Wester Hailes Education Centre serves a local community in the South West of Edinburgh which includes two of the five most deprived data zones in Scotland. Over 80% of our pupils live in SIMDs 1 and 2; over one third of our pupils under 16 are classified as living in poverty and the entitlement of pupils to free school meals has been as high as 45%. Wester Hailes staff are united in the belief that the work they do improves the life outcomes for all of our pupils, including the most vulnerable, and helps our youngsters break free from the cycle of disadvantage.
The ‘spirit of innovation’ permeates all aspects of our work with many teachers taking ownership of new ideas because they see the benefits for young people. The school’s curriculum structure continues to evolve and we are particularly excited about our partnership with employers and Edinburgh College. This encourages those senior pupils in danger of missing out to make informed choices for their life after school by dividing their final year between school, college and meaningful employment.
Wester Hailes Education Centre plays a key part in addressing the “Reducing Inequalities” and “Improving Outcomes for families and Young people” priorities identified in the City of Edinburgh Council’s strategic plan. Our track record proves our ability to innovate and the success of our senior phase augers well for these proposals for pupils in the BGE. The commitment of all staff to a holistic approach to raising attainment and achievement cannot be questioned. Our move to new school facilities will create a new expectation that things will be done differently, giving us confidence that the workstreams contained in these proposals are coming at the right time to be welcomed by pupils, parents and the wider community.
Children’s social circumstances and educational outcomes – Dr Jane White
Disadvantage and Place in Scottish Secondary Education – Keith Kintrea
Closing the attainment gap – a realistic proposition or an elusive pipe-dream? – Joan Gaynor Mowat