SCHOOL pupils across North Ayrshire will be given the best possible chance to succeed regardless of their background – thanks to a cash share of a £100million attainment fund.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Government announced that North Ayrshire Council would be one of seven local authorities to benefit from the £100million Attainment Scotland Fund established in February. And the proposals include setting up primary school ‘nurture classes’, an academy to boost the quality of local teaching and support for youngsters with complex mental health issues.

Last week, North Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet received a presentation outlining the plans to use the cash and ensure all pupils are able to reach their full potential.

The proposals will have a particular focus on strategies to support the most vulnerable pupils across the authority by offering opportunities to improve their attainment and achievement.

Among the measures being introduced are: Creating a North Ayrshire Professional Learning Academy to improve the quality of teaching and learning across all schools in the area. This will enable teachers to further develop their expertise. Extending the existing partnership with the Robert Owen Centre (University of Glasgow) to support schools to develop change initiatives.

Using data analysis and performance management to boost school improvement which will lead to enhanced monitoring of children’s progress and help identify ongoing learning needs.

Ensuring North Ayrshire is a ‘Nurturing Authority’. As a result, 15 nurture classes in primary schools will be established to make sure children with a range of additional support needs are fully prepared to meet the demands of school.

‘Getting It Right For All Our Children’ by supporting complex needs. This will enable the council to commit two employees to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service to support young people with complex mental health issues, as well as the development of a schools counselling project.

Connecting communities and ensuring a neighbourhood approach to allow Local Area Committees to award grants to schools. Enhancing parental and employer involvement. This will see local volunteers recruited and trained to support parental engagement in their child’s learning experience.

Local businesses will also be encouraged to support the initiative. Enriching provision of sport, physical activity and dance to allow community officers to support clubs and schools to deliver a range of engaging activities.

Councillor John Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education, Attainment and Achievement, said: “We are an ambitious council which is keen to invest in the future of our children and young people. Our schools will be places of ambition, opportunity and high expectations.

“The funding we will receive from the Scottish Government Attainment Challenge Fund will be used to build a long term strategy to improve attainment and achievement.

“It is important that we make sure our young people are given the best possible chance to succeed and have the support they need to flourish.

“We are firmly committed to ensuring we continue to drive improvements, raise attainment and promote equality among all children in North Ayrshire.

“Our children should have no poverty of aspiration, ambition or opportunity. They are our future and we are now building teams around them to ensure they can achieve the best possible outcome regardless of their domestic circumstances.”