Archive for the Scotland Category

The Wound and the Gift

The Episcopal Church of St John the Evangelist at Edinburgh’s West End is a mass of visual contradictions. The radical murals….   This article first appeared in Lothian Life on 17 August 2011.  To view it in its entirety go to: http://www.lothianlife.co.uk/2011/08/the-wound-and-the-gift/

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We all need the optimism of the Cardiff cabbie

We all need the optimism of the Cardiff cabbie

I was at a seminar on school self-evaluation in Cardiff. Inevitably, school evaluation is overwhelmingly based on statistics: test scores, examination attainment, numbers entering higher education – all valid measures of school success. It was useful and stimulating. It even occasionally looked beyond these quantitative success measures. […]

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TAKING THE LEAD Many educators are suspicious of an emphasis on leadership but are the best school leaders born to the job or can they be trained?

Leadership is at the core of contemporary discussion about education.  The final quality indicator in How Good Is Our School – the handbook by which Scottish schools are measured – is Management, Leadership and Quality Assurance.  Leadership training is championed by everyone from education minister Fiona Hyslop […]

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CONFUSION REIGNS IN OUR COMPLICATED NEW COUNCIL WORLD Scotland’s councils have lost their way as political fudges and bafflingly-titled departments undermine public confidence

CONFUSION REIGNS IN OUR COMPLICATED NEW COUNCIL WORLD  Scotland’s councils have lost their way as political fudges and bafflingly-titled departments undermine public confidence

The last decade has seen major changes in Scottish local government structures. The managerial gurus wanted lean and hungry organisations.  But Scotland’s councils face a crisis of public confidence. Council Committees were once functional.  They related in a fairly simple manner to departments, Housing, Planning, Education, and […]

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In the end, the British ruling elite may hand the Scots devo-max on a plate

In the end, the British ruling elite may hand the Scots devo-max on a plate

It would indeed be neat if there were a simple Yes-No question on independence but the world is not neat, politics seldom tidy.  The one reason why some significant extension of devolved powers should be on the agenda, and on the ballot, is because it’s clear that […]

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Social class, university entry and a councillor’s hypocrisy

Social class, university entry and a councillor’s hypocrisy

It’s amazing what politicians say with a straight face.  Edinburgh Education Leader, Marilyn MacLaren, is leading a campaign to convince parents to send their children to their local school.  Ironically Councillor MacLaren not only didn’t send hers to the local school, she didn’t even send them to […]

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From the Chalkface: Lessons from England

  Scotland traditionally guards its educational autonomy but developments south of the border frequently influence thinking here, sometimes positively.  We need to watch English developments.  One innovation which requires monitoring is the JCB Academy in Rocester, Shropshire. The JCB-sponsored, £22m, non-selective, co-educational, vocational academy focuses on engineering […]

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A Time of Tyrants, Scotland and the Second World War

A Time of Tyrants, Scotland and the Second World War

            Trevor Royle’s – A Time of Tyrants, Scotland and the Second World War (Birlinn, £25.00) starts symbolically with the Empire Exhibition in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, in 1938. Glasgow perceived itself as ‘the second city of the Empire’ and with some legitimacy…..   The […]

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