Mr Ted

I referred yesterday to Mr Ted. He used to live in Dunbar Grammar School where he was awarded each week to the first year class with the best attendance. When he retired I brought him with me to John Muir House. I took him to yesterday’s SLG meeting – he’s the intelligent and attractive one in the photograph.

However, the presence of Mr Ted at meetings could actually fulfil quite an important purpose. All too often it’s possible to forget that we are here to serve the best interests of children. If Mr Ted – just by being there – can keep reminding us of that purpose – then he will play an important role.

8.15 – 10.00 Education Officers Meeting. Usual update of school-based issues. I gave updated on – promoted post protocols for acting up appointments;PT seminar programme; budget; 23rd January visist to schools; exc-el – David Gilmour taking over as editor; NBHS interviews; recent inspection reports on HMIE website; visiting specialist meeting.

10.00 Briefing – I gave an update on the restructuring of the department; info’s; re’ three members of staff; NBHS interviews and Richard Parker gave the results of the end of term quiz.

10.15-12.00 Correspondence and update of exc-el site.

12.00-2.00 Met with Alan Ross, Head of Children’s Services, Raymy Boyle, Integration Manager, and Sheila Ainslie, Pupil Support Manager – to discuss inclusion and integrated services.

The meeting proved very useful. We identified a need to reflect upon the background to inclusion and the need for us to be clear about the responsibilities we all have. As a headteacher I reckoned I had three key responsibilities when trying to create an inclusive school:

  1. Educational/moral responsibility
  2. Legal responsibility
  3. Financial responsibility

The first of these responsibilities is by far the most important. I don’t think people respond well to being told to do something because it’s a law. That doesn’t mean they won’t do what they have to, but that it’s much more powerful to be motivated by a commitment to the principles underpinning the law – as opposed to fear of a legal challenge – I suppose this could be characterised as Inclusive practice should come from personal conviction – rather than fear of conviction. Having said all that it’s critical that headteachers are aware of their legal responsibilities towards inclusive practice –to that end it’s worth reading
For Scotland’s Children; and
Count us in.

We are going to try to explore these responsibilities, for schools and authorities, and the effects of exclusion on children at our HT conference on 25th January.

2.00-2.30 SELS demo to education officers. The SELS software has arrived for all schools and the authority. I hope to launch this in the next couple of weeks.

3.00-3.30 Met with Gillian Reilly to discuss our Investors IN People action plan. We also explored a possible coaching programme for HTs and prospective leaders. Gillian and I are to discuss this further with Clare O’Sullivan.

3.30-4.00 Went round the office and gave out stickers to all staff for surviving the first week.

4.00 Popped into my Mums for a cup of tea and then met my brother in the Goblin Ha’ for quick pint (shandy) on my way home. He’s a police inspector – it’s funny how we are both involved in similar issues despite being in very different professions.