A message from out-going SELMAS secretary, Alex Wood

Dear Colleague
I attach a copy of the draft minutes of last week’s committee meeting.
There are several key pieces of information from that meeting which I wish to draw to your attention.
Margaret Alcorn (margaret_alcorn@yahoo.com )and Gillian Hunt (Gillian.Hunt@edinburgh.gov.uk ) have been re-elected as convenor and treasurer respectively.  I have stood down from the secretary’s post.  The new secretary is Bob Cook.  Bob can be contacted onbobcook@blueyonder.co.uk .
I also attach our updated Aims paper.  At the March committee meeting the old Aims paper was amended in various sections.  One of the amendments was to add a sentence into the paragraph describing committee membership.  That sentence reads:
        Membership of the committee is open to anyone who is willing to attend at least half the committee meetings and to assist in the running of SELMAS’s major events.
I want to emphasise that no-one expects any of the committee members, who are all busy, committed professionals, to attend all meetings.  There are usually at least four meetings a year.  In the year that is drawing to a close there were five committee meetings.  Two out of  five is not, I firmly believe, an over onerous commitment to seek.  We had over 35 members on the committee mailing list.  Some had not attended a committee meeting, or indeed a SELMAS event, for two years.  Attendance at this year’s committee meetings were 9, 14, 12, 13, 10.  In the circumstances, the statement which we added to our Aims document sought to do two things:
  • to clarify that membership of the committee represented a commitment to make a practical contribution to the operation of SELMAS
  • to reduce the level of correspondence to colleagues who can no longer participate.
A few colleagues have indicated that they will no longer remain on the committee.  I have also removed from the committee mailing list the names of colleagues who have not attended for two years.  I am circulating these minutes to the remaining 30 members on the committee mailing list.   Let Bob know if you no longer wish to be circulated for committee meetings.
Please also note that Neil Craik-Collins is coordinating the organising committee for the coming year’s Conference.  If you are willing to help with that task please contact Neil: ncraik-collins@ross.elcschool.org.uk
Please note that the next meeting will be at 3.00 pm on Wednesday 2 September in Waverley Court.
Finally, this will be my last communication as Secretary.  It has been a pleasure and an honour to act in that capacity and I have thoroughly enjoyed the professional companionship and intellectual stimulation, which have long been the hallmarks of SELMAS, and the support of SELMAS’s two dedicated officers, convenor Margaret Alcorn, and treasurer Gillian Hunt.  My thanks and best wishes are extended to you all.  I am certain that Bob Cook will do a great job for SELMAS and that SELMAS will remain one of the most important, independent and challenging of educational organisations.
Best wishes.

SELMAS committee minutes 27th January 2015


Thursday 27 January 2015, in Strathclyde University


Present: M Alcorn (in the chair), S Beattie, R Cook, G Hamilton, G Hunt,  J McKerrecher, D Murphy, C Oates, J Robertson, G Walsh, A Wood.

  1. Apologies: V Donaldson, A-M Higgins, J Horsburgh, H Kinnear, D McCallum, P Sharp, G Thomson, D Torrance, T Wallace, K Westacott , I White
  2. Minutes and matters arising: the minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as an accurate record.
    1. SELMAS Forum: the usual format, including flowers, will operate. Margery McMahon will facilitate the evening.  Speakers: Brian Boyd, Juliette Murray (Surgeon), Jim McColl (Clyde Blowers/ Newlands College).  Discussion centred in part on costs and it was agreed to repeat the discount for new SELMAS attenders, £30 per ticket, with discount tickets for new attenders of £50 per pair.  AW to discuss with St George’s the possibility of a wine at the end of the session.  The publicity should mention, in the context of drivers, the availability of drink.  AW will send out publicity over the coming weeks.
    2. SELMAS Banner: the banners have been purchased and are on show. Thanks were expressed to colleagues who helped purchase and transport these.
    3. Conference Focus Group: a meeting of the focus group (agreed at our last committee meeting) will take place on Wednesday 4 February in Waverley Court to consider how best to plan for next year’s conference.
  3. Guest, Gary Walsh, Character Scotland: Gary thanked SELMAS for the invitation and welcomed the opportunity to work collaboratively.  Character Scotland is a charity operating since 2009.  Its schools based programme, a legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, is Inspire, Aspire.  It has reached some 55 countries across the Commonwealth and seeks to encourage an international dialogue among school students and young people generally around values and attitudes.  The second strand looks at character education more generally and seeks to create a space for discussion and debate around such issues.  The charity is project funded until August 2015.  The project is culminating in a 2-day conference on the 15-16 June in the University of Glasgow with Avis Glaze as one of the key-note speakers.  Unfortunately, Judith McClure, one of the speakers for tonight’s event has had to withdraw.
  4. SCEL, possible joint event: Gillian Hamilton noted that she had now been in post at SCEL for five months and a full board is now in place.  Senior staff have been recruited form a range of sectors and the service of consultants is also being pursued.  SCEL is now at the stage where it must move from strategy development to practical work.  SCEL will now focus on three or four priorities, including its headteacher programme, and seek to build its potential over the next period.  In building SCEL’s profile, the organisation is keen to develop cooperative working relationships with a range of relevant organisations, including the strong possibility of a joint SCEL-SELMAS event.  The possibility of a joint event focussing on a question such as ‘What is, and how can we best develop, leadership among teachers?’ was discussed.  There was discussion about filming/recording such an event (and other such events) for the website.  It was agreed that such a joint event would be desirable and there was discussion about administrative approaches to facilitating such an event.  Jude McKerrecher intimated a joint Scottish-Chinese Headteacher event on 29 April organised by KISS.
  5. Centre for Confidence and Well-being, possible joint event (MA): MA mentioned the interest which had been generated by Danny Murphy’s new book. DM spoke about the conclusions of his book around the inequitable nature of the recognition and accreditation of achievement by young people in schools and the possibility of some unified form of ‘Scottish Graduation Certificate’, one not simply about academic attainment but about a wider profiling purpose.  GH raised the question of whether such an event should be incorporated into the 2015 conference or as an event to precede the conference.  The possibility of such an event in September 2015 was discussed further and it was agreed that MA would meet again with DM and CC to discuss this further.
  6. Reviewing and updating SELMAS Aims paper (GH): GH offered a range of ideas to update and sharpen the SELMAS Aims paper.  It was agreed this would be discussed further at the next meeting.
  7. Review of Committee functioning (AW): AW warmly endorsed GH’s paper and suggested that the definition of the functioning of the committee could be enhanced in the ‘What Can You Offer SELMAS?’ section of GH’s paper, including attendance at meetings and active work. MA also stressed the need for broader representation on the committee.  Agreed to circulate draft and that this also would be discussed further at the next meeting.
  8. AGM (AW): Agreed the June meeting would be an
  9. Trasurer’s Report (GH): G Hunt presented her treasurer’s report (attached). Last Scottish government payment March 2014; agreed to pursue further now and possibly also to approach the Gordon Cook Foundation.  Agreed that our general approach should be that events should pay for themselves.
  10. AOCB: there was no further competent business.
  11. Next Meeting: It was agreed that the next meeting would be at 00 pm on Thursday 26 March 2015, in Waverley Court.