School visits

7.30-8.00 Completed budget paper for submission due by lunchtime

8.00-8.30 Met with Alan Blackie to pick up on Directorate agenda

8.45-5.00 School visits to all our secondary schools. Head Boy, Head Girl, two third years and two first years from every secondary school accompanied by a member of staff from each school toured Ross High School, Musselburgh Grammar, Preston Lodge, North Berwick, Dunbar and Knox Academy. We spent 45 minutes in each school looking at building highlights, brief presentation from students and questions and answer sessions. I was uplifted by the experience. We have a great deal to proud of about our schools – too often people focus on the negative – today would have impressed anybody. I suggested to the students prior to setting out that today would have been a succcess if they could come away with just one idea which they could think about using in their schools. The reality was that they came away with a great deal more than just one idea. There is huge potential if we could just find ways of just tapping into the the obvious enthusiasm there is for working together.

We had lunch at the Seabird Centre and I managed a chat with a few students over lunch – I'm glad to report that 12 of them have agreed to keep a weblog on exc-el.

5.00-6.45 Worked at my desk to clear backlog of correspondence.

7.00-8.30 Tranent School Cluster meeting. I spoke about the attainment action plan and the proposed cluster working arrangements. One of the evening's questions was “have all staff bought into the plans?” I explained how such cultural change takes a long time to establish. It's funny how this runs counter to the comment I received last week that I'm trying to move things too quickly. It's a fine balance between the two.