Supported study, a key plank in the Government's drive on standards, has been deemed a significant success by South Lanarkshire.
A major programme in the council's 21 secondaries last session involved 4,000 pupils and 700 staff. More than 60 per cent of students expect to obtain improved grades and almost 80 per cent felt their classwork had improved.
A scheme in seven primaries will be extended to 20 schools next session. Staff reported "more positive, co-operative and enthusiastic attitudes" in programmes of six to 12 weeks. Maggi Allan, South Lanarkshire's director of education, hoped pupils would enter secondary schools as "committed learners".
The council is also to consider a "buddy" system in which primary and secondary pupils come together. It is also hoped to involve more secondary school staff with children from primary 7.
More than 70 per cent of secondary students said they had a better relationship with their teachers. This view was endorsed by staff who were not directly involved in the programme. "An increased sense of achievement and improved coping skills were key factors," the evaluation found.
The primary scheme cost just Pounds 3,500 which will rise to Pounds 10, 000 next session. The secondary programme cost Pounds 86,000, including a Pounds 10,000 grant from the local education business partnership. Next year's allocation is budgeted at Pounds 58,000 with a bid to the partnership for additional funding.