Visiting specialists

9.30-10.30 Met with Les Ritchie from Payroll and Carolyn Walker from Personnel to explore how we might be able to improve the quality of infromation we receive from schools. There is a problem with the accuracy of paperwork coming in from some schools: Are the forms too complex?; are people not taking enough time over completing the forms?; can we reduce workload?

The problem is that payroll and personnel depend on accurate information from schools. It’s impossible to action changes to people’s pay unless it’s based on accurate and timeous information. Some schools feel this work should be doone by someone else but payroll and personnel can’t do anything until information is received I spoke to Rob Lewis this afternoon about the possibility of developing e-learning systems for things like form filling – might ask the admin staff on the 15th Feb.

11.00-12.00 Met the chair of a school board to discuss some issues which were causing concern for the board. I tihink it’s important that parents feel they acan approach the department. This was always my approach at school and I see my job here as being no different, although the first point of contact will always be the school.

12.00-1.00 Managed to get round to see my mum – it’s been nearly two weeks (oops)

1.00 – 1.30 Phonecalls and correspondence

1.30-2.00 Maureen Jobson

2.00-3.15 Ronnie Summers to discuss the draft Musselburgh Inspection Report

3.15-3.45 Alison Wishart

4.00-5.00 Met the visiting specialists. This wasn’t an easy meeting as I had to to explain the actions we were taking to break the link between visiting specialists and classroom teachers, which will enable us to provide the additional non-contact time for teachers in primary schools. This will enable us to make some necessary savings without any job reductions. There are a few benefits – we may have to recruit more specialists; visiting teachers will now be part of a school complement and therefore have more security in times of budget pressures. I’m a great believer in honesty but it doesn’t make some messages any easier to deliver.