Comment: Dramatic education improvement possible

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IT’s been a good week for Edinburgh’s education bosses. A day after we told how some of the Capital’s traditionally poorer performing schools are achieving impressive exam success, another early Christmas present arrived in the shape of figures showing more and more children are choosing to stay on to complete their sixth year.

Many schools have seen big improvements with the picture at Craigroyston High particularly impressive. The numbers there have soared from 18 to 30 per cent.

Some may point to the economic picture and fewer opportunities for young people, but we should not dismiss what is a really good news story for the pupils, the schools involved and the city 
council.

We all want to see more young people coming out of school with good-quality qualifications 
leaving them best-placed to enter the world of work or go on to further education.

That more kids are choosing to complete their education and take Highers is fantastic to see.

It means the message is getting through that there is a real value in staying on at school.

Success stories like Craigroyston and Wester Hailes also send a positive message to every other school staff room in the city.

No matter a school’s position in the results league table, its historical under-performance, or its poor public perception, improvement – and dramatic improvement at that – is possible.

It takes time, the right 
support and investment from the city council and crucially the right people in charge to lead the change.

It also takes pupils being inspired to aspire by their teachers.

The talented staff at schools across Edinburgh are doing exactly that, and everyone involved can be pretty satisfied with today’s report card.

We look forward to watching the statistics continue to move in the right direction.

Gold stars all round.