23rd March 2018
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Isles pupils below average when it comes to figures

School pupils in Shetland have performed at levels below the national average on numeracy, according to figures seen by elected SIC members.

A report at Monday’s education and families meeting has demonstrated that •something doesn’t add up when it comes to achieving the expected levels.

The problems have been highlighted across primary and secondary school pupils.

According to figures in a quarterly indicators report for children’s services, 83 per cent of youngsters in S3 achieved expected levels – three per cent shy of the previous year’s figures. The target for 2017/18 had been set at 88 per cent.

P7 pupils showed an improvement over the respective figures for 2015/16, but their figure of 68 per cent for 2016/17 was still lower than expected.

Figures for P4 youngsters have below expected levels for the last two years, while those pertaining to P1 pupils are “just” below the Scottish average.

The figures contrast with achievements recorded in reading and writing – as well as listening and talking – which have all performed higher than the Scottish average.

The issue was raised by Lerwick South councillor Peter Campbell during the meeting.

“Are there any specific steps being taken to raise these figures?” he asked director of children’s services Helen Budge.

Mrs Budge said the authority had been involved in an early literacy project through the Northern Alliance – the body made up of now eight local authorities serving the north and north east of Scotland.

She added there was recognition for areas of development in numeracy, and said similar work was being done on a project to help improve numeracy.

“It’s something we are working on this year,” Mrs Budge said.

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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