Multi-agency hubs provide integrated support for parents and pupils in West Dunbartonshire

Funding from the Scottish Attainment Challenge is being used to provide integrated support for parents and pupils in West Dunbartonshire through the development of multi-agency hubs at Clydebank High School and Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School.

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.

The multi-agency hub project is aligned to West Dunbartonshire’s overarching priority to reduce inequalities and support citizens and communities to be flourishing, independent, nurtured, empowered and safe.

The hubs have improved pupil and parental engagement, increased attendance and reduced exclusions for pupils and families receiving personalised support. Pupils have clocked up over 2,500 volunteering hours (the equivalent of 100 days) as a result of the hub, supporting them to give back to their local community.

The family opportunities team based in schools provide families with advice and support in relation to finance, housing, volunteering opportunities, employment pathways and learning opportunities. A number of parents have since gone on to achieve SQA qualifications.

Jacqui Lynam, Head Teacher at Clydebank High, said:

“I am delighted with the positive impact the Multi Agency Hub has had on our young people and their families. The support given to families and the wider community has allowed any barriers to school to be removed and helped us reduce the cost of the school day, which itself, can be a barrier for many people.

“The young people who have benefitted from the support provided are attending school, have improved timekeeping, are more engaged and motivated to do their best.  Parents and carers are engaging more with the school and know that we will listen and take on board any concerns they may have.  It has been truly beneficial to work with partners to improve the life chances of young people in West Dunbartonshire.”

Christopher Smith, Head Teacher at Our Lady & St Patrick’s High School, said: “Our multi agency approach has supported us to build further upon our strong relationships with our students and their families. The agencies who work alongside us have brought a great deal to the school in terms of supporting the wellbeing of all of our young people and those most in need. We are able to provide a truly integrated service with regards to pupil support through nurture, mindfulness, resilience development, interpersonal relationships and parent and carer learning opportunities. Our staff have a higher degree of leadership capability and this further strengthens the ethos and vision of our school as we strive to support all of our young people to maximise their full potential in all aspects of their lives.”

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. The multi-agency hubs at Clydebank High School and Our Lady and St Patrick’s High School are a great example of how schools can help improve attainment by taking a proactive approach to identifying and helping remove the barriers young people may face in achieving their full potential. 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.”