East Lothian Leadership Course

Diary: Secondary Head Teachers' meeting all morning; Ed&R with Ann Bissett; Quality Improvement Officer Interviews; home visit to an teacher.

The Secondary Head's meeting was productive – particularly a 45 minute slot where each head told us about developments in their S1/2 curriculum to match up with a curriculum for excellence. Janis Craig, Knox Academy, described the choice period they are offering all S1 pupils next session. It's scheduled for the last period on Fridays – 14 teachers have volunteered to participate, who offer a range of activities which pupils will opt for – I really liked the sound of this and it begins to break from some of the rigid limits we currently have on the curriculum – without throwing the baby out with the bath water. I won't go over the other contributions save to say that there are some very innovative things happening in all of our schools. We concluded the discussion by agreeing that schools need to be given the flexibility to develop their own solutions in accordance to the context within which they operate. Nevertheless, if we can share our practice – as we did today – the potential for picking up on others ideas is available within the framework we have provided through such things as the service improvement plan; the cluster based approach; the learning and teaching policy; our development planning guidance; and our quality improvement system.

The ED&R with Ann Bissett threw up an interesting idea – Ann had participated in a very positive learning experience when she went on a week's leadership course in England two years ago. It triggered a thought – could we develop a similar type of experience using the range of exepertise we have in East Lothian? – we certainly can't afford to send all of our leaders on such courses. The question is could we set up a leadership course – let's say for five days – open it up to other authorities and other professions but over the period of a number of years give a large number of our own staff the chance to access such an experience? It could pick up on change management, coaching, outdoor education, solution focussed training, project management, and ????? What do you think? It might even generate income which we could use to support our own staff development programmes?

Homepage – as you'll see we are trying to describe Exc-el to people on our homepage – comments welcome – does it hit the spot? What would you expect to see?