Top award for school project

Councillor Jim Muirhead.
Councillor Jim Muirhead.

A project that is helping tackle high exclusion rates, low attainment and lack of community involvement at Lawfield Primary School has scooped its second award.

The Lawfield Community Project Partnership, which includes Midlothian Council, Midlothian Sure Start, and partners Lawfield Primary School, Homelink Family Support, Playtherapy Base and Children 1st, recently took the Co-production with Families and Our Services title at the Children and Young People Improvement Collaborative Quality Improvement awards in Glasgow.

The school, in Mayfield, was experiencing difficulty with pupil engagement, a high level of exclusions, lack of community involvement and poor attainment levels. The council approached the voluntary sector for help and the partnership was formed to create a multi-agency intervention.

The partners delivered a support package including regular meetings between families and staff; art, play and music sessions; one to one support where it was needed; a Dads’ inclusion project; sleep advice; a befriending service and family counselling.

Councillor Jim Muirhead, Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “There has been an 85 per cent reduction in exclusions and a reduction of 741 in absence days. Plans are now under way to roll-out this unique collaborative approach to nine additional primary schools and one secondary school as part of the work of Newbattle Learning Community.”