Education chairman speaks out over Sandwick Junior High

The chairman of the council’s education and families committee says he will ensure improvements at a South Mainland school are “comprehensively achieved”.

Davie Sandison has released a statement following news Sandwick Junior High School has been given more time to implement recommendations.

The school was the subject of a damning inspection report in 2019, when Education Scotland inspectors found the school “weak” in three key performance areas.

It was judged “satisfactory” in another.

Inspectors were back at Sandwick last week – and will return again early next year, after deciding to give the school extra time.

Chairman of education and families, Davie Sandison.

“There was a follow-up inspection of Sandwick Junior High School last week,” Mr Sandison said.

“The inspection team have concluded that the school needs more time to take forward the four recommendations from the 2019 inspection, which related to strategic leadership, the curriculum, learning, teaching and assessment, and approaches to checking the progress of children.

“As chair of the education and families committee, I am going to work closely with the director of Children’s Services, her team and the staff in the school to ensure these recommendations are comprehensively achieved by January 2023 when the Education Scotland team will return.

“The education and families committee will get a full report on the Education Scotland findings.

“Their report from last week’s return visit is due to be published in August and therefore will come before education and families committee in September.”

The council’s transport partnership ZetTrans last week heard 93 pupils from the South Mainland had requested to move to the Anderson High School for the 2022/23 school term – almost double the 49 who made the same request the previous year.

Mr Sandison added: “I wish to reassure the community that every step will be taken to ensure this school meets the same high standards as those applicable to all schools in Shetland.”

Sian Wild of Sandwick Junior High School parent council said: “The parent council has always worked to support the school.

“We know how hard staff have worked since the previous inspection in 2019 and we appreciate their effort.

“We are disappointed the inspection team needs to return in six months’ time and along with the school, we are awaiting the full report which is due in August.

“The success of the school is very important to our local community and as parents we will continue to support the school going forward to help ensure SJHS can meet its targets.”


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