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The 2019 / 2020 academic year has seen a major shift in focus for Berwickshire High School.

This has resulted in: 

  • An impressive planning and co-ordinated effort on how to make data more meaningful and real
  • Improvements in the recording of critical aspects of pupil’s aspirations
  • An increased understanding of how data sharing benefits the young person
  • The provision of substantial information at the individual pupil level
  • Support for not only the Senior Phase of the Curriculum, but also the pre- and post-secondary school experiences and progressions 

Kenny Manson, Depute Head for Berwickshire High School, who recently completed his Headship Qualification at Edinburgh University, tasked himself as part of his study to investigate this more fully. He focused on:

  • How best to support the school and pupils by using simple methods to improve a shared understanding of the importance of the data available through the 16+ Data Hub
  • How this wealth of knowledge provides a platform for extending “ownership” and “combined responsibility” to the wider network within and outwith Berwickshire High School

The benefits of consistent updates on a pupil’s Anticipated Leave Date from school; their Preferred Routes into e.g. Further Education, Employment, Training; and aspirations for their Preferred Occupations, all provide important information. This information can be used to develop a more focussed Curriculum for the individual pupil going forward; and highlight that a pupil may require additional guidance or support at the right time for them.

Information on these three key pieces of data for pupils within S4, S5 and S6 are provided by Local Authorities to SDS through the 16+ Data Hub on an ongoing basis. Berwickshire High School has continuously improved their recording during this academic year on all three data fields as identified by the pupil.

This success has in part been achieved by Guidance Teachers taking greater ownership to update pupils in their specific School House Groups on SEEMiS, they consider the next steps for the young person which could include highlighting further support is required from the SDS school careers adviser. Berwickshire High School also focus on S1, S2 and S3 pupils ensuring that the school has appropriate data that is indicative of future requirements for Senior Phase Curriculum Planning. From analysis, one example has shown that 82% of S1 pupils have indicated that they are considering Further Education and not Employment, when they leave secondary school. This improved understanding of what young people are considering, although not set in stone, does enable a better focus on progressing and maintaining planning at the individual and school level.

The partnership approach links colleagues from Scottish Borders Council Quality Improvement Team, Developing the Young Workforce, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Area Manager, SDS School Careers Advisers and Pupil Support Officers – they are focused on live information on their pupils. This has also widened to the Primary School Cluster meetings with the result that information on Primary 7 pupils is also being considered from a broader “planning for their future” perspective.

The key to Berwickshire High School successes lies in the improved understanding of the importance of what the data means and what it can offer. Capturing and sharing the information along with the awareness of keeping this updated provides meaningful information that helps and informs; rather than simply data capture. By building on the skills, expertise and wider partnership connections of those involved, the shared data comes alive and is a useful tool to reinforce a co-ordinated approach that is achieving highly successful results. As Kenny offers, this approach is “making data more meaningful” to many and thereby reinforces a sustainable plan of action for the pupils and school.

What's next?

Find out more about the 16+ Data Hub and Opportunities for All.