WHILE there were several positives, inspectors are set to return to a Wee County school which “needs additional support and more time to make necessary improvements”.

Alva PS and ELC last week received grades of “satisfactory” and “weak” in an Education Scotland report, following an inspection earlier in January.

Several strengths were identified – such as the positive and nurturing relationships between staff, children and families in the nursery as well as the effective use of digital technology to support and enrich learning.

However, both the school and nursery were evaluated to be “weak” for leadership of change while the primary was also found to be “weak” in ensuring wellbeing, equality and inclusion.

Education Scotland uses a six-point scale for benchmarking, “weak” and “satisfactory” being equivalent to two and three, respectively.

Colin Bruce, chief education officer at Clackmannanshire Council, said: “The inspection report highlights many positives that the school community can build upon.

“The inspection report also sets the improvement agenda for the road ahead and we are fully committed to deliver on areas for improvement in partnership.”

Adding to the list of positives, inspectors said in their report that nursery staff work well together and “strive to do their very best to ensure all children have a positive early learning and childcare experience”.

Teamwork was also a strength amongst the teachers in the primary school with their work in improving classroom environments highlighted.

Alva Primary School

Alva Primary School

On the other hand, the strategic leadership and pace of change across the school, nursery and ASD provision requires improvement.

“This should engage children, parents, partners and staff fully in school improvement and focus on securing better outcomes for all children”, inspectors added.

Improvements to learning environments are required to “lead to high quality learning experiences for children”.

A letter sent to parents and carers concluded: “As a result of our inspection findings we think that the school needs additional support and more time to make necessary improvements.

“We will liaise with Clackmannanshire Council regarding the school’s capacity to improve.”

A further inspection will take place within one year.

The summarised inspection findings for the school also highlighted a concern around bullying from “a few parents and a significant minority of children”.

Inspectors said senior school leaders should review their anti-bullying policy with all stakeholders and provide clarity about the process to address ongoing concerns.

Cllr Graham Lindsay, spokesperson for education, said: “I want to thank the staff, learners and parents for their ongoing commitment.

“I'm pleased to hear that the council’s investment in digital technologies is supporting many of our learners and I look forward to working in partnership on the improvement journey ahead."

Senior manager Lynda McDonald was recently welcomed to the school as acting headteacher and is looking forward to continuing the improvement journey and supporting Alva children and families.