Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Key note Scottish Learning Festival

Fiona Hyslop - Cabinet Secretary

7,000 attendees best year yet for SLF
1400 at Fiona's talk
Economic success and getting all young people to share prosperity is broad target
Set out in 15 national outcomes - interdependent and many relate to education

We host delegations from all around world- Our system is famous
OECD review has increased Scottish Educational standing
But problems in upper secondary and that children from poorer families are not succeeding in our system - who you are should not be holding you back.

Curriculum for Excellence is our response - from pre-school to life beyond school
Schools and school staff to take more responsibility for change of curriculum.
Importance of collaboration and leadership at all levels
Association of Director of Education have bought into this.

We no longer want less compliant self direction we want less central direction and to put more trust in our teaching profession
Building curriculum 3 framework for learning and development creates framework for this
The frameworks for assessment on their way.
Qualifications system and consultation on next generation of awards is ongoing currently plea to engage with this.

GLOW - building up head of steam in Scotland and tributes coming in from international community - George Lucas wants US Congress to do the same.
Lots of examples of how Glow is being used up and down schools and studies coming through showing it had impact on learning.
Says pupils switch from Bebo t0 Glow - ( thought this was blocked most shcools )

Best thing about Scottish education the debate . Highly ambitious reform programme and we all need to work together to make it work - once in a life time opportunity- important for future success of Scotland. Only together can we do this

Professor Richard Tease

Shame he was not asked to look at link between school and vocational education
How we move from straight jacket of success – professional sharing opening a door of opportunity to create a living culture of learning .

Within schools and communities between learners , teachers and learners , teacher to teacher, with parents , employers , FE , Universities etc

What are relationships we want to build through curriculum – bonds of learning
How we engage learners more fully or lift expectations of staff – how do we engage parents especially in deprived communities.

For teachers fear resides in isolation need to get them interacting with other schools and teachers.

Curriculum needs to be seen as culture not law – continuous variation and adaptation will move things forward.

Isolation of learner and teachers in some weak schools – all scared of revealing ignorance – we need to lift horizons and expectations – schools and teachers need to take risks to break out of this.

We need to share this risk if we want system to break out from here – will take courage at many levels, LAs , NDPBS, Gov

Great speech

Questions -
QNeil Winton - well done - who helps teachers access basic internet sites.

Q Mismatch in teacher ed training - timing the retirements are coming through we are out of synch have set up teacher employment working group - money is in at the top.
Good point from floor and was an issue 20 years ago when I started - there are number of folk in classrooms who just don't want to be there anymore .. surley not

Q Teacher wants conference shifted to weekend - so real teachers can come along. good point

Q What are issues arounf testing in Scotland.
Richard Tease testing helps understand where children stand but we don't use it to judge schools or shame teachers - should be diagnostic - how long do we wait to intervene when we know children in particular groups need help -how do schools self assess themselves how to teachers self evaluate to make sure we know when extra help is needed.
Fiona - will ask local authorities re-look at step down

Q Teacher - can we scrap league tables - expressed in Higher and standard grade passes
( aside yes in fact government did three or more years ago this is a scourge and damaging to system and is no longer in our system but local authorities are still beating up schools like this ?? ) -
Fiona - We need to change what employers ,colleges and universities expect and at LA level should be about 4 capacities not about exam passes and should be about SCQF and not just formal qualifictions- yes
( aside it's almost all there but schools are not encouraged to pick up centre assessed units and programmes - Do employers know about 4 capacities ? )

Q How can we ensure class reductions and reduce teacher burn out.
Richard Tease - need to talk beyond schools and classroom too many teachers struggle to find ways to go forward ways to reflect to lift their game - ways to exchange experiences with schools in similar and different situations -( looks like great opportunity for GLOW )
Fiona - teacher numbers are coming into system - but some local challenges in Glasgow and Aberdeen - at least you have government that are driving these changes and there has been progress so far
Q How can we ensure 35hour annual CPD in local authorities is relevant to national agenda.
Fiona - have been in discussion with Directors of Education on this - collegiate nature of curriclum for excellence will drive changes and break down isolation.

Missed a couple but great session and long too

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