Category Archives: Support for Pupils

We aim as far as is possible to educate pupils who have additional support needs alongside their peer group. When necessary, extra help is provided. This help is delivered in a flexible manner and the pupils can be seen individually, in a group or class.

curr-19The Additional Support Needs of the Children are identified through a process of Staged Assessment and Intervention. The process of Staged Assessment and Intervention provides a structured system for identification, assessment, planning, review and record keeping for individual children who receive additional support of any kind. The Getting it Right Approach for Children and Young People (GIRFEC) in the Western Isles puts in place a network to promote wellbeing so that children and young people get the right help at the right time.

All Looked After Children and Young People are considered to have additional support needs. This is the case unless the school establishes they do not have additional support needs. The Local Authority must consider whether each looked after child requires a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP). The CSP is used to ensure a co-ordinated approach to providing support for children. The CSP will summarise assessments carried out for the child, explain the nature of the child’s difficulties and outline the difficulties the Authority will take to support the pupil’s needs. The teacher of children with visual and hearing impairment also provides an assessment service. The Speech Therapist also visits the schools to help any pupils who require support.

In addition, an Educational Psychologist advises on the varied behavioural and learning difficulties that all pupils can experience. He can work directly with pupils and families if required.

Under the Equality Act 2010, the Education Authority is not allowed to discriminate against disabled pupils.

Mediation is provided by Resolve in the Western Isles. It is a non-judgemental voluntary process which seems to resolve misunderstandings in the early stages to prevent them escalating. Parents also have the right to have an advocate present at Mediation and this is available through Advocacy Western Isles.

Parents should also be aware of the following organisations, which provide advice and further information.

  • Children in Scotland: Working for Children and their Families, trading as Enquire – a charitable body registered in Scotland under registration number SC003527.
  • Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance, a charitable body registered in Scotland under registration number SCO33576
  • Scottish Child Law Centre, a charitable body registered in Scotland under registration number SCO12741

Further information locally can be obtained from the School or Area Principal Teacher of Learning Support.

Pastoral Support Arrangements

Many pupils require additional measures of support at some time during their school years. These are often short-term and directly connected to specific events such as illness or difficult family circumstances. Sometimes, however, barriers to learning are more complex and require significant measures of support within the school. Sometimes, additional support from external specialist services will be required.

While all members of staff have a role to play in ensuring that the needs of our learners are being met, this is the primary focus of the school’s Pupil Support Team, which monitors pupil progress and decides on appropriate intervention and support strategies for any pupils who may be experiencing difficulties. Membership of the Pupil Support Team includes:

  • Head Teacher
  • Depute Head Teacher (Primary)
  • PT Pupil Support
  • Learning Support Teacher
  • Principal Teacher of Learning Support
  • Education Psychologist

The team meets each month to review and fine-tune current programmes of support and to consider any recent referrals and / or incidents. The team also has a vital role at points of transition (e.g. Nursery – P1, P7-S1, and S3-S4) and works with primary and secondary colleagues to ensure that pupils have the support they need to negotiate these challenges successfully.

Colleagues from the Health Visitor service, Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAHMS) team, social work and other agencies work with the Pupil Support Team when appropriate. This provides a useful additional layer of professional dialogue and access to additional resources as required.

In general the school aims to educate pupils with additional support needs in mainstream classes, but in all cases strategy will be dictated by the needs of the child. Further information on the authority’s intervention policy is available at

The layout of the school is available for viewing on the school’s website.


We have developed very good working relationship across departments in the school to allow for a seamless transition for our children, from nursery to primary and primary to secondary.

Sgoil Àraich/Nursery

Pre-school education enrolment usually takes place in February on a date notified to parents by local press advertisement. curr-20 Children aged 2½ can be enrolled at the group if there is sufficient space and if their birthday falls before the 28th of February of the current academic year. If demand for places outweighs supply, priority will be given to children eligible for their pre school funded place. Children securing a funded place are entitled to 600 hours over 38 weeks and a maximum of 15 hours 50 minutes pre-school education will be provided in any one week. Children who enrol in the nursery will be invited into the nursery before they begin to experience a little of the nursery atmosphere and to meet the nursery staff.


Transfer from Nursery to Primary

curr-21Before leaving nursery, a profile and transition record for each child will be prepared by nursery staff to hand over to Primary staff to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of education for the child transferring to Primary. There will also be a number of visits to the Primary Class in the lead up to the child commencing in P1.

The nursery and primary departments work closely throughout the session, usually using a transition projects as a focus for collegiate working. Further information on this work can be accessed on our school website.

Primary School Admissions

Children who will be four years of age by 28th February 2017 are eligible for infant enrolment in August 2017. Enrolment takes place at the beginning of February, on a date specified by press advertisement.
In our school, pupils can be taught through the Medium of Gaelic or English and parents should indicate their preference on the enrolment form.
At the time of enrolment, parents should bring their child’s Birth curr22Certificate and should inform the school of any medical problems or special needs which their child may have. New entrants are invited into the school in May prior to entry to sample some typical P1 activities.
Other children, whose families have just moved into our catchment area, should be accompanied by a parent or guardian on their first day of reporting to school if they have not already been in contact with the school.
Parents who wish to apply for a place at a school other than the local Primary School for new enrolments should apply in writing to the Head of Education, Lionacleit Education Centre, Benbecula, HS7 5PJ indicating the name of the school that they wish their child to attend.

Primary to Secondary Transfer

curr-23A visit to the Secondary Department is organised before the summer holidays and children from other catchment areas will have the opportunity to meet and get to know each other and their teachers.
We have a very good working relationship with our associate primary school. We hold regular meetings and at the key transition stage we visit primary schools to meet Primary 7 pupils. For some pupils, especially those with Additional Support Needs (ASN), we have an extended period of transition from the beginning of Primary 7 onwards.
Primary 7 come to the secondary department for three days in May and we hold a parental information afternoon that week.

Placing Requests

As a parent, you have the right to make a Placing Request to be educated in a school other than the local school. Every effort will be made to try to meet parental wishes but you should note that it is not always possible to grant every Placing Request to a particular school.

If you wish to make a Placing Request, you should complete the appropriate form (available from school) and return it to Louise Smith, Principal Officer, Education and Children’s Services, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Sandwick Road, Stornoway HS1 2BW. If a Placing Request is successful, parents will be responsible for the safety and transportation costs of their child to and from their chosen school.

Senior Phase and Post School Transition

We have a very good transition to senior phase in S4 and have very good working relationship with the local Colleges and Skills Development Scotland in order to make the transition between school and post school a smooth one. Our leaver destination record is very good. This is a national indicator which tracks the destination of all 16 and 17 year olds.
We have an extended transition for our leaver’s who have Additional Support Needs.

School Leaving Dates

Current regulations on school leaving dates are as follows:-

  • There are two statutory leaving dates, one at the end of May and one at the end of December.
  • In order to leave the school at the end of May a pupil must be sixteen years of age on or before 30 September of that calendar year. Pupils whose date of birth is on or before 30 September 1997 may therefore leave school on 31 May 2017.
  • In order to leave school at the end of December a pupil must be sixteen years of age on or before 28 February of the following calendar year. Pupils whose date of birth is on or before 28 February 1999 may leave school on 22 December 2017.

Please note that some pupils may not attain the statutory leaving age by the end of their fourth year in secondary school.

A fourth year pupil whose sixteenth birthday is after 30 September must remain in school until the next leaving date in December, unless they enroll for a full time course at a College of Further Education.


Pictured above and below are School Leavers in June 2016


Education Maintenance Allowances (EMAs)

skillsdevscotEMAs provide financial support for 16 to 19 year olds from low-income families who are attending full-time education in school or college. The programme was introduced across Scotland in 2004-05 and was revised in 2009-10 to ensure that allowances are targeted at those young people who need them most.

A young person is eligible to apply for EMA payments once they have reached the age of 16 and have embarked on a valid programme of study – this constitutes the ‘learning agreement’.

Applications are made annually and forms are available from the school office. The Education Department will notify all applicants directly regarding the outcome of their application.

The allowance is paid weekly directly into the young person’s bank account. Periodic bonuses of £150 are payable in December and June of each year. Parents should be aware that weekly and bonus payments depend on the pupil meeting the attendance requirements and making good progress with his or her programme of study.

SAAS Student Support

Student support maysaas be available in the form of Student Loans. Application Forms and further information are available from the SAAS website and via college/university.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS)

skillsdevscotCareers education in its broadest sense is the concern of everyone who helps pupils towards:


  1. Self-awareness.
  2. Understanding the career implication of curricular choice.
  3. Obtaining information on jobs.
  4. Reaching decisions about their careers.
  5. Successfully making the transition from school to working life/further study.

The local Skills Development Scotland team works in partnership with Sir E Scott School. It is important that we provide support to help pupils develop Career Management Skills at the right time and in the appropriate format. Our focus will still be on those leaving school and those who may require earlier intervention, whether those who need help with employability issues or those who need help to plan their career options. Skills Development Scotland will be offering a range of interview sessions, career planning activities and information sessions at parents’ evenings by arrangement.

Their web service, is available for all pupils to access as well as their parents/carers and teachers. This site contains a number of information resources and advice guides, as well as programmes to support career planning. If you register on the site, it can tailor information to individual needs, store CVs, and highlight local opportunities.

Please refer via school Pupil Support Team or contact the local Skills Development Scotland. The school’s Career Adviser is Willie Macleod Tel: 01851708905

Driving Lessons

It has become increasingly common practice in recent years for S6 students to take time off school for driving lessons in Stornoway. Often this has resulted in the loss of most or all of a day, with the inevitable loss of learning and teaching time. While it may be possible for some S6 students to do this without damaging their prospects of academic success, it is not true for all and the practice is generally disruptive of the work ethos the school seeks to encourage. Current policy is as follows:-

There is no objection to S6 students taking driving lessons during the school week as long as this does not mean missing timetabled lessons. Where driving lessons are considered to be desirable or necessary, parents and students are strongly encouraged to arrange them at times where there is no impact on teaching time. The introduction of the Asymmetric week now allows students to plan and book driving lessons for Friday afternoons.

Please let the school know in advance if a course of lessons is being planned. Lessons which have not been notified in advance and / or result in the loss of teaching time will be classed as unauthorized absence.

Driving lessons are a worthwhile activity, but the school’s first priority has to be ensuring that a sound work ethic is maintained and academic success is not compromised.

Employment of Pupils

The practice of secondary pupils working part-time is not unusualcurr26 and, providing the hours are not excessive, can bring positive benefits beyond the financial rewards. Part-time working can help to foster a sense of independence and responsibility in young people and can help to take the pressure off family finances.


However, part-time working can also have a seriously detrimental impact on school work. Pupils who work long hours during the week are often tired in school, lack concentration in class and are unable to complete homework to a satisfactory standard and there have been some instances of this in recent times.

National legislation lays down detailed regulations for the part-time employment of young people, the breaking of which constitutes an offence. Parents should be aware that the offence committed is not by the young person, but by the employer or by the parent who fails to ensure compliance with the law.

Although the regulations do not apply to young people over the age of 16, a full programme of study at Intermediate and Higher level is very demanding and the benefits of working must be weighed very carefully against the impact on study time.

The regulations affecting part-time working may vary slightly from area to area and each local authority will have its own set of bye-laws governing the employment of children. A copy of the Comhairle’s current by-laws together with an application form for a permit of employment is available on the school and council website.