Levenmouth community learning and development work recognised as some of the best in Scotland
Archived news: published on Friday 27 Apr 2012 by Fife Council
A new report by Education Scotland, on the inspection of the learning community in the Buckhaven High School area, highlights it as having one of the best inspection results in Scotland.
Education Scotland (HMIe) inspect and grade community learning provision to let those who use services and the public know whether Councils and partners are providing effective and appropriate learning opportunities in local areas. They are also interested in how community and voluntary groups are helped to contribute to making communities better places to live and work. To do this the inspection team focus on three main themes: work with young people, working with adult learners, and local community capacity building.
There were particular strengths highlighted in the Levenmouth report which included;
- Very strong relationships between staff and learners leading to strong impacts on their lives
- Scale and quality of community organisations offering high quality services to local people
- Provision which is very focused on identified priorities and needs
- Good operational and strategic partnerships leading to very effective planning and delivery.
With regard to work with young people, the report pointed to strong participation in a wide range of well-targeted provision, which as a result meant young people gained greater skills and confidence and increased their self esteem. The Strike a Chord music project was specifically mentioned as an example of good practice.
Strike a Chord is an innovative music project based in the Coaltown of Wemyss Hall, which was specifically mentioned as an example of good practice. Supported by a very active management committee the project uses music tutors, volunteers and youth workers to encourage young people to learn a musical instrument. Young people also have the opportunity to write music, as well as sing and perform in public at various music events organised by the committee.
The report also noted that lots of adults, with a wide range of needs, are being successfully encouraged back in to learning through a vibrant and rich range of opportunities. It was observed by the inspection team that adults are being supported and challenged to raise their ambitions and set and achieve goals which are making life changing impacts in their personal, work and community lives.
It was also clear that links between adult learning and local community organisations are very strong and adult learners often engage as volunteers because they want to put something back into the place they live, using the skills and knowledge they have gained. The inspection team noted that employability is a major priority in the area and programmes, including Step In and Step Up at the Adam Smith College campus in Leven, encourage adults back into learning in a relaxed and positive environment. Almost all are progressing onto other learning, volunteering and employment destinations.
Particular mention was made of the work of CLEAR and the West Wemyss Community Trust, two groups which have had significant impacts locally.
CLEAR is a voluntary group of local residents from Buckhaven and Denbeath who organise environmental improvements to help build pride in the town. They have been involved in a wide range of environmental projects as well as promoting the area through heritage walks and organising community clean ups.
West Wemyss Community Trust is involved in a huge amount of development activity including the running of play schemes, allotment development and promoting arts based events. They were the driving force behind the opening of the West Wemyss Walk Inn, in August 2011.
The inspection process evaluates learning communities across five specific quality indicators which are ranked from unsatisfactory through to excellent. The overall results for the learning community surrounding Buckhaven High School were:
- Improvements in performance- very good
- Impact on young people- very good
- Impact on adults - excellent
- Impact of capacity building on communities - excellent
- Improving services - very good
This grading represent the first ‘excellent’ results in Fife, and they rank as the joint best results for the whole of Scotland.
Carol Humbert, Director of Community Development at Adam Smith College and Chair of the Levenmouth Community Learning and Development Partnership said: “We are delighted with the results of this inspection. Levenmouth has a very strong partnership ethos through which we work together to deliver good quality services and opportunities in the Levenmouth community. The inspection results demonstrate that despite the challenges facing everyone we are focusing on delivering the best learning experience as possible to learners in Levenmouth”.
Responding to the positive report, Joe Fitzpatrick, Head of Education (Communities) added: “This is a tremendous accolade for Fife. The report underlines the quality of work to support learners and communities in the Levenmouth area, and highlights the commitment from individuals and groups in the area to work with the Council and its partners to produce positive local outcomes. I would like to thank everyone who participated in the inspection process, and helped to inform this independent evaluation which shows the very positive impacts of well organised community learning activity in the area.”
The full report is available on the Education Scotland website at:
For more information contactDavid McGrath, CLD Team Leader (Levenmouth Area)
Tel: 08451 55 55 55 + Ext 45 04 02 Contact David McGrath online
By Post: Fife Council, Savoy Sports Hall, Byron Street, Methil, Leven KY8 3JQ
David Paterson, Area Services Manager (Levenmouth)
Tel: 08451 55 55 55 + Ext 49 39 28 Contact David Paterson online
By Post: Fife Council, Buckhaven Burgh Chambers, 1 College Street, Buckhaven, Leven KY8 1AB