7.30-9.00 Preparation for Education Committee and correspondence.

9.00 – 9.30 Quick impromptu meeting with Kay Affleck who is our Integration Information Officer. Kay is going to take responsibility for a new section of the site –
Additional Support Needs

10.00-12.00 Council Committee for Education. These are formal meetings where the officers, namely Alan Blackie and myself present a series of reports to the elected members about a range of issues. Today covered: 4 inspection reports; East Linton catchment area review; early years review; educational maintenance allowances; schools meals and free school meal entitlement; and college/school links.

12.30pm Out to a secondary school to meet a headteacher with Fraser Parkinson regarding a pupil who had been excluded and who the school were unhappy about taking back. We had an excellent meeting where we explored the notion of ownership and proper multi-agency support. We have agreed that the student will return to the school once a proper multi-agency plan has been put in place. Our collective problem is what happens when the “worst” student in the schol is permanently excluded? The reality is that another student simply moves up the ranking and takes their place as the “worst” and the only recourse to inappropriate behaviour is another permanent exclusion.

The challenge for us all to face up to is: Why do we want to keep such kids in school? Is it to comply with legislation? – don't think so – Is it to make our statistics look good? – nope – Is it to try to do something to improve society? – well although this sounds pretty grand I think it must be close to what should be driving us. I can't help thinking that if we really take on this idea about cluster collective responsibility – where all groups share responsibility – that we at least have a chance to make a difference. But there again I am a hopeless idealist!!

2.00-4.15pm Emergency Alert Training – this is an on-line system which is about to go live. It will allow the various agencies to communicate effectively in the case of a major emergency.

4.30pm -5.45 Back to the office . Joined in an excellent discussion between Ruth Munro and Rob Lewis – one of Management Information Team about how we intend to collect, collate and present 5-14 data. Ruth has picked up on work done by Angus Council assisted by Tony Conroy (LTS) where schools will set targets based upon actual students in their schools – as opposed to picking them out of thin air. The system will work by a teacher stating where students are in, lets day P2. They are then asked to estimate how many of the same class will ahve acheived the same level by P3. This will give a much more realistic picture of where schools are in terms of attainment. We are also going to consider creating comparator groups of schools within the authority, small and large and split by low FME and high FME. Should prove interesting.