Academy attainment levels come under fire

Fraserburgh Academy.
Fraserburgh Academy.

Fraserburgh and Banff Academy both came under fire last week at the Banff and Buchan Area Committee after giving reports on their levels of attainment and future plans.

Whilst there was praise for both schools from councillors, particularly in the case of Banff Academy after a poor inspectorate report, councillors were concerned with low attainment levels at both secondaries.

“It’s going to be difficult to raise attainment levels if we don’t have good staffing levels. Fraserburgh and Banff are not alone in this level of attainment, all coastal schools have this level of attainment,” Fraserburgh and district councillor Charles Buchan said.

Councillor Buchan had previously spoken out about the staffing shortages at Fraserburgh Academy which, latterly, saw the school employ several new teachers.

Councillor Ian Tait, also of Fraserburgh and district, added: “This school certainly needs to improve. I think improved communication between rectors and area committees is vital.

The report presented to councillors last week said: “Across the measures and stages, attainment levels in 2013 were very similar to those achieved in the previous session.

“In relation to the national picture, the school tends to be below or well below the national average.

“In comparison with the set of comparator schools, across most measures attainment levels remain below, or just below, expectations. An exception to this is the English and Maths at Level 3 measure, where the school consistently performs in line with the comparator school average,” in regards to Fraserburgh Academy.

To raise attainment, the report says, strategies include analysis of SQA attainment data to guide self-evaluation, constituting the progress panel where the attainment of targeted pupils is discussed and interventions agreed, and changing and refining the remits of the senior leadership team to include specific responsibility for quality.