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08/06/15 16:22

New York, new ideas

FM learns how New York schools are raising standards for its young people.

Lessons learnt from improving standards in schools in Brooklyn could play a key role in the raising of educational attainment in Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

During a visit to a Brooklyn school which has faced similar issues to schools in some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas, the First Minister saw how the involvement of parents and the community had helped to raise standards by taking a holistic approach and partnership working to deliver education across the city.

She was accompanied to Daniel Hale Williams - The Magnet School for science, technology, engineering and mathematics – by Chancellor Carmen Farina, the Head of New York City Department of Education.

The First Minister has made improving educational outcomes in Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities one of her key priorities since taking office and has previously announced a £100 million Scottish Attainment Challenge to support children and young people to achieve their potential.

The First Minister said:

“Education is one of the most important things we give to our children and young people. It is a tool for life - one that can help everyone aim high and be the best they can be.

“Scotland continues to attract attention for its innovation and improvement in learning and teaching. And we know that our schools are achieving success with record exam results and a record number of school-leavers in work, education or training. However, there is always room for improvement, particularly in improving standards of literacy and numeracy and in how our most disadvantaged young people are supported to achieve success at school and beyond.

“I said when I launched the Scottish Attainment Challenge that we would look at and learn from successful models in Scotland, the UK and overseas to gain as much evidence and knowledge as we can on how best to drive up standards in Scotland. Coming to Brooklyn today and finding out about how schools which face similar issues to those in some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities have overcome their challenges will be vital as we move towards shaping a model that will work back home.”

Chancellor Carmen Fariña, the Head of New York Department of Education, said:

"Our goal is to give every child an education that puts them on the path to college and meaningful careers - regardless of what neighbourhood they live in or obstacles they may face. So many educators, including Principal Davenport and her teachers at PS 307, are doing amazing work across the City to meet the unique needs of all our students. As a school system, we are committed to working collaboratively and sharing strong practices from teacher to teacher and school to school, and I am so pleased that we are now able to share some of the wonderful teaching and learning in our City with First Minister Sturgeon and the people of Scotland."

Notes to editors

Information on the Scottish Attainment Challenge can be found at:

Follow @scotgovfm for updates on the First Minister’s trip to the US.