Hospital and home services lacking

7th September 2007 at 01:00
A HIGHLY critical report into Glasgow's Hospital Education and Home Tuition Service has found weaknesses in its curriculum structure, accommodation, leadership and self-evaluation.

HMIE's evaluation of the service, for children aged five to 18 with medical needs andor social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, described the quality of education as "variable" and joint working with health service staff as "not always effective".

HEHTS is provided by Glasgow City Council and serves children from authorities all over Scotland. Its services include hospital education for children with mental health issues, brain injuries, and autistic spectrum disorders, as well as provision for non-attenders and young people with social and emotional difficulties. A number of teachers are part of specialist mental health teams.

Some aspects of accommodation, health and safety provision, and curriculum at the Douglas Inch Centre a multi-disciplinary outpatient clinic for patients with mental health illnesses were described as "unsatisfactory" or having "major weaknesses".

The report, published this week, rated only climate and relationships as "very good", saying teachers made very good use of praise to provide pupils with positive feedback. However, teachers relied too heavily on worksheets, lacked ICT access, and some worked in inadequate accommodation.

Five areas pupils' learning experiences, the overall quality of attainment, personal and social development, meeting pupils' needs, and links with local authorities, schools and other agencies were judged "adequate".

The teaching process, pupils' attainment in English and maths, pastoral care, quality and fairness, partnership with parents and the community, and expectations and promoting achievement were all described as "good".

Gordon Matheson, executive member for education and social renewal, said: "Every Glasgow school should be excellent, and that of course includes the Hospital Education and Home Tuition provision. We will not accept mediocrity."

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