Wednesday, March 15, 2017

#pef #attainment More than Schools #plan4children

Andrew Denholm  
Writing in The Herald

SCOTLAND’S attainment gap has no single cause and there will be no single solution.
It is easy to understand why the debate around improving the performance and prospects of children from Scotland’s poorest areas is often focused on our classrooms.
Education will, of course, help close the gap, but our teachers and schools will never close it on their own. That is because the gap is not caused by education but by poverty.
Schools can make a difference to the trajectory of a child’s life, but any intervention will be more powerful if it also addresses the complex causes of poverty.
This demands a partnership between educators, local authorities, charities, children, families and communities.
The Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland, representing children’s charities, is right to emphasise the importance of partnership and planning.
Their #plan4children campaign is urging candidates in May’s council elections to work with them to plan and deliver the most effective children’s services founded on early intervention.
Services, whoever is providing them, need to be based on strong analysis of what works best.
We must ensure best evidence is drawn on, best practice adopted and best schemes extended.
The research is there, but how each service is actually delivered and how they join together is crucial. A project’s success or failure will often depend on how well connected it is to other services and that, in turn, depends on local authorities building strong, working relationships with charities.
The challenge for councils is to locate the charities delivering the most efficient, effective work and then work out how to roll it out as an extended partnership.
Charities often deliver a really good pilot project, but transition into the mainstream is more difficult, for the charity and the service.
Scotland’s child poverty strategy talks about pockets, prospects and places, that is maximising household income, increasing opportunities, and improving neighbourhoods, and it is founded on ensuring services are integrated at point of use.
The strategy has the big vision, but the challenge is how to translate that vision into reality. Sometimes it happens very well, sometimes it doesn’t.
Councils need to understand what charities are doing in the communities and how that links into schools and social services.
Barnardo’s ran a project called Threads in Renfrewshire, for example, encouraging parents to interact more with their children and use reading and writing in everyday life. That needs to happen more.
There are some real challenges to greater partnership at the moment. There is uncertainty around the future structure of local authorities, the future structure of our schools, and the future levels of funding.
Our charities also face uncertainty with services regularly put out to tender by councils and increasing competition.

One thing remains certain, however. No one thing will close the attainment gap, but the priority must be concerted and unified action to deliver proven and effective services.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Andrew Carnegie


Andrew Carnegie addressed an audience of graduates and told the newly qualified young people that they should watch out for the ones not able to attend such an institution...he said sometimes those that start at the bottom have the desire to reach the top....yes attitude matters. We are launching an initiative soon that see's the self employed go into schools and mentor young "Roberts"​ They will use our growth mindset materials to engage and equip those that need to know that despite where they have been or what they have done or what life has handed them, THEY ARE REMARKABLE with great potential. As always if you are interested in knowing more or better want to help then get in touch...Robert needs you.