8.30-10.00am Directorate Meeting – Lindsey Dick from Corporate governance came to the first part of the meeting. She is keen to implement a more flexible approach towards planning to fit in with different departments’ requirements whilst ensuring that there is some sort of corporate approach – particularly one which makes it clear how things tie together. I welcomed this as we previously had to write a service improvement plan and a separate business plan. The new system will only require us to pick out the key features of our service improvement plan – something which will save time and unnecessary effort.

10.00-10.30 Met Alastair Seagrott – Head of Outdoor Education about the Mark Scott Leadership awards which we will be supporting. This award will enable 12 east Lothian senior pupils to access training from Outward Bound. We also agreed to hold a seminar early in the new year to explore how outdoor education can contribute to Curroiculum for Excellence.

10.30-11.30 Alan Blackie and I met to discuss the restructuring of the department in some detail.

12.00-1.00 Sharon Saunders – Head of Personnel and Clare O’Sullivan – our consultant – met me to go over the various proposals for the restructuring of the department. The cluster-based working paper which we completed last week has gone a long way to identifying what it is we are trying to achieve when we talk about improving the service – particularly in relation to the notion of collective responsibility.

1.00-3.30pm Met with education officers to discuss examination statistics and how we would like to work with schools in the future. There is no way we can go back to subject specific advisors but perhaps there are a range of options we could explore to help subjects to better support themselves. Our commitment to look at results from a subject perspective across the authority has some potential to reinforce the idea of collaborative working. We considered picking three subjects (perhaps Maths, Geography and Art and Design) this session to look at different development models – very useful discussion.

4.00-5.30pm Masterclass meeting at Prestonpans Education Centre – Got there a bit late but we engaged in a worthwhile discussion. I’d like the group to take a lead role in translating our ICT policy into practice with a focus upon the teaching and learning process. The group seemed keen to take on this role with the ICT Management Group being more focused upon the hardware, support and budget end.

We agreed to set a up group which will meet on the 20th December to take this matter forwards.

There is a need for us to establish a basic classroom entitlement for every teacher in the authority – even before we look at some of the other exciting possibilities for ICT. I referred to this a “low tech – high Tech” approach in other words lets have the fundamentals in place before getting carried away e.g. robust connections systems, good support systems, better use of existing software and baseline hardware in every classroom.