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Let them know they matter

At Trinity Academy in Edinburgh, Peter Galloway, the headteacher, will also be expected to give a lead since he is a member of the Smith group.

"Every month, we have a day when I say to my staff how much I value them. I also complete and write on every report card, since the pupils must know and feel that they are wanted in school," Mr Galloway said.

The key factor is that the staff understand the school. "I know the potential NEET pupils better than those getting five Highers," Mr Galloway commented.

Working with local primaries, Trinity tries to identify potential NEET pupils, and a scheme has begun in which P7 teachers shadow S1 classes.

Mr Galloway said: "Schools must give pupils an opportunity to achieve. The guidance staff are critical to my school. They take youngsters from S1-S6.

In some schools, social education is done by other than the guidance staff.

I feel that is wrong."

He also advocates earlier access to work experience, in S3 for example, and echoes a strategy employed at Cumnock Academy: "Why are careers officers not working in school? It would be much better for them to have direct access to pupils."

Mr Galloway has also embraced external agencies such as Skills Force, employing two former members of the armed services to work with pupils from P7 on team-building, and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

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