10 October 2019

Strong attainment record continues for Aberdeenshire's schools

Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee today (Thursday 10 October) recognised the efforts of school and social work staff across Aberdeenshire.

They were presented with an attainment report which contains analyses of attainment data based on qualifications taken by young people in S4,5 and 6 in Aberdeenshire during the 2018-19 school session.

Cllr Gillian Owen, Chair of Education and Children’s Services Committee commented: “I’d really like to recognise and congratulate young people, their parents and carers, teachers and support staff and the wider children’s services team across Aberdeenshire on the level of success and achievement outlined in this report.

“We recognise that fantastic new developments, such as the introduction of Foundation Apprenticeships, have meddled with the data somewhat – given that they are often completed over two years rather than one – but we are continuing to demostrate that schools across the local area are giving of their best for young people across Aberdeenshire.”

Since 2014, young people’s achievements have been collated, analysed and presented through the Scottish Government’s benchmarking system, Insight. This presents the information on national benchmarking measures, including improving attainment for all. ‘Improving attainment for all’ measures reflect the impact and importance of attainment through courses and units. Some dips this year are largely a consequence of structural changes – those studying for National 5 and Higher qualifications are no longer required to achieve component units of a course so these milestones, if you like, are no longer recorded within our data.

Breadth and depth measures, on the other hand, focus on course achievement only. Looking at these figures, attainment at S6 remains above both national averages and our virtual comparator, and these measures also indicate steady improvement at S4. At S5, there was strong improvement in what pupils are achieving too.

Head of Education Vincent Docherty added: “We are also committed to improving the deprivation-related attainment gap. We are pleased to see some improvement in attainment for looked after children this year and a further school-by-school analysis of all those whose lives may be impacted by poverty will help us to take further action locally to support those who need it most.”

As agreed by Education and Children’s Services Committee, area committees will receive subsequent reports on attainment and achievement in their area. Attainment review meetings will also begin in every secondary school towards the end of October.