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Showing posts from August, 2014

Into The Light: With Practitioner Enquiry

Yesterday I took part in a conference at Edinburgh University which was focused on Practitioner Enquiry and it's impact for teachers, schools, systems and educational research. As a Headteacher who has been using such an approach for over four years now, I was very interested to get a picture of where we were now with Practitioner Enquiry,  it's impacts and dissemination more widely within the system. Attendees included school representatives, local authorities, Education Scotland, General Teaching Council Scotland and a number of universities from across Scotland.

After the welcomes and introductions to the day, we began by hearing from Tom Hamilton of the GTCS. The title of Tom's presentation was Impact: 'What Impact? Whose Impact? Educational Practice, Educational Policy and Research Excellence.' This encapsulated a common theme for the day, which was around impact for learners at all levels, and the recognition that we are all learners. Tom pointed out the posi…

20-20 Vision

Both my schools reopened this week for the new school year. Amongst the emails waiting for me was one from the Scottish College For Educational Leadership (SCEL) I am taking part in the first fellowship programme intended to offer experienced headteachers extended professional development and an opportunity to influence, and have an input into, the national agenda for education in Scotland. High aspirations and still early days yet before we can judge the success or otherwise of this aim. I certainly have enjoyed many of the aspects and inputs we have experienced over the last six months or so, and they have helped me develop my thinking and understanding of the issues both here at home and further afield. The email asked me to consider my vision for Scottish Education for the next ten years and then to give some thought to what needed tou happen to deliver on that vision. No pressure there then! If someone is going to ask me for my vision for education they are certainly going to get…

Characteristics of Successful Schools

I was very fortunate to spend six weeks this summer visiting Australia. I was in Perth, Western Australia, for most of this time and whilst there I had plenty of time for reading, a very important summertime activity for me each year. As usual I had bought a few books for the journey, but was dismayed to find I had managed to leave these behind in Dubai airport as I journeyed to Perth. However, all was not lost as WA is home to a very healthy and modern library service. I was able to use this during my stay and I had access to many recent and up to date books on education and leadership, including one of the ones I had left behind in Dubai. I must say it was refreshing to see the library provision and the importance seemingly given to this resource by the local government of WA. A contrast to the approach being taken towards library services back home, which some people seem to see as easy targets in times of austerity. A view I see as shortsighted and damaging, especially for those m…

Mind The Gap

Closing the attainment and achievement gap has become a key focus for schools and education systems around the world. How do we stop the gap between our highest attainers and our lowest attainers from growing? How can we best support all our learners, but especially those who are most disadvantaged by their home or social backgrounds? Are two vexed questions being considered and debated across the globe.

Obviously, what goes on within our schools and education systems will form a vital component in addressing these issues, but they should not be seen as the only ones. We in education cannot deliver all that is required on our own. We need support from Government, other agencies, parents and society as a whole. Everyone has a part to play in achieving our objectives and we need commitment and understanding at all levels to be able to really deliver.

Assuming everything else is in place, what is it that schools need to do in order to deliver on their responsibilities?

I would suggest th…