South Lanarkshire was commended this week by HMIE for pushing ahead with the improvement agenda despite major personnel shifts at senior level and the emergence of learning communities, based around secondaries and their feeder primaries.
Significantly, since the original report in 2003 local inspectors have carried out 48 school inspections and in only eight cases was a follow-up needed. This week's report notes "close agreement between school self-evaluations and those arrived at by HMIE". Improvement officials provided "accurate" pre-inspection reports.
Inspectors say the Labour-run council continues to "maintain a clear and strong vision for improving its educational services" with "strong leadership" from councillors. It has "an even more robust evidence base for planning and reporting on further improvement" and in most areas reached higher levels of performance than similar councils with matching degrees of deprivation.
The educational resources department "maintained good or very good overall levels of attainment and achievement in its schools" and broader pupil achievement had expanded.