We are delighted that the Fife Pedagogy team shared their account of their first Brainstrust experience with us – read how they got on in the account below. Thanks to Ross for sending this in.
Four members of the Fife Pedagogy Team attended the SELMAS Brainstrust event centred on ‘Leading Change in Changing Times’. Peter McNaughton, Head of Education and Children’s Services in Fife spoke passionately about what he believes are the key attributes and qualities of effective leadership in times of significant change.
Key messages which particularly resonated with us were those of building strong relationships with pupils, staff and parents and empowering leaders at all levels in order to create a shared vision.
‘Releasing Energy’ in such a way throughout our learning communities, involving all stakeholders and their skillsets, can drive improvements and deliver effective and sustainable change.
We also recognise that in a continually changing world, schools/leaders must be ready to evaluate existing practices within their setting, using data, first of all to support collaborative planning of models and then throughout to ensure that any change in approach has a positive impact on our learners.
Our team were delighted to have the opportunity to discuss the key challenges in relation to the changing educational landscape. As various discussions generated a number of key reflection points to consider moving forward.
The team look forward to learning more about future SELMAS events to connect with our partners to effectively support young people.
Fife Pedagogy Team
We don’t like you to miss out so, in case you missed it, here is the full programme from our recent conference with presentations embedded, where possible in the presenter’s name. Here are some SELMAS members and speakers working hard on the day!
SELMAS Conference: 6th February 2018
Risk and Change: The Challenge of Leadership
Jay Helbert Head teacher Glassary Primary School and Tayvallich Pre-school and Primary School
Lesley Riddoch Commentator, broadcaster and author
Practitioner session: Gillian Hunt: Independent Educational Consultant
Janice Macinnes Senior Education Manager (Early Years), Schools and Lifelong Learning, City of Edinburgh Counci
Fiona MacDonald Head teacher, Cross Arthurlie Primary
Kate_ROBINSON_ Head of Strategic Operations, HundrED
Anthony Dunn Working with schools to transform internal and extended communities
Louis Moore – Louis’ Eggs. Student entrepreneur
Practitioner session 2: Gillian Hunt, Stephen Ross Head teacher Craigroyston High School, John Davis Professor of Childhood Inclusion, University of Edinburgh
John Swinney Deputy First Minister
Conversation – DFM and Keir Bloomer
Reflections : Keir Bloomer Independent Educational Consultant
22 March 2018, 4.00-6.00pm:
Inverkeithing Primary School, Hillend Road, Inverkeithing, KY11 1PL
Leading in time of significant change
Come and discuss with Peter McNaughton, Head of Service, Fife Council.
The biggest challenge we face as educators in 2018 is to deliver on the promise of Curriculum for Excellence. It can be argued that we are too far into what is inaccurately known as the ‘new’ curriculum, to cite its ‘newness’ as the reason the anticipated improvement in achievement and attainment for children across the board has yet to materialise, or to explain why international comparisons fail to show that Scottish education is once again moving towards its rightful status as a world leader.
Peter is Head of Service in the Education and Children’s Services Directorate in Fife Council. As a former HMI and with a wealth of experience in school improvement, Peter will give his honest and unequivocal assessment of the successes and failures along the way, as teachers have worked to implement Curriculum for Excellence. He will suggest where we go from here in addressing the issues and realising the ambitions we have for all our young people.
Come along and hear what Peter has to say, then engage with him and with colleagues in discussing how we can Make Scottish Education Great for every single child and young person.
We are grateful to Inverkeithing Primary School for hosting this SELMAS Brains Trust, which is a FREE event, open to ALL with an interest in this important issue. Inverkeithing is readily accessible from the Queensferry Crossing and by train. Support us as we try to move more SELMAS events outwith Edinburgh
SELMAS Forum: Coming soon
17 May 2018, 6.00 – 9.00pm
St Georges School, Edinburgh
More details soon on https://welcometoselmas.wordpress.com/
Participants at our annual conference were treated to a range of talks, discussions and challenges around equity and education of young people on the margins of our system. Over the course of the day, everyone was invited to share a ‘Big Idea’ describing a reflection, action, or intention that was generated at the conference, and here they all are!
Our Big Ideas
o Every child in school needs a mentor with whom they feel connected
o Would changing the school holiday system help to support the most vulnerable, with emphasis on the development of a more holistic approach to education?
o Key components of success:
– notice and be noticed
– breaking the cycle
– local action
o How do we upskill teachers to practically and effectively support behaviour management?
o Recruitment drive to place well qualified , motivated staff in schools
o End the private school system
o John Swinney didn’t mention the responsibilities and contribution that parents/carers must assume at the earliest stages of a child’s life to get success. Is it conceivable that in years to come these vital people will be equipped to make that vital contribution?
o Regardless of SIMD or free school meal entitlement, there are more emotionally vulnerable pupils in our schools. We need counsellors to support these individuals and the budget to do it
o A one year “Working with Families” element of every undergraduate course where police, Social Workers, Education, Health, the Voluntary sector, Leisure, etc all learn together!! We train professionas separately then expect them to be holistic
o Relationships make a difference – small acts of kindness like smiling, welcoming families at school gate, asking, “How are you?”
o Restructuring of education – a move away from age and stage towards what young people need/want to be taught at a time that suits them.
o Upskilling parents to support their child
o Building trust
o Holistic support from birth
o Mental health practitioner in schools
o Has anyone closed the gap? How did they do it?
o How can we be creative and strategic in Edinburgh with attainment funds?
We need more family support workers in our schools and be as focused on how children/young people experience school and not just what they learn. Are they included, cared for and believed in?
o More training on mental health awareness and the impact it has on children and young people
o Does the Government see/feel that increased pressure on schools in terms of publishing standardised test results could conflict with the opportunities to be creative and courageous with pupil equity funding?
o If no more money, then adults spending time, building relationships. Fewer leading lessons – class sizes?
o Most adults who have had adverse childhood experiences say that they need 1:1 support from a trusted adult in school. As a teacher it frustrates me that specialised supports are not readily available and are usually services that are first to be cut when saving budgets,
o Too much/too little time testing? S4-s6 spend one third of their time doing exams, but literacy/numeracy declining?
o Scottish pilots – Pilrig or others? Starting school aged 7, more nursery instead?
The first in a series of reflections from some participants at our annual conference, Changing Futures, on Thursday 2nd February 2017. More to come! Jamie is a youth and community worker with the Spartans Community Football Academy – a new type of school that’s about a whole lot more than football! Find out more on this link, or contact Spartans directly – details below.
The day kicked off with a review of the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study, which looked at the impact of ACE experiences on the child and how this impacts in later life. Some examples of this are:
– Children who suffer ACE’s but have someone to talk to are
less likely to suffer substance abuse and/or crime issues.
– Children who suffer ACE’S are likely to suffer the consequences of these later in life.
– Children with 4 or more ACE’s are 32 times more likely to have difficulties with learning.
We heard the stories of two volunteers, who have both had ACE’s, who have now turned their lives around – one who spent significant time in a mental health institute and the other who is a recovered heroin addict. These young people are now volunteers from the Turn Your Life Around.
The woman who had previously been in a mental institute (amongst several other issues) has now set up her own social enterprise called Real Talk: Storytelling for Mental Wellbeing.
The second volunteer is also now working with a charity called Aid and Abet.
It was particularly interesting to hear the story of Tracy Berry from Forthview Primary School, who is the Family Support Teacher. Her sole job is to engage and build relationships with the parents of pupils at the school. Eileen Littlewood, headteacher at Forthview, says Tracy’s success has “literally saved lives”. She spoke a lot about the importance of helping the parents and the evidence that points towards this directly helping young people in education.
I particularly enjoyed about hearing from two Care Experienced Campaigners from Who Cares? They described their experiences of living in the care system and how they believe it can be improved.
John Carnochan – an “interested bystander” spoke at length about how he believes the education system can be improved – in particular proposed that children shouldn’t start school until they are 7.
Youth and Community Worker
The Spartans Community Football Academy
94 Pilton Drive, Edinburgh EH5 2HF
0131 552 7854
Following last year’s highly successful conference in the Caves, on the theme of “Equity and Aspiration in Education”, booking is now open for this year’s event.
The theme will be “Changing Futures: Believing in our young people” chosen by the SELMAS Committee to continue the focus on issues related to the educational experiences of those young people whose needs are not being met by our current system. As always we have signed up a number of spirited and challenging speakers to stimulate discussion and reflection.
These will include:
John Swinney MSP, our Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills who will outline current Government strategies designed to “Close the Gap.”
Mairi Breen, headteacher of Braehead Primary School who will describe how her teachers are making a real and lasting difference to children in their school who are living in poverty.
John Carnochan who as a senior police officer worked for many years in some of the most deprived communities in Scotland where the levels of poverty and deprivation were usually matched by a sense of hopelessness and disconnection from society.
Cathy McCulloch, Co-Director of the Children’s Parliament which works with children in the context of family, school and community. The Parliament connects children with each other, with adults, with their communities and allows them to influence the development of better services for children.
Sarah-Jane Linton and some of the young people from Who Cares? Scotland which is a national voluntary organisation, working with care experienced young people and care leavers across Scotland.
As always the Conference aims to offer stimulating and creative thinking around this key issue for all educators, and an opportunity to engage with others in thought-provoking discussion.
The venue is the Radisson Blu Hotel, 80 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1TH and the date is February 2nd 2017
Book via eventbrite: http://bit.ly/SELMAS020217
This conference is supported by and in partnership with SCEL, the Scottish College for educational Leadership
An account of the BELMAS Conference (8th – 10th July 2016) by SELMAS convenor, Margaret Alcorn
For several years SELMAS has maintained a relationship with our sister organization BELMAS. This year, as in past years the BELMAS Committee invited a member of SELMAS to attend the annual Conference. After discussion at our committee it was agreed that I should attend on behalf of our organization
The conference was very different in scale, audience and atmosphere to our own annual event. A total of 180+ delegates, almost exclusively drawn from academic circles, gathered for two intense days with 3 keynotes and a total of around 50 different sessions to choose from. The mood was very positive as many delegates connected with familiar faces, or indeed with those previously known only through social media. A significant proportion of the attendees (around 25%) were from overseas. This offered lots of new insights and different perceptions to emerge in discussions.
Day one started with a description of the work of the “RIGS”, the research interest groups which offer Belmas members an opportunity to share research, inquiry and knowledge in particular areas. Also on day one, two sessions were offered and I attended a roundtable discussion on “Unlocking leadership and management potential through a joint secondary/HEI partnership”. My second choice was “A key to inspired post-graduate leadership learning in regional Australia”
Day 2 started with Professor Stephan Huber of the Institute for the Management and Economics of Education at the University of Teacher Education in Zug, Switzerland who spoke about, “School Leadership Practices and Health”. The second keynote of the day was from Philip Hallinger, an internationally recognised Asia based scholar, who addressed the issue of “Accelerating the Development of a Global Knowledge Base in Educational Leadership and Management”. A further 3 sessions left us ready for the Banquet Dinner that evening.
The keynote on Day 3 was much more familiar to SELMAS people. Our very own Sheila Laing from East Lothian talked about “School Justice Leadership in Different Scottish School Contexts”. She took as her theme the Lao Tze quote, “Go to the people, live with them, start with what they have, build with them, and when the deed is done, the mission accomplished, they will say, “We have done it for ourselves”.
So – a very busy and intense learning experience, offering me lots of new learning. The atmosphere was friendly and informal, however although there were a few sessions which described joint HEI/practitioner projects, the focus was overwhelmingly on academic research. Lots more information about the conference can be found here.
Our friends at SERA are holding a free network discussion on Closing the Gap. Please follow the link below if you wish to attend.
We are hosting a joint event between the SERA Leadership in Education and the SERA poverty networks focussing upon Closing the Gap. It will take place at the University of Strathclyde on Tuesday 26th April 5.30pm – 7.30pm in the Graham Hills Building, 40 George St, Glasgow. The event is free and open to SERA and non-SERA members (please see leaflet). If you are interested in attending the event can you please register here and pass this communication on to any other colleagues whom you think would be interested.
“Closing the Achievement Gap: An Impossible Challenge?”
We cordially invite you to register for our much anticipated annual forum
“Closing the Achievement Gap: An Impossible Challenge?”
May 12th 6.00pm (Drinks from 5.30pm)
St George’s School Conference Centre
£32 per person or £35 per person with invoice payment
Food for thought will be provided by our speakers:
Sue Brookes joined SPS in 1987 as a Prison Governor and has worked in 8 establishments in Scotland with all types of offenders ( of all sentence lengths), as well as spending two periods in SPS Headquarters engaged in organisational policy and planning and a short time on project development at the Scottish Prison Service College .
Sues’ current operational posting is as Governor of HMYOI Polmont working with young men aged 16-21. Most of her career has been spent working with high risk, long term male offenders, often in small unit settings, though she was also Governor of Cornton Vale (Scotlands prison for women) between 2002-2006 , and Governor of Edinburgh Prison before transfer to Polmont.
Sues’ most recent previous role in HQ as Head of Offender Strategy and Partnership Development included close liaison with the Community Justice Authorities and the Scottish Governments’ Reducing Reoffending Programme. Sue has contributed to the development of SPS strategy for both Women and Young People in custody and in 1997 wrote the ‘ACT’ strategy which continues to form the basis of the SPS approach to the care of vulnerable prisoners. Sue was also responsible for a national review of SPS incident management policy and practice in recent years.
Sue was previously a Board member of Families Outside , APEX Scotland and a member of the Sentencing Commission for Scotland. She has participated in or given evidence to a range of Scottish Government policy development groups and scrutiny bodies and worked closely with Local Authority partners whilst in HQ and establishment roles.
Sue holds an LLB in Law from Oxford, an MSC in criminology from Edinburgh and an MBA from the Open University and is married with three children.
Paul Reynolds Headteacher Ross High School
Raised in Lanarkshire and finishing his schooling in the States, Paul went on to study Physics at St. Andrews University. He started his teaching career in Zambia through Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) before returning to teach in St Modan’s, Stirling. Paul then moved to the Highlands where he taught Maths and Physics in Mallaig HS, eventually becoming PT Guidance. In 2006 he started as the Curriculum DHT in Lochaber HS, Fort William. After 5 years he moved remit to Pupil Support. In 2013 he became the Head Teacher of Ross High School in Tranent. He has a strong belief in the importance of Education for all and this rests firmly in the Aims and Values of the school. When not in school, Paul enjoys spending time with his wife, Emma, and two young children, Ruby and Nina; with the occasional trip to Gullane Golf Course. As part of the Senior Management Education Board in East Lothian he is part of the strategic group in the Council looking at how best to raise attainment for all children.
Craig Munro Executive Director, Education and Children’s Services, Fife Council.
Craig was appointed as Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services in Fife Council in December 2013, overseeing Education and Learning, Children and Families Social Work and Criminal Justice. Craig was previously Strategic Director at Education Scotland with responsibility for school inspections, implementation of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), performance improvement and corporate strategy. He started his career as a physics teacher in Perth and has held various school leadership roles in Perth and Fife before being appointed as Head of Education in Fife in 2007.
Craig speaks regularly at national conferences and has been involved in a range of boards advising on many aspects of national policy development. He is the Chair of the ADES Director’s Forum and is currently a member of the strategic board developing the National Improvement Framework as well as the CfE Implementation Board.
Joe Wilson Youthlink Scotland, Scottish Learning Partnership
Joe is the former Chief Executive of the College Development Network and currently an Independent Educational Consultant working on a number of assignments for Awarding bodies, Universities and public agencies across UK and internationally.
He is currently one of the UK Ambassadors for the Association of Learning Technology, A Microsoft Innovative Educator, Board Member of Youth Link Scotland and a Trustee of the Clyde Foundation.
He has also been a non-executive director and board member of the SCQF Partnership, The Scottish Adult Learning Partnership and served on a number of College Boards of Management.
Previously he has been – Head of New Ventures and Business Manager at the Scottish Qualifications Authority, senior Project Manager at the Scottish Further Education Unit, and held a number of management posts in Colleges.
Joe began his career in education as a teacher of English and History
His interests lie in bridging the academic/vocational divide; the skill sets and cultural changes needed to embrace digital change in learning; quality and standards in vocational education.
An active blogger and tweeter you can follow Joe on his blog www.joewilsons.net or @joecar on twitter
He holds an MA (hons) , MBA, DipEd and PGCSE but increasingly develops his skills through massive open on-line programmes from a range of global providers and is building up a collection of open badges and new forms of credential.
Joe lives in Glasgow with wife , two children , two cats and an 80 year old tortoise.
Between courses of excellent food accompanied by a glass of wine, you will have the opportunity to discuss your thoughts and ideas, and join in the debate with colleagues from different educational settings. You can then put your questions and comments to the panel at the end of the evening.
The evening will be hosted by Margaret Alcorn, Convenor of SELMAS and chaired by Ewan Aitken, Chief Executive Officer, Edinburgh Cyrenians. We look forward to seeing you there!