Fraserburgh Academy’s Late Gate initiative goes from strength to strength

Funding from the Scottish Attainment Challenge is helping to raise the attainment of Fraserburgh Academy pupils through a scheme to tackle chronic pupil lateness.

Attainment Advisors from Education Scotland have been working in schools across Scotland to support the delivery of the Challenge since its launch five years ago. They play a strong role in linking the work of Education Scotland, Scottish Government and Local Authorities to improve educational attainment and to reduce the attainment gap between children from the least and most socially disadvantaged backgrounds.

Since introducing its late gate initiative in January 2019 Fraserburgh Academy has significantly reduced the number of students who are late each day.

The school’s first bell rings at 8.36am, followed by a second bell at 8.40am for the start of registration. If any pupil arrives at the school after the second bell has chimed, they can only do so by entering the building through the main office – and signing in.

The late gate has been a success in encouraging learners to improve their time-keeping with the number of pupils who are persistently late, three or more times each week, falling from 54 to 6 pupils.

At least two members of voluntary staff monitor the late gate each day, with a series of consequences for pupils who are late 2 to 5 times a week. The school is working with its most persistent latecomers to help solve the unique issues or barriers they may be facing in attending school.

Irene Sharp, Head Teacher at Fraserburgh Academy, said:

“We are very proud with the way in which the Late Gate initiative has supported pupils, who were previously persistently late for school, to improve their timekeeping. We firmly believe in the importance of a positive start to the school day for all learners, and our work in partnership with parents and carers in this proactive solution has enabled many young people to get the best possible start to their learning day.

“Late Gate continues to be a positive influence on all learners at Fraserburgh Academy and has improved time-keeping across all school years throughout the school day. Much of the success of the initiative is due to the commitment of the number of teaching and non-teaching staff who have consistently supported the programme in a variety of ways and their work is much appreciated.”

Gayle Gorman, Chief Executive at Education Scotland, said:

“Over the past five years our Attainment Advisors have seen a lot of really positive progress being made through the Scottish Attainment Challenge and it is hugely encouraging to see the impact this work is having on the lives of young people across the country. Fraserburgh Academy’s Late Gate initiative is an excellent example of how schools can proactively help improve attainment by encouraging good time-keeping and underlining the importance of a positive start to the school day for all learners. Closing the attainment gap is vital for a modern, successful Scotland and everyone involved in Scottish education must continue to focus on reducing the impacts of deprivation on educational outcomes.”