SELMAS Conference 2010: Learning Rounds with Irene Whitford

SELMAS Conference 2010

Catriona September 13th, 2010

On September 3rd this year, educators from schools, centres, local authorities, national organisations and colleges came together for this year’s SELMAS Leadership Conference. The theme was: “Curriculum for Excellence: thinking differently to achieve success”, and as ever the delegates came to be challenged, stimulated and entertained by a range of speakers and lots of discussion and shared activities.

We were delighted that the Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning started off our conference. The keynote address was given by Richard Jennings, newly appointed Head of education in East Lothian who lead a lively, interactive session on Community Vehicles, offering one strategy to get people thinking about core values and the moral purpose of their work.

Keen as ever to hear practitioner voices, we then heard from four colleagues who are leading innovation within their own workplace. Jim Scott the headteacher of Perth High School, Irene Whitford, a teacher from Kirkliston Primary School. Here is Irene giving us a great insight into the Learning Rounds Experience

Elaine McGuire the head of the Pre-5 Centre in Shortlees Primary School and Lena Gray, the head of Policy and New Products at SQA, each described an aspect of their current practice, and delegates were invited to offer questions and comments. You can link to and download the brochure which Lena mentioned here. You can see the impact of these brief presentations in the feedback given by delegates.

The afternoon began with a session led by Alison Drever of Learning and Teaching Scotland. The  “Skunkworks” process, in essence, is about innovative answers to important questions. At the conference delegates were asked to step outside the realms of education to consider CfE from a different perspective. This culminated in a CfE think differently challenge which asked them to become the Google search engine and consider what the top hits might be if we typed ‘CfE, think differently’ into the search box.
The conference ended with a moving, challenging and thought-provoking presentation by Linda Borland, a Detective Inspector in the Violence Reduction unit, who told us David’s story. The conference were left with a clear understanding of the need to work differently, individually and collaboratively to offer better life chances to young people like David, and his son

Some tweets from the SCSSA / SELMAS conference 2010

Con MorrisMay 24th, 2010

Below are some tweets from attendees at the recent SCSSA / SELMAS conference. You can see more on this link here.

@CPDScotsman Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
@olliebray ND – its time to speak “heart to heart” and not “head to head”….

@CPDScotsman John C: “wicked problems need leaders not technicians”

@pammoran RT @CPDScotsman: tweets have slowed as I a:spend an hour failing to upload talk to blog b:eat lunch and enjoy sunshine in Edinburgh

John Carnochan at the SCSSA SELMAS conference

Con MorrisMay 21st, 2010

At the SCSSA / SELMAS conference, John Carnochan, Detective Chief Superintendent, Violence Reduction Unit, Strathclyde Police on the Shared Agenda, how command and control leadership doesn’t solve wicked problems, which sectors should we spend our funding on and a whole lot more!

Unfortunately, the camera cut out towards the end of John’s talk but there’s plenty to think about in the half hour that is captured. You can also see the slides from John’s presentation below.

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SELMAS Leadership Forum : Collaboration, COPs, Sculpting and Skills


Margaret March 29th, 2010

SELMAS blob“Shoogled out of our comfort zone”


Last Tuesday colleagues from across Scotland and from a diverse range of professional interests came together at St George’s for SELMAS Leadership Forum 2010. The theme was COLLABORATION IN A CHANGING WORLD.

We had three speakers. Don Ledingham, Executive Director for Education and Children’s Services, East Lothian Council talked about the East Lothian proposal to consider community-based management of its schools. Don explained the process of debate which has now been set in motion by using the metaphor of sculpting: views of all involved will be heard and any change to the system. For more about the developing East Lothian Question, see Don’s learning log:

Our second speaker was Gillian Hunt, Workforce Learning and Development Manager for the City of Edinburgh Children and Families Department. Gillian described a Scottish Government programme called COPS: ‘Collaborating for Outcomes in the Public Sector’ involving colleagues from a range of public sector organisations, such as local authorities, NHS, Police, Prison Service, Care Commission, and Scottish Government. She encouraged all the SELMAS guests to get out of our boxes and think creatively about partnership working.

Finally Iain White, Headteacher of Govan High School in Glasgow, spoke. HMI have commended Ian’s success in developing partnership working with a range of organisations, through the Govan initiative, the Glasgow-Hunter Partnership, Columba 1400 and with primary schools in the New Learning Community. Iain described how the school has built a growing number of valuable partnerships with businesses, helping young people to develop important skills and increase their knowledge of the world of work