All morning spent discussing proportionate support for schools and authority evaluation processes. I’ve agreed to write a paper on revising our school development plan process – suggestions welcome.We held the event in the new Marine Hotel in North Berwick – what a place! It has great potential for holding the Exc-el conference we have been thinking about.

Afternoon – department quiz. Our team – “Borthwick's Bawheeds” – were a gallant second. It struck me – and others – that without a mix of interests and abilities our scores would have been very different i.e. teams are better than individuals. Each person brought a range of skills to the team – this is the key to effective group work but everyone must be allowed to contribute, or the power of the team is compromised – is this the role of the effective leader?

Thanks to Julia Robertson, Richard Parker and Ian Fullarton for putting together the event.

Finished with a pint in the Tyneside.

ICT Skunkworks update

Tuesday 20th December

Into the office before 7.00 to get one or two bits ready for the day – then off to Alderston house to set up projector etc.

event started at 9.00am. We had 15 particpants. I set the scene by reviewing the aims of the department and giving some background to the concept of
skunkworks which is evolving in our East Lothian context. Each particpant was then asked to come up with ten key action which would help us to translate our ICT policy into reality. This first part of the engine room is critical and people had nearly 20 minutes on this single task. They then followed the
Engine Room Methodology.

The next stage took a departure from the past when it was sugested we use the laptop and projector to record the ideas from the three groups. Each group gave their ten amalgamated points and these were put up on the screen. We then tried to group common action points together. This was a fascinating process and incredibly powerful and creative.

After lunch we used our flexible time productively when it was suggested by someone that we needed to try to work out why we were taking these action points. This seemed to hark back to a recent session I attanded with Shirley Clarke and the
Learning Teams where she suggested that it was vital that teachers worked out the success criteria (which is similar to what we did) before planning the lesson.

We then brainstormed the “whys” for each point and came up with the following
strategy which you can now help us to refine. The idea to use Wikipedia came from Ewan Macintosh and I think this has incredible potential in helping us to shape policy and practice in an open source manner.

We concluded the day by trying to identify specific actions which must be done under each heading , e.g CPD review existing opportunities – would be one point. It is our intention to then put these actions onto a ganntt chart which wil guide and shape our practice whilst enabl;ing clear monitoring procedures. I'll be adding the specific action points to the wiki in the next few day.

Finally – a number of people who participated during the day commented on how the skunkworks process could be used to enable schools to put together their development plan in a much more collaborative and productive manner.

I've copied the 10 points here but if you wish to edit the strategy you will need to access the

Remember that the version below will be out of date as soon as I publish it here.

1. CPD

  • Create a long term programme of regular, high quality training for all school staff within current
    CPD time, aiming for minimum levels of competence and taking account of prior learning.
  • Provide certification for ICT CPD activities.
  • Ensure that PTs and those in positions of influence have a positive outlook on the use of ICT in education.


  • NOF is finished so there is a need to establish basic competences in ICT (many of the trained staff have moved on or not updated skills)
  • McCrone time is deskilling staff
  • ICT is in use, but is it leading to effective learning and teaching?

2. Personnel

  • Protocols need set for
    PPP players: who has responsibility over what?
  • Need for more ICT Officers, aiming for good spread across clusters
  • Training of ICT Coordinators in every school, with time given to create a link between ICT Officers and teachers. This would include sorting out minor glitches.
  • Employ 'Ed-Tech' teachers to troubleshoot, team teach and provide informal teaching 'on the fly'.


  • Reduce the time of troubleshooting
  • Foster a sense of respect between teachers, ICT Officers and the ICT tools themselves.
  • Show teachers why ICT improves the quality of their teaching and students' learning.

3. Training

  • Make use of expertise already in schools, including pupils and parents.


  • Teachers are most responsive to peer/student trainers
  • Teachers understand how to better use ICT
  • Empowering for parents and students
  • Reduces requests to helpdesk
  • Knowledge and expertise shared (not just of ICT but also of learning and assessment processes)
  • Builds sustainability into the system: it's not dependent on individuals

4. Sharing information and creating robustness

  • Faster network is required (allow streaming multimedia)
  • Build reliable and scalable
    WAN and
  • Online reporting & targets can be shared across sectors 3-18 to provide continuity
  • Work to build
    SSDN within the Authority and to build awareness (marketing strategy)


  • Takes advantage of the significant opportunity being provided
  • Increases confidence of the users, resulting in more/better use of ICT
  • Helps making the link with parents easier
  • Reduces workload for teachers
  • Improves the interface and information flow at transition periods

5. Providing personal web spaces

  • Provide a digital space for all learners and teachers
  • Provide a blogging network and training on its use (and blog search mechanisms)
  • CPD/interest/work/learning logs can be searched to find others with similar projects, interests or problems; ICT status blog, for example.


  • Our learners are going to use this technology anyway – better we're part of it
  • Gives a quick and easy way to showcase work and the processes involved in producing it over time
  • Potential for long-term wide-ranging assessment, both formative and summative, beyond the 'official' qualifications.
  • Offers wider opportunities for peer assessment and near peer role-modelling
  • Encourages work outside the school day
  • In line with the principles of
    A Curriculum for Excellence (ACE), especially that of effective contributors (through their peer support and comments)
  • Helps us keep our ears to the ground
  • Helps seduce users to ICT use (through personalisation)

6. Auditing ICT use and setting targets

  • Use of
    MIICE for school auditing.
  • Annual report published as part of the School Development Plan
  • Create a short strategy and mission for ICT in Education that's linked to policy (portable strategies)


  • Provides a baseline, a measure of progress and means to set next steps
  • Is transparent
  • Helps plan budget and personnel
  • A clear vision will lead to clearer decision-making

7. Hardware, Software and Support

  • Ensure optimum use of hardware and software, as well as consistency of approach in use of hardware/software/support systems.
  • What happens for equipment refreshment after April 2006?
  • Provide data projectors, laptops and speakers for all classrooms
  • A refresh strategy that keeps pace of technological changes
  • Increase the investment in ICT in order to implement high minimum standards of ICT in every classroom
  • Make sure there is enough funding to deliver all the plans


  • To ensure that the tools are fit for the job
  • It's easier to support if there is consistency in approach
  • It reduces costs through economies of scale
  • Easier to keep everything up-to-date

8. Management of the curriculum

  • Coordinated Nursery-Primary-Secondary curriculum (3-18)
  • ICT needs to be kept in line with curriculum and assessment innovations


  • To help maintain continuity in access and ICT experience between schools.

9. Governance arrangements

  • Put in place effective governance arrangements to guide behaviour and set standards in a transparent manner.
  • Break down barriers between corporate ICT and education ICT
  • Pursue flexible open standards in educational ICT (ie Open Source, cross platform compatibility)


  • To ensure that we gain the benefits of practice in Authority schools
  • To promote a shared understanding of corporate and education needs
  • Open Source solutions must be considered if we seek to get value for money.

10. Changing the culture

  • Promote genuine collaborative working
  • Value and support innovation – celebrate risk-taking
  • Make sure that there is effective stakeholder management


  • To cope with the increased rate of change
  • Give confidence to teachers in their own abilities
  • Encourage fulfilment in what teachers can do already
  • The learning process can become more collaborative – people need encouraged to reach their zone of proximal development
  • Important to share good and interesting practice
  • To challenge the existing concept of what makes a school a school: Walls? Timetable? One teacher one subject? Management structure?


8.15-9.00 Directorate meeting

9.15 Met Sheila McKenrick to show her the work I had been doing over the weekend re’; Gantt charts for attainment action plan.

10.00 Met Eilish Garland to discuss some of the work she is doing in schools.

11.00-12.00 Pre-vocational meeting with Alison Wishart, Jennifer Tulloch, Wendie McAdie, Liz Morris and Julia Robertson. Agreed to meet in January once things are clearer about budgets.

12.30-2.00 Gullane Primary School – tour of the school, cup of coffee in the staffroom with staff and a chat with Maureen Tremmel. The classroom displays were very impressive and I was amazed to find out that the school has just had an electricity wind generator erected in the grounds – this is environmental education in the flesh!!

2.30 – 4.45 School Liaison Group. Norma McPherson gave a presentation on AAP in maths. We agreed that maths should be a key focus for us over the coming session. I then demonstrated the Gantt chart system we are developing for planning and tracking the actions we plan as part of our attainment action plan. We hope to evolve the system over the next few months perhaps just focusing upon a few action points.

4.45-6.00 Tried to get the bottom of my correspondence. Looking forwards to tomorrow and the ICT skunkworks.

ICT Skunkworks


This coming Tuesday we are planning to hold an ICT skunkworks. A wide range of people have been invited to attend. The outcome of the meeting will be to have agreed a draft three-year strategy to enable us to make best use of ICT in East Lothian schools. Members of the group have been provided with a copy of the ICT policy for East Lothian. Members of the group include – headteachers; teachers; corporate ICT team members; admin staff; pupils; SQA rep; SSDN rep; Principal teachers; Directorate.

ELC Education Aim – to improve children’s life chances

Outcomes of our practice:

Children – safe; engaged; successful

Staff – happy; fulfilled; valued

Families – informed; involved; supported

We wish children to become:

  • Responsible citizens
  • Effective contributors
  • Successful learners
  • Confident individuals

Our Challenge: to develop and sustain a high reliability ICT system which will enable us to fulfil our aims.

Guidelines for the day:

  1. No barriers
  2. Creativity – no bad ideas
  3. Feel free to disagree – suspension of politeness
  4. Build upon other people’s ideas
  5. Focus upon the result
  6. Key words to guide our practice – sustainability; reliability; consistency


1. Outline of our challenge: DL – 15 minutes

2. What are we trying to make? – focus on the concrete (ENGINE ROOM) (60 minutes)

3. Tip out what we’ve got on the table – what have we got at the moment (35 minutes)

4. How could we use this differently? – take what we’ve got and reconfigure (35 minutes)

5. How do we make it work (35 minutes)

6. What comes first? (35 minutes)

7. ???? – these sessions will emerge as the day progresses

8.???? – these sessions will emerge as the day progresses

9. ???? – these sessions will emerge as the day progresses

10. Project management Gantt chart – planning the future

Reversed Hierarchies

8.30-9.45 Education Officers meeting. – I really enjoy this meeting – people are honest and we manage to shape our practice in a very creative and collective manner. Is it my imagination or are the 5Cs having as impact? – we mentioned consistency at least three times in the course of the morning.

10.30-1.30 Seabird Centre Board Meeting – I'm the council's representative on the Board. Had an interesting chat with a fellow member – my apologies I can't remember his name – who had been an accountant for a major American company. The Chief Executive of the company believed that the company was only as strong as its people and when he drew his organisational chart always put himself at the bottom, i.e. he drew it upside down from the traditional model. I know this sounds corny and could just be seen as a trick – but apparently he lived up to this perspective, the company boomed under his leadership – and the employees were happy!!

2.00pm Met Liz Herd to chat about Additional Support for Learning and then Sheila McKendrick to put together the agenda for Monday's School Liaison Group and Wednesday's EO's meeting.

5.00- Home time

Ross High School

8.30-9.15 Met Claire O’Sullivan to discuss how we might develop a coaching programme for our school leaders. Claire will put a proposal together for us to consider.

9.30-12.30pm Visit to Ross High School. Interviewed three groups of staff, teachers, subject principal teachers and curriculum leaders. I concentrated on four areas: How connected to you feel to East Lothian Council?; What could the council do to enable you to do your job more effectively?; Consideration of the poratable aims; Consideration of the culture of Ross High School using the 5Cs.

It came as no surprise to me that people felt little affinity to East Lothian. This is a major challenge for us over the coming years if we are to truly create a community of learners.

ICT and PPP came out as the things that most impact negatively upon people's work.

The aims were well received – I was particularly pleased that they liked the idea of making staff 'Happy' to be an appropriate outcome for the department.

The 5Cs – consistency; continuity; collegiality, creativity, and collective responsibility – provided a very useful means to reflect upon the culture of Ross High School. I met Willie Carroll after the meeting to discuss the results. I was really taken by the staff I met and convinced that the school is fortunate to have so many committed and enthusiastic teachers.

Back to the office for a meeting of the communications group – made up of admin', support and development staff from within the department. These are proving to be very worthwhile meetings. I bounced the portable aims off the group – suggestion came that it would be good to discuss these with small groups of staff.

4.15 Met Yvonne Binks to pick her brains about how we can improve pupil support within East Lothian.

7.30 – out to Musselburgh Grammar School to attend the school concert – great atmosphere and powerful performances – confirmed my thought that I should meet with the music instructors as soon as possible.

Beware – Progressive education

Wednesday 14th Dec

Into office for 7.30am trying to catch up – then out to Brunton Hall to meet the Social Work Team 9.30-10.45. I enjoyed our conversation. For me the outcome of the conversation was that we need top focus on case studies, or as Alan Ross would call them, table top exercises. By focusing on actual people I think there is much more chance that we expose the problems and challenges which we face as professionals who inhabit different worlds (or so we might think).We already have too many folders containing well intentioned words which are rarely read and even more rarely acted upon. Let's focus on action as opposed to words.

From there to Preston Lodge High School to meet with HT Willie Galbraith for a school evaluation meeting. The pattern of the day was continued in that we hade an extended conversation about the school and the process of school improvement. Alison Wishart joined us for the meeting and we explored the challenge facing us in relation to raising attainment whilst recognising that this is not the only function of schools – despite what the Sunday Times might have us believe. However, I am concerned that if we take our eye off the attainment ball that we run the risk of wasting the tremendous opportunity which the curriculum for excellence. In the 1960's progressive education provided many of the same opportunities for teachers and schools, arguably it resulted in a significant drop in standards and provided ammunition for those who would argued for a return to a more traditional apporach which characterises much of our current practice. I'd like to think there is a compromise position where we can macth many of the opportnunities provide by a progressive approach, whilst recognising the importance of the passport which qualifications provide. I came across this table – written from the traditionalist perspective which highlights the dangers of a confrontational or oppositional approach.

Traditional Progressive
Education should be hierarchical Education should be egalitarian
The curriculum should be subject-centred It should be child-centred and relevant
Emphasis should be on knowledge and content Emphasis should be on skills
(Book) knowledge and accuracy are essential Experience, experiment and 'understanding' are more important
Rationality and facts should predominate Creativity and feelings are more important than facts
Recognition of right and wrong Right and wrong depend on one’s point of view
There should be a product It is the process that matters
The product, or knowledge of content, should be objectively tested or measured Subjective assessment based on skills rather than knowledge (may be self-assessment)
Competition is welcomed Co-operation takes precedence
Choice between different types of school (and curricula) essential to maximise individual strengths Entitlement for all replaces choice and differentiation
Equality of opportunity Equality of result

2.00-4.45pm Secondary Headteachers meeting. Robert Jones presented Freemis to the HTs. Great interest. We want to allow Robert to further develop the system over the coming months.

Followed this meeting with a very positive meeting with Alan Ross and Raymy Boyle.

Tuesday 13th Dec

Out to Dunbar Primary School. Not the best day to pop in but I managed to have quick chat with Donna Manson about the rapidly increasing roll of the school. The younger primary classes were going off to a panto and were getting their chistmas lulunch – which I managed to scrounge. I sat down beside Emily P1 and we chatted about Christmas. Jayne Gray took me round the school to meet the staff. I've learned that people can feel very slighted if I'm in schoool and don't make an attempt to meet them. As we went round classes Jayne explained more about the
motivated school programme which has been running in the primary and secondary school in Dunbar since August. I feel there is huge potential to build our development of the teaching and learning process around this ” Motivated School' programme and the evolution of 'Learning Teams'. By using these 'bottom-up' initiiatives which have not been imposed upon schools there is much greater likelihood of ownership and transfromation of practice. I intend to vist the school again in the New Year to speak to Jayne and other members of staff.

Back to office for PPRP (Policy and Performance Review Panel) the scrutiny of education by elected members. We presented our draft anti-bullying policy; school specific attainment; standardised testing; community of use of schools and our department scorecard.

Out to North Berwick High School for the school concert. I met Ruth Briggs, Chair of the school board, prior to the concert to discuss the appointment process for replacing Colin Sutherland who has been offered an 18 month secondment to the exec to help with the scotex-ed programme. Colin has done a wonderful job at NBHS since his appointment 7 years ago but the school is in great shape. We have decided to advertise the position to all existing depute Heads in East Lothian. This has caused something of a stir as it has been common practice up to this point to offer the temporary position to the senior depute in the school. However, I have a problem with this on a number of counts: firstly, there isn't a senior depute at North Berwick; secondly, it's vital that all our schools have the best possible leadership, even if only for a temporary period; thirdly, it avoids any notion of grace and favour appointments; fourthly, it gives credibility to the appointed person who has been offered the position on merit as opposed to being in the right place at the right time. It is our intention that this practice will now become policy for all senior appointments within the authority.

The concert was outstanding and a tremendous reflection on the on the music department and instructors.

Exc-el management

Popped into Yester Primary School (Gifford) at 7.45am. The school had been flooded last week due to a leak in the roof. Dorothy Hilsley and her staff have done an excellent job managing the the situation and all classes were back in school today. I will be visiting again before the end of term

Directorate Meeting 8.40am (slightly late due to my visit to Yester) Quick update on the work being done on the restructuring of the department. Alan Ross tabled a paper which I’ll take a look at in more detail this week.

Followed this with a chat with Clare O’Sullivan, the consultant who is helping the department with the restructuring process. Showed Clare this website – hope you find it informativeClare!

10.00am -11.00am Met David Gilmour, one of our bloggers. I am hoping to involve David as main administrator for the exc-el site. We discussed a range of issues: adopting a project management methodology to take forward the site’s development; further develop the marketing of the site – target 1000 visits per day by June; engage up to 50 people as bloggers; involve more schools with the development of the site; taking on the administration of the site from Peter Gray; develop the site as an 'incubator' for ideas which can then be taken forward in a more formal project management format – it is our hope to challenge the existing way in which development planning is done; we discussed a range of other ideas but I'll keep the rest until we can confirm David's involvement. Nevertheless, I see this next stage of moving responsibility for the site from myself to David – a returning teacher – as an important step in developing the site as an organic and sustainable entity which operates outwith the normal management systems encountered in education.

11.-12.15 Meeting with EIS and SSTA regarding management structures in schools. Undertook to complete a four phase exploration of the impact of management restructuring in secondary schools – 1 My meeting with groups of staff in each school; 2. questionnaires for all members of staff – perhaps making use of SELS software; 3. Review from the management perspective from each school and finally 4. A record of a dialogue/debate between SMT and staff about the effectiveness of the management structures.

12.30-1.00 Popped round to my mum's for a bowl of soup.

1.30 Met with Helen Gillanders – PT Longniddry Primary School – Helen is looking to undertake a 2 day placement with a business reviwing their CPD/appraisal systems – I put here in touch with the police who have to operate a system within a public service and with no financial bonuses linked to the system. We also quickly set up a questionnaire about pupil voice using SELS.

2.30 Departmental Management Team Meeting – very positive meeting. We explored the perenial problem of aims and vision. I think I learned a lesson at Dunbar when we developed the three key aims followed by a much more comprehensive statement of intent. If your aims are too complicated then people can't carry them around in their head. I believe we need to simplify things to the point where people can use simple messages to constantly reflect upon our practice.I personally like tri-colons e.g I came . I saw , I conquered. Anthony Gillespie made an excellent suggestion when he proposed that we start off with the Council's aim, pick up a departmental aim then develop shorthand aims, which are then followed by the more comprehensive narrative of a statement of intent. How does the following sound? – remember we are talking about combined aims for education AND children's services

ELC aim – Working together for a better East Lothian

Education and Children's Services aim– Improving children's life chances

What are the outcomes we seek to achieve from our collective practice?

For Children Safe – Engaged – Successful

For Staff Happy – Fulfilled – Valued

For Families Informed – Supported – Involved

I think I could carry this lot around in my head and be able to use them as a useful point of reference for reflecting upon practice – and even changing practice – the narrative contained within plans and suchlike fulfil a different purpose in that they can be used to fill in the detail for those who require clarification about the underlying purpose of our department. I've already had one comment from someone who didn't like the 'happy' outcome for staff – what do you think?

Why seek promotion?

Perhaps it might be worth taking some time to reflect upon the job of Head of Education – a post I’ve now occupied for five months.

The following is going to include a lot of the vertical pronoun i.e. “I”, hopefully readers can put up with this indulgence to enable me to explore my own motivation and intended purpose. Can I reinforce at this point that I can only be successful as part of successful team.

I watched “Goodbye Mr Chips” this afternoon – typical Sunday afternoon fare.

As I watched the film it brought back the joy of teaching in schools – albeit in an overly sentimental medium. However, the post of Headteacher at a school like Dunbar Grammar School gives you an incredible opportunity to improve people’s lives – staff, pupils and the local community. In a way I envy people like Mr. Chips – those who devote themselves to one place for their entire career. All too often we sneer at teachers who have never moved on – but I know many teachers who have worked in only one school and have remained outstanding teachers throughout their career – most notably David Shanks of Selkirk High School (maybe there is something in here as David is a classics teacher just like Mr. Chips).

The question is why did I give up the opportunity to work directly with children and teachers to work outwith schools as I do in my current position? I had a chat with a friend on Saturday and tried to explain what it was I am trying to do. The problem is that this person knows how much pleasure I got from working in schools – and – kindly – recognized the kind of positive impact I can have.

So why move? I think the answer can be summed up in one word – influence. The dictionary definition of influence reads as follows:


n 1: a power to affect persons or events especially power based on prestige etc; “used her parent’s; influence to get the job” 2: causing something without any direct or apparent effort 3: a cognitive factor that tends to have an effect on what you do; “her wishes had a great influence on his thinking” 4: the effect of one thing (or person) on another; “the influence of mechanical action” 5: one having power to influence another; “she was the most important influence in my life”; “he was a bad influence on the children” v 1: have and exert influence or effect; “The artist’s work influenced the young painter”; “She worked on her friends to support the political candidate” 2: shape or influence; give direction to; “experience often determines ability”; “mold public opinion” 3: induce into action by using one’s charm; “She charmed him into giving her all his money”

As I read this I wonder which of the above definitions most closely matches my motivation: Nouns – definitely not 1 = 0%; 2 = 30%; 3 = 20%; 4 = 10%; 5 = 40%. Taking the verbs – 1 = 30%; 2 = 50%; 3 = 20%.

I suppose the question here is – do I want influence or power? – this led me to the dictionary again.


n 1: possession of controlling influence; “the deterrent power of nuclear weapons”; “the power of his love saved her”; “his powerfulness was concealed by a gentle facade 2: (physics) the rate of doing work; measured in watts (= joules/second) 3: possession of the qualities (especially mental qualities) required to do something or get something done; “danger heightened his powers of discrimination” 4: a state powerful enough to influence events throughout the world 5: (of a government or government official) holding an office means being in power; “being in office already gives a candidate a great advantage”; “during his first year in office”; “during his first year in power”; “the power of the president 6: one possessing or exercising power or influence or authority; “the mysterious presence of an evil power”; “may the force be with you”; “the forces of evil” 7: physical strength 8: a mathematical notation indicating the number of times a quantity is multiplied by itself 9: a very wealthy or powerful businessman; “an oil baron” v : supply the force or power for the functioning of; “The gasoline powers the engines”

1 = 20%; 2 = 0%; 3 = 30%; 4 = 0%; 5 = 10%; 6 = 0%; 7 = 0%; 8 = 0%; 9 = 0%

Reflecting upon the power definitions I don’t think they capture what it is that motivates me to seek promotion.

Returning to influence – I think I can use the definitions to sum up my purpose:

2. I think I do want to – cause things to happen without any direct or apparent effort – I think this captures a lot of what I’m trying to do in that I am trying to create a culture and positive flow which other people can pick up upon and develop. I often recall Aesop’s fable about the North Wind and the Sun

“The North Wind and the Sun disputed as to which was the most powerful, and agreed that he should be declared the victor who could first strip a wayfaring man of his clothes. The North Wind first tried his power and blew with all his might, but the keener his blasts, the closer the Traveler wrapped his cloak around him, until at last, resigning all hope of victory, the Wind called upon the Sun to see what he could do. The Sun suddenly shone out with all his warmth. The Traveler no sooner felt his genial rays than he took off one garment after another, and at last, fairly overcome with heat, undressed and bathed in a stream that lay in his path.”

3. The next definition – a cognitive factor that tends to have an effect on what you do; “her wishes had a great influence on his thinking –  also rings a bell. For me this is about presenting ideas in a clear and unambiguous manner, being prepared to listen, admit to mistakes, enable others to contribute and to lead, and finally, demonstrate that I am committed to reflecting upon my practice with a view to constantly improving.

4. The effect of one thing (or person) on another; “the influence of mechanical action”. Sometimes I do have to use my position to get things done – the difference here that I can only use this power sparingly and only when I have very clearly set out the reasons why I am using my position.

5: one having power to influence another; “she was the most important influence in my life”; “he was a bad influence on the children” I think I am trying to model behaviour for others to copy. My behaviour is critical in that if I don’t behave in the manner which I espouse then the gap between the rhetoric and behaviour would undermine the change process.

So I want to influence – it’s as simple as that. I suppose it must be pretty close to arrogance that I believe that my influence is benign or even a force for good. But on reflection I do believe that what we are trying to do is important and could make the educational experience of every child in East Lothian significantly better. More than that I would like to create a culture where teachers are happy, fulfilled and valued.

The last question must be – if I can’t have the influence I want to have – should I go back to schools?

National Priorities

2 ½ hour drive to Dundee to take part in a National Priorities seminar. The drive was worth it. I particularly enjoyed Carolyn Hutchison presentation and the three presentations from Angus, East Renfrewshire and Glasgow about how they go about gathering and analyzing 5-14 results. East Renfrewshire use the Edinburgh Assessment Unit to gather baseline data through standardized tests. Angus use Midys and Pipys. Given that we have already decided to use Midyis I was interested to find our more about the Angus scheme. I liked how control of the system seems to be in the hands of teachers and Headteachers – as opposed to something being “done” to them. I hope to invite someone from Angus to make a presentation to our nursery/primary executive meeting. I wonder. Their database makes use of Filemaker Pro, I wonder of there is any potential in of making use of Freemis to create an on-line system?

Then a presentation on Future Learning and Teaching funding. We have one scheme being funded – our Learning Teams – but other authorities, such as East Renfrewshire have five. I think we need to reflect upon some of our plans for the coming year and look to submit some applications.