Report card gives school a record five-star rating

SCOTLAND'S top report card has been handed to a special needs school.

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Head teacher Mari Wallace with Isbobel Mair pupils, from left Alex O'Donnell,16, Joey Wong, 14, Beth Brady, 12, and  Michael di Paola, 17
Head teacher Mari Wallace with Isbobel Mair pupils, from left Alex O'Donnell,16, Joey Wong, 14, Beth Brady, 12, and Michael di Paola, 17

Isobel Mair School, in Newton Mearns, earned five "excellent" grades for its work with children with additional needs.

It is the first school to be awarded such high marks under the new Education Scotland inspection guidelines.

Watchdogs were impressed by the school's creative approaches to teaching children and the "outstanding leadership" of head teacher Mari Wallace.

Ms Wallace said: "All who work and learn in Isobel Mair School are absolutely delighted with our excellent inspection report.

"To be judged 'excellent' in so many categories is outstanding and it is lovely to read so many wonderful comments from the inspectors."

Education Scotland, formerly Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education, said pupils are given "rich, meaningful learning experiences."

Teachers were praised for their approaches to assessing pupils' needs, planning their learning and tracking their progress.

Inspectors said they would now record innovative teaching practices at Isobel Mair and use them in other schools.

Ms Wallace added: "It really is testament to everyone's efforts - the dedication, hard work and care shown by all staff and parents, and our young people themselves."

Originally based in Clarkston, East Renfrewshire's only special needs school moved to its current £12 million home in 2012.

Previously, pupils were educated on separate, temporary campuses eight miles apart.

With a roll of around 130, the school has three teaching areas as well as a life skills centre, where pupils learn skills such as ironing, cooking and making beds.

The school, named after a renowned local GP who died in 2000, also has a state-of-the art hydrotherapy pool.

Isobel Mair is East Renfrewshire's only educational support needs school, with pupils ranging in age from three to 18.

East Renfrewshire convener for education and equalities, Elaine Green, said: "Very many congratulations to all the staff, parents and pupils from Isobel Mair on a truly outstanding report."

The school earned "excellent" grades for improvements in performance; learners' experiences; meeting learners' needs; the curriculum; and improvement through self-evaluation.

The family centre was awarded "very good" for improvements in performance; meeting learning needs; quality of care and support; quality of staffing; quality of management and leadership.

For its environment, the family centre earned "adequate" and children's experiences were rated "good".

catriona.stewart@eveningtimes.co.uk

Education

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