Renfrewshire Council

Success of Renfrewshire school leavers shows council efforts making real difference to young people

Renfrewshire Council's ambitious programmes helping young people get a positive start in life are paying off.

National figures released today show the area's youngsters are more likely to go into higher education or employment than their counterparts across Scotland.

Last year 42 per cent of Renfrewshire school leavers successfully moved to higher education, which includes university or college courses leading to qualifications such as degrees, HNDs and HNCs.

With the national average being 40 per cent it shows the benefit of local efforts to improve young people's life chances.

Renfrewshire also outperformed the Scottish average when it came to young people finding employment, with 23 per cent of its school leavers moving into work compared to 22 per cent across the country.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Renfrewshire Council's convener of education, said: "These figures reflect the incredible efforts that have been made to give every young person in our area the opportunities and support they need to thrive.

"Through our innovative £6 million Tackling Poverty Fund we have led the way in Scotland in the fight against child poverty.

"It is an ambitious, wide-ranging approach that makes a real difference for children and their families."

She explained: "Practical measures like helping people meet the cost of the school day and running breakfast clubs for pupils have eased financial pressure on parents, which helps them support their children's education.

"We have also taken a ground-breaking approach to improve reading standards that has been recognised as being among the most successful education initiatives in Scotland.

"Being able to read easily and well is an absolutely crucial skill that equips children and young people to succeed throughout life.

"It has been great to see how inspirational this approach has been for our tremendous teachers, who are doing amazing work to give pupils everything they need to make the most of life and avoid poverty in adulthood."

The Renfrewshire Literacy Approach is a pioneering programme developed in partnership with the University of Strathclyde.

More than 800 teachers across Renfrewshire primary and secondary schools have taken part in the initiative, which is designed to enhance educators' knowledge and skills in using new techniques to improve pupils' literacy and enthusiasm for reading.

Cllr Henry added: "This council's unwavering commitment to Renfrewshire's young people is clearly demonstrated by the range of innovative approaches we have adopted, as well as by the extra resources we have provided to help boost literacy, numeracy and staff development.

"Last year over 92 per cent of Renfrewshire school leavers found work, began training or moved into a university or college course.

"That's a significant rise from the number who achieved this sort of success just five years ago and it's something we can all celebrate."

Issued: Tuesday 7 March 2017