I’m just back from the Association of Directors of Education Scotland (ADES) annual conference which was held in Aviemore.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for Education and Lifelong Learning, was speaking and was stressing the importance of everyone involved in education working together, particularly in the new world of local outcome agreements.
As she was speaking I couldn’t help feeling that we in educational leadership positions in Scotland need to work a lot closer than we maybe have done in the past to ensure that we provide a united front to represent the needs of children. Just last week the Headteachers Association Scotland, HAS, (secondary sector) held their conference, and I’d been speaking at the Association of Headteachers and Deputes Scotland, AHDS, (primary sector) just a few weeks ago.
All of our respective organisations have their place in Scottish education and HAS and AHDS do a great job representing the needs of their members as formal trade unions. However, it seems to me that there are such huge overlaps between our concerns, visions and backgrounds that we would have a huge amount to gain from working together in a more strategic manner – particulary in relation to some of the big issues facing Scottish education and children’s services. The direction of travel set out by Fiona Hyslop for the journey facing education over the next ten years suggests that we could collectively make a much greater impact if we looked for points of synergy and worked together to influence, transform and protect Scottish education. I’m not suggesting for one minute that any of the organisations forfeit their own identity -simply that we enhance our impact by forming a more strategic partnership on points of mutual interest.
Just a thought.