Portlethen Academy could do better..

Portlethen Academy is lagging behind Mearns and Mackie in the league tables, but headteacher Neil Morrison has outlined strategies to get it back up to speed.

A report before Kincardine and Mearns area committee this week showed the disappointing results, with lower exam pass rates being the main concern.

Mearns and Mackie Academies were performing well, councillors heard, but there were “significant concerns” about Portlethen.

But plans put in place by Mr Morrison to improve the standards at the school are already bearing fruit and not all the news was bad, with S5 pupils showing improvements and S4 pupils performing better than expected.

North Kincardine Councillor Ian Mollison said that the presentation given to the committee by Mr Morrison was “inspirational”.

He added: “The presentation was refreshing.

‘‘Mr Morrison also pointed out that young people were very successful at getting jobs or going to college when ideally the staff would like them to stay on longer at school.

‘‘The concern is that initially they are very successful but four or five years down the road in their careers they may hit a ceiling.

“Pupils only have one chance at receiving a secondary education. There is no reason that Portlethen Academy should not have as good or, indeed, better results than similar schools.

‘‘Mr Morrison gave me the confidence that this is achievable.”

Research undertaken by staff at the school had also revealed that many girls were skipping breakfast, which was having a negative effect on their concentration levels throughout the school day.

Staff have been visiting other schools, including Mearns Academy, to learn new ways of improving, particularly in maths, and Mr Morrison said that teachers had returned with a “wealth of ideas” to implement within the curriculum.