A post-Referendum letter to the 45%⤴

from @ blethers

I'm writing this at the end of the kind of grey day I yesterday remembered from the '80s. It's hard for me to feel the optimism expressed by some communicators, and as I hear the news of Alex Salmond's stepping down from his leadership post I feel a deepening of the gloom even as I recognise that in his position I would do exactly the same.

But I'm writing now to the 45% who voted for a different Scotland. A little digging shows that what I sensed throughout the campaign was true: most of you are much younger than I am. So I'd like first to apologise for my generation, for our failure of nerve and of the imagination; for our fears about our pensions and our East Enders; for our unwillingness to listen and to read enough.

And then I'd like to charge you, all you of the 45% who are between the ages of 25 and 55, not to grow to be like the 73% of NO voters who are in my age group. Don't ever settle down inside your head, don't ever mentally don a white cardigan or a sensible skirt or a pair of tartan carpet slippers. Don't ever think that all life holds is a straitened existence in which you hold onto the past and condemn future generations to what they now find acceptable. Never allow yourselves to think that because you're no longer in daily, paid employment all you are fit for is to go for your morning paper or speak increasingly in pious platitudes and meaningless, safe clichés. If you have a mind now, you will - death or Alzheimer's permitting - have a life then. You will have more time to inform yourself about the world than you ever enjoyed when you were running after kids or working in full-time employment. You are currently, I imagine, au fait with Facebook and other social media. By the time you are my age there will be other forms of engagement available - learn to use them. 

So once more, I say I'm sorry. Sorry that my co-aevals lacked your vision and paid no attention to what you wanted. Sorry that we are the selfish and blinkered generation we turned out to be. Sorry that we were fearful, sorry that we were ignorant, sorry that we claim proudly to have no truck with social media, sorry that we didn't engage with you. 

We are not all like that, and I am one of the 27% of over-65s who voted YES. I'm still up for a fight, and I can see one looming as the Westminster machine starts coming apart. But it will now be in your lifetimes, not mine, that we will see off the idea that it is better to spend on our children what we currently spend on nuclear weapons, better to shape our own destiny than be allowed scraps from the Westminster table. 

Don't lose heart. Don't shut down the vision. And don't ever grow old inside your heads.

Wellbeing for young scots – what does it mean to you? New Scottish Government website⤴

from @ Enquire - young people's blog

What does wellbeing mean to you?

The Scottish Government ran a competition recently, asking young people to share their views about wellbeing through art, poems, stories and other writing. The 12 young winners now have their awesome contributions featured in this new website called Wellbeing for Young Scots.

The website also explains about how there’s a new law in Scotland which gives every child and young person the right to a Named Person – someone who can support you and your family if things aren’t going well. The site also has info on Getting it Right for Every Child, the government’s big idea which uses 8 words, shown in this picture below, to think about how we can make sure that things are going well in all areas of a young person’s life.

Here’s an extract from one of the winning entries featured on the website, by a girl called Anna. It’s a story about a boy called Ben with an unhappy homelife.

‘The next day at school, Ben thought that he had to do something or tell someone. Eventually he plucked up the courage to tell his teacher, Mrs Sweeney, what was happening with his parents at home. She was a kind, elderly lady with rosy cheeks and a permanent smile. Ben liked her and knew that she wanted to listen to him.

As he quietly approached the large oak desk, Mrs Sweeney was sitting at, he tried to think about what he would say but his mind seemed to go blank. It was too late to turn back though as he had reached the desk. Looking up at him, Mrs Sweeney smiled.

“Are you alright, Ben? Is everything fine at home?” asked Mrs Sweeney. Teachers are like that, sometimes they seem to be able to read your mind.

“Actually that’s why I came to see you Mrs Sweeney, things aren’t fine at home,” replied Ben. “Before you tell me about it, I must tell you that I may tell other people about your situation. Not pupils but adults, adults that will help you. Is that okay?” Mrs Sweeney’s face was serious. After a minute of thinking, Ben decided that he had to tell her.

Ben told her everything. When he was finished she said: “Don’t worry, everything will be sorted out.”

And for the first time in ages, Ben felt safe.’


Yes Scotland – How Can we Help?⤴

from @ Edu Tech Stories

As Scotland wakes up to the fact that the hopes of Independence have been dashed and the army of #VoteYes feel "a little down" and are licking their wounds... this Glasgow nutter wonders if victory might be snatched out of the jaws of defeat. Is the best yet to come?

The Miracle of @YesScotland
As I slowly became a convert to the "VoteYes" camp, I wandered down to some of the events at George/Independence Square in Glasgow and I started to get excited about the Yes Scotland movement, it had achieved something that NO OTHER POLITICAL ORGANISATION COULD! People from every walk of life was sharing the same space and sharing in an atmosphere of hope, and a brighter future.

It really is impossible to stress how diverse the people were from every ethnicity, every age group, people with views across the political spectrum and from different socio-economic backgrounds. It was the kind of chaos that I have absolutely no doubt that Jane Jacobs would have marveled at.

The Disappointment... The Risk
I don't know if it's because I was looking at the world with the disappointment of a "VoteYes" supporter, but the atmosphere on the bus going into town this morning was really depressing... there was no sense of excitement from the "Better Together" camp, no sense of "We Did It... We got the outcome we wanted," I suppose it's difficult to get excited about maintaining the status quo for fear of the unknown.

I have explored the roll out process of technology in education and can see parallels with the "Yes" camp being the early adopters, the visionaries, the risk takers, the change agents and the #NoThanks voters being "Laggards" who are more conservative and more risk averse... and both groups arguments are valid.

A Brave New World
The founding fathers of America were the risk takers maybe because they were early adopters and relished the thought of a risky endeavour... or perhaps it was a case of they were so desperate that they felt the alternative was no worse than the status quo.

However, many of these early settlers found the risks were very real and whole colonies perished, including Scotland's own Darien Venture, which led to the formation of the Union...So the #NoThanks perspective is valid, and their concerns about the risks are very real. The difference of opinion with the early adopters and laggards becomes especially important with "discontinuous" innovations.

Continuous innovations can prevail, even when the case for a discontinuous innovation is a compelling one. E-readers have a compelling case... but have also been around since 1998! This can also be demonstrated by asking questions like Electric Cars... When will you be getting one? When will you be making the switch?

Continuous Innovation Upgrading products that do not require people to change behaviour. i.e. A new car which promises better mileage is a continuous innovation 

Discontinuous innovation Requires people to adopt different behaviors. i.e. Electric cars are incompatible with the current infrastructure and requires significant changes.

With #indyref the "Vows" of more powers was a continuous innovation; Independence was a discontinuous innovation. Bill Aulet, Managing Director of Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, suggests that discontinuous ideas need to be ten times better than the status quo as people don't like change.

1999 DotCom... Boom, Bust Or Opportunity?
In his book "The Winners and Losers of the Internet" Kieran Levis highlights how it is wrong to see the dotcom bubble bursting simply as a failure. He wonders if we would have the infrastructure we have today without it... would the fibre optic cables that allow us to stream videos and music etc be here today without the dotcom companies that have long since disappeared? Could you imagine if we were still struggling with our dial up connections?

If anyone is feels that @YesScotland was a "failure" this morning, would it be possible to achieve many of these goals a different way... because of the success of @YesScotland?

@YesScotland Lost Independence... Or New Opportunities
In his book "Tribal Leadership" Davd Logan suggests that the best way to create a great Team Culture is for people to have a "Noble Cause" that people rally round to achieve

1.6 Million rallied round @YesScotland... Can we do the same for One Scotland?
John F Kennedy did a fantastic job with this when he said "We're going to put a man on the moon" people across the US rallied round this "call to action" ...scientists stepped up their experiments, teachers taught more science, kids dreamed of space travel. JFK didn't give each group a set of instructions... he just dared people to imagine and to explore what might be possible.

The US Army have taken a cue from this kind of leadership and instead of giving a specific set of instructions to each platoon/soldier they give a general command "Protect this bridge" and everyone uses their initiative, skills and experience to complete the task.

#VoteYes and @YesScotland may not have achieved independence, not because of anything that Alex Salmond or the SNP did wrong, it was just that;

"Continuous innovations can prevail, even when the case for a discontinuous innovation is a compelling one" 

I'm sure that Alex Salmond and the Yes Scotland Team could do with some cheering up today, and I have a crazy idea that might do just that...

1.6 million "5minute Favours"
Westminster MPs don't care, we know this otherwise we'd be living in a fairer society already. The #BetterTogether people felt the risks were too great, that's understandable.

But there's is an infrastructure of 1.6 million people who want change... can we be the change? Could we think of some 5 minute favours that we might be able to do for someone. A 5 minute favour is;

"Something that will only take you 5 minutes to do but could have a big impact on the recipient" Here's Adam Grant explaining more about this idea;

How can I Help - The 5 Minute Favour
Or maybe you can do something more than a 5 minute favour... maybe you can give someone a second chance? In Tribal Leadership Dave Logan highlights a company who has an open door policy for a drug addict, his job is always there for him when he is clean but if he starts using, he's out... until he gets his act together again.

This tells the employee that someone cares, that there is an alternative lifestyle there for him, there's help, support, advice and mentors. This mirrors Henry Ford who employed ex-cons and found that they were amongst the hardest workers because they were grateful of the second chance... and knew it was unlikely that there would be another employer if they mucked this opportunity up. 

Magic Johnston has revitalised some inner city areas in the US and his advice at Arizona University's Education Innovation Summit was "Get a mentor," which is also what Dave Logan recommends.

One Scotland Tribe
Here's more on how Stage 5 Teams can change the world, like #YesScotland has done... and can continue to do:

Yes Scotland has created unity and #YesScotland "Tribal Pride"

In George Square this week I have seen what some might term "Neds" mixing with the middle classes and guess what, the middle classes are not only still alive, but they we laughing their heads off at the quick wit these young people had... They were typing the witty one liners and chants they came up with on their mobiles so didn't forget them all to share with friends. 

What opportunities could this open up for collaboration, mentoring and second chances? Oh and before you think that this wouldn't work with the most marginalised groups today check this out: California Prisoners become Startup Tech Entrepreneurs 

While the nation is united in a unique way are there some new possibilities? Below is an idea that I suggested 2 years ago in this "A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand" post... Maybe all the #VoteYes, @YesScotland, One Scotland army can do something with it.

Dream Make Over – The Big Clean Up

We’ve had the Big Sort, we’ve had the Big Society maybe we need someone to suggest that we need The Big Clean Up before we have any more plans. We also know that people will get behind this because they already helped clean up in the aftermath of the London Riots.

Also when we watch programs like DIY SOS and Dream Makeover an army of volunteers always come from nowhere when a neighbour has fallen on hard times, and needs some help...all that is needed is for someone like Ty Pennington to act as the catalyst, to lead and co-ordinate the construction.

Our kids and their education is certainly a house that needs and deserves to be put in order, so I would be surprised if there was not the largest army of volunteers standing by to pitch in - whether young enthusiastic new recruits, battle weary veterans, or unskilled but well-meaning militia keen to help make a difference. And you never know, if the “good for nothing NEET” & lost generation see people turning the slum back into a village, they may even join in the clean up. I don’t think it would be long before the "lone nut" would be recognised as a visionary leader.

After writing this post I noticed that I was not alone and that #The45 had been established and was soon trending... It would see that the 1.6 million #VoteYes army is is standing by to help out.

I've created this Google+ the45 Page to see if and how this idea of 5 minute favours might be able to pick up where #Indyref has left off.

Finally a note to all the #The45 people on Twitter, remember what you Tweet sets the tone of the community and, if this ignites the imagination of the 1.6million the world will be watching... We owe it to Alex Salmond and Yes Scotland to keep the message as upbeat and as possitive as they did... Now go BE THE CHANGE you want to see.

Google Teacher Academy with NoTosh: a heck of an opportunity⤴

from @ Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Education


Teachers take the seemingly impossible and make it happen. Every day. Teachers are the moonshot profession. We want to work with as many of you as possible in London and Amsterdam this year, at our GTA design thinking workshops.

When NoTosh took the Google Teacher Academy (GTA), we wanted to move it beyond simply exploring 'tech tools' and see if we couldn't harness the talents of educators, a sprinkling of technology, and a foundation of inspiration and moonshot thinking to really change the world of education.

Well, Google let us do it.

This weekend is the time to get your application in for London or Amsterdam's GTAs this autumn. Applying is the first step in opening up an amazing year ahead:

  • two weeks to put forward the education challenges you face on your doorstep or in your classroom;
  • two days intensive design thinking / technology professional development and action with the NoTosh crew, Googlers and selected Google Mentors
  • six months support from the Mentor team to put your prototype ideas into practice and continue to transform learning in your school.

If you're a school leader, please apply yourself, or encourage your teams to do so. If you're an innovator teacher, jump in and share your dreams for learning. If you're an educator in FE, HE or early years, consider representing your sector with an application, and add something different to the mix.

The Google Teacher Academy has been redesigned to help teachers gain understanding of the latest technologies while working in collaborative teams to solve chunky challenges that they've identified. Participants will be coached in harnessing the design thinking process to select and frame the chunkiest challenges in education, locally and globally, before working over two intensive days to prototype solutions alongside Googlers and selected expert coaches. 

Design thinking is an innovation process used by some of the world's most successful organisations to find and solve the greatest challenges on the planet. It is a simple process that can be harnessed back in your classroom, putting your students in the driving seat of their learning.

Selected expert mentors and Googlers will introduce new technologies with the potential to transform learning, as well as revisiting more familiar tools with a lens of student-centred learning in mind. 

Participants will learn by doing, working in teams of fellow educators to trial their ideas there and then, before being supported for six months by a mentoring team as they try out new methodologies and technologies in their classroom.

NoTosh, your facilitators for this journey, are global experts in innovation, creativity and learning, with offices in Edinburgh, Melbourne and San Francisco. The entire team plus a group of selected educators from the UK and Netherlands, will be on hand to support you as you put your ideas into practice.

You can apply for GTA London and GTA Amsterdam until September 22nd. 

1.6 Million⤴

from @ Open World

Aye, weel, it’s not the result I had hoped for, but I’m still hugely proud of what Scotland has achieved. The turn out and the level of engagement and positivity has been immense. I’m proud to have voted Yes, proud of all those who campaigned so hard, I’m proud of my adopted home city of Glasgow, and of the 1.6 million Scots who voted for independence.

I hope this has been a wake up call for politicians of all stripes and a welcome reminder to the people of Scotland that there is more to political engagement than Westminster and Holyrood party politics. Lets hope that we can maintain this level of positive action and political engagement and let’s make sure we all work towards to a more equitable, fair and democratic society.

If there’s one thing that rankles with me this morning, it’s that I will continue living in a country that hosts nuclear weapons.  Perhaps it’s time I renewed my membership of CND… thistle

I voted YES because …⤴

from @ blethers

By the time I have finished writing this post, the polls will have closed. In fact, I shall shortly stop writing so that I can watch the 10 o'clock news, not because I expect to learn anything new about the Referendum Poll just closing all over Scotland, but because I feel I'm living through a moment in history that I can't bear to miss.

Today I voted YES. Actually, I voted ... what? three weeks ago? Because I had a postal vote, left over from a previous election which clashed with a holiday. I felt excited when I posted it, and I felt excited today, all over again. Not that my local polling station gave much sign of its huge importance in  today's events - it's a dreary place, in a rather dull street, and there is little on the pavement outside to lift the heart.

Today I voted YES. And in that vote, and in my hopes, are all the memories. Memories of the first time I began to feel aware of the effect on my life of the policies that I had always imagined affected ... other people. I shall never forget the sudden pang of realisation that I had brought my young firstborn baby to live next to a foreign nuclear submarine base: the US Navy's Site One. When that first child was joined by a second, I was on the road to activism. Throughout the miserable '80s I demonstrated, made speeches, appeared on radio and television and went to court as an expert witness in several trials of Greenham Women arrested when they came to join us in demonstrating against the Holy Loch base. I picketed polling stations; I leafleted countless households. Always the word came back: What can we do?

I remember more. I remember hearing a British Naval officer addressing a meeting in Ardentinny Hall, telling us that in the event of an accidental explosion at the Coulport base across the loch, Glenfinart Bay would somehow, miraculously avoid the blast as there would be a ... dent, a distortion of the blast circle. I remember the day Thatcher was re-elected, and the despair I felt; I remember drinking champagne in the sun that day in 1997 when Tony Blair was elected, and I remember the fading of that hope as his government ploughed on, betraying all that we had hoped for. I remember marching with thousands through a frosty Glasgow, protesting against the Iraq war. It happened anyway.

I remember too that day I stood on the Royal Mile watching the strange assortment of people that told us Scotland had its own parliament again - the Queen, Donald Dewar, Sean Connery. The Red Arrows thundered overhead. Something was changing. And of course I remember - how could we forget? - the day we learned that something else had happened against all expectation, that the SNP had won an overwhelming majority and that we were bound to have a referendum.

All this streams behind us tonight. Whatever the result of this closely-contested poll, we will never be the same. We have engaged with the issues in an unprecedented fashion and we have grown in confidence as a nation. I hope personally that the fearful have not prevailed this night, and that our new hope and new alignments will carry us forward from tomorrow morning. But even if the NO vote wins, we cannot go back to the old certainties, the old obedience.

And as I finish, I can be proud that the children I so feared for in their infancy have grown into the men they are - one with a vote today, the other disqualified by living elsewhere. My vote in this Referendum began with them, and the future is theirs.

Hearing Voices⤴

from @ Open World

Earlier this evening I cast my vote in the Scottish referendum.  To be honest, I’m not sure I ever thought this day would come. I felt slightly woozy when I stepped out of the front door to walk up to our polling station.  The first step on a new journey perhaps?

I was ten years old at the time of the last referendum, two years older than my daughter is now.   My memories of growing up in the Outer Hebrides and later in Glasgow in the 1970’s and 1980’s are a jumble of images and events; The Cheviot The Stag and the Black Black Oil, the oil boom years when Stornoway was filled with Norwegians gambling impossible sums at private poker parties, Scotland’s mortifying 1978 World Cup campaign, the bitter disappointment of the 1979 referendum, the Cold War and military build up in the Western Isles, the despair and disenfranchisement of the Thatcher years and the injustice of the poll tax.

But the thing I also remember is the glimmer of hope that never quite died.  I remember trespassing the NATO base, Monseigneur Bruce Kent speaking passionately for nuclear disarmament at a packed public meeting in Stornoway, I remember Peter Watkins filming our local CND meeting for his magnum opus Resan, and going to watch his banned film The War Game in a packed darkened room in the QMU at Glasgow University, I remember Dick Gaughan playing Songs for Scottish Miners at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, I remember the poll tax riots, and the Glasgow Phoenix choir singing The Red Flag at The Big Day in Glasgow in 1990 and later, I remember the day that Thatcher finally went.  I’m sure one of my colleagues in the Archaeology Department had a bottle of champaign at work that day.  I also remember the day that Donald Dewar announced “There shall be a Scottish Parliament.  I like that.”

Nelson Mandela’s quote “May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears” has been widely used by the Yes campaign, while the No campaign has been overwhelming in its negativity.  For me that’s what it’s all about, having the courage to choose hope over fear.  What has inspired me most about the referendum, is the passionate political engagement of the Scottish people and the myriad voices that have spoken up for their beliefs on both sides of the campaign. I hope that whatever result we wake up to tomorrow morning that engagement will continue and those voices will still be heard.


I voted⤴

from @ Ewan McIntosh | Digital Media & Education


Scottish Independence is not just what I voted for today. It might not even be what we get. Whatever happens, my country is a better place for it already.

I voted for a nation that has taken the notion of 'democratic debate' to the extreme that few in the Western world have ever, genuinely, seen.

I voted for a dialogue that values hope and ambition over fear and incredulity.

I voted for a nation that has been having a deep dialogue about its future for no fewer than three years, while others 400 miles away assumed the status quo was in the bag.

I voted for the shivers-down-your-neck cheers of hope and optimism in George Square on Wednesday night. I voted for the "chance of hope" of which a certain no voter wasn't so sure, in the same Square that evening.

I voted for the quiet chats and discussions, in the backs of taxis, in pubs and cafés, outside schools between mums and dads, while we wait for our kids to leap out. 

I voted for a highly visible and social dialogue, where the influence of the Establishment, a ridiculous but very real entity growing out of central London, is diminished to the point of laughability by the people, men, women, children and teenagers alike, who tell it as it is.

I voted for a future dialogue that values the views of all, even if they're not in agreement with us, and a mutual respect for importance of getting our thoughts out there to debate in the first place.

I voted for a new breed of media industry that mocks the bias, the interested parties and the in-crowds, and presents information as it is on every day, not just polling day.

I voted for a growth mindset that believes the country of over 5 million is capable of as much economic growth, invention, ingenuity and promise as a land of 60 million.

I voted for a country that will never have nuclear weapons on its soil.

I voted for a country that will value green renewable energy over anything else, and provide 25% of Europe's green energy.

I voted for the reality that my vote in a General Election will actually elect a government that is close to what I chose.

I voted so that, never again, will I see politicians from another country tell me that I am not capable of running my own affairs (or at least, I won't care what they say).

I voted to get out of the arrangement whereby I should be grateful for every penny that I am given, while contributing more out of my pocket than I receive.

I voted so that we could punch above our weight, and not be told to be quiet.

I voted to put up with the hard times as well as the good, because at least they'll be our hard times to work through together.

I voted for a risk, a risk I know is like all other risks - they pay off with time.

I voted for the risk to pay off some time, but maybe not in my time.

I voted so that we could get on with this venture together, especially with those who didn't think we should do this at all. Without the 'nos', we are nowhere. It was Salmond who said in 2011, "we have won a majority of votes, but we haven't the majority of wisdom". That will still be true, more than ever. 

I voted so that my company in Scotland can thrive as an equal to my company in the United States, that my country can thrive as an equal to every other nation on the planet, not as the cousin who speaks up at the Christmas dinner and gets told to pipe down and let the big boys get on with it.

I voted so that, even when the mega businesses, who believe they rule our planet and maybe even do, tell us that we're wrong, we can smile, say "thank you", and get on with our idea of a quality life instead.

I voted so that one of the richest countries in the world can eradicate the poverty that is on its doorstep (and I'm happy to put my money where my mouth is to do it, when I know every penny is doing what it was intended to).

I voted so that my children can identify themselves with two cultures who value equality above all else: they are Scottish and French. Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité.

I voted yes.

I voted.

Delving deeper into feedback⤴

from @ @ajbaxby

Dylan Wiliam (www.dylanwiliam.org) speaks of the importance of feedback being more work for the student than the teacher.  This got me thinking about the amount of time I spend writing comments on pupils' work as compared to the seconds they spend ignoring it and looking straight at the grade at the bottom.  So, today I tried a different approach.

I used the same feedback sheet for pupils' essays as always.  This is designed to allow pupils to quickly establish strengths and areas for development.  They then use this (with mixed success) to set targets for the next piece of work.

This time, however, I put pupils into random groups of four.  Each group then received four anonymous feedback sheets (which I numbered for my reference).  In their groups, they had to decide on targets based on my comments only.  They did this without seeing the piece of work.  This meant that there was no 'emotion' involved in the target-setting, as pupils had no idea whose essay this was.

Following on from this, I then gave out each group one of the essays in order to match up with one of the feedback sheets.  This meant they had to scan the essay and discuss its strengths and weaknesses in line with my comments.  I then gave out another, and finally the last two essays to each group.

What I observed was that pupils were much more engaged in the comments I made, and that there was a marked shift away from the culture of just looking for the grade.  Pupils also appeared happier and more confident when setting targets for the next time.  Pupils also needed to have a clearer idea of the criteria for marking the work in order to make the targets more meaningful and clearer for anyone to understand.

This exercise was only slightly more time-consuming for me as the marker (perhaps only a minute longer per pupil), but it did take most of a lesson for the pupils to complete.  I am confident it was worth taking this time.

As a positive side-effect, I also found this process made me really think about how I was phrasing the comments, as pupils were setting targets on an unseen piece of work.  This meant that my comments needed to be perhaps more direct, concise and 'obvious' than I might have been in the past.

All in all, a very successful exercise and one which I will repeat in the future.  Here's hoping that there is a tangible result for the next piece of work!

Scottish College for Educational Leadership⤴


I’m writing this at the start of my fourth week in post as the first Chief Executive of the newly established Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL). The College is an exciting and innovative development for education in Scotland, and I feel really privileged to have the opportunity to work with the team at SCEL and to lead the organisation as it goes forward.

Teaching Scotland’s Future recommended that a virtual college of school leadership should be developed, recognising that there was a need to improve leadership capacity at all levels in Scottish education. Following an extensive scoping exercise, this ‘virtual’ organisation has now become a reality, with our own office space in Glasgow and a clear plan to drive forward leadership development in Scotland in new and innovative ways.

SCEL will support and drive forward leadership development for teachers at all stages of their careers – focusing on high-quality, sustained professional learning; recognising teachers, early years practitioners and school leaders as increasingly expert practitioners, with their professional practice rooted in strong values, taking responsibility for their own professional learning and development.SCEL Gillian Hamilton

We will be taking forward a series of important, national initiatives including: Teacher Leadership, Middle Leadership, revised routes to Headship qualifications, a HeadStart programme for new Head Teachers, a Fellowship programme for serving Head Teachers and a range of national leadership conferences and events. We also plan to establish a register of experts / specialists – who provide high-quality, sustained professional learning in the area of leadership.

A pilot Fellowship Programme is already underway, led by Isabelle Boyd, Head of Education, Standards and Inclusion at North Lanarkshire Council, and John Daffurn, SCEL’s National Co-ordinator. Eleven high-performing Head Teachers with a proven record of strategic leadership are participating, and their feedback will help us shape the future development of this national programme.  The Fellowship programme provides advanced leadership development opportunities for the participants, including access to coaching support, academic support and contributions from national policy makers. Successful participants will be awarded the Fellowship of SCEL and with their considerable experience, they will continue to contribute to SCEL and to national leadership development.

In Scotland, there is already a national focus on high-quality professional learning. The College will make explicit connections across national policy:  The Framework for Educational Leadership, The Scottish Masters Framework and GTC Scotland’s Professional Standards, where leadership is a permeating theme, and we will work closely with other national organisations and employers  to maintain and enhance teacher professional learning in leadership as an integrated part of educational change.

It’s clear that there’s a lot of work to be done, and I started by describing the establishment of SCEL as exciting and innovative. To succeed, it’s really important that, as an organisation, SCEL works for and with teachers, early years practitioners and school leaders. This will be the first of regular Chief Executive blogs, updating you about our progress, providing you with information about developing programmes and seeking your views on a range of issues. Look out too for our planned regional and national events – we’ll publish details of these on our website, at http://www.scelscotland.org.uk/ You can also tweet us at @teamSCEL.  We’ll look forward to hearing from you!

Gillian Hamilton

Chief Executive

Scottish College for Educational Leadership  

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