Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2017

Are we there yet?

I will provide you with my answer, to the question posed in the title to this post, straight away. No we aren't! However, I do think it is important we keep asking the question of our schools and our education systems, just as often as the young passengers in any car journey of over fifteen minutes.
The 'there' I speak of in education is the achievement of equity for all our learners and families. Our attention span, and desire to answer this question in the affirmative, needs to be longer, but just as relentless, as any inquisition by youthful travellers.  
We have had a focus on equity and social justice in our education system for over ten years in Scotland, and possibly even longer in other systems across the globe. In Scotland we can go back to 2001 to find the Scottish government taking the first steps to address issues for children and their families with multiple needs, which was to lead to Getting It Right For Every Child (GIRFEC) a policy and strategy designed t…

Empowering Schools Consultation in Scotland

The Cambridge dictionary defines consultation as follows:
a meeting to discuss something or to get advice or the process of discussing something with someone in order to get their advice or opinion about it.

The Scottish government likes to consult. At anyone time they seem to have quite a number of consultations ongoing. They have so many that they even have a separate section on their website detailing these. As I write this, they currently have twenty nine different consultations taking place. These range from 'Improving the Protection of Wild Mammals in Scotland' to a 'Consultation on Free Bus Travel for Older and Disabled People and Modern Apprentices.' Included in the current raft of consultations are quite a few that have an education focus or element including 'Extending Children's Rights-Guidance for education authorities and school staff on assessment of capacity and considerations of wellbeing of children who have attained 12 years of age in respect of…

How to protect your authentic leadership

In my last post I looked at some of the pitfalls that can beset school leaders as they settle into their role, or over time. In this one, I turn my attention to how school leaders can avoid the pitfalls and remain true to their original purpose and aims for their leadership. Having been a school leader for almost twenty years, I was proud that I was able to keep developing my leadership, but I still remained true to my values, beliefs and principles throughout my career. Such as stance is not without its difficulties or challenges, but I have met lots of leaders who have achieved exactly the same throughout their careers, despite the ever-changing demands of the systems and hierarchies in which they operated.

This begs the question, 'how do you ensure you stay true to your beliefs throughout your career?' By doing so, you can prevent your leadership mutating into practice and behaviours that you hardly recognise, and loses its authenticity.  The following are some suggestions …

School Leadership: time to smell the roses?

It is some time since I wrote anything on this blog directly about school leadership. Having left my post as a school leader some seven months ago, I think I have had some time to reflect more on leadership in schools from a different perspective. I have still been writing and thinking about schools since I stepped down for a notional retirement. I say 'notional' because it would seem that I am just as busy and engaged as I was before, but now it is 'my busy' not someone else's. Anyway, I have also kept in touch with lots of former colleagues and school leaders, either directly, face-to-face or virtually, through platforms like Twitter. During this engagement and over the time, I have been able to observe and think about school leadership a bit further, having the time and the headspace to do so.

There is no doubt that school leadership remains a challenging role for anyone to undertake, and I have nothing but admiration for anyone who steps up and into the role. T…