Family Support: Raising educational achievement and tackling social exclusion

Brian Boyd, Education in the North

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This paper derives from an evaluation of the Family Support Service (FSS) within one of the local authority councils in Scotland and its contribution to the development of Integrated Community Schools. The FSS comprises some 46 personnel from a range of backgrounds including education, social work, community education and libraries and is located within the Council's Education Department. Its work, focusing on primary and secondary sectors, was conceived as part of the strategy of implementing New Community Schools (NCS), later Integrated Community Schools (ICS). Initially targeted on areas of most severe disadvantage, it became universal service as ICS embraced all schools. The policy contexts for its work included the Inclusion and Raising Attainment agendas of the Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) and the move towards an integrated children's services model ofjoined- up provision for vulnerable families. The evaluation, too short-term to include pre-and post-implementation measures of pupil attainment, was largely qualitative in nature, focusing on four secondary and four associated primary schools. Interviews took place with headteachers and senior staff; FSS staff; pupils, both those in receipt of help from FSS and those not; parents; and representatives from all other relevant agencies. The conclusions of the report are wholly positive with FSS emerging for many as a central and indispensable element in the Council's Inclusion strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
JournalEducation in the North
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2007


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