National deaf school told it must improve

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Education chiefs have told Linlithgow-based national school for deaf children – handed an improvement order in 2014 – that it must make further improvements.

Education Scotland’s original order followed a series of concerns, and inspectors now say not enough has been done to address leadership issues.

But the latest report acknowledges that significant progress has been made in areas including discipline and safety, as well as the standard of education supplied.

Meanwhile a new head teacher is about to start.

Education Scotland concludes the school has made the necessary improvements to address seven out of eight recommendations that were referred to the Minister.

But the school has been told the leadership team still needs to improve its ability to lead learning and manage the day-to-day operation of the school.

HM Inspectors will report the findings to Scottish Ministers, who will consider whether further action is required – and will return in a year if this isn’t thought necessary.

Donaldson’s chief executive Laura Battles said: “We welcome the inspection
report from Education Scotland, and we’re pleased to
see that our focus on continuous improvement within
the school has been recognised.

“As identified within the report, the care and welfare of the children and young people in our care has been the absolute priority for Donaldson’s. “

She added: “We have invested considerable time and resource into ensuring that our pupils’ learning needs are being met through the continuous development of staff and new teaching approaches, such as person-centred planning.

“Our unswerving focus on meeting pupil needs extends across the Trust’s work to develop new and more dynamic services which will ultimately enable more children and young people to benefit from our expertise.

“As we continue to develop this offering, we will continue to implement the recommendations from Education Scotland with the aim of ensuring the best outcomes and opportunities for our children and young people.”

“On the remaining point regarding leadership, a head teacher has already been appointed and will be announced shortly.

“An action plan has been put in place, in conjunction with Education Scotland and and the Scottish Government to ensure that the operational leadership requirements are met.”