Sharing expertise

We had two requests today for members of our team to provide training for other authorities. This is very flattering and we would very much like to help our colleagues. The “however” is our capacity – or should that read lack of capacity to free our staff to help other authorities. In common with other authorities we feel we need to focus our attention on our own business, i.e. our own schools. We’re more than happy for people to come and visit but there is a limit to the number of times an individual can leave their main duties behind.

I raised this point this afternoon with our inter-authority consortium – Midlothian, East Lothian and Scottish Borders – where we are exploring various areas where we can work in partnership with our neighbours.

The question is how do we release the undoubted knowledge residing in local authorities without it having a negative impact upon their core business? Technology? Payment? LTS acting as brokers? Setting up a company?

2 thoughts on “Sharing expertise

  1. A gut reaction/naïve response/simplistic approach goes as follows:

    1. Our council-tax payers pay for our employees to contribute to the lives of our community
    2. Other authorities could also pay for said expertise but this transaction perhaps ought not to take place in time already paid for by constituents of East Lothian
    3. Therefore, evening or weekend fixtures seem to be the obvious solution and the financial beneficiaries should be the “head-hunted”

    I’m sure there are cloudy factors like, who has the best or most central accommodation and the best technical set up, and how will this fit into the financial equation – but I feel that the general premise is reasonable.

    A note of caution – I continue to await payment for evening work carried out for another authority more than a year ago (not one of those mentioned in this post – I hasten to add).

  2. When I worked in ‘another region’, I taught PG courses under the auspices of a university. The region was reimbursed for my services for daytime ‘delivery’; I was paid for my time when working twilight hours. I received extra for the assignments I marked – always done in my own time.

    However, this was a cloudy area – inevitably preparation time and resources (e.g.photocopying) were not strictly delineated and separate. This was not raised as a problem – but could have been.

    I feel I benefitted enormously (not just financially) from sharing my knowledge and understanding with others. I certainly learnt as much as I taught; and feel I was better equipped to fulfil my ‘main duties’ as a result of my enhanced experience.

    A ‘quid pro quo’ basis of sharing would be great but I know life isn’t always that neat!

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