Archive for the The Herald Category

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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Schools must stay flexible

Fiona Hyslop’s recent curricular announcement hit the headlines because of the proposed abolition of Standard Grades.  But the education secretary’s statement included other debatable proposals.  instant payday loans reviews For 20 years most Scottish students followed a broad based course in first and second years and then […]

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IT’S TIME TO RETURN SELF-CONFIDENCE TO THE TEACHING PROFESSION We need a a culture change, not window-dressing, to tackle the headteacher crisis

Fiona Hyslop recently announced a major research programme into the recruitment and retention of headteachers. The first baby boom teachers, born in the late 40s and early 50s, were recruited in the late 60s and early 70s.  They taught the last of the baby boom pupils.  Now […]

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THERE’S GREATNESS IN EVERY CHILD. HERE’S WHERE TO FIND IT. A visit to the Columba 1400 leadership centre on Skye leaves headteacher Alex Wood hailing a jewel in Scotland’s educational crown

THERE’S GREATNESS IN EVERY CHILD.  HERE’S WHERE TO FIND IT.  A visit to the Columba 1400 leadership centre on Skye leaves headteacher Alex Wood hailing a jewel in Scotland’s educational crown

One of our third year girls, AbbieJo, knows exactly what she got out of a visit to the Columba 1400 centre at Staffin. “The best thing in Skye was knowing that you earned other people’s trust and we all grew together.” Thirteen of our S2 and S3 […]

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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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ENSURING CHILDREN DON’T SUFFER FROM PARENTS’ MISTAKES Alex Wood on how schools can break the cycle of drug abuse

Teachers of my vintage have seen two generations of drug using youngsters pass through our hands.  In the early 1980s I taught a bright, lovely girl from a warm, caring family. Jenny (we’ll call her that) entered the local drug scene on leaving school.  On becoming aware […]

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LESSONS LEARNED BUT SOME CHALLENGES REMAIN Alex Wood calls for a rethink on parental choice and school catchment areas

This summer I retire as a head teacher.  Over these 39 years schools have changed, hugely, and mostly for the better.  In 1972, after graduation, I returned to Scotland and teacher training.  I did a teaching practice in a Leith Junior Secondary.  Comprehensive education was not uniform.  […]

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A RIGID SCHOOL OF THOUGHT Former head teacher Alex Wood was disciplined and ‘counselled’ for speaking out about education reforms.

On 15th September 2009, The Herald published an article by me on Scottish local government.  It suggested that many of local council Area Committees gave an appearance of consultation but were impotent on issues of substance.    It stated that the public did not understand the functions […]

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That fighting spirit

That fighting spirit

    That fighting spirit Edinburgh has always been a divided city. Just under a quarter – 24% – of the city’s secondary school pupils are educated in private schools compared to 7% in the UK and 4% in Scotland. Never Give Up, a new book produced […]

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