New term with nowhere to go, but still lots to do⤴

from @ School Leadership - A Scottish Perspective

Well, this is strange. The new school year has begun in Scotland, but for the first time in twenty five years I am not part of it. Having stepped down from my role as headteacher of two schools in April, I am having to reconsider my daily routines and activity, in a way I have not had to do throughout my career in schools. As a teacher or school leader, so much of your time allocation is determined by your role. Not only that, those roles are so demanding, that it can be difficult to create the time for yourself and your personal aspirations and interests. The way I managed to achieve this, to some extent, was to combine my professional role with my personal aspirations and interests. Easier to do, when you love your work.

My first term being out of school, had been filled with completing my forthcoming book, 'Practitioner Enquiry: Professional Development with Impact for Teachers, Schools and Systems', which as the title suggests looks at practitioner enquiry and professional development. That allowed, or rather forced, me to develop a new daily routine of dedicating my mornings to writing. Afternoons were dominated by walking my daughter's dog, playing a bit of golf and basically doing whatever I wished, till my wife got  back from her own work. There's a lot to be said for it!

Of course, I should add that I also did all the household chores, that I had never found time for before, and usually completed them before I started writing each morning, as I was, and am still, waking and getting up at the same time I did when I was in school. So, I now sorted dishes, hoovering, washing, ironing and gardening into my new routines and 'freedom'. I must confess I quite enjoy these, now that my time and mind is not under the pressure it was previously as a school leader. My wife wants me to develop my culinary skills, so that she has even less to do. But, I am resisting that at the moment.

Now the book is finished and off to the publishers. There are still some administrative and editorial tasks to do, associated with the book and its publication, but generally I am back to trying to find time for all the things I still want, and need, to do.

The holidays are over in Scotland, including mine. There is still lots for me to do, and to be involved in. I remain professionally curious, and I need to keep my mind and body active. I have to keep myself busy, and I am succeeding in that. Someone asked me about this and I replied, 'I am still busy, but now it is my busy, not someone else's.' There is a big difference.

I still need to write and think. That is a given, so I have to ensure I create the time I require each day to do that. Writing, like most things worth undertaking, only happens and develops by doing it. You have to spend time each day actually writing. If you wait to be inspired, or for when you're in the mood, it just won't happen. I need to write, even if a lot of what I come up with I then discard and throw away. You need the discipline, and time, to sit down most days and just get on with it. I love it, the whole process, so this is not a problem. I have created a new office at home that looks out over the Border hills and fields that surround our village. I can think of worse places to think and write.

This morning's view
                               

My writing consists of this blog, articles for TESS as well as other bits and pieces related to my professional role and experience. I am preparing a few presentations related to the book and professional development, as I am still being asked to speak at various events, and to organisations about my experiences or my thoughts on education and our direction of travel. This is all positive because I still care passionately about schools and education. My formal day-to-day role in school may have ended, but I still want to be involved and contribute in any ways I can. I will be supporting some schools and their leadership with their own development journeys too. Get in touch if you think I can help.

I have always wanted to write fiction too, and now I have the opportunity to do that as well. I am currently working on a story for upper primary, and will have to see how that goes. Whether I produce something that young readers will want to read, time will tell, but what I now have is the opportunity to try something I have always wanted to do, but have never had the time or space to pursue when I was working full time. Watch this space on that one.

For me, maintaining some sort of routine is really important. This provides me with a structure to my days and helps keep me focused on what I am still trying to achieve. When you leave full-time employment, my view is, that this is just another stage in your personal journey. I view it as a positive development and one which finally frees me up to tackle some of the things I have hankered after for some time. I am actually excited by the opportunities that lie ahead over the next year or so.

There is no doubt that I miss the day-to-day working with learners, staff and parents. However, I don't miss the rubbish I had to deal with, both as a teacher and as a school leader, which deflected me from core business, the development of learning and teaching experiences and impacts for all learners. I don't miss the frustrations of working within systems, organisations and structures that at times felt that they were designed and built in a way that worked against everything so many of us were trying to achieve for all our learners. I still take criticism of teachers and schools very personally, as it is only when you have had the privilege to work in them that you understand the commitment and professionalism displayed every day by staff who truly understand the complexity of what they are trying to achieve, and for whom 'sound bites' by politicians, commentators and others just betray the true lack of understanding in those who trot them out.

I remain busy. I also remain committed to defending what should be defended in our schools and system and fighting the imposition of demands on to teachers and schools that will not help or support them nor, most importantly, their learners.

I know next year will start busy and get busier. My own book comes out in January, as does the one being produced for Flip The System UK for whom I have contributed a chapter on teacher agency and accountability. We are planning to get back to Australia again, and I hope I have the time and opportunity to catch up with teaching friends and collaborators whilst there. I have been asked to consider writing another professional book, and I have a few ideas percolating away in my head for what this may be about. I have the time to think about this carefully, before committing myself. I have no doubt I will continue to contribute articles to various publications and, you never know, my golf handicap might start to decrease again, rather than going in the opposite direction. Fore!

Re: Chris Aldrich on making the IndieWeb easier for Generation 2 users?⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

I'm curious what, if anything, you all think that the IndieWeb as a community could do or do better to make things easier for Generation 2 users? by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (Chris Aldrich)

Hi Chris,
I am not sure there is much that the IndieWeb as a community can do more that the amazing efforts that are going on at the moment.

This reply turns out to be a bit of a ramble…

I think at this stage of the development of IndieWeb there is bound to be friction for new users.

I am certainly aware that some of my posts must sound like ungrateful whining (this is hard, I don’t understand, I am so confused…) hopefully if seen in the round some enthusiasm for the IndieWeb will shine through.

I doubt very much I can really add much to what the indieweb community already understands what they need to do. A stroll through Chris’s #indieweb channel makes that pretty clear.

Even in the short time I’ve been attempting to implement some of the principles here it has become simpler. I started with sempress at the end of 2014 but didn’t really take it much further although I read a bit and installed known.

It took micro.blog where I began to see the effects of webmentions from more than tweets to accelerate my interest.

Even in the short time micro.blog has been around the process has improved. The WordPress plugins seem much improved.

From my POV there seems to be several possible sticking points.

philosophy

I’ve instinctively alway enjoyed the idea of owning my own online space. This was backed up with an understanding of the Domain of one’s own idea through #DS106. This took a long time to think through, often with practical experience (posterous). We are really just scratching the surface of being online and everything that this brings with it, many folk will just not be interested in owning their own space.

In the U.K. there is a strong culture of home ownership compared to, say, Germany where renting is more popular it might be worth exploring the cultural reasons for decisions made between owning and renting.

learning

I’ve approached the IndieWeb from the same angle as I’ve taken to other technologies. I poke about a bit, try things out, change parameters and avoid reading instructions unless I am stuck. When stuck I search feather than read from the start. I am more likely to read a blog post that a manual. This method works well up to a point. With something that is a complex in both principal and execution as the indieweb I think it has some drawbacks. I’ve headed the wrong way a few times.

Engaging with members of the indieweb community is a really marvellous way to make progress. I didn’t really find my way into that until I used micro.blog.

The manual is pretty good, but there is a lot to understand.

Getting Started on WordPress is great too.

Perhaps shorter how-toos that don’t link off too much might and have a smaller scope might help generation 2 & 3? I am not the best person to judge this.

Some friction comes with the power. Especially if you have already got a blog, workflows etc going. I’ve found quite a few assumptions I had were slightly wrong.

nuts and bolts and choices

One of the difficulties that I found is that there are several ways to do most things. This is of course good, but can be confusing.

For example:

I had jetpack publishing my posts to twitter. When I started using micro.blog I took up a subscription for posting to Twitter, to see how it went and to pay something for the service.

I really like the way micro.blog posts images to Twitter, they look good, but they do not get webmentions in the same way other posts that go to twitter do.

I don’t like the way likes and replies that are posted on my blog are displayed on twitter. They include the Twitter card from my post and look like there should be some blog content behind them. This is fine for a article or longer note but doesn’t really work for replies or like. I guess I’ve not fully worked out how things are happening. Possibly I need to adjust the posts length or titles. I also dislike the way a quote at the start of the post can look as if it is my content rather than the person quoted.

I do like the way Chris’s replies are cross posted to Twitter. The look pretty much like normal replies except they are posted from his blog.

I wonder if using the bridgy publish plugin to send out my posts to twitter would be better.

This is just one example of a process I am, if not struggling with, am in the process of resolving. For me the process is interesting and certainly worth going through, I can see why some folk would not bother for the sake of owning a tweet.

All of this is harder than using a silo.

As I’ve tried the odd reply, like and bookmark here, I’ve had to slow down a bit. For replies at least this might be seen as an advantage. Moving toward a slow web avoiding this: You like my like of your like of my status on Vimeo.

Something’s I’ve decided, at the moment at least, to leave in silos, I like flickr, love it’s api and have the originals locally. My Videos on YouTube are mostly throwaway and I don’t think I could afford to host. They can wait while I slowly deal with what are more interesting issues to me.

This will probably not help Chris but it did help me realise that I’ve made some progress, enjoyed it and will continue. I don’t need to build my space in a day.

Finally I wonder how Chris replies to several people at once? I guess it is a known feature.

A last though, as I click Publish, will this end up as a comment on Chris’s post? How will it look on twitter, on micro.blog, I can’t say I am wholly confident that I know!

Key Performance Indicators for OER⤴

from

One of the things I’ll be looking into as part of my new role is key performance indicators for open educational resources.  At the University of Edinburgh we have a Vision and Policy for OER that encourages staff and students to use, create and publish OERs to enhance the quality of the student experience, enrich the University and the sector, showcase the highest quality learning and teaching, and make a significant collection of unique learning materials available to Scotland and the world.

Staff and students at the university are already making open educational resources available through a range of channels including Open.Ed, Media Hopper, TES, SketchFab, Youtube, Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia, and there are a number of initiatives ongoing that promote and support the creation of OER including 23Things, Board Game Jam, various MOOC projects, our Wikimedian in Residence programme and others.

So how do we develop meaningful key performance indicators to measure and assess the success of these initiatives?

Quantitative indicators are relatively simple to measure in terms of OER produced. It’s not difficult to gather web stats for page views and downloads from the various platforms used to host and disseminate our OERs.  For example our open educational resources on TES have been viewed over 2,000 times, and downloaded 934 times, a Wikipedia article on Mary Susan MacIntosh, created during a UoE editathon for International Women’s Day has had 9,030 page views, and UoE MOOCs have reached two and a quarter million learners.

Measuring OER reuse, even within the institution, is much less straightforward.  To get an of idea of where and how OERs are being reused you need to track the resources. This isn’t necessarily difficult to do, Cetis did some research on technical approaches for OER tracking during the UKOER Programme, but it does raise some interesting ethical issues,  We also discovered during our UKOER research that once authors create OER and release them into the wild, they tend not to be motivated to collect data on their reuse, even when actively encouraged.

There is also the issue of what actually constitutes re-use.  Often reuse isn’t as straightforward as taking an OER, adapting is and incorporating it into your course materials.  Reuse is often more subtle than that.  For example, if you are inspired by an idea, a concept or an activity you ome across in an OER, but you don’t actually download and use the resource itself, does that constitute reuse?  And if it does, how do we create KPIs to measure such reuse?  Can it even be measured in a meaningful way?

And then there’s the issue of qualitative indicators and measuring impact.  How do we assess whether our OERs really are enhancing the quality of the student experience and enriching the University and the sector?  One way to gather qualitative information is to go out and talk to people and we already have some great testimonies from UoE students who have engaged with UoE OER internships and Wikimedia in the Classroom projects. Another way to measure impact is to look beyond the institution, so for example 23 Things lornwas awarded the LILAC Credo Digital Literacy Award 2017 and has also been adapted and adopted by the Scottish Social Services Council, and the aforementioned article on Mary Susan McIntosh featured on the front page of English Wikipedia.

I know many other institutions and organisations have grappled with the issue of how to measure the impact of open education and OER.  In the US, where OER often equates to open textbooks, the focus tends to be on cost savings for students, however this is not a particularly useful measure in UK HE where course are less reliant on astronomically priced texbooks.  So what indicators can we use to measure OER performance?  I’d be really interested to hear how other people have approached this challenge, so if you have any comments or suggestions please do let me know.  Thanks!

Standard Measures, CC BY SA 2.0, Neil Cummings, https://flic.kr/p/aH8CPV

“Everybody involved, nobody left out”⤴

from @ Reach

Nobody likes being left out at school. Whether it’s not getting the chance to join in with activities in the classroom, playground or sports field, feeling excluded or unsupported is just SO not what anyone needs.

The good news is that young people called the Young Ambassadors for Inclusion are on a mission to help schools think about how they can become more inclusive. They recently met up with Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary John Swinney to have their say about how important it is that ALL pupils – whatever their age, background, or support need – feel included in school.

Talking about what inclusion means to them and how to make sure pupils feel safe, accepted, and treated equally, the Young Ambassadors shared what matters to them the most:

“Everybody being included in education regardless of need”

“Making it easy for pupils to ask for help and offer the right support”

“Not being defined by any difficulties you have”

The young people thought that it was really important for schools to make sure that everyone understands and has a positive attitude about support needs like disabilities and mental health issues:

“Whole school awareness of additional support needs can support much better understanding and reduce stigma and isolation”.

And by ‘everyone’, the Ambassadors meant not just the pupils but the teachers as well – they told the Education Minister they think that all teachers should have training on inclusion and the different types of support needs pupils may have and how this might affect them in school.

“When staff have an understanding of different additional support needs and can understand certain behaviours, it helps them understand why young people may act in a particular way”

They had some good ideas for how to raise awareness, like holding pupil conferences, taking part in national awareness weeks, putting on school assemblies led by pupils, or developing awareness raising days about specific issues such as mental health or being LGBT.

The Inclusion Ambassadors said that it was really important for schools to make sure pupils with support needs had the same chance as other pupils to have a say in decisions:

“If school don’t support you to try things how will we ever get the chance?”

 “Support staff have ideas of what young people are good at or not good at. Don’t make assumptions.”

We need to create positive stories about pupils with additional support needs rather than focus on the negatives.”

Summing it all up perfectly one Ambassador told John Swinney:

“We want to be seen as individuals with our set of unique strengths and skills. 

So what next for the Inclusion Ambassadors?

After the success of their meeting with the Deputy First Minister, the Inclusion Ambassadors are creating a pledge that schools can use to show they are committed to inclusion. They are also going to make a support pack and short film for schools to raise awareness of inclusion and how important it is to listen to young people’s views.

 

 

The post “Everybody involved, nobody left out” appeared first on Reach.

Real results.⤴

from

30 years ago today I turned 18. I cried for most of the morning. 30 years ago to the day, I also received my A Level results and “only” got 2 As and a B so was not going to be accepted into my chosen university.
The tears were related to the results and not the birthday, which should have been a day of celebration and joy.

Of course, I had done incredibly well. But I felt a failure. The system of exams and university entrance, so divisive and narrow in its definition of “success” and “intelligence”, had led me to equate value with being able to do well in exams.
No matter that I was a good, kind person, a creative and talented singer and actor and a deep but slightly chaotic thinker.
In the end, I got a place by re-applying the following year. But the experience having “failed” on the basis of a few hours sitting in a stuffy hall and spewing out all I could remember about French, German and Politics hit me hard.

So reading this fabulous piece this week makes me wonder what on earth we are thinking and doing, thirty years on from my results day:
https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/after-sitting-28-gcse-papers-four-weeks-i-was-left-thinking-what-was

Having worked in education for over twenty-five years, I have seen attempts to challenge the system come and go:
Vocational GCSEs;
The revival of Drama and other creative subjects in the noughties;
The accreditation of work experience;
The inclusion of Key Skills in A and AS levels;
The attempt by organisations like the RSA to promote the value skills-based qualifications.

And in Scotland, where I now work, the creation of a new Curriculum For Excellence qualifications system that allows pupils to be assessed without an exam.

But what are we doing in Scotland? We are talking about re-introducing the exam into our National 4 (lower tier GCSE equivalent) as seemingly people don’t value it without one.

In fact, all that needs to happen is that we need to do the PR better. Pupils, parents and the universities need to be persuaded that exams are only one way of assessing pupils, alongside many other equally valid methods.

Exams are indeed often a memory test. And they are easy to administer and mark.
But let’s not pretend that easy is best for our children or for the future of our country.

When I go in tomorrow for our first day of term and ask my colleagues to analyse our exam results, I will be just as interested in the non-exam results; in the non-examined National 1s, 2s, 3s and 4s.
But I will also be keen to hear the narrative around each child and to reflect on how well we have supported them in their journey to become educated and achieving in the broadest sense; to be happy, healthy and doing the best they can.

 


Self indulgence⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 1 minute

My social media and news feeds are full of angry white racists.

3 good things:

1. Calling it like it is:

2. Remembering the origins of this time of year:

In 1947, after the devastation of World War II, the founding vision was to reunite people through great art and “provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit”. In these historic early moments, people overcame the post-war darkness, division and austerity in a blooming of Festival Spirit.

(http://70years.eif.co.uk/)

“The International Festival would focus on common ground, on undisputed greatness and in so doing would make itself a safe place to come together. This was most symbolically achieved with the reuniting of Jewish conductor Bruno Walter with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.”

(https://www.eif.co.uk/70th-anniversary)

3. Positive challenges from our students:

“LiberatEd is an initiative created by Edinburgh University Students’ Association and led by Black and Minority Ethnic (BME), Disabled, LGBT+ and Women students from across the University, aimed at challenging the academic establishment to become more diverse, more inclusive, and more critical of historically dominant narratives.”

(https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/representation/campaigns/academic/liberated/)

…and another thing

Liking: Reposts and quoting | Manton Reece⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Reposts and quoting by Manton Reece
For Micro.blog, I believe the right approach is to first introduce a simple “quote” feature. This UI would be streamlined to support quoting a sentence out of a blog post, with your own thoughts tacked on. It would fit with the spirit of easy posting in Micro.blog, but it would encourage more thoughtful posts and naturally scale up from traditional linkblogging.

likes Reposts and quoting | Manton Reece

I very much agree that quoting from and adding something to a post is of great value, but some times I love something I don’t understand well enough to add value. That is why I’ve an enviable stuff category here.

After promising to be restrainted, I have no restraint.⤴

from @ ammienoot.com

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.” (Charles Mackay – Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds)

I write you from the eye of the storm. It’s festival season again in Edinburgh. If you’ve never been here in August it’s hard to describe. Our city is transformed into a palace of wonder and delight. Every pub is simultaneously an art gallery / comedy venue / popup flophouse. Kitchen cupboards are rented as theatres. For one month streetfood doesn’t mean 2 seagulls fighting over a chip. Comedy stars flock to Edinburgh like competitive sheep shearers to the Golden Shears. A garden square in the heart of the New Town magically turns into a world-class book festival. We illuminate the city, and everyone thinks it’s totally reasonable to go see Jane Austen improv in a giant upside down inflatable cow-shaped theatre.

Locals are marked out by their scowls, tutting, and general frustration with not being able to walk anywhere in the city at speed. Don’t talk about flyers.

Every year it seems too overwhelming. Every year I promise myself some restraint. Not to overcommit. It’s going well this year. If by “well” you mean totally bat-shit-crazy like a cat in a field of nip.

Kicked off with Rachel Hosker at the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas. Topping up tonight with Nicola Osborne, also at #CODI.

TomorrowJulia Hobsbawn at Book Festival, Zinnie Harris’ Rhinoceros at the Lyceum. Pop in and see Mrs Asquith-Lamb and her giant pop up book. Maybe catch Andrew O’Neill instead of eating dinner.

Sunday – day of rest. Teju Cole at Book Festival, followed by Rachel McCrum and Miriam Nash.

I can’t even find the energy to type what’s happening in the following 2 weeks.

Oops.

In Memorium Bassel Khartabil⤴

from

This is my personal reflection on the devastating news that Syrian open knowledge advocate Bassel Khartabil was executed by the Syrian government in 2015. 

Qasr al Hallabat, Jordan, CC BY Lorna M. Campbell

Some of you will already know that before I worked in open education I used to be an archaeologist.  My main interest was the North Atlantic Iron Age and I spent a lot of time working on excavations in the Outer Hebrides where I was born and brought up.  However I also spent one memorable summer working in the South Hauran Desert in Jordan near the Syrian Border.  It was a bit of a life changing experience for me, I fell quietly in love with the Middle East and when I got back to Scotland I realised that I was stuck in a rut with my job so I decided to leave archaeology while I still loved the subject and turn my hand to something else instead.

By rather circuitous routes that something else turned out to be open education, and it’s something which I have had a deep personal and ethical commitment to for over ten years now.  I never lost my love of archaeology though and I always regretted that while I was in Jordan we didn’t cross the border into Syria to visit Palmyra and Damascus. We had one week free at the end of our fieldwork project and it was a toss up between Petra or Syria.  Petra won.  Years later I watched in horror as Syria descended into civil war and Palmyra became a battleground.  Tragic as the destruction of Palmyra has been, it pales into significance beside the huge number of lives that have been destroyed in the conflict.

Consequently, when I first came across the New Palmyra project I was really inspired.  Here was a project that used openness to capture the cultural and archaeological heritage of Syria before it’s lost forever.  What a fabulous idea.  I vaguely noted the name of Bassel Khartabil among the people involved but at the time I knew nothing more about him

“Bassel Khartabil (Safadi)” by Joi Ito – http://www.flickr.com/photos/joi/4670781482CC BY 2.0

About a year later Adam Hyde of Booksprints.net, who ran a booksprint for us at the end of the the UKOER programme, contacted me and asked if I would be willing to write a piece for a book to raise awareness of the disappearance of Syrian open knowledge advocate, Creative Commons representative and active Wikimedian, Bassel Khartabil.  I was horrified to learn of Bassel’s disappearance and immediately agreed.  My contribution to the open eBook The Cost of Freedom: A Collective Inquiry is called The Open World. Since then I have talked and blogged about Bassel at every opportunity, most recently at the OER17 Conference The Politics of Open and re:publica, in order to help raise awareness of his plight.

I never met Bassel, but his story touched me deeply.  Here was a man who lost his liberty, and we now know lost his life, for doing the very same job that I am doing now. This is why openness, open knowledge, open education, open advocacy matter.

I was on holiday in Brittany when I heard about Bassel’s death via Catherine Cronin on twitter and I was deeply, deeply saddened by the news.  I still am, and I’m still struggling to express this in words. At the moment, I’m not sure I can put it better than the words I used at the end of my OER17 lightning talk Shouting from the Heart.

The plight of Bassel Khartabil is a sobering reminder of the risks of openness, proof that open is always political, but it’s also shows why we need openness more than ever, because openness is inextricably bound up with freedom.  And in the words of another older declaration, the Declaration of Arbroath.

It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.

Resources

Time – our most valuable resource.⤴

from @ Just Trying to be Better Than Yesterday

(The original text of my article in TES Scotland 23rd June 2017)

It is difficult to talk to fellow teachers about real change in Scottish Education without coming across the thorny topic of Time. There is no shortage of commitment, no lacking in interest in new ideas, new strategies. But that’s not enough, is it? We can provide as many as ideas as we like, create as many resources as we possibly can; without the time to properly implement those ideas we will more than likely wander around the edges, more anxious than ever about what we may be missing. Teaching is a series of habits, of learned behaviours, and to change what we do takes real commitment and time from all involved for implementation.

It is this dichotomy which frustrates teachers most, I think. We see the wonderful work by organisations like SCEL (Scottish College of Educational Leadership) and their efforts to get into as many schools as possible, leading the way in new, radical approaches to continuing professional development, but often return to our classrooms overrun with tasks to complete and classes to prepare. And, when faced with those pressures, we return to the habits which successfully get us through our day. It’s not that we don’t want to be leaders; we merely find that the space to implement real change is filled with other things we must do.

I have always been wary of acronyms in Scottish Education. Once we use them, they can become meaningless words, easy to dismiss. However, more and more I’m beginning to see SCEL as our most important. Whatever your definition of leadership, it would be difficult to argue that taking responsibility for our own development is not part of that.

Money is certainly there. Investment in SCEL, in the Pupil Equity Fund, in the Attainment Challenge, in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge. Professional Development opportunities have changed completely over the last ten years. However, our opportunities to benefit from them have not.

Imagine what we could achieve if, instead of a cupboard full of resources provided for our National courses, we were provided with the more valuable recourse of Time. Time to collaborate properly; time to innovate properly; time to embed new habits and transform our classrooms: instead of struggling to cope with what we have already and finding ourselves vilified in the press for our reluctance to change.

There is no greater resource than our teachers. To improve their skills, to improve their ability to teach our young people, then we need to give them what they need. Having SCEL is a ground-breaking achievement but without the time to adapt we may be missing a massive opportunity. Let’s not do that. Please?