I know there has been lots of work going on across the Northern Alliance, and I live in the very south of Scotland. I know this from Twitter feeds, Blogs and conversations with colleagues. But, the trouble is, so many teachers and school leaders still have no presence on social media platforms like this. Therefore, no matter what work the Alliance is engaged in, its impact will only be as wide as its ability to involve and communicate this with all its members, and this will be a major issue for all RICs. 'Cascade' models of sharing professional development insights have many limitations and are far from ideal.
As a former school leader, I also recognise that many of the issues identified by Walter can equally apply to the leadership of schools. My last post on this Blog was about the 'bubbles' we can all exist comfortably in, and it is easy for schools and their leaders to convince themselves that every thing they do is wonderful in their establishments. We need to challenge that as well. The problems we can identify in any system can be micro as well as macro in nature. When we look at the issues around the Northern Alliance, how many of these might be mirrored in individual schools? I still hear anecdotally about schools where the staff and parents have had no involvement in the production of improvement plans, before they are presented to them by the headteacher or school leadership. Equally, the issues identified are not just confined to Scotland and the Scottish system, and I am sure colleagues in other countries and systems will find much that is similar to their own experiences.
First step to any improvement, at any level, is to identify the issues, then we can collaborate to identify solutions and share insights.