Offsite Education Consultation Proposal16/11/15
Consultation could begin on a new approach to the current offsite education service (OES) for ‘vulnerable and challenging’ secondary school-age pupils in Dundee.
The education committee will be told on Monday November 23 of a proposal to bring the three learning centres at Castlepark, Connect 5 and Balerno together into one location.
A new service, based at the former Rockwell Primary building, would be designed to support pupils with a range of social, emotional and behavioural needs with a key focus on young people in S3 and S4.
Committee members will be told that there would be an emphasis on maintaining S1 and S2 pupils in their local mainstream school.
Education convener Councillor Stewart Hunter explained: “At this stage, the committee is being asked to approve consultation on a proposal that would bring real benefits for the young people who are supported by these services.
“We are keen to talk to people like staff, pupils, families and trade unions to hear their views. I am keen that we can also discuss the reasons why we are proposing change.
“I see this as giving new chances for children, to put them more at the centre of the process and to vastly improve the facilities for those who would need to receive education out of a mainstream school.
“Our OES staff are highly skilled and committed, and we want to ensure that any changes will build on their dedicated work.
“I think it is important that we can help S1 and S2 pupils by making sure that they can stay in their community school, where staff already help and assist young people facing real difficulties in their lives.”
Councillor Hunter added: “Through the work we are carrying out to close the attainment gap in Dundee, we want to ensure that all pupils at our schools have the chance to make the most of opportunities that will benefit them when they leave school.
“I believe a new approach to this service is an indication of an inclusive outlook and an ambition that all of your pupils should be able to succeed.”
A detailed proposal will be considered by the committee at its meeting and a report outlines the formal consultation process.
If the committee agrees, consultation would run between Monday November 30 2015 and Friday January 29 2016.
A public meeting would be arranged for December.
The consultation would also involve input from Education Scotland.
The committee will hear the results of any consultation would be reported back by the children and families service executive director.