Over the summer holidays I found myself thinking fondly of my time as a Headteacher. I’d always enjoyed working in schools and got a great buzz from being directly involved in the change process. In my new position I am somewhat - but not totally - removed from the action. During the past year that has not proved to be a problem, and - as my blog demonstrates - I have not been stuck for things to do. Yet three weeks out of the office gave some time for reflection and I have to admit to some sense of loss - although not regret.
The Virtual College Summer School came at a very opportune time and it gave me a chance to listen to colleagues and others who are dealing with similar challenges. Anton Florek also brought very valuable experience of the changing scene in England and posed some very serious questions about the future of integrated children’s services in Scotland - some of which I’ll cover in the next few posts.
The question, however, which kept passing through my mind throughout the three days, was “Do I add something of value to the lives of children?” As Headteacher that question was fairly easy to answer and was backed up by an almost daily affirmation in so many forms. However, in my current position it is perhaps more difficult to make that judgement. So how would schools manage in East Lothian if I wasn’t there? (and by me I mean my position). How would they manage if all resources were passed onto schools -with nothing in the centre?
As a Headteacher I used to play around with this idea but perhaps it is necessary to look at this not from the point of view of trying to justify a current position or structure but to enable us to understand what we do and how we might do it better.
Lets imagine that from next session there is no Education and Children’s Services Department in East Lothian. All of the resources used to fund the centre are then distributed by formula to the schools within the county. What would schools have to do for themselves that is currently done in the centre? And what might be the consequence?
In my next post I’ll set out the responsibilities given to education authorities.