Inveraray school ‘needs support’, say inspectors

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Action is ‘already under way’ to make enhancements at Inveraray Primary School and nursery class after government inspectors issued a report identifying a number of areas for improvement.

A team of Education Scotland inspectors visited the school – which has a roll of 64 primary and 12 pre-five children – in September, when they spoke to parents/carers and children and worked closely with the head teacher and staff.

Acknowledging that the school has ‘experienced some challenges’ in recent years regarding teacher numbers, the inspection identified a number of strengths, including teamwork among staff, the outdoor learning environment and relaxed and confident early level pupils.

Inspectors also identified areas for improvement such as strategic leadership, the pace of curriculum development, use of outdoor spaces and pupil attainment in literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing.

Of four quality indicators for the primary school, two were classed as ‘satisfactory’ while the others were deemed ‘weak’.

In the nursery section, one indicator was ‘weak’ with another three being ‘satisfactory’.

Inspectors concluded that the school should get additional support from Argyll and Bute Council and be given time to make necessary improvements.

In a letter to parents/carers Marion Burns, HM Inspector, said: ‘We will return to carry out a further inspection of the school within one year of the publication of this letter. We will discuss with Argyll and Bute Council the details of the inspection.’

Argyll and Bute Council’s policy lead for education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly said: ‘Inveraray Primary School boasts a number of key strengths and action is already being taken to progress improvements where needed.

‘For example, at Inveraray Primary School all relevant stakeholders, including children, have been involved in an extended consultation exercise to refresh the school’s vision, values and aims.

‘We are committed to ensuring that our children have the very best start in life, and we have hard working staff and pupils to be proud of, who together are achieving often award winning success.’