Aiming high as schools return

Closing the attainment gap is priority for Edinburgh's education leader
Closing the attainment gap is priority for Edinburgh's education leader
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As families settle back into the school routine after the long summer break, we are putting education in the city under the microscope.

No one would argue with the assessment of the city’s new education leader Ian Perry that his priority should be ensuring every child leaves school with a good grounding. The truth is that many simply do not. As is so often the case in Edinburgh, there is yawning gap between the haves and the have-nots in our classrooms too.

Tackling that of course is not straightforward. Many of the factors influencing a child’s likely success at school come from the home, rather than their teachers, so are harder to influence. With the Scottish Government directing schools to put more money into initiatives aimed at helping those at the bottom of the academic pile, there is at least a concentrated effort to change things.

Starting to reverse the recent cuts in teaching assistant numbers would be a good first step. Doing that at the same time as building to prevent overcrowding and pursuing other council priorities like expanding gaelic medium teaching will be tough.

Expect cuts elsewhere, like in janitor posts, to make the sums add up.