International Confederation of Principals

2008 SLS Conference - Scotland
Article Index
2008 SLS Conference - Scotland
John Dunford
Panel Session
Brian Sweeney
All Pages

The report from the 2008 Conference of School Leaders Scotland is now available below. The conference was held near Glasgow on 13-14 November 2008. The theme of the conference was Inspiring Leadership.

The report consists of session summaries and some papers and presentations.

 Click here to go to a gallery of about 50 photographs from the conference.

Papers & Presentations:

  • President's Address - Brian Cooklin, SLS President. Session notes below.
  • Minister's Address - Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Education & Lifelong Learning. Full text of her address below. 
  • Keynote Address - Brian Sweeney, Chief Officer, Strathclyde Fire & Rescue. Presentation (10.6Mb ppt file), session notes (click on the item in the Article Index above).
  • Inspiring Leaders - John Dunford, General Secretary, Association of School & College Leaders. Session notes (click on the item in the Article Index above), presentation (146Kb pdf file).
  • Panel Session (session notes - click on the item in the Article Index above:
    • Transitions - Frank Crawford, Chief Inspector, HMIE. Presentation (12.8Mb ppt file).
    • Raising Achievement for All - Christine Pollock, Executive Director, Learning & Leisure Services, North Lanarkshire Council.
    • The Impact of Media on Education - Elizabeth Buie, News Editor, The Times Educational Supplement Scotland. 
    • Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing - Ted Brierley, Executive Secretary, International Confederation of Principals. Presentation (2.22Mb pdf file).}
    • Question & Answer session at the end of the Panel Session. 
  • Planning for the Future - David Blake, ASCL Pensions Consultant. Presentation (1.48Mb pdf file).

Session 1 – Brian Cooklin - Presidential Address

  • First SLS President and  the first SLS Conference. Change of name better reflects the membership composition, plus the members are the leaders of Scottish education.
  • Theme of the conference is Inspiring Leadership. We need to ask ourselves: who has inspired us and still does so, and how can we inspire others?
  • Has represented the members on many occasions during the year – meetings, conferences, enquiries, other associations.
  • Myriad of groups and activities on behalf of the association. Outstanding support from his own school and the Executive and staff of the association.
  • Major factor in SLS success is the calibre of the people involved – now represented in every group related to education in Scotland.
  • Support from other associations, e.g. ASCL.
  • Have a modernising agenda for the association. Now have a strategic plan.
  • This year saw the biggest increase in membership. Members report that they have a high satisfaction level with the services. And SLS has received good media coverage.
  • Aim of SLS is to support the members as effective leaders in their schools in many ways.
  • Barriers:
    • Funding of the association. Always difficult, especially now in time of recession.
    • Curriculum for Excellence. “They go on in a strange paradox …” = quote from Churchill. Fits the situation very well.  Good decision to delay implementation for a year. But this will not be enough if other issues are not faced, for example time for teachers to prepare for the changes required to implement Curriculum for Excellence. SLS wants to see it work for the benefit of the young people, but need adequate time for teachers to prepare for it. SLS has been lobbying for the employment of people (such as probationers) to make time for teachers to prepare.
    • Scottish Qualifications Authority – also issues. Will standards rise just because of the new exams? Why do we see the narrowing of the curriculum? Many other questions. Need a detailed strategy for implementing. Situation of probationers is not good – only 25% of them were given permanent jobs this year. this will see them lose commitment and enthusiasm. The system deceived them when they made the decision to enter the profession. One major result will be a future shortfall of teachers, and there is no forward planning for that.
    • Retention of Heads and Deputies is becoming harder. Research shows this. But what will be done about that? The toolkit for job sizing is also causing problems; it does not cover the responsibilities of the roles well enough.
    • Work-life balance aspects – pushing for better support – sabbaticals, health programs, etc.
    • How to develop future leaders. Need for standards for level management – as a stepping stone for future standards for leadership.
  • This conference is to reinvigorate you – to give you a good feeling about how well you do on a daily basis. You need to be exhilarated by your own leadership.
  • You lead the way in Scottish education. Eisenhower said: “You do not lead by beating people over the head. That is assault, not leadership.”
  • Leave here with an understanding of what has inspired you. And encourage others to take up the role.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning

I am delighted to be here today to share my thoughts and speak with you about educational and leadership developments especially at this pivotal point in the Curriculum for Excellence programme’s development. I would however first of all like to comment on the rebranding of your organisation to School Leaders Scotland. This is a critical and exciting time for educational reform in Scotland and strong leadership will be critical in meeting the challenges ahead of us. The importance of leadership at all levels is key to successful delivery and the rebranding of your organisation recognises your commitment to this. It also reflects my belief that the true leadership in Scottish education lies with you – Scotland’s Head Teachers.  It is not just in the school you lead individually but the contribution you can make collectively to your local authority and Scotland’s national education system.

As Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning I have high ambitions for the education of our young people and I see headteachers as key to its success.  The purpose of this Government is to create a more successful country with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.

My aim is to help create an environment where all people in Scotland can share in that prosperity. I firmly believe that investment in education is investment in the future success of Scotland and you as school leaders have a vital role to play in delivering that ambition.

Scotland has a learning system and culture of which we can be proud.  Our participation, research capacity, teacher education and curriculum developments as outlined in the OECD report are quite rightly regarded as world class and you should be proud of your contribution to this.  The OECD report also identified a number of important challenges – in particular the continued achievement gap, and the need to make the experience in upper secondary more relevant and engaging for all students.  I believe that Curriculum for Excellence will go a long way towards helping us meet these challenges.

Why are we doing this?

Curriculum for Excellence is a highly ambitious programme of reform. The Scottish Government has high ambitions for Scotland and Curriculum for Excellence has a vital role to play in preparing our young people to take their place in a modern society and economy. Recent events in the economy provide an acute reminder of the importance of preparing our young people for a less certain world.  An ever increasing degree of creativity and adaptability in our young people will be required for them to embrace the future. In preparing for such challenges, we must all be ambitious, innovative and open to change.

Progress so far

Real progress has been made over the summer - let’s recap on what has been achieved:

  • the publication of Building the Curriculum 3, which offers guidance on planning the curriculum in line with the values, purposes and principles of Curriculum for Excellence;
  • the publication of A Consultation on the next Generation of National Qualifications in Scotland – a key document in the adoption of Curriculum for Excellence; the period for consultation ended at the end of October;
  • 5 National Qualifications consultation events took place in October, supplementing 6 area events on Curriculum for Excellence, in which some 700 colleagues from centres, schools and authorities were involved;
  • the release of draft experiences and outcomes for all of the curriculum areas and invited feedback through focus groups and an online questionnaire;
  • trialling the draft experiences and outcomes in over 300 schools, colleges and early years establishments.  A programme of review of the experiences and outcomes in the light of trialling and feedback has recently been agreed by the management board and work is progressing with changes where these are necessary, and with exemplification of practice in line with CfE;
  • the production of introductory DVDs on Curriculum for Excellence for parents and for schools.

Over the summer, my Ministerial colleagues and I visited 17 local authorities and schools.  I personally visited 11 local authorities, hearing strong messages of support for Curriculum for Excellence. 

For example, I spoke to Head teachers from across the country who recognised the critical role they have to play in creating a professional dialogue amongst teachers about Curriculum for Excellence. By doing so they recognise the fact that ultimately teachers and staff are fundamental to the success of this programme of reform.  This degree of understanding and willingness to engage in and tackle the challenges and issues demonstrates the sort of leadership that is a critical factor to success. 

I also heard first hand about what issues concerned teachers, head teachers and local authority staff. I know that many of you have voiced concerns over timescales,  the time for teachers’ professional development and about transitions. I am listening carefully to those concerns and following a recommendation from the Curriculum for Excellence Management Board, I announced on Friday 31 October a further implementation year for Curriculum for Excellence to ensure that schools and colleges have enough time to prepare for high quality delivery of Curriculum for Excellence. 

Schools and colleges are already making changes to learning and teaching based on the information they have relating to the new curriculum and will continue to do so.  An additional implementation year will ensure that from August 2010,  all children and young people experience a high quality Curriculum for Excellence experience and with new qualifications coming onstream from the summer exam diet in 2014.

The Management Board has a robust programme plan underpinning the continued development of Curriculum for Excellence and are leading this programme with commitment and energy.  I would urge all of you as educational leaders to do the same. 

Sufficient planning time is vital in order to get this right.  It is equally important, however, that we do not take our foot off the pedal in driving change forward. 

I know that many teachers in secondary schools continue to feel constrained by the dynamics of a system in which national qualifications are the fundamental driver for education.   It is true that national qualifications will always have a central role in secondary education.

But if we truly believe that qualifications should follow the curriculum and not the other way round, everyone needs to be careful not to fall into the trap of believing that when the new qualifications happen, that they are regarded as being the be all and end all of Curriculum for Excellence.

That makes it all the more critical that the new generation of qualifications are absolutely compatible with the principles of Curriculum for Excellence.  That is the feedback I am receiving overwhelmingly from stakeholders.

Transformational Change

The changes we seek in education are transformational.  Our shared ambitions for Curriculum for Excellence make it the most radical reform of education for a generation - different in scale, scope and approach to any kind of educational development we have undertaken before. That does not mean that we cannot learn from existing best practice in approaches to learning and teaching. 

Curriculum for Excellence is as much about culture change as it is about curriculum content.  As a government we are changing the culture from dependence on central direction to independence and trust in professional judgement.

That requires all of us in this room to work collaboratively.  If we want our children to become confident individuals then they must see that confidence demonstrated by teachers and instilling that confidence is very much part and parcel of what effective school leaders in school will have been doing and will need to continue to do with Curriculum for Excellence. 

We can lead this agenda but a key challenge to the successful delivery of a project of this scale is encouraging all involved in the process, at all levels, to embrace the culture change and personal responsibility needed to make Curriculum for Excellence a success.

With this aim in mind in the summer I reviewed the governance arrangements for the CfE Management Board which has been expanded to include representatives from the teacher associations. I am glad to say that Ronnie Summers now represents School Leaders Scotland on that group.  Broader membership is already proving to be of immense value in developing implementation plans that are grounded in the reality of school life.


This Scottish Government has high ambitions for Scotland and Curriculum for Excellence has a vital role to play in preparing our young people to take their place in a modern society and economy. It provides a framework for all young people in Scotland to gain the knowledge and skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work which they will need to flourish.

We need to work in partnership - Government, local authorities, schools, colleges, universities, local community, employers, national bodies and the voluntary sector to deliver a better learning experience for each and every young person and support their transition into positive and sustained destinations.

That means for you that schools – and school leaders – need to engage with business and other local partners. I know that you have already embraced that agenda. Schools play a key role in their communities. They no longer exist in isolation and this will help to ensure the best outcomes for all of your pupils.

Working together, we can help young people be everything they can be.

None of us knows what the future holds but we can know that Scotland’s young people will have the skills to embrace the future with confidence.  Curriculum for Excellence is not an initiative or job description – it is a shared national mission and you are the pilots and pioneers of that mission. 

Curriculum for Excellence and Leadership

The success of Curriculum for Excellence relies on a reinvigoration of the teaching profession building on the McCrone concept of confident, autonomous, reflective practitioners developing their own thinking and working together. The theme of your conference is “Inspiring Leadership”.  Curriculum for Excellence is also about leadership at every level. Leaders in classrooms, schools, and in authorities and communities across the country.

Everyone involved in the learning experience of children and Young people needs to be actively addressing what Curriculum for Excellence means for them now. HMIE has responded positively to the programme of reform by aiming to promote cultural change through inspection and in the way that staff, across all of education, promote improvement in their day to day work.

The new model of inspection, launched by HMIE in September, focuses on self-evaluation which will provide a vital contribution in directing and managing the process of change towards Curriculum for Excellence. The new approach is a powerful driver for self-improvement and innovation.

It also builds on best practice and continues to provide demonstrable assurances for parents and other users of scrutiny.

Development of school leaders

Across the world, governments are recognising the need develop and sustain effective leadership in schools.  In an effort to maintain and improve the quality of their leadership, a number of countries now see development programmes for school leaders, in particular headteachers, as inextricably linked to sets of standards for professional performance.

SQH and its benefits to the system

Scotland is no exception and that is why the Scottish Qualification for Headship (SQH) was introduced in 1999. I know that the SQH is a tool that local authorities as employers value greatly. It has brought positive impacts, not just to the development of the participants, but the wider school community.  Ultimately, and most importantly, pupils benefit from the SQH. 

I am confident that the SQH will have a crucial place in the development of our future headteachers for many years to come.  But my view is that SQH should not be the only route to developing the school leaders we need to lead transformational change.

The overriding objective must be to ensure that we have a sufficient pool of suitably qualified teachers interested and capable of successfully leading our schools.  At present the SQH is not giving us sufficient numbers of potential headteachers. 

Flexible Routes to Headship

The flexible routes to headship pilot held its first final assessment panel in May and I am delighted to note that all 15 participants were successful. This has allowed the evaluation team from Cambridge and Glasgow Universities to complete their evaluation of all areas of the pilot including the assessment process.

Their final report is very supportive.  Indeed the evaluators recognise that a huge amount has been achieved and a significant amount of knowledge has been acquired in a relatively short time.   The distinguishing feature of flexible routes is that each candidate works through an individualised personal development plan with the benefit of a significant coaching input to support the transformational learning journey.

Over the coming months I will consider the recommendations of the report to ensure that we take on board any implications for the national roll out with a view to providing next spring a ‘flexible routes to headship’ programme that meets the needs of both employers and aspirant headteachers.  I am pleased to announce that the evaluation report has been published today and is now available on the Scottish Government website.

I should also say that to inform our knowledge and wider thinking in the area of headteacher recruitment and retention we have engaged the Universities of Cambridge, Glasgow and Edinburgh to carry out a joint research project on this issue. I look forward to hearing about their emerging findings towards the end of the year and to their final report in the spring.

When we signed the Concordat with local government last year, the Scottish Government signalled a fundamental shift in the way we share power. Local Authorities themselves must also now ensure that they extend that principle of subsidiarity and decision making to schools fully recognising Headteachers as an integral part of their leadership teams.

Opportunities and challenges in building leadership capacity

This brings me onto some opportunities and challenges for us in the wider area of teacher development. One particularly important aspect of the leadership agenda is to build capacity right through the system. Leadership should apply to all staff in a school.  Such an approach will be crucial to the success of Curriculum for Excellence. Improving the leadership capacity in Scotland’s education system for me means working with, among others, the Deans of Faculty in Scotland’s Teacher Education Universities, to integrate them more into the Curriculum for Excellence agenda and CPD issues and I am doing that currently.

A classroom teacher needs to be able to lead a class effectively. We need teachers to develop leadership skills in pupils too if they are to flourish in the wider world. I believe the time is right for further partnership working between universities and local authorities so that we have development programmes aimed at each stage of a teacher’s career pathway. This should develop and strengthen the succession planning that local authorities have in place.

Universities already do remarkable work in the field of research.  A challenge for us all is to get more teachers involved in practitioner research projects so they can better understand research findings in general and apply them in the classroom. This is something we need to get better at if we are to reap the potential benefit of Curriculum for Excellence.

What the Scottish Government is doing in conjunction with stakeholders

Our shared leadership agenda is ambitious, and necessarily so.  There is already much good work being carried out in Scotland, for example, work on coaching and mentoring which contribute to creating learning cultures and to building learning communities in schools and in local authorities.  Learning communities such as these will be the fulcrum of Curriculum for Excellence.

The recommendations of the recent Report of the Chartered Teacher Review Group, which I accepted, will help strengthen the leadership role that headteachers have in this important development avenue for teachers. Perhaps the most important amongst these is that headteachers should ensure that Chartered Teachers have duties that reflect their particular knowledge and experience. The SNCT are currently preparing guidance that should help in this regard.  Crucially, I would expect Chartered Teachers to take up the leadership roles – particularly in relation to Curriculum for Excellence – for which they are so well equipped.


But there are other issues around school leadership in Scotland that we need to address collectively.  I will be addressing these in my leadership paper which I will issue soon.

Do we have the right pathways to leadership in Scotland? Are all the building blocks in place that articulate the leadership we expect of teachers in the classroom and all the way to Head Teacher?

Do we have the right support in place where school leadership has been identified as an issue?  Do we have good succession planning across Scotland?

How much is leadership distributed in Scottish schools? How can we support its further development? How do we support school leaders to play their role in the wider community locally that we will need them to? 

These and other questions need to be answered. And not by Government alone. I hope you individually, and the SLS collectively, will take an active part in that debate.

We are at an exciting time in Scottish education.  Curriculum for Excellence provides us with the opportunity to equip all our children for a future that is impossible for us even to imagine.  The importance of your role in that journey cannot be overstated. I know its one you will embrace.


  • Standards for leadership? Very interested in that. Should look at how to take that forward. Too fragmented at the moment – need to draw together the strands and groups. Good OECD report allows us to highlight the good aspects of Scottish education.
  • Curriculum for Excellence (CforE). The concordat with local authorities and the remove of ring fencing on the budgets – stopped us from recruiting probationers to help with CforE? Should not have been affected by the budget changes – different effects in different local authority areas. Should not have affected teacher numbers – about 53,000. But times are tough. Need better workforce planning. Must work together rather than beat them up about it.
  • Dialogue over CforE – no definitive answers yet? External exams. Effective strategies to raise literacy and numeracy that don’t need external exams. Support the idea of 5 subjects from 4th year on. Are you moving to stop the consecutive years of exams? Focus has to be from early years in literacy and numeracy. We want to get the foundations right. Working to get robust system of assessing literacy and numeracy. External exam is seen as a passport by parents and employers, so should not drive the system, but must be considered.
  • Leadership + CPD + assessment = things to work on for success of CforE.
  • If a school is seen as having a strong self-evaluation system, should be able to build on that.
  • Would not like to see narrowing of the curriculum. But there is jockeying for position in the curriculum. We need to have a vision of where we want to be with the curriculum, and that will allow us to get rid of some of the baggage from the past – world of the future is unknown to us.
  • Any work on the job sizing toolkit? This is a problem that is causing lack of aspirants. Difficult times for pay claims. Need to sort out the anomalies. No instant solution. But it needs to be recognised – will better inform the report planned for the spring.
  • Asking more of local communities. Health and wellbeing. Can govt do anything about taking takeaway food sellers off the streets in school hours? Must do that to stop kids being exploited. … Possible, doable. Local councils have powers in the licence arrangements. Also about trying to change choices and educate palates. Kids who eat fish for the first time are now asking parents for it. Have to do something to improve health of young people for their future. Need to work more on early intervention. Cognitive impact of stress and poverty has been highlighted in recent research. Child development also a part of the curriculum – parenting without being parents.




John Dunford - Inspiring Leadership

  • We are in the business of inspiring leaders – verbally and adjectivally.
  • 3 parts to his address:
    • Inspiring school leaders
    • Inspiring future leaders
    • Inspiring Scottish education leaders
  • Who in the world would you regard as being among the most inspiring leaders?
  • "I have dedicated my life to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for, and to achieve. But my lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. " Nelson Mandela: Speech at his trial in Pretoria, 1964, which he quoted on his release in Cape Town, 11 February 1990.
  • "Ask me my three main priorities for government and I tell you : education, education and education." Tony Blair, speech to Labour Party Conference, 1996.
  • Obama in his victory speech: "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference. It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America."
  • And: "America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made? This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we cant, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America."
  • That illustrates the American Dream – what is the Scottish dream – we don’t have that sort of dream.
  • Within education: "For a school to be outstandingly successful… you need teachers who are passionate and, for that to happen to a sufficient and lasting extent, they will in turn need passionate leadership." Tim Brighouse, Passionate Leadership in Education, 2008.
  • Where are the inspiring leaders now? They are here, in this room. In the schools. To fulfill the moral purpose that we have come into this profession to do.
  • Inspiring Leaders see slide6 in the presentation.
  • There is a lot of talk about the need to have a vision. And it is absolutely right. Have you set out your vision clearly enough? The skill is in having the vision and knowing how to get there. Vision is the source of the inspiration. Need to have a plan to get it done. Martin Luther King said: “I have a dream!” not :”I have a plan!”. You need both.
  • Need to be both big picture and detail people.
  • Ethos = what you can sense as you walk around the school. Combination of big picture and detail. Using that to inspire the students, parents, staff, community. Can’t have sustainable leadership based on one person – has to be based on everyone being a leader.
  • 12 must-haves for an inspiring leader:
    • Vision
    • Ability to translate vision into a workable plan
    • Passion
    • Moral purpose – improving the lives of young people
    • Focus – on teaching and learning
    • Authority – used wisely
    • Respect – creating the climate
    • Teamwork – foster it within and between schools
    • Intelligent accountability – tough and targeted
    • Develop – part of the ethos of a learning community
    • Communicate – everything that’s important, all the time
    • Empower
  • We do not have a single leadership style – ours must be contextual; horses for courses; our style must be appropriate for the situation.
  • Passion – moral purpose of school leadership = what gets you out of bed in the morning – improve the life chances of the young people. Do it by focus and prioritising. Our focus must be on teaching and learning.
  • Have authority in what you do and say. Use it wisely. Developing the culture of respect – in all directions – e.g. by adults for the young people and so between young people.
  • Accountability does not have to be top-down. Best is the professional accountability that you place on yourself as a professional – and that your staff do.
  • They develop people – all of them.
  • Communication – 90% of good leadership. 10% action is the rest. Plans and visions are useless without good communication.
  • There should be a 13th one on the list = smile! Look happy, even if you are not.
  • It is the responsibility of all school leaders to inspire the next generation of school leaders, and you must hold yourself to account to do so.
  • "Great leaders look through windows to praise and into mirrors when things go wrong."
  • One good Key Performance Iindicator for a leader is the number of people who were promoted out of the school under his/her leadership.
  • It is up to you to plan succession.
  • “Distributed leadership is not about the abolition of constraints; indeed clear boundaries create more discretion and initiative, not less, by establishing permission to act. They share power because it enabled them to have a greater impact: it created capacity within their school, raised morale and commitment, enabled more things to happen at once, and ensured that they had created something that would endure beyond their direct presence.” National College for School LeadershipInspiring Scottish education leaders:
  • “True leadership of Scottish leadership lies with you.” Also said by Hyslop.
  • Must influence the way that Curriculum for Excellence develops.
  • How much is the government going to empower the school leaders – in own schools and helping out colleagues. From culture of competition to one of collaboration – has happened in England in last decade.
  • Question the role of the local authority. They can coordinate the services to support the kids having difficulties; they have a strategic role, plus some others. But the knowledge and the skill is in this room.
  • Theme of the conference is not only about the job you do inspiring future leaders of schools. You must also inspire the future of Scottish education.

Panel Session

Frank Crawford:

  •  Quote from President Eisenhower: "We all need an occasional whack on the side of the head, to shake us out of routine patterns, to force us to re-think our problems, and to stimulate us to ask new questions that may lead to other right answers."
  • Thanks for inspiring the children of Scotland.
  • Would like to take the children’s perspective on leadership for this session:
    • It’s more fun to colour outside the lines.
    • Ask ‘Why?’ until you understand.
    • Make up the rules as you go along.
    • It doesn’t matter who started it.
    • You sometimes have to take tests before you finish studying.
    • If you want a kitten, start out asking for a horse.
    • Keep knocking till someone opens the door.
    • You can’t ask to start over when you’re losing.
  • A few assumptions about purposes of education – maximize potential of the kids.
  • Assumption – Dylan Williams quote. Focus on the teacher: "What should we pay attention to? Class size? The between-class grouping strategy? The within-class grouping strategy? It's the teacher." Dylan Wiliam, McKinsey/Barber.
  • Mckinsey Report – Get the right people; develop them professionally; meet every child’s needs. Common to highest performing systems in the world.
  • Inclusion = Including everyone in learning.
    • A strong performance for every single learner in relation to prior attainment.
    • Raising the bar whilst closing the gap.
    • High performance across a range of curriculum areas.
    • A broad range of talents and abilities.
    • High levels of competence in core skills.
  • Sign up for the curriculum for excellence. Curriculum is driving the pedagogy now.
  • People in the future will need to be:
    • Innovative and creative
    • Able to cross boundaries
    • Adaptable and flexible
    • Analytical and critical
    • Able to problem solve
    • Personally well developed
    • Technologically literate.
  • Curriculum drives assessment. Assessment aligns with curriculum. Curriculum and assessment derive from & support pedagogy.
  • It is all about us as leaders and the teachers encouraging the kids to think and maximize their potential.
  • Aspirational for the kids – how good can we be?
  • Potential barriers to learning. See the points on slide 9. Points 1 and 4 = transitions.
  • Traditional one is primary to secondary – lot of work done on that so far.
  • Others =
    • Correlations - slide 11.
    • Subject choice transitions.
    • "Born to Fail" - slide 13. Need to track them after they leave. Lots of movement soon after they leave school.
    • Transitions on slide 14 – kids face lots of them every day.
    • Pupils to young people - slide 15.
    • From home to school. How to make it smooth.
  • Who defines what a pupil is? They change their name during the day. Do we involve young people in that? Is "pupil" still a useful term?
  • From in school to out of school. Change out of school = 5 X as fast as inside school. See slide 20. What are we doing about that?
  • From class to class. – see slide. Variability at the classroom level is up to four times that at school level. The variation is at the classroom level = a great need for consistency.
  • Passive to active learning - slide 27.
  • Producer to consumer. Personalisation – how to get that? Compare with tourism – put pathways in place and you get bespoke quality.
  • Narrow to broad. Lives that kids inhabit outside school.
  • One to many. Teacher as facilitator. Give the technology to the kids; it is a learning tool.
  • 20th Century to 21st Century - see slide 39. The list is about us as leaders juggling the learning. Where are you on that list’s each step. How do you lead your school – innovation. Need positive innovations that affect kids in a continuous way. From continuous improvement to continuous innovation.
  • Then move from transitions to transformation. Transforming the lives of the learners that you have every day.

Christine Pollock

  • Raising achievements for all: a lifetime of experience.
  • Experiences to last a lifetime. Latest policy in North Lanarkshire. Vision for the future.
  • Merging many things to form new leisure and learning services department in the council. Way of thinking about the Curriculum for Excellence – aspirational to challenge the service that we all provide.
  • Skills for learning, for life and for work. Active, challenging and enjoyable = learning for all kids.
  • World of great uncertainties. Change is at such a pace that book learning is not enough – interact, explore, negotiate, that responsibility for what happens. Need to have those capacities well-developed. If not, then will not go on learning throughout their lives.
  • How to change book learning system to a modern one? Areas of uncertainties still. Not an argument to hang on to what we have. Role of leader is paramount in making the difference.
  • Had a "raising achievement for all" policy ten years ago. Academic plus experiential. Tried out new things.
  • New set of entitlements for kids now. Principles = understanding that adults will have to be lifelong learners in C21. understanding that lg opps be grounded in real situations = outside the school. Learners should be encouraged what they how where and when they learn. New partnerships with outside agencies. Work with parents for family and community lg. New opps for global understanding and citizenship.
  • 3 new dimensions:
    • Learn actively and cooperatively.
    • Opportunities to take part in family grouping, in community and in workplace.
    • Volunteer activity.
  • Have to become embedded in curriculum, not just addons. Have to be guaranteed to every young person. Must be realistic and challenging. Needs a new approach by schools. Leadership is critical to deliver this.
  • Expectations of the administration is clear; it will happen in all schools for all kids.
  • Learning in the community = for all “educational” places, e.g. libraries, museums, etc. partnership officers – help with community learning.
  • Volunteering opportunities – teamwork, enterprise skills, deeper understanding of the world. Has a new centre to help with that. (e.g. work with ICT for older people – led by young people – intergenerational effects)
  • Need to transfer these opportunities to core of the school’s work – with literacy, etc.
  • Encourage experimentation and creativity in the staff – supporting them; allow them to succeed and improve.

Elizabeth Buie, News Editor of the Times Educational Supplement Scotland

The Impact of the Media on Education.  

The first thing we have to do is define what we mean by the media – I am not going to be talking about phone cameras, websites like ratemyteacher or Friends Reunited. You probably know far better than me about the impact of texting on written English or the tendency for kids to Google instead of use library research skills. And reading the SQA external assessors’ reports we are reminded that too many pupils are using Wikipedia for their research rather than conventional research sources.

I am here to talk about the news media, in particular newspapers, the area in which I’ve worked.

The first question to address is: does the media have an impact on education? Yes, insofar as the media has an impact on any area of policy. Perhaps we should be asking, does the media have an impact on politicians?

There are some examples where media pressure has had a positive result. Glasgow City Council did a U-turn on plans to end the funding of a nurture group pilot after front-page stories in The Herald and TESS. Happy coincidence that the story broke just as Councillor Steven Purcell was taking over as education convener, and one of his friends’ children had benefited enormously from being in a nurture class.

The Herald’s investigation into bogus colleges has delivered results.

But as we ponder the future exam landscape I am reminded of a previous exam review carried out in the immediate aftermath of the SQA crisis. Someone on the NQ Steering Group briefed me about the various options under consideration – including the fact that a Scottish Executive civil servant had asked, what would it take to persuade teachers of the value of having qualifications that were completely internally assessed and had no end-of-course externally-marked exam? We ran the story in The Herald and the then education minister Jack McConnell went ballistic, denying that such an option was being looked at. By running that story did we paint Mr McConnell into a corner? Probably not – Scotland was not ready for that kind of move. But what is being discussed now? That very option – except that we are now in a very different climate.

There are other areas where fear of headlines influences policy.  Health and safety is a case in point. There is an argument to be made that it is fear of bad headlines that drives some of the knee-jerk protectionism that surrounds  some recent disclosure regulations and some of the regulations in schools.

Personally, I’m with people like Frank Furedi and Sue Palmer who have written extensively about the rise of paranoid parenting. We are now at the stage where a father who tries to take a picture of his sons playing on a slide in a public park will be set upon by other parents and called a pervert.

We’ve had the conkers ban and the Elastoplast ban. Am I the only one who feels that the current climate of risk aversion is being fuelled by officials’ fears that their council will end up with its name in the headlines if that one chance in a million comes to pass?

In the week running up to Hallowe’en, a council press officer was complaining to me – off the record of course -  about a Sunday paper journalist demanding to know how many primary schools in Glasgow insisted on kids using a fork to dook for apples rather than the old-fashioned way – their teeth. In the event the story didn’t appear because it was asking the impossible.

The theme of your conference is “inspiring leadership”. I would argue that an editor can have a proportionately greater influence than a headteacher has. Editors set their own agenda and they are not working to a common purpose.
One of the biggest changes in newspapers in the 25 years I have been working in them. Newspapers no longer papers of record. That role effectively usurped by 24-hour television and the internet.

So what does that leave newspapers doing? In the worst excesses, they make stories up. More often, they see their role as to “set the agenda”. That is not the same as making up a story, but equally it’s not the same as reporting on something that has actually happened. It’s a case of identifying an issue and making the running on it.

I’d like to quote from a Daily Mail story from last year headlined “1500 teachers who get paid not to teach”.

“More than 1,500 teachers are being paid to stay out of the classroom despite growing concern over staff shortages.

New figures show hundreds of staff spend no time teaching but are instead enlisted to work on year-long educational ‘projects’.

This means that many teachers who have seen their wages rise by more than 20 per cent and their working week slashed to 35 hours do not even have to tech to justify their salaries.”

Some, like the Daily Mail, or Sunday Times, pick issues like falling exam standards, violence against teachers. While I applaud the principles behind  the Freedom of Information legislation, it can be a dangerous weapon in some hands. Statistics always have to carry a health warning – eg violence statistics.

If I can quote again from the Daily Mail:

“Startling new figures from the Sc Exec show that a member of school staff is assaulted or abused every 15 minutes. The Executive’s social inclusion policy – which encourages schools not to expel disruptive children – has been blamed for a surge in assaults on teachers who say it has turned into a ‘thugs’ charter’.”

I suspect that if you drilled down into these statistics, they would show that many of the figures relate to children with special needs, often within special units, and that they include three-year-olds at nursery lashing out at staff when having a tantrum.

But FoI is a double-edged sword. Council press officers, if they want to delay their response to a media inquiry, treat it as an FoI request, which gives them 20 working days to give a response. In the case of the most recent probationers’ employment survey by TESS, virtually every council answered our queries on how many post-probationers had been given jobs except for Argyll/Bute, who said they were treating it as an FoI. After several phone calls, were persuaded to give us the information. At the time of running the survey, TESS was accused by Fiona Hyslop of being out of date with its figures – they had actually been collated within a week of publication. Just think what Ms Hyslop would have said if half our figures had been given via FoI – they could have been a month out of date.

On the subject of probationers, the workforce employment report issued last month warned there were signs that media reporting of probationer employment issues were having an impact on the number of applications to teacher-training. The implication is that the press is scaremongering and it will be the newspapers’ fault if not enough people apply to become teachers in future.

But what would you do in our place in this instance? This is the same dilemma that faced the BBC when reports came in of customers beginning to queue outside Northern Rock Building Societies to withdraw their savings. If you show pictures of queues, will you cause a stampede? What they did was monitor the situation and when it became clear that queues were building up spontaneously, then reported on it. The media hasn’t created a near-crisis in probationer unemployment – a combination of factors has. But it is our duty to respond to concerns and issues.

Our own inquiries were prompted by postings on the TES online chatroom – new teachers had been discussing the  lack of jobs for some time. If we had ignored that we would have been failing in duty as the teachers’ paper.

It was on the same online chatroom that two years ago, a number of participants commented with vitriol on the awarding of the Probationer of the Year award to Susan Ward, an Edinburgh-based probationer, in the UK teaching awards. She recently wrote a comment on the highs and lows of that time – appeared in TESS alongside report of St Ninian’s High teacher David Miller winning secondary teacher of the year award. I’d like to quote from it.

“A friend alerted me to 'The TESS' website where a discussion thread, entitled "vomit-inducing news item", had erupted within hours of the televised show. There, I found teachers debating the validity of the award, questioning my credentials and engaging in a general "what's she doing that's so special?" discussion.

I was horrified. I posted a response; I felt it was unfair and totally inappropriate to respond so negatively to an event which was an opportunity to celebrate success in Scottish education.

The media picked up the story and, by the following day, I was again front-page news, but for a much less happy reason: I was a "tall poppy" - that is, way above myself.

The response from the wider teaching community was swift and forceful. I received letters of support from as far as Canada and Australia. My email inbox crashed with the volume of supportive emails.

In the following months, I was stopped in the street many times by parents and people from the Juniper Green community who wanted to wish me well. Edinburgh city councillors hosted a civic reception in my honour and let me invite 30 guests.

The initial backlash was unpleasant, but the subsequent response by the teaching community was important because it fuelled the debate about success and achievement in Scotland.”

I would argue that was a valid story because it exposed divisions in the Scottish education community about such awards.

But I would also argue that attitudes in Scotland to showcasing good practice/innovative work have changes When my colleague, Gillian Macdonald, launched the Scotland Plus features section of TESS 12 years ago, it was difficult to persuade teachers and schools to put themselves forward for features about the good things they were doing in the classroom. There has been a change of culture since then among headteachers and teachers.

So would urge schools to engage with the media, albeit with caution in some cases. Watch who you speak to – beware of news agencies who make more money by selling a story to more outlets, so are more inclined to “sex it up”. But very often you can prevent bad headlines by giving background information and putting things in context where possible.

I’m treading on sensitive territory, but I can’t help but wonder whether some of the headlines surrounding the tragic suicide of Irene Hogg might have been mitigated if there had been more communication to the media – on a strictly background basis. Circumstances have constrained the full background coming out, but it is highly unlikely that a poor inspection report was the sole cause of her decision.

It’s important to communicate, as this Edinburgh Evening News case bears out. Every Saturday morning a reporter would phone up Lothian and Borders Police press officer and ask if anything had happened overnight. Invariably the press office would say nothing had happened. So the Evening News decided to put in an FoI request asking for details of all incidents reported over 24 hours. It then ran a front-page story headlined, “A typical day in Edinburgh”.  It listed car thefts, assaults, breaches of the peace etc.etc. And at the end of the story, in large type, P.S. Lothian and Borders Police said nothing happened.

Headlines won’t always be good as doubtless some of you know to your cost. I’d like to hold up  Morag Towndrow, head of Barrhead High, and her school as a glowing example of how to shame the local press.

The Barrhead News had run a banner headline proclaiming “teachers’ terror” and story claiming that pupils were sexually harassing female teachers. So incensed were the pupils that they decided to publish their own newsletter rebutting all the allegations, which they then distributed in front of the newspaper’s own office and in the main street of the town. The S1 pupil council wrote to all the major advertisers. This happened in June 2006. Today it would be described as a Curriculum for Excellence cross-curricular project.

Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity, on behalf of editors and sub-editors, to pay particular attention to certain areas of the curriculum so that the next generation of journalists have the right tools: these are spelling, grammar, resume-writing (something I had to do when I sat Higher English) and how to understand statistics.



Ted Brierley - Student Mental Health and Wellbeing

  • A significant issue that is causing concern in all systems of education all across the world. Why?
  • One of the aims of the ICP is to develop resources for member associations.
  • Interconnexions = a project, working with Intercamhs , to develop free resources for schools. ICP is a partner with other organisations in other projects. Example: ICSEI = how can leaders support teachers to do their best for the kids.
  • Intercamhs – 2007 partnership with ICP – mental health professionals. Did a survey of ICP individual members. Can now say what the issues are around the world.
    • Around 1 in 5 youth will present with an emotional/behavioural disorder (5 students in a classroom of 25).
    • In the USA, only between 1/6th and 1/3rd receive any services.
    • Modal number of specialty mental health visits is 2.
    • Major lack of systematic quality assessment and improvement in traditional settings.
  • Why should we be concerned?
    • There is a strong link between mental wellbeing and school success.
    • Schools DO have roles in the promotion of mental (and physical) wellbeing.
    • The consequences of untreated conditions are significant.
  • What is Not Working in School Mental Health?
    • “Turf” and “siloed” approaches
    • Single system approaches
    • Same old roles
    • Clinics in schools
    • Co-located models
    • Traditional eclectic therapies
    • Schools handing off children to other systems or schools.
  • Cultures of health and education are separate and well-defended. Single system approaches do not work.
  • Maintaining the separate cultures by clinics and co-locations does not work.
  • “The various systems do not talk to each other, resulting in many children falling through the cracks and not receiving care, receiving duplication of services, or families needing to negotiate a confusing, fragmented array of services.”
  • Families are not often considered either. What are the effects on them? How to get a positive response from families. Parents are defensive. “Youth and families experience blame; have widespread distrust of professionals; have concerns about losing custody; are often unable to pay for care…have to glue services together”
  • Why mental health in schools? "Integrated approaches to reduce academic and non-academic barriers to learning are the most effective in achieving the outcomes families, schools and communities care about."
  • Need an integrated approach – only thing that gives positive outcomes. Universal access because every kid goes to school. Can put prevention programs in place, not just remedial programs. Woven into normal fabric of schools so the stigma is reduced.
    • ACCESS
    • Promotion and Prevention
    • Efficiency and Cost Effectiveness
    • Systems Collaboration/ Economies of Scale
    • Natural/ Ecological Approach
    • Reduced Stigma.
  • Model for program – see triangle diagram on slide 10. 3 levels: for all students; for 5-40% of students and families; for 1-5% who need intensive intervention – medical help.
  • When done well, school mental health is associated with:
    • Improved school climate
    • Reduced student behavioural problems
    • Reduced administrator burden
    • Enhanced school and academic performance
    • Enhanced student wellness
    • Increased high school graduation and subsequent success.
  • Can’t have outcomes improvement without attending to this issue.
  • But in most communities… The vision is not a reality as staff and programs are not adequately supported and often contending with tremendous need, and in an environment of low support and high needs, positive outcomes will most likely not be achieved and efforts will stall.
  • Staff are the frontline people to identify kids with problems – they need training in that. Need leadership for the integrated programs.
  • Many challenges:
    • Marginalization and stigma
    • Limited staff and resources
    • Disciplinary silos and "turf"
    • Bureaucracy
    • A fluid environment with frequent changes in leadership
    • Compelling need at all levels
    • INERTIA.
  • Need to describe the problem differently in different countries.
  • Themes in the culture - What ICP is striving for:
    • Access & Equity.
    • Programs and services that match local strengths and needs and that work.
    • With all stakeholders invested and involved.
    • And Emphasis on Continuous Improvement.
    • Building a full continuum from climate enhancement to intensive intervention.
    • Recruiting, supporting and retaining the right staff.
    • Competence in response to developmental, cultural and personal differences.
    • Coordinated and connected programs and services.
  • What is worth looking at. Renewed interest in this in Scotland. Suites of programs for schools (Principals Australia):
    • KidsMatter - A program of mental health promotion for primary students.
    • MindMatters - A program of mental health promotion for secondary students.
    • StaffMatters - A program of mental health promotion for school staff.
  • The ICP Interconnexions project = Working together, Intercamhs and ICP will take actions so schools around the world will increasingly understand the value and importance of teacher and student mental health to successful learning, and adopt policies and programs that address the continuum from mental health promotion and prevention of disorders to early Intervention.Scotland is one of the three countries to use the materials first – to trial them.



  • 4 capacities in the C for E – will they be measured? Capacities themselves will not be measured. Focus on the skills and attributes and capabilities in the 4 boxes – that is the key issue, they will need to be assessed in the future. Will praise the good things they see from now on. Looking at wider achievement, making sure that there are defined pathways for all kids.
  • Would Christine like to see them being measured? Not as we measure academic success – but recording and rewarding = passport developed arou8nd the 4 capacities, in which the kids talk about how they have developed them and present evidence.
  • At the strategic directorate level, what negotiation with other agencies? Bit of bottom-up and also top-down. Depends on the community and its capabilities. Work with community planning partners – community and corporate plan has 4 strands, one of which is lifelong learning. Community consultation processes. Form a consensus to get the focus and then set targets and then work together to achieve them.
  • We are often discouraged from dealing with the media directly? Is that OK, or is it better to have direct access – from the media side? TES is a bit different – gets more access than other media. Can vary from one authority to another. Element of trust is involved. Press officers are there sometimes for your protection – especially against the tabloids. Can be frustrating for TES, when HT refers them to the authority. Some are very strict in the way in which things are handled – some will only take email questions and give only email answers. Hard to solve this issue.
  • Relations between media and schools in Australia? Encouraged to deal with media – especially with local media. Associations give training on how to handle the media. Advice available from department and associations. Better to be open with the media – can then control the story.
  • Relationship between teacher approach and the mental health – does the happy teacher create happy pupils? (Also a frustration with lack of services.) Answer from experience. Good to have a happy teacher, but if dealing with clinical problems, then need proper programs and services. Good, but not sufficient. Lack of joined-up services is a worldwide problem. Different cultures lead to widespread problems. What works is to have the school to employ the health professional so as to be able to develop the proper protocols to communicate with other services.
  • What kind of measure should schools use to maximize student potential? Exploring that issue now, but no final answer. Countries which do a lot of testing and then out the kids into tracks early, end up with high inequity in their systems. But in our assessment for learning approach, that is avoided. Need to track the groups identified by the OECD study. Should not make judgments too early – not put them into tracks too early.
  • Family learning – elaborate on that? One of main resourcing areas is community learning and development. Have 39 family support people. Also on behaviour management, plus nutrition. Public health nurses, locality based. Work with indentified groups and families. SureStart program. Supported in a family setting.
  • Can you measure the success of that? Hard to measure. Attendance is better. Early reading is better. Suspensions are down. Etc etc. but the softer measures about confidence to come to the school, turning out for events – all better as well.
  • Negative reporting of outcomes of FOI request. Are getting more in schools now. Why is that growing? What about the time taken to reply to them? Editors do not have the same accountability as schools do. See themselves as the unofficial opposition to the government. Sometimes try to embarrass the government politically over various issues, e.g. national testing. Newspapers try to create their own stories, not just reporting events.

Wider questioning:

If C for E will not reduce over-testing, it has failed. Does the panel agree?

  • Frank – have to see testing as a P-18 thing. Focus has to be on assessment helping learning, so have to get assessment nearer to the learner. Different for last few years of schooling – assessment is for uni entry and career. Different schemes around the world. Gave Ontario example – not an exam-based system – has national tests which feed back to the profession.
  • Christine – recognise that we are overburdened with testing – how to fund that national testing programs - money would be better put into really good learning experiences.
  • Ted – high stakes testing depersonalizes teaching – agreed worldwide. Must be assessment for learning, not of learning. Finland = high status for teachers, need to move that way. No testing there.

Tension between attainment and wider achievement. Seen less language taught in schools. Only 10% of our schools teach drama. How can we guarantee kids’ entitlement.

  • Elizabeth – communications issue here. If we accept that politicians set the agenda, they are driven by what they think the voters want to see, then we have to sell our ideas to the parents/voters about having well-rounded young people. Then they will out pressure on the politicians.
  • Frank – trying to reduce that tension. Both are needed to have rounded achievement. Need to find ways to show that happens. Currently do list the achievement opportunities that a school offers – have to sharpen that agenda and find ways to track that sort of achievement.
  • Christine: Concordat between new govt and local authorities has damaged budgeting for local areas? different answers from different points of view. Used to have a ring fence around the budgets for education. No longer there. Now have to work to make sure that education gets its fair share of the funds. Should not be very different from area to area, but it is. Need to lobby better locally. Have to convince the councillors that the educations services are high quality and that it is important to invest early to prevent later problems. Never enough money, so have to make sure it is spent most effectively. Always difficult tensions on where to spend the funds.



Brian Sweeney, CEO, Strathclyde Fire & Rescue Service

  • Appointed Temporary Fire Master in 2004 (had only been the Deputy for 9 months – Board did not want him – too young and inexperienced) – got rid of that term after 272 years (not politically correct term). Now the CEO.
  • Had 2 years of discontinuous strike action prior to his arrival. 4500 uniforms plus 400 support. 117 stations.
  • Had major fires in the first few months of his term. Many killed and many rescued. Was his introduction to media scrutiny. Two memories:
    • After the 2nd day, interviewed by Sky, live on TV. Was told late that they had a psychic who had some interview. Started telling the TV person about the fire – 800+ staff on the fire site. Then was patched through to the psychic. She gave him info about a trapped woman – had 5 trapped but all men – "so I knew she was full of shite". And all sorts of other rubbish.
    • 2nd one = deployed cadaver dogs after second day as well as rescue dogs. Had never worked with them before. From London Metropolitan – black Labradors – looked depressing as well as their handler. Had media from all over Europe. Had to dress the dogs in S&R dogs. The rescue dogs all ran away from the scene when the cadaver dogs arrived onsite.
  • Glasgow Airport = enquiry on now. Had a ton-and-a-half of nails + lots of gas cylinders + fuel. Started a monster fire – into the canopy of the airport – worst place in the building. Hard to put it out – 7 firefighters injured. Had a concern expressed on tape – rolled it on loop for hours. If they had got inside, 600 dead and 2500 injured - hypothetical. Had come north from London. Amateurs – could not set the charges off by mobile phone – left the number there by mistake. Had been spooked down south, so came north. Pleaded that they aimed to scare people.
  • 2002/03 – huge issue. Some opportunism by the union. 292 killed in Twin Towers. 3 weeks later put in a 40% pay rise claim. Had been unreconstructed for a long time – some allowances frozen in time for over 50 years. Very heavily unionized. Blair intervened in the dispute. Began process of transformation.
  • Scottish resilience – see 3 points on slide 7 – his purpose in early 2004.  In a crisis, you don’t need to articulate a vision – everyone knows what to do. Helps to focus the mind when people are in danger of dying.
  • Hard bit is to get the unity of purpose, to get it into day-to-day life.
  • Communication was the key in everything they did at that time. Forget the staff newsletters and DVDs – his predecessor sent one every week. He met the whole workforce and met with them for 3-4 hours at a time – to get a litmus paper test on where they were and they were not sure about him
  • Huge budgetary issues – 27 million pounds = many losses of staff – asked them for their ideas – still spends 2 days a week talking to staff in  groups of 50-60 – so he knows what they want from the service. Runs open forums for 4 hours. Talking and listening is the critical part of his role. Helps with negotiations with unions and other agencies – has his staff onside. No such thing as a bad staff member. No one deliberates comes to work to be undervalued. No wants to be known as a rubbish staff member, who does not want to feel valued. Lots of bad managers – people who don’t know the value of people. Difference between leadership and management. All want to be valued, to recognise and be recognised.
  • Has an open-door policy.
  • Demonstrated that he listened – did not do everything they wanted. Changed the things that were not working.
  • Image and branding. Has 7 or 8 teachers in the educational section – to get into the school curriculum.
  • Has changed the focus of the service. Fire Fighters were trained to fight fires, not deliver prevention programs.
  • 79% lower fatal fires in the past 4 years – focus on fast response.
  • Organisation was scared to change – for over 50 years. But change is constant. Still a bit uncomfortable with the pace of change. So you have to talk with the people - directly. Also listen to them.
  • Don’t ever say: “We hear what you’re saying.” He has banned that saying.
  • (He equates the vision with the task to be done.)
  • Then you will have a learning organisation. Will have realistic aims. The vision has been shaped by the 4,500 people and their conversations.
  • Management = doing things right.
  • Leadership = makes sure that you are doing the right things, whatever you are in the organisation.
  • Young people. Need to be educated. Throw bricks at fire fighters – 200 injuries each year. Does not believe that young people should be demonized by the actions of a few.
  • Told about the actions of the incident the night before. 7 in hospital. Set a fire to lure them there and then bricked and torched the fire fighters.
  • Kids have lost respect – natural human dignity. How to get that back? Also for teachers, nurses, doctors, police. Need parents to take back their responsibility to sort their kids out – how to do that?
  • Does not gather any statistics at all – had 60 staff doing that rather than delivering protection for the public. Suspended all KPIs in early 2007.
  • Less audit, more meaningful action on the ground.
  • Community partnership working – last slide.
  • Reduced fire deaths by 90%.

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