I spent Monday morning in an online meeting discussing transformational change within the Council Services. An interesting concept about how we deliver services differently and more efficiently. I have been challenged to look at our Education Service and how we deliver differently. I am keen to hear any ideas from colleagues. Can we look at using learning technologies, do we use our resources differently? Please let me know.
After lunch I enjoyed meeting with the Mid Argyll, Kintyre and Islay Head Teachers to discuss staffing allocations for 2017/18. It was great to get the chance to hear about the challenges and how we can get to grips with getting adverts for next year on the go as quickly as possible. Anne Margaret Houston, Admin Officer: Staffing and Fiona Johnston, Education Officer have been working hard to get the overall staffing picture for the Authority.
On Tuesday we had our second Head Teacher Meeting. The agenda for the day focused on, Our Children Their Future; Assessment; Moderation; Sharing the Standard, Improvement Planning, and Pupil Equity Funding. A very busy agenda indicating the big focus Nationally on the driver to raise attainment and closing the equity gap. Our Children, Their Future is Argyll and Bute’s vision and strategy document of how we are focusing on taking forward the National agenda. We were delighted to have an input into the agenda from Alison Drever, Attainment Advisor; Shona Taylor, Area Lead Officer from Education Scotland, and via video link, Lesley Sheppard, Head of Raising Attainment, Scottish Government.
On Wednesday morning I met with Don McAlister and David Bain Education Managers; Kathleen Johnston, Education officer, and Alison MacKenzie, Principal Officer Early Years to discuss the future for Early Years and how we work to meet the implementation of 1140 hours. Early Years has received no pupil equity funding but is a crucial area to making a real difference to closing the gap. We were joined in our discussions by Shona Taylor, Area Lead Officer who was very interested to hear of the very good work already in place across Argyll and Bute. On Wednesday afternoon I had online meetings using Lync technology and VC with the acting Executive Director and parents. Making use of technology for meetings is a big part of my work and helps me to achieve the maximum use of time without spending time travelling. This is also an area we are exploring for supporting learning and teaching.
On Thursday I was involved in PRD meetings with members of my management team. This will be a focus in my diary for the weeks to come and a very important area. All staff are entitled to an annual PRD with their line manager. I really enjoy these meetings to have a good professional update and make time to focus on the work of staff and how I can support this work. I am very keen to see improvement in the PRDs across Education for 2017. Later on Thursday I travelled to Helensburgh and visited Hermitage Academy. I then travelled on to Stirling to attend the Annual Gaelic Conference on Friday.
The Gaelic Conference was well represented by Argyll and Bute with many positive comments being made about our approach to developing Gaelic. I enjoyed catching up with some of our staff who have been taking Gaelic forward.