SNP - Tom Wills

Education / Cunningsburgh and Fair Isle early years services receive positive feedback

Cunningsburgh Primary School.Cunningsburgh Primary School, where the early years service is located. Photo: SIC

EARLY years services in Cunningsburgh and Fair Isle have been given positive reports from inspectors.

A meeting of Shetland Islands Council’s education and families committee on Friday heard that the Cunningsburgh Primary School early years service was inspected by the Care Inspectorate on 13 March.

They rated its quality of care and support as ‘very good’ and its quality of environment as ‘good’.

Inspectors said it had a caring and warm environment with happy children, while they noted that staff worked very well with children and their families.

There were no formal recommendations or requirements for improvement.

The Fair Isle Primary School early years service, meanwhile, was inspected on 18 March. It was given two ‘very good’ ratings.

Inspectors praised its welcoming learning environment, with opportunities for group play between early years and older primary children.

They added that healthy lifestyles were promoted and that there were good opportunities to learn about the environment.

The Fair Isle early years service was also not given any formal recommendations or requirements.

At Friday’s meeting, director of children’s services Helen Budge praised the work of the council’s dedicated early learning and childcare officers.

“What a difference that is making,” she said.

Lerwick councillor Peter Campbell, meanwhile, sought clarity on what a reference in the inspection report to more “natural resources” at Cunningsburgh meant.

Quality improvement officer for early learning and childcare Samantha Flaws said this related to items like wood and sticks, which could promote imaginative play.

“This things can be anything to children,” she said.

Committee chairman George Smith, a councillor for the south mainland, said he was “really delighted to see the reports and the grades”.

Fellow south end member Robbie McGregor also praised the efforts of staff.

“I think the council should be given a wee pat on the back,” he said, referring particularly to the work in supporting outer islands like Fair Isle.

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