This report published today looks at the experience of those young people who broaden their learning and develop their essential skills by undertaking school-college partnership programmes. Its primary aim is to identify what makes these programmes successful for young people and what needs to be done better. It is intended to help schools, colleges and local authorities to build on key messages of success to further improve the learning experience for all.
Section 7.4 deals with professional development and support issues for staff involved in this partnership working.
Jim Keegans and I had the good fortune to be invited by the GTCS for a conversation with a group of visitors from Victoria State Parliament in Australia. The session was short but we discussed a number of topics including accreditation of CPD providers, verification of CPD plans and records, Glow, online CPD, and flexible routes. The conversation focussed loosely around the work of the CPD team (summarised above). I promised a copy of some of the slides and a collection of links and here they are!
SCSSA is leading an exciting new project in partnership with the national CPD Team and the Scottish Government. The project aims to deepen expertise at school and authority level in leading change successfully.Groups of staff will investigate and trial leadership approaches to change designed to deliver high quality learning and teaching across classes, schools and authorities.The process will give educational leaders the opportunity to really fine-tune their skills in developing system wide improvement and will run for the next two years.The attached file below gives an overview of the Learning Rounds project and what we will achieve. Learning Rounds Overview.doc
As most teachers in Scotland go back to school today, I have been reflecting on how some teachers give up sizeable portions of their summer holiday for CPD. I noticed the number who enthusiastically gave of their time to come to the Leadership Summer School. It continued with one of my workshops this week but the dedication of 2 Edinburgh school leaders takes some beating!
Sheila Laing, Headteacher of Forthview spent much of July visiting Hle Bee school in Thailand July 2008 for the second time and Mary Gillespie, Headteacher of Pirniehall, from a neighbouring school in Pilton, Edinburgh also travelled to link with a Mae Sot Burmese school. You can check out their blogs on www.pirniehall.blogspot.com and http://forthview.blogspot.com/
If you have any experiences of summer CPD (inspiring or indifferent) please leave us a comment.
This year’s speakers include Professor Tim Brighouse of London University and Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning. There are still a few places left so contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
Graham Thomson has been in touch with Malachi since his appearance at the Summer School and Malachi fed back how one headteacher in New Zealand is changing his leadership practice as a result of the Breakthrough Coach technique. The email is reproduced below
“Hi Malachi, I was at your seminar held at the NZ Principal’s Conference in Christchurch last month. I found your presentation the most challenging and inspiring. It helped me see that by operating as a super technician I was not helping others around me be who they should be and I was not helping myself be who I should be. I have already begun to roll out the changes based on what he has said by…
Changing the way that I think…this is the first and foremost important change.
Throwing out a large portion of my office…wow…what a liberating experience that was.
Having daily meetings with my secretary…(which I need to call my executive secretary)…to deal with the mail and to provide daily assignments for.
Looking at the current job description for our secretary which is so full of different roles (including receptionist, office manager, bursar, staff secretary, executive secretary, librarian, minutes secretary etc) and seeing how this can be relooked at to help her and me get what we need to be done…done.
Got kids to take up one of our office managers roles.
Closing my door way more often.
Begun to see the importance of the personal potential of each staff member so that they can become experts in their fields of passion and led the staff in them…our PD budget is going to go through the roof…but…funnily…I’m pleased about that.
What I need to do next is…
Schedule time in the classroom as I free up time from the office.
Develop a shared calendar so that my secretary can manage appointments.
Change the job descriptions and communicate this change to staff and parents.
I am seeing the benefits within me already as I am actually working less…talking more…and getting my head above the trees.
So…can I thank you for your contributions to my professional development. It was timely, pertinent and liberating.
Edendale Primary School
24 Salford Street
(P.S: If I was being really good I would have got my secretary to type this message…but…still working on that.)
David Cameron (Director of Education in Stirling Council) finished the summer school with a roar! His talk on “Leadership in a time of opportunity and change” meant no let-up in the challenges for the conference delegates to the last. Actually, talk comes nowhere near describing his unique presentational style – it’s more like ‘getting a doing’ from a particularly funny and insightful philosopher!
Partly, he used the session to take a magnifying glass to the other contributions of the week and zoomed in on a number of areas where clarity was required. Nor did he mind if his bright light through the glass burnt a few of sacred articles of faith along the way!
But mainly, David set out his own personal views on leadership and issued a few challenging statements and questions, such as:
Are we talking about dispersal of leadership when we actually mean honouring responsibility and fulfilling roles? Is leadership making sure that everyone sees and honours their responsibilities?
In a time of change, we need clarity, certainty (or at least confidence) from our leaders and we need them to see further down the road
ACfE cannot be anarchic but nor should we prescribe it to death. David likened it to a Miles Davis jazz piece where everybody can recognise the tune but the real beauty is in the improvisation.
He took time to look at definitions of purpose and excellence and his words about the head teacher (Evlyn Allsop) and staff of Kennoway Primary in the ‘90s were particularly moving. If you only have time to look at 2 of the slides below make them numbers 11 and 12. These slides outline part of Kennoway Primary’s mission statement from that time.
He sounded the death knell for the school improvement plan, while recognising its past usefulness. Instead the school plan should be a combination of individual educator development plans within the school.
He went on to share some personal feelings about being a leader and including how to minimise the feeling you get from “distributing the leadership and keeping the guilt”
David ended with an impassioned, optimistic view of leadership in Scottish education as represented by the conference delegates.
Not one to forget!