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'Striking' rise in record-keeping

Pamela Robertson from the University of London evaluation team noted that some results from the 37 pilot projects were no different from those in other schools. These included increased attainment, greater numbers staying on and going into further and higher education, and rising absenteeism.

There was, however, a "striking" increase in record-keeping for vulnerable children in the pilot schools, Ms Robertson said. In the first year, most reported keeping no records but by year three more than half were keeping records.

The rise was attributed to rising staff numbers, especially social workers.

"Vulnerable" children are defined as those in care, in the lowest achieving group and who have been excluded permanently or are at risk of exclusion.

There was strong evidence of successful cross-agency working between education, health and social work. New curriculum opportunities, especially vocational provision, were accompanied by more out-of-school care and learning, improved personal and social education, and enhanced health education.

A group of pupils from Alness Academy in Easter Ross told the conference they preferred sex education from a health worker or nurse rather than a teacher.

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