Met Sheila Ainslie at 8.15 to discuss staffing issues relaing to pupil support. Valerie Irving at 9.00am to finalise our proposals for 5-14 assessment. We are going to go for an on-line moderation system called ALTA. More of this at a later date. 9.30 meeting with Richard Parker to complete the chat we were having last week. Richard made some excellent suggestions which I'd like to follow up. These included: an induction programme for Education Department staff; a CPD programme for support staff making use of internal expertise; a support staff conference for school and centre based support teams. We thought a half day programme during an In-Service day would be worthwhile – the theme would be “Supporting Excellent School”; and development of a who's who section on the website.
Alan Cruickshank at 10.00am to discuss issues relating to ICT. There are still a range of budgetary issues that need to be resolved before we can properly embark on taking forwards our ICT strategy. Alan is going to follow up on these and get back to me.
Visited Ronnie Summers, Headteacher of Musselburgh Grammar School. at 11.30. We explored a number of topics such as pupil attendance; course choice; schools of ambition; and development planning surveys. The school is well placed to make rapid progress over the next few years given the incredible amount of hard work Ronnie and his staff have done to tackle a wide range of issues.
Ronnie's going to set up a meeting for me with a few Principal Teachers to enable me to explore their own ambitions for the school, whilst also discussing some of our plans to improve the teaching and learning process in East Lothian.
2.00pm meeting with Gordon Brown. Gordon really helped me come to grips with the Determined to Succeed programme and I think I understand the value of our pre-vocational provision at “The Shed” – which I'm going to visit on Friday. It seems the challenge will be to establish clear authority expectations which ensures that all students have an entitlement. Some schools – and Dunbar Grammar was one – did not make use of the facility. If we are going to make the best use of the programme we need a much stronger steer from the centre. We also need to work out how we link this programme to core authority funding when DTS funding is reduced or withdrawn.
4.00pm agenda setting meeting for Policy and Procedures Review Panel. This is a committee made up of councillors who have to scrutinise the work of departments.
Managed to get to some paperwork after the meeting finished at 5.30pm.