Standards up and exclusions down in Glasgow schools

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Schools in Glasgow have improved significantly in the last five years with higher standards, better attendances and fewer exclusions, according to an analysis of inspection reports.

Glasgow City Council said targeting teacher incompetence was one of the strategies that had helped turn the situation around in a city whose pupils have traditionally fared less successfully than their counterparts in the rest of Scotland. Some teachers deemed unsuited to the role have transferred into non-teaching positions.

A spokesman for the Educational Institute of Scotland said: “It is encouraging both teachers and pupils are giving their all and delivering such positive educational outcomes.”

The number of Glasgow schools graded very good or excellent has risen to 50 per cent from 27 per cent in 2008. Those rated good or better have risen to 87 per cent from 72 per cent, and 96 per cent of schools are now rated at least satisfactory, against 91 per cent in 2008.

More pupils have passed Standard Grade and Higher exams and pupil exclusions for violence have fallen by 17 per cent, from 3,450 to 2,857, the lowest figure on record.

Social deprivation has long been cited as a factor in Glasgow pupils’ performance. On average, 30 per cent of pupils are on free school meals – a key measure of poverty – which is double the rate in Scotland as a whole. 

Significant additional needs are also higher than in the rest of the country, including parents with drug and alcohol problems or having to cope with domestic violence and family suicide. 

A high number of children whose first language is not English has also added to demands in the classroom.

Glasgow still lags the national average on school attainment but the gap is closing, the summary of inspectors’ reports suggests. 

The gains have been welcomed. Maureen McKenna, the council’s education leader, cited major investment in training to improve teaching quality. Schools are also urged to make use of computer tracking to monitor those pupils most at risk of dropping out or of failing to realise their potential.

Ms McKenna said: “We are committed to continuing to improve by concentrating on what makes a difference in the classroom.”

Stephen Curran, the council’s executive member for education, added: “With increased attendance, reductions in exclusions and attainment across the board at an all-time high, Glasgow is constantly driving up standards in education and we are really starting to see the benefits.”



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