do different activities that you might not normally get, such as photography or cooking.”
Sixth Year pupil Emily added: “I like how diverse the school is, there’s many people with different backgrounds and cultures. We’ve had a few world food festivals and a modern language day so I like how they embrace the many cultures the school has.”
Roslyn Woodland is chair of Paisley Grammar School’s Parent Teacher Council which has made excellent progress in strengthening the relationship between school staff, parents and family members.
She said: “Paisley Grammar School Parent Council is delighted that the school has gained recognition for the continuous improvement that Janice Levens, her senior management team and staff have achieved over the last few years. This positive report will no doubt help to further encourage shared values, the building of relationships and the continued equity for all of its young people.”
Schools across Renfrewshire continue to deliver high-quality learning and teaching, with last summer’s exam results seeing more S5 pupils gaining five or more Highers and more S4 pupils achieving three or more National 5s than in 2017.
Education and Children’s Services convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “I would like to extend my congratulations to Headteacher Janice Levens and to all staff at Paisley Grammar for the fantastic work they are doing, which is reflected in this strong inspection report.
“Pupils and parents at Paisley Grammar will rightly be proud of its findings, recognising the importance the school has placed on fostering positive relationships between staff and pupils, which helps young people at the school to develop their confidence and skills.
“We are ambitious for all children and young people in Renfrewshire and will do all we can to give them the best start in life so they can reach their full potential.”
INQUIRIES MUST BE AUTOMATIC IN TAG MURDERS
A full independent inquiry into the failures leading to the murder of Paisley dad Craig McClelland remains critical to restoring confidence in Scotland’s Home Detention Curfew system.
However, Craig’s father Michael and Neil Bibby MSP also believe families shouldn’t have to plead for an inquiry in such tragic circumstances – it should be automatic.
Craig McClelland was murdered in an unprovoked attack by a convicted knife criminal who was unlawfully at large, having breached his home detention curfew and broken his electronic tag. The man convicted of his murder last year had been at large for five months at the time of the attack in Paisley.
Calls for an independent public inquiry into the circumstances leading to the death have so far been blocked by Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf. Now the family have written to the Lord Advocate asking for a Fatal Accident Inquiry and Neil Bibby MSP is proposing amendments to the Management of Offenders Bill to enshrine their right to an inquiry in law.
Michael McClelland, Craig’s father, said:
“As a family we will not have any confidence in the system, until lessons are fully learned.
“Process reviews are not good enough – there should be a full independent inquiry and we have said this to Humza Yousaf and the Lord Advocate.
“We need answers to why this happened to Craig and the public need to feel safe and have trust in those who are supposed to protect us.
“So far our calls have been ignored and the Justice Secretary is blocking a public inquiry for no good reason.
“We should not have to plead for an inquiry, it should happen automatically.
“If Humza Yousaf and the Lord Advocate can’t see the need for an inquiry in cases like these then the matter should be taken out of their hands. “The law must be changed and it’s down to MSPs to make sure this happens.”
Neil Bibby MSP said:
“No family should have to go through what Craig’s have. It is critical that confidence is restored in the system and this cannot happen until lessons are learned.
“This is why it is so important that a full and independent inquiry takes place into the failures that led to this tragic murder.
“The Justice Secretary is resisting a public inquiry into the case for no reason whatsoever, leaving Craig’s family devastated. The Lord Advocate has the power to instruct a Fatal Accident Inquiry and the family are now asking him to do so.
“There would be no question of ordering an inquiry if a prisoner were to kill another behind bars. It should be mandatory that an independent inquiry is triggered whenever a prisoner causes a death while out on a tag.
“I will seek to amend the Management of Offenders Bill to ensure that Craig’s family and any other family put in this awful position can get the answers they deserve by making an independent inquiry a legal requirement. Families shouldn’t have to plead for action – an inquiry should be automatic.”
Murder of Craig McClelland – independent inquiry should be a legal right:
Sign the Petition here.
We, the family of Craig McClelland, demand:
– a full independent inquiry into the circumstances that led to his murder
– automatic independent inquiries whenever a prisoner on HDC commits a murder
– changes in the law to make HDCs safer for the community.
Why is this important?
Craig McClelland, a loving father of three, was murdered in an unprovoked attack in his hometown of Paisley by a convicted knife criminal who had no right to be there. It could have been any one of us.
Craig’s murderer was on the run, having removed an electronic tag and breached a Home Detention Curfew, and he had been at large for five months. We believe that the Scottish Government, Scottish Prisons Service and Police Scotland all have questions to answer about Craig’s death but our calls for a full inquiry have been blocked by the Justice Secretary, Humza Yousaf MSP for no good reason.
We‘re still in the dark as to why Craig’s murderer was free when he should have been behind bars. We still don’t know why he was at large for months and why he was never caught. It still makes no sense.
Nothing will bring Craig back. The actions of one man mean he is lost to us forever. No one can change that and now three little children will grow up without a dad.
We believe a full independent inquiry is the only way to get the answers we need as a family. But we don’t want another family to go through what we have. We want to stop this happening to other families and to do that lessons must be fully learned.
We were promised answers by the Scottish Government but we still don’t have them.
If Scotland’s Justice Secretary or Lord Advocate can’t see why an inquiry is needed then the matter should be taken out of their hands.
The Management of Offenders Bill is going through the Scottish Parliament right now. MSPs should make it mandatory to have an independent inquiry whenever a prisoner on an HDC kills a law-abiding member of the public. If a prisoner kills another prisoner there would be a Fatal Accident Inquiry so why will families like ours not get one? This needs to change.
Tell the Justice Secretary, tell the Lord Advocate and tell MSPs that you are with us by signing this petition.
Please support our call for an inquiry into the circumstances that led to Craig’s death and changes in the law.
With our vast knowledge and experience allied to our meticulous attention to detail, Kenneth Keegan Independent Funeral Directors endeavour to meet the needs of our clients and strive to provide excellence in all aspects of our service
Our funeral directors, qualified to diploma level, will take care of all aspects of arrangements. An appointment can be arranged at our comfortable premises at 149 George Street, Paisley or in the convenience of your own home
We know and understand how difficult it can be to arrange a funeral; we strive to offer a complete, individual, caring and professional service to all families from the moment of first contact. We’ll endeavour to help you every step of the way providing guidance and support at a time when you need it most.
We consider it our privilege when a family entrusts their loved one into our care and we guarantee that we will provide the highest possible level of care. We strive to listen to all our client’s wishes and deliver a personalised funeral as a lasting tribute to their loved one.
We passionately believe that bereaved families deserve a funeral for their loved one to be tailored to their personal wishes at an affordable cost and best possible value.
Young people and staff from Gleniffer High School got the chance to meet the Scottish Government’s Minister for Mental Health as she paid a visit to the school as part of Children’s Mental Health Week.
Pupils and staff spoke with Clare Haughey about the different ways the school are supporting pupils and highlighting the importance of mental health across the whole school community.
Improving the health and wellbeing of pupils is a significant part of Renfrewshire’s Attainment Challenge Strategy, and Gleniffer High School are adopting a school-wide nurture approach, focusing on whole school activities and a programme of both staff and peer-led wellbeing support.
Head-teacher at Gleniffer, Lisa Chalmers has used Pupil Equity Funding, part of the £750 million Attainment Scotland Fund, to create posts within the school targeted at closing the poverty related attainment group through support and nurture.
“We have a number of staff who have volunteered to take on extra responsibility, working with our S1 pupils and interviewing them using health and wellbeing indicators. They are on hand to offer advice when needed and can report back to our Pastoral Support team if there are any issues.
“We were also able to use the Pupil Equity Fund to bring in a second Transition Teacher, working with target pupils in S1 who may be struggling and supporting them in core subjects such as maths and literacy.”
The success of the peer-led Hearty Lives group has also helped raise awareness of mental health in a positive and engaging manner within the school, and the group run a lunchtime hub promoted as a safe place where all pupils are welcome.
Minister for Mental Health Clare Haughey said:
“Gleniffer is a great example of the how we can support the wellbeing of our children and young people by bringing together their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
“It’s crucial that children and young people are supported at important junctures such as their transition in and beyond schools.
“This is also the approach we are putting in place through our Programme for Government, which has committed £250 million to build a world-class mental health system that works for everyone.”
Children’s Mental Health Week takes place this year from Monday 4 February to Sunday 10 February and this year is focused on taking steps to be healthy both inside and out.
Renfrewshire Council’s Young People’s Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell, was at Gleniffer High School to meet the Minister for Mental Health and to hear from the young people about the activities taking place in the school to promote a positive mental health.
Councillor Campbell said:
“Having worked in the mental health field I firmly believe that having a good mental health as a young person is key to their development and their success in later life. I’m delighted that the young people at Gleniffer are so involved in promoting positive health and wellbeing in the school community.
“The school have implemented some excellent initiatives using Attainment Scotland funding, complementing the existing work going on in schools Renfrewshire-wide to develop and support the mental, social and emotional health of our children and young people.”
VIOLENT CRIME IN SCOTLAND AT 44 YEAR LOW THANKS TO SNP GOVERNMENT
Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North has said the Scottish Tories are either “ridiculously confused or hypocritical” after attacking SNP justice reforms in the same week that such measures were hailed by the UK government as “smart justice”.
The Scottish Government is extending a presumption against short prison sentences as alternatives to custody, such as Community Payback Orders, have been proven more effective at reducing reoffending.
UK Justice Secretary David Gauke described effective alternatives to custody as “not soft justice but ‘smart’ justice” – while at the same time the UK party promoted a petition accusing the SNP of “soft touch justice” for taking the same approach. This comes at the same time as leading Scottish Tories have criticised SNP’s justice policies.
The UK government has previously admitted that there is “conclusive evidence” that the Scottish Government’s approach reduces reoffending.
UK Government Justice Minister, Rory Stewart, said last year: “We have a lot to learn from Scotland, specifically on community sentences, and indeed we will be looking at what more we can do to emphasise that a custodial sentence in the short term should be a final resort.”
Gavin Newlands MP, who sits on the Westminster Justice Committee and is a member of the SNP Justice and Home Affairs team, met with Karyn McCluskey, the previous Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit which has been credited with the leading the unprecedented success of policing in Scotland. Newlands commented:
“Thanks to the SNP Scottish Government, violent crime is now at a 44-year low.
“Scottish Tory MSPs keep attacking the SNP’s approach to justice to try and score points, however, the approach is clearly working.
“Meanwhile, in England Tory Ministers in the UK Government admit the SNP’s approach is ‘smart justice’, it is rank hypocrisy of the Tories to praise the SNP in Westminster then attack them in the Scottish Parliament.
“Short sentences help no one and often make situations worse. Pushing offenders through this revolving door is no credible approach to justice. Instead, Community Payback works far better in stopping reoffending and getting people back to a normal life.
“The UK Government as enthusiastically backed this effective approach so it is ridiculous that Scottish Tories feel the need to criticise this astounding progress.”
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson has praised Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership staff for their care and compassion in supporting service users, carers and families at West Lane Gardens and Whitehaugh.
Capability Scotland confirmed in July 2017 it was ending these services in Johnstone and Paisley, which support adults with learning disabilities.
Renfrewshire Council provided funding to March 2019 to enable them to continue while Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership staff worked closely with everyone affected to examine all available service and care options.
Personalised plans are now in place based on assessed service user individual care needs and the HSCP is extending its highly-regarded Community Networks service, in response to discussions with carers and their family members.
Community Networks helps people with learning disabilities to develop and maintain the skills they need to lead healthy, safe lifestyles in their local communities.
A new hub will be established in Johnstone and capacity extended at Spinners Gate in Paisley.
Councillor Nicolson said: “Since Capability Scotland announced its intention to end these services I know that health and social care partnership staff have been working tirelessly with individual service users to ensure staff are working to support the needs of those who accessed these services.
“We provided council funding to give additional time and space to consider all the options and listen to what service users, family members and carers wanted.
“Everyone has a personalised assessment and budget and I’m pleased to see that almost all those who used the services and their carers have now agreed on a support plan which will enable them meet their needs and pursue activities and interests that are important to them and ensure they lead the fullest lives possible.
“Extending the community networks service into Johnstone and expanding its capacity in Paisley is an important step, recognising the high-quality care and support this service provides and responding to what service users, carers and family members want.
“It means the established relationships between service users can be maintained and I know work is ongoing to explore all staffing options, recognising the importance of familiarity for service users.”
The people of Paisley are getting their first glimpse at what to expect from their transformed town hall – including entirely new rooms inside the existing building, and an increased capacity allowing bigger-name performers to bring new life to the town.
The magnificent Victorian-era town hall is currently undergoing major internal refurbishment into what will be one of the West of Scotland’s landmark entertainment venues when it reopens in 2021.
Renfrewshire Council is leading the work to turn the much-loved 19th-century architectural gem into a 21st-century facility which will drive new footfall to the area, while delivering upgrades essential to keep it at the heart of local life for generations to come.
Some initial artist images have been released, with more to follow in the coming weeks, and features people can look forward to in the revamped building include:
– the capacity of the main hall increased to 1,200 for a standing gig, allowing the venue to attract bigger and better shows than ever before, boosting the local night-time economy;
– entirely new rooms created inside the current building – including a new café-bar and dance studio built in currently-unused space. There will also be a smaller venue-within-a-venue – meaning more use, more footfall, and a better range of community events;
– transformed audience experience including lowered stage, new seating, better sightlines and acoustics, new reception area, and much improved access to and around the building;
– an entire replacement of the building’s decades-old electrical and mechanical equipment, and improved backroom facilities allowing more weddings and conferences;
The council is taking forward the £22m work as part of a much-bigger investment in the town centre designed to change the area’s future using its internationally-significant cultural and heritage story.
That includes a transformation of Paisley Museum which will almost quadruple current visitor numbers, a new modern home for library services on the High Street, and major investment in key outdoor spaces such as Abbey Close and County Square to create places which will keep residents, students and visitors in the town for longer.
The building’s operators Renfrewshire Leisure have already been speaking to some of Scotland’s top music promoters about using the venue when it reopens.
Mark Mackie, of Regular Music – who has worked with some of the industry’s biggest names as the man behind massive gigs including the Castle Concerts at Edinburgh Castle and Summer Nights at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Bandstand, said: “As a Paisley buddy myself, I’m really excited about the transformation of Paisley Town Hall.
“This investment is great news for gig-goers in the west of Scotland and it’s definitely a venue Regular Music would look to bring bands to. The new facilities, refurbished auditorium and café-bar will make it a must-visit venue for bands and audiences.”
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “Paisley Town Hall is a much-loved building which has been at the heart of life in the town for generations – but to keep it there the interior of this beautiful building needs the revamp now being delivered.
“The council is making a substantial investment – not just to do the necessary maintenance to keep the building viable, but to take what it can do to a totally new level.
“As a result, the revamp is predicted to double the number of people who use it each year – bringing new life to the town centre and helping anchor our ongoing wider work to use our outstanding cultural and heritage story to bring new visitors to the area.
“It also means creating a facility in which people will be able to experience world-class culture on their own doorstep, with all the opportunities that means to make people’s lives better.
“And while the renovation is happening we will be making sure everybody knows Paisley continues to remain open for business.”
The building is being redesigned by award-winning architects Holmes Miller, whose previous projects include the redevelopment of Old Trafford and reshaping Hampden for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The town hall revamp is being run by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with Hub West Scotland – a Scottish-Government-backed firm who help public-sector bodies get value for money when investing in large infrastructure projects.
The council worked with Homes Miller and Hub West Scotland on the new Johnstone Town Hall –which has won a string of industry awards since it opened in 2015.
Initial work to clear out the building is already under way, with stonework and roof repairs taking place over the summer, ahead of main construction work starting towards the end of the year. The building is due to reopen in late 2021.
GAVIN NEWLANDS PUSHES MUNDELL TO INTERVENE ON SANTANDER CLOSURES
SCOTTISH SECRETARY URGED TO GET ROUND CROSS-PARTY TABLE
Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North has urged Scotland’s Secretary of State to make clear what steps the UK government will take to halt the earmarked closure of 15 Scottish branches of Santander.
The bank announced plans to close 15 branches in Scotland, which will have a devastating impact on staff, customers and local firms. Branches earmarked for closure include the Renfrew Branch.
Commenting, Newlands said:
“The closure of 15 Santander branches across our country is another kick in the teeth to our high streets and local communities, I urge the bank to halt these closures and begin a proper consultation with their staff and the communities that depend on them.
“Bank branches, including the Santander in Renfrew, provide vital services that are useful to many in our community, especially those with additional needs and the elderly due to the face-to-face nature of the service. This ultimately means that the important local employment they offer can be valuable for local communities.
“David Mundell needs to get his act together, step-up, and engage with other parties to define what needs to be done by the UK Government in order to halt these closures.