Tranent Schools

Into work at 7.30am. Bit of backlog of work needing completed. Good news when my 9.00am appointment was cancelled. 10.00am met with Zoe Thomson of Personnel who took me through a number of on-going personnel matters. I’m starting to realise why it’s important that we have clear and well structured personnel policies. All too often problems arise when people have made the rules up for themselves and got into difficulties when things haven’t turned out as expected. I’m also more conscious of the need for people have equality of opportunity across the authority – and that it’s my job to ensure that this is upheld.

11.00am meeting with our scorecard group. We have almost completed this task and will be able to table a spreadsheet at our next meeting of the key indicators which the council should use to measure the progress of the department, ranging from % of students gaining 5+ Standard Grade Credits to the % of students who are satisfied with their education. I think that by the time we’ve completed this scorecard that we’ll have a very useful tool.

Met Liz Morris at 12.00, Liz is the EIS District rep. We had useful meeting sharing our thoughts about education and our respective roles. I look forward to working with Liz in the coming year , although we both recognised that there will be times that we will have to agree to differ.

I had a quick meeting with Maureen Jobson at 1.40 to update me on a few issues. Out to Ross High school for the School of Ambition briefing. Unfortunately the meeting time had been changed and the school office had tried to get me before I left. I took the opportunity to visit Tranent Primary School, Tranent Nursery School and Tranent Infant School. Incredibly impressed with all three schools. In the Primary school I met Fiona Waddell, Headteacher, and a number of staff and their classes. A very vibrant atmosphere and stimulating learning environment. Then met Susan Smith at the Nursery. Susan wasn’t there at first but Heather showed me round. I was struck by their attention to detail and how they had managed to create a school which was much like a welcoming home than an institution. Visited the Homestart canter – very interesting and I will return for a more of a briefing on this important facility which brings together families who need a little bit of extra support and local volunteers. Finally, visited the Infant School where Jane Hannah took time out of a meeting to show me round the school. Even with the kids having left for the day I could see that this environment matched the other two schools – the community of Tranent is lucky to have three schools of such a high quality.

The fact that the three schools are due for closure and amalgamation into two new schools is even greater testimony to the professionalism of the staff and the Headteachers. Unfortunately the building work is to be delayed due to a problem with the tendering process. I’ll be attending a new school board meeting on the 13th September to discuss this issue with parents.

Back to RossHigh school at 4.00 to speak to Graham Parris, a PE teacher. Very impressed with his commitment to his professional development and reinforced my commitment to develop a system for identifying and nurturing our leadership talent.

Got back to the office at 5.00pm and tried to pick up on correspondence – failed miserably and filled my bag!! It’s been a really enjoyable day.