Response to Publication of HMI Report on St Paul's RC Academy

Councillor Laurie Bidwell

1 November 2011

The Report by Her Majesties Inspectors (HMIs) on St Paul’s RC Academy has been published earlier today.

While the report acknowledges that the school is a caring community, its summary of the school performance against quality indicators, identifies significant weaknesses.

"Here are the evaluations for St Paul’s RC Academy:

Learners’ experiences - satisfactory

Improvements in performance - satisfactory

Meeting learning needs - weak

"We also evaluated the following aspects of the work of the school:

The curriculum - weak

Improvement through self-evaluation - weak"

The report also concludes that:

"We discussed with staff and the education authority how they might continue to improve the school. This is what we agreed with them.

Raise expectations and improve the consistency of young people’s learning experiences and achievements.

Improve arrangements to meet the learning needs of young people, including those requiring additional support.

Improve the curriculum to meet the needs and entitlements of all young people.

Develop consistent and rigorous approaches to self-evaluation.

As a result of our inspection findings we think that the school needs additional support and more time to make necessary improvements."

Councillor Laurie Bidwell, Labour's Education Spokesperson in the city said:

"This is a very disappointing first HMI report on one of our new flagship PPP secondary schools in the city; most importantly because the attainment and achievement of the school's pupils is apparently not being sufficiently nurtured and exploited.

"Councillor Liz Fordyce, the Education Convener of the Council, needs to immediately reassure parents and carers and members of the Education Committee what 'additional support' will be provided to St Paul's RC Academy so that it can make the necessary improvements.

"She will however be judged not on her words but on her deeds and the effect of these.

"In this financial year she has already removed one of the of the Depute Head Teacher posts in St Paul's. "When she and her SNP colleagues published their cuts in the Education budget earlier this year she claimed that £4.5 million reduction in the budget would improve educational outcomes in the city."

Councillor Kevin Keenan, said:

"St Paul's RC Academy is in my constituency.

"As a local Councillor I am really concerned by the performance of St Paul's RC Academy as reported in their HMI report.

"Like Councillor Bidwell, I want to know what actions will the Education Convener put in place from this month to begin to improve this school.

"In my role as Chair of the Scrutiny Committee, I will write to the Chief Executive of the Council and the Director of Education to ensure that this report is on the Agenda of the next meeting of the Scrutiny Committee on 14 December 2011.

"However, action is required now to address the shortfalls identified in this Report."

A copy of the full letter from HMI is available on the Education Scotland website

or by clicking this link


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