A decade of success in Glasgow schools has received an excellent report card today (Monday 11 March 2019) from Education Scotland for improving learning, raising attainment and achievement across the city and making excellent progress in closing the national poverty related attainment gap.
The report is published on the back of Glasgow's highest positive destination figures last week (92.3%) which saw more of our young people than ever before going to further and higher education and for the first time - more than the national average.
The report - one of 9 Attainment Challenge Local Authority inspections carried out in Scotland - is a huge accolade for Glasgow's schools, young people, teachers and school staff and recognition of the commitment, dedication and the 'relentless drive to reduce the impact of poverty on the outcomes of all children and young people' in the city.
Education inspectors have highlighted five key strengths - witnessed and evidenced during their time spent in schools speaking to staff, young people and parents:
· The very strong council-wide vision focused on reducing the impact of poverty on children, families and communities
· The relentless drive of the Executive Director in improving the educational outcomes of children and young people living in poverty in Glasgow
· The exceptional progress made in reducing the impact of poverty on educational attainment and achievement of children and young people
· Outstanding approaches to career-long professional learning and leadership which have strengthened the skills and knowledge of staff and, as a result, improved children's and young people's attainment
· In-built sustainability through capacity building is at the heart of the professional learning approaches undertaken across the city. Education Services has strongly promoted the importance of long-term sustainability across all aspects of their universal and targeted approaches to permanently reduce the impact of poverty outcomes for children and young people
Councillor Chris Cunningham, City Convener for Education, Skills & Early Years has welcomed the excellent inspection report and what it means to the city.
He said today: "The improvements in the learning and teaching in our schools over the last 10 years are nothing short of remarkable and the report today is proof of these achievements.
"Children and young people are at the heart of everything we do and there is no such thing as poverty of aspirations in our schools anymore.
"This is despite the fact that almost half of our pupils live in the 10% most deprived areas in Scotland.
"No one in education uses this as an excuse - we don't hide behind these barriers- we tackle these challenges head on and as highlighted in the inspection's key strengths - our children and young people are reaping the benefits in our pursuit for excellence.
"Glasgow's attainment, achievement, attendance and positive destination figures are the highest they have ever been - our schools are constantly raising the bar and what shines out bright throughout the inspection report is our passion, commitment and relentless drive.
"We will never be complacent and will continue to support our schools to keep delivering for our children - giving them every opportunity we can.
Annemarie O'Donnell, Chief Executive, Glasgow City Council said: "Today's excellent report card for our schools and nurseries is something to be celebrated by everyone who has been a part of our journey of improvement and who is dedicated to Glasgow's children.
"This is an excellent endorsement of their hard work, dedication and determination to make sure we nurture our children and young people and give them the opportunities to be the best they can be."
Education Scotland Inspectors spent two weeks in Glasgow as part of a new model of inspection of local authorities.
HM Chief Inspector of Education Gayle Gorman said: "This report is a real tribute to the teachers and support staff for their outstanding commitment to improving learning, raising attainment and reducing the impact of poverty on learners.
"I'm very pleased to see that staff are well supported and challenged to own and deliver the aspirational goals they have created for all children, young people and families across the city.
"Outstanding approaches to career-long professional learning and leadership have further strengthened staff skills and knowledge."
Education Scotland Strategic Director of Scrutiny Janie McManus said: "What stood out in this report were the approaches to targeting, selecting and evaluating the impact of initiatives.
"This is particularly well illustrated by the fact that headteachers are now confidently using data to make decisions on how additional funding can have the greatest impact for children in their local context.
"In fact, school staff across the local authority are overwhelmingly positive on how the quality and use of data has improved their work."
The report is supported throughout with comments from school staff, pupils and parents in the city including:
"Not only are classroom doors open but school gates are open for collaboration." Class teacher, Glasgow.
"I know what I want to do when I am older - I want to make all schools as good as mine." Secondary pupil.
"My son is a different person now. With the support of everyone here he just loves maths." Parent of primary pupil in relation to Glasgow Counts.