A decade of success as Glasgow state schools ditch the poverty excuse

The Herald reports that pupils at state schools in Scotland’s largest city have seen their exam results transformed over the past decade, new data shows. Despite significant levels of poverty across Glasgow the proportion of pupils securing Highers has increased at a dramatic rate since 2007.

Ten years ago only a quarter of pupils achieved at least one Higher compared to more than 53 per cent this year – an increase of 91 per cent.

For the highest-attaining pupils the improvement has been even more dramatic with just five per cent securing five or more Highers in 2007 compared to nearly 13 per cent now – a 158 per cent rise.

A number of factors are seen as crucial to the improvement with a reduction in the proportion of pupils being excluded and new policies to support the most disadvantaged pupils.

Other policies include a focus on better teaching and school leadership and the use of restorative justice techniques – where pupils are forced to confront the impact of their actions – to help discipline.

Chris Cunningham, the council’s education convener, said the past decade had seen a “tremendous focus” on improving attainment. He said: “Glasgow is making great strides to raise the bar and we will continue to work to close the national attainment gap.

Gerry Lyons, headteacher of St Andrew’s Secondary, in the east end said: “We tell all of our pupils that they have the ability to achieve as soon as they walk through the door and they hear that message consistently. When they see their classmates achieving they buy into it.”

Read more A decade of success as Glasgow state schools ditch the poverty excuse

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