This article, written by Katie Macleod, was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at www.hebevents.com) on 08/02/2018

E-Sgoil, the digital learning service from Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Education and Children’s Services Department, has grown exponentially since its launch in 2016, and now delivers online teaching across Scotland as well as throughout the Western Isles.

One milestone was the opening of a second e-Sgoil hub in Carinish in North Uist, which was formally opened in August 2017 by Deputy First Minister John Swinney, and it has recently seen the addition of a second full-time member of staff, as well as a Heritage Modern Apprentice.

This article, written by Katie Macleod, was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at www.hebevents.com) on 11/01/2018

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Education and Children’s Services Department rounded off 2017 with the final meeting of the year of the Education, Sport, and Children’s Services Committee.

At the December 5th meeting, a number of topics were discussed across a variety of themes, covering performance management, leisure and learning, children’s services, and educational provision. 

This article, written by Katie Macleod, was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at www.hebevents.com) on 05/04/2018

National Care Day, hosted on 16th February by Who Cares? Scotland, is an annual celebration of the success of children and young people with care experience.  In the Western Isles this year, though, the celebrations were held later than usual, on the 22nd – and they were a little bit different, too.

Who Cares? Scotland is a national independent advocacy and membership organisation that works with care-experienced young people in a range of different ways.  Jeananne, Participation Assistant at the office in Stornoway, grew up in care, and as a teenager had difficult encounters with the criminal justice system, including time spent in custody. 

Harmeny School

This article, written by Katie Macleod, was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at www.hebevents.com) on 05/04/2018

Located in Edinburgh, Harmeny Education Trust has operated as a grant-aided special school since it was first set up in 1958, providing “specialist services for children with complex social, emotional, and behavioural needs.”

Today, Harmeny offers both a residential and a day service.  The residential school service provides an integrated care and education programme for the 24 children, aged between seven and 15, who call the school home, while the day service enables a current school roll of six children to attend the specialist school each day and benefit from its resources.

This article, written by Katie Macleod, was first published in EVENTS newspaper (available at www.hebevents.com) on 05/04/2018

Research shows that by the time a child reaches school, there is a significant gap in vocabulary between the most and least deprived children – and it’s a gap in attainment that widens as the school years pass. 

But thanks to funding from the Scottish Government’s Pupil Equity Fund, measures are being put in place to close this poverty-related gap. 

The Pupil Equity Fund is part of an overarching national strategy, the Scottish Attainment Challenge, which requires each local authority to enact measures which will address the attainment gap.  Money from the Fund is then allocated directly to schools, and can be spent at the discretion of Head Teachers working in partnership with their local authority.