Every Dundee Learner Matters, a new effort to improve the quality of education for all children and pupils, will be driven forward by the sharing of ideas and expertise between city nurseries and schools.
The children and families services committee will hear on Monday June 21 that the strategy has been developed out of work with 13 local schools under the Scottish Attainment Challenge in partnership with the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change at the University of Glasgow.
Three guiding principles have been developed to support implementation of the new strategy.
- Presence – ensuring that all children and young people attend regularly and promptly;
- Participation – creating a climate within nurseries and schools where all children and young people feel welcome and valued; and
- Progress – developing policies and practices that maximise the achievement and ambitions of all children and young people.
The committee will hear that although there has been improvement in many educational measures, there are still inconsistencies across the system.
This new strategy is designed to address this by using the untapped potential that exists in all educational establishments. It will move that knowledge around the system to drive improvement across all nurseries and schools so that it is available to all leaners.
Children and families convener Councillor Stewart Hunter said: “This is an exciting development to help our nurseries and schools support each other in the best interests of every Dundee learner, no matter where in the city they attend.
“We know that there is expertise and new thinking across the system and this is a new way to share that more easily through the work of improvement groups and the work of the Robert Owen Centre.”
Cllr Hunter added: “I am grateful for insight that the educational experts from Glasgow University are giving us which is helping our nurseries and schools lay the foundations for new collaborative ways of working.
“We are absolutely committed to continuous improvement in the quality of education for all of our children and young people and I am always keen that we can develop new ways of working.
“The children and families service plan, which will also be considered by the committee, shows how we are making progress in a range of areas.
“However, we can never be complacent and that is why the creation of Every Dundee Learner Matters will help us deliver much better for our children and young people in the years ahead.”
Professor Chris Chapman, Founding Director of the Robert Owen Centre, said: “We look forward to working with our colleagues to improve life chances for all Dundee’s children and young people.
“While strategies like this are not a quick fix, working collaboratively and taking account of the local context has been proven to lead to better outcomes for pupils time and again.”
Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.