9.00am meeting with the Nursery/Primary Headteachers' Executive. We are looking at ways in which we can improve communication between schools and the directorate. A very useful meeting where we agreed that Executive Meetings need to more strategically focussed, perhaps using the Attainment Action Plan as a framework for standing items. In the past meetings have been taken up with school specific issues which prevent strategic discussion from taking place. We are going to explore how we might make better use of our Education Officers as a first line level of communication. EOs will present issues at the Friday morning meetings and actions allocated and recorded for tracking and monitoring. We hope that this mechanism will ensure that schools receive a response as opposed to concerns disappearing into the “ether” as it can sometimes be perceived. I'm writing a summary paper which will build upon this discussion and the Exec's previous proposals and be an agenda item at next weeks HT meeting.
11.30 meeting with Janis Craig, Headteacher at Knox Academy, Haddington. Over the last ten years Knox Academy has demonstated the greatest improvement in examination results of all our secondary schools. I am interested to find out what strategies Janis and her team have implemented to achieve this success. It is my hope that by focussing upon such examples of success that we can provide proven models of school improvement which can be shared with other school leaders in East Lothian. There is undoubtedly a very powerful work ethic in the school and expectation of success which permeates staff and students alike.
We discussed a range if school specific issues and the Attainement Action Plan which dovetails neatly with the school's Development Plan, particularly their focus on curriculum development. I'm going to meet with a group of Principal Teachers from the school in the next few weeks.
2.00pm meeting with Eilish Garland. Eilish has been helping the authority to shape its complaints policy and procedures. We have been having some problems deciding if the process should be called “Resolving Concerns” or “Resolving Complaints” We are going to propose that we go for the latter as “it does exactly what it says on the tin”. Headteachers were having some difficulty with the question about whether a concern was a complaint and whether or not this should be recorded. By distinguishing between a complaint and a query or a request for advice we hope to clarify the matter. We need to persuade everybody that we must take complaints seriously – not to blame schools which receive a large number – but to provide hard evidence that we are committed to providing a listening, responsive and accessible public service. Wrote e-mail to be circulated to HTs. Bounced it off Willie Galbraith first.
Met Alison Thomson, Admin Support for Ed Psychs at 3.30pm. Interesting to hear from Alison that she thought communication in the deparyment was improving.
Interviewed a candidate for the vacant ICT officer at 4.00pm with Derek Haywood. E Mails and correspondence until 6.20pm Got a phone call on my mobile on the way home about an urgent parental concern which had arisen after their child had got home. Phoned the headteacher at home – the matter had been dealt with by the guidance staff and Heateacher with parents coming into school tomorrow. Who says teachers only work 9-5?