Livingston school praised by Education Scotland following recent report

Oglivie School Campus has been praised for its positive relationships between children and staff.

The Livingston school, which specializes in education for school for primary pupils with significant social, emotional and behavioral needs, received praise in a number of areas following a recent routine inspection by Education Scotland.

Inspectors highlighted a number of key strengths including a strong sense of community across the school led by the energetic, open leadership style of the acting headteacher, positive relationships between children and staff leading to children feeling safe and cared for, ably supported by advanced pupil support workers, teachers provide learning experiences which are engaging and motivating for children and strong partnerships with parents and other stakeholders.

Read more: West Calder library receives prestigious award

Headteacher Liz Speirs said: “We are very pleased to have received such a positive report.

“There are a number of areas to work on and I can assure parents and carers that every member of staff will continue to work towards improving the school for each and every one of our pupils. The relationships between our team and our pupils is very special to us and we are delighted that Inspectors have highlighted this as a key strength for the school.

“I’d like to thank all members of staff, parents, partners and the wider school community for the part that they have played to help achieve a positive learning environment for our fantastic pupils.”

Read more: Work completed on new £1 million West Lothian nursery

Executive councillor for education, David Dodds, added: “I’m delighted to see so many important strengths in this report for Ogilvie School Campus, and I’m particularly impressed with the school’s success in involving parents, carers and families.

“Positive relationships between parents and teachers are necessary to establish a firm foundation, enabling the school to focus on learning and improving the school.

“By creating an excellent environment for learning, I am confident that parents and teachers at Ogilvie can further develop pupils and partnerships.”

Inspectors also recommended that the school continues to review approaches to promoting positive behaviour and raises attainment and achievement.



Best Winter Breaks in Scotland

As the autumn leaves are turning and we delve into the cosy depths of winter, here’s our pick of the best winter breaks in Scotland to pack a book, turn off your phone and relax.

If you want to try out the latest Scottish wellness trend ‘Coorie’ (it’s Scotland’s answer to hygge…) then Callekille is a good place to practise it. Up on Applecross Peninsula on Wester Ros, Callekille is a white washed croft cottage, just 50 yards from the beach with some of the best views in Scotland across the Inner Sound of Raasay to the Isle of Skye. Interiors are cosy cottage chic at its finest with Farrow and Ball walls and oak flooring. Get out in the great outdoors and settle in at the nearby Potting Shed for dinner in the evening.

Read our full review of Callakille

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Jura Lodge

Another west coast beauty for pure Instagram gold is Jura Lodge. The interiors are the brainchild of Bambi Sloan and they’re an eclectic mix of drums for coffee tables, antlers on the walls, a suit of armour and some elaborate lighting fixtures. The drinks cabinet is fittingly well-stocked and there’s even an excellent whiskey distillery next door. There’s plenty of coastal walks right on the doorstep and plenty of wildlife to look out for, before you return to Jura Lodge for a relaxing soak in the free-standing tub.

Read our full review of Jura Lodge

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Loch Ossian Youth Hostel

For an incredible Scottish winter break that won’t break the bank Loch Ossian Youth Hostel is a winner. You’ll find it on the west coast of Scotland by Fort William, surrounded by the spectacular Munros. It’s so wonderfully remote that you can only reach it by foot. It’s around a 20-minute walk away from Corrour train station. Loch Ossian Youth Hostel is entirely wood-clad, and its eco-friendly credentials are high with hydro power and solar power and a reed bed system for composting toilets. For a completely soul restoring experience rent the whole place out with a group of friends and go off grid for the weekend.

Read our full review of Loch Ossian Youth Hostel

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If you’re after a Scottish castle with a spa, then Isle of Eriska is perfect. And if we didn’t have you at Scottish castle with a spa, then the wildlife will seal the deal, here there’s tonnes to spot, from soaring golden eagles to grey seals and cute otters all on the hotel’s 300-acre private island. There’s 34 bedrooms in total with the most luxurious coming with their own private hot tubs. Don’t miss the spa and its 17-metre heated pool, steam room, sauna and jacuzzi.

Read our full review of Isle of Eriska

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If you’re looking for a slightly quirkier place to stay, then Ecopod Boutique Retreat could be your place. Located in the middle of a lush Birchwood forest, the Ecopod Boutique Retreat is made up of two 750-foot light filled domes, which may have a tent like structure, but are about as far from a tent as you can get. You’ll be greeted with a luxurious food hamper, there’s a state-of-the-art 60s style kitchen, an outdoor wooden hot tub and cosy touches like the sheepskin rugs. Location wise, it’s just 15 miles from Oban with brilliant views of Castle Stalker and Loch Linnhe.

Read our full review of Ecopod Boutique Retreat

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Broad Bay House

Seven miles north of Stornoway, on the completely magical Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides sits Broad Bay House. It’s home to four well- appointed bedrooms and a huge glass sided communal area, with vaulted ceilings a warming fuel stove and the most incredible views of the ocean, which stretch right to mainland Scotland on a clear day. It’s only a short walk down to the sandy shores of Broad Bay itself, where if you’re lucky you can spot seals and basking sharks.

Read our full review of Broad Bay House

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Shieldaig Lodge

The gorgeous Shieldaig Lodge in the Highlands sits within a 26, 000-acre estate right on the peaceful waters of Gairloch and is a 19th century gem of a place to stay. Think roaring log fires, leather chesterfields, snug lounges and lashings of tartan. Your stay can be as action packed (there’s everything from sea kayaking to pony trekking to gin tasting on offer), to as relaxed as you like (board game and a pick from one of the 300 whiskeys anyone?). On the food front there’s a firm focus on delicious home grown produce, local game and seafood, which you can tuck into while looking out on a backdrop of epic Highland landscapes and Sheildaig Bay.

For more information visit Shieldaig Lodge

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The Net Store

The Net Store in Ardheslaig in the Highlands wouldn’t look out of place on Grand Designs with its floor-to-ceiling apex window looking out over Loch Beag, its central wood burner, gleaming pale oak floors and its minimalist vibe. Jaw dropping views continue upstairs, where you can see the starry night sky, or the mountains from the Velux windows. Everything here is finished perfectly from the immaculate high-tech kitchen to the white-marble bathrooms. Sink into a designer armchair or brave the cold and take a wild swim it the loch if you dare.

For more information visit The Net Store

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The Woodshed

Pack your most Scandi-chic knitwear and take your loved one for a romantic break at the Woodshed, which is a welcoming timber-clad cottage, looking right out over the Pentland Hills. Throw open the French windows and soak up the views, take hikes, tuck into homemade scones and come nightfall hop in the outdoor hot tub under a starry night sky. Bliss. Rates start from £78 per night, so you won’t feel out of pocket and if you want to mix in some culture to your trip, Edinburgh is only 10 miles away.

For more information visit The Woodshed

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Investing in Scotland’s future

A significant cash injection to health and care services and funding to help prepare Scotland’s economy for Brexit are at the heart of the Scottish Government’s spending plans for the year ahead. 

The 2019/20 Scottish Budget, published today, proposes an increase of almost £730 million in health and care services. This includes additional revenues generated by tax decisions that mitigate the shortfall in NHS funding promised by the UK Government.

Unveiling the spending plans in Parliament, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay also announced more than £180 million to raise attainment in schools.

The budget includes more than £5 billion of capital investment to grow and modernise infrastructure – including a new £50 million Town Centre Fund to support the future of our high streets.

Real terms increases in funding for local government, education, health and the police will support the transformation of our public services to meet new challenges, while investment in skills, social security and training will help ensure we deliver opportunity for all.

The Scottish Government will continue to deliver on its commitments to end homelessness and tackle child poverty, while investment in culture is also protected.

Mr Mackay also confirmed that the Scottish Government’s tax policy will ensure 55% of income taxpayers in Scotland will pay less than people earning the same income in the rest of the UK, while continuing to raise revenue to support investment in the economy and public services.

Mr Mackay said:

“This is a budget of stimulus and stability. It delivers for today and invests in tomorrow and does so with fairness, equality and inclusiveness at its heart.

“It provides an increase of almost £730 million for our health and care services, invests more than £180 million to raise attainment in our schools and gives a vital boost to our economy through a £5 billion infrastructure programme.

“As a result of these decisions, we have been able to invest in essential public services, particularly the NHS, while ensuring 55% of income taxpayers in Scotland pay less tax than those earning the same income in the rest of the UK. Taken together with the personal allowance, 99% of taxpayers will pay less income tax next year on the same income.

“This budget delivers the public services, social contract and economic investment people expect while mitigating, where we can, the impacts of the UK Government’s policies of austerity and Brexit that are causing so much harm.”

Assessing the impact of ongoing uncertainty around the UK’s exit from the EU on this year’s budget, Mr Mackay added:

“Our spending plans for 2019-20 include a commitment to mitigate the risks of Brexit as best we can, to enable our economy to thrive in any circumstances, now and in the future.

“It is disappointing that we are facing the prospect of having to revisit these plans in the event of a chaotic no-deal outcome. If leaving the EU can be avoided, those resources currently being directed towards essential preparations can be reinvested into our public services and economy.”

The 2019/20 Scottish Budget includes:

See more from @ScotGov on Twitter, and follow #ScotBudget for updates.  


Carers (Scotland) Act 2016


South Lanarkshire Council

Carers (Scotland) Act 2016

The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 takes effect on April 1, 2018 and will ensure better and more consistent support for carers so that they can continue to care, if they so wish, in better health and to have a life alongside caring.

From April 1 2018 there is:

  • A new right for carers to be offered or request an Adult Carer Support Plan (ACSP) or Young Carer Statement (YCS), setting out their personal outcomes and identified needs.
  • a duty for local authorities to provide support to carers, based on the carer’s needs which meet the local eligibility criteria.
  • a requirement for local authorities to establish and maintain an information and advice service for carers. They must also publish and review a short breaks services statement.
  • a duty for local authorities and health boards to ‘take such steps as they consider appropriate’ to involve carers and carer representatives in the planning and evaluation of services that support carers, including the preparation of the local carer strategy.
  • a requirement for the responsible local authority to consider support in the form of a break from caring, and the desirability of breaks from caring provided on a planned basis.
  • a duty on health boards to inform the carer and to invite their views before a cared-for person is discharged from hospital. These must be taken into account before the discharge of the cared-for person.
  • the publication of a Carers’ charter to accompany the Act, which sets out the rights of carers in or under the Act.

    Please see the useful links section below to help signpost individuals or to find more information.

  • You can follow us on Twitter – @SG_CarersPolicy for regular updates and our countdown to implementation.
  • We will be posting information both from ourselves and our respective stakeholders, which you are welcome to share. 
  • If posting about the Carers Act, we would request that you use the tag  #CarersAct.