Home visits

I had hoped to finish a number of jobs this morning – most notably the Reporting Absence to Parents Guidelines. I was making good progress when I received a call from a school. I won’t go into the details but I felt it necessitated a home visit to parents. I’ve always believed such visits to be extremely worthwhile. It certainly worked this morning and we resolved the matter effectively.

Which leads me to a true story. When I took up my post as HT at Dunbar Grammar school I continued my practice of home visits from my previous school. There were a few pupils who got a shock when their headteacher arrived at the door to ask why they weren’t at school. Anyway – a parent approached me at an information evening and explained how she was having real difficulties in getting her 16 ywar old son to school, as she often left home before he had to get out of his bed. We agreed that the next time he wasn’t at school that I could make a home visit. As it happened the very next day he was absent – I asked the office staff for the address and directions and set off with a colleague (always go acccompanied). I went up to the door and rang the bell ……..no answer, knocked on the door……………no answer, knocked harder………….no answer, listened at the letter box and heard loud music (he must still be in bed!!!), shouted through the letter box……….the music got louder!!, tried the front door………..it opened, walked in the house……………shouting for him to come out!!………………….no answer – imagine my surpise when at last a terrified woman with a young child came out of a bedroom to explain that no one of that name lived in the house – I'd got the right house number but the wrong street. Huge apologies, a letter and bunch of flowers heped to diffuse the matter – but from that day on I've always double checked the address!

Back to the office to continue on the policy and some budget related matters. Quick meeting with Ruth Munro to complete our remit meetings. Then met an HMIe to discuss the effectivenness of community learning and development in Haddington. Very interested to hear about the
Caley Centre in Stevenson which involves young people in innovative community engagement.

Exc-el Board Meeting from 4.00-5.45 – another superb meeting which I will write up on our
wikipages tomorrow.