There are a few works of art which have entered the popular imagination and are known far beyond the world of art-lovers: The Mona Lisa for certain, Guernica perhaps, and, almost certainly, Edvard Munch’s The Scream. The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is currently hosting an […]

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If we fail to inspire self-belief, we deny children the opportunity to shine

‘Attainment’, ‘achievement’ and ‘ambition’ are three of Scotland’s current educational  buzz-words.  Stephen Quinn, Headteacher of Auchenharvie Academy suggested recently that we hadn’t a clue how to develop them. He started with a wonderful parable.  Fleas are powerful.  They can jump more than twenty times their own height.  […]

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Stifling innovation

For many years the Scottish secondary curriculum followed a neat, symmetrical pattern.    Students in the first two years (S1-2) followed a broad traditional, compulsory curriculum, English, Maths, Science, a modern Language, at least two aesthetic and two social subjects, PE and some ‘technology’, usually Home Economics […]

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It’s tough at the top

Edinburgh headteacher Alex Wood discusses with a number of his colleagues around the city the increasing problems when it comes to leadership recruitment 28 Aug 2008 Succession planning for school leadership is increasingly undermined by a lack of sufficient applicants for senior management posts in Scottish schools, […]

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The ploughman poet

Sunday sees the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns.  Alex Wood argues that Burns deserves to be taught wherever the English language and fine poetry are revered. Surely Burns should also however be on the syllabus, this year especially, in schools across Britain?  If the […]

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The cost of cutbacks

Edinburgh headteachers were last month asked by the council to enter an exercise in ranking “priorities for saving” – not so much turkeys being asked to vote for Christmas, as being asked to decide their preferred form of slaughter. Edinburgh, like many Scottish councils, implemented serious cuts […]

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To the polls

The Scottish local elections on 3rd May have aroused little interest.  The parties insist that the issues are local but only two aspects of the electoral tussle have grabbed the pundits. Will Labour, after bitter in-fighting, finally lose control of Glasgow and will the overall results boost […]

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Quality street

Jim O’Brien, Professor Emeritus and former Dean of Edinburgh University’s Moray House School of Education, has challenged Scottish teachers. His chapter entitled ‘The potential of continuing professional development, in School Effectiveness and Improvement*, assumes that the recent emphasis on school leadership as key to school improvement has […]

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‘Quite simply the most outstanding leader I have ever come across.’

This summer sees the retiral of one Scotland’s best known headteachers, Judith McClure of St George’s School in Edinburgh.  One of the most energetic of Scottish educationalists, Judith has led one of Scotland’s most prestigious schools since 1994.   Helen Mackie, her Depute, who is to succeed […]

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All about context

Creativity and Innovation in School Leadership: Realising the Potential of Curriculum for Excellence was the theme for this year’s Scottish International Summer School on School Leadership, again held in Edinburgh’s Royal College of Surgeons.   Bruce Robertson, Aberdeenshire’s Director of Education, stated that a much enhanced leadership […]

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