Local News for Friday 10th August 2018

2018 Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) data, indicates that percentages in Eilean Siar achieving National 5 are higher than the national figure.

83.39% achieved National 5 in Eilean Siar, whereas the national pass rate was 77.40%. This also represents an improvement of 1% in pass rates in Eilean Siar compared to 2017.

Percentage passes at Higher are in line with the national pass rate.
76.23% in Eilean Siar achieved an A-C pass, compared with 76.80% nationally.

Advanced Higher (SCQF level 7) results show a small decrease in the number of presentations however percentage passes in Eilean Siar have increased by 5.5% compared to 2017.

The Eilean Siar pass rate of 81.7% is higher than the national pass rate of 80.5%.

Across the authority, at all levels, there were 2,939 presentations and 2,486 awards in 2018, representing an 84.59% pass rate, compared with 3,096 presentations, 2,583 awards and a percentage pass rate of 83.43% in 2017. Officers in the department are currently analysing each school’s data to identify areas of strength and areas for development.

It was another successful Fèis an Rubha this year, with 56 children from near and far attending the event.
Community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust (PST) donated £500 to the Gaelic youth arts event, to cover the costs of taking part for children from low-income families.

Anne Macaulay, chair of the Fèis an Rubha committee, said: “We had 56 at the Fèis. They enjoyed it and there was a concert on Friday night that went well.

The main Fèis is for children aged eight to 18, while there is also a class for those aged five to seven and a cròileagan for children aged three to five.

Attendance normally costs £35 for the first child and £30 for siblings. The organising committee had recognised that this cost was a barrier to some taking part, and had wanted to find a way to make it more inclusive.

They sought funding from Point and Sandwick Trust – to provide free places to families in receipt of the school clothing grant – and the community wind farm was more than happy to help.

Calum Alex Macmillan, Fèisean nan Gàidheal Development Manager, said the funding of free places by PST allowed Fèis an Rubha “to reach more young people than ever before”.
Such financial support ‘makes a real difference for families within the local community’.

The energy regulator has increased its price cap on variable tariffs due to rising wholesale prices.
Ofgem said its safeguard tariff, which protects five million households from overcharging, will rise by £47 per year in October to £1,136.
The watchdog said it was increasing the cap due to rising oil prices, which have fed through to wholesale gas prices.
Commenting on the Ofgem update to the safeguard tariff, Craig Salter, Energy Policy Officer at Citizens Advice Scotland said:
“A further significant increase in the level of the safeguard tariff will worry households that already find their energy bills unaffordable.
“The safeguard tariff for prepayment meters is a welcome measure to help mitigate the most severe price rises but, as it responds to wholesale energy price changes, consumers are still vulnerable to significant price increases. It is likely that there will be similar issues with the price cap on Standard Variable Tariffs when that is introduced later this year.
“More robust measures are needed to make energy bills more affordable for vulnerable consumers.”