Author Archives: E. Docherty

Children’s Rights and Learner Participation⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

There will be a day to refresh our ‘Realising and Recognising Children’s Rights’ professional learning resource which will also introduce some of the key messages in our new ‘Learner Participation in Educational Settings’ resource. We are currently recruiting schools to take part in a pilot to explore this resource. We will also be running a workshop on the resource at the Scottish Learning Festival on the 21 September 2017.

Date Event Venue Who is it for
21.9.17 Seminar at Scottish learning Festival



Scottish Exhibition Centre Education Practitioners
20.10.17 Realising and recognising children’s rights and Learner Participation Atlantic Quay, Glasgow Those with an authority wide remit in rights and participation or senior managers or those with a remit within schools.

To book a place on the October training email the Inclusion Team and put ‘Children’s Rights’ in the e-mail subject heading.  Click here to book a place at the Scottish learning festival.

Professional Learning Opportunities with the Inclusion and Equalities team at Education Scotland⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

A 4 day professional learning course in secondary nurturing approaches, as well as a number of half day sessions, will be delivered before Christmas to introduce our new ‘Applying Nurture as a whole school approach: A framework to support self-evaluation’ resource.  See details below.

Date Event Venue Who is it for
28.9.17 9.30 am to 12.30 pm Recall Day for Secondary Nurturing approaches Atlantic Quay, Glasgow All those who attended secondary nurturing training in May/June 2017
5.10.17, 6.10.17, 8.11.17, 9.11.17 (4 days) Secondary nurturing approaches professional learning over 4 days Victoria Quay, Edinburgh All those who have an authority wide remit for taking forward nurturing approaches, Educational Psychologists and Senior Managers or those with a nurture remit in schools.
11.10.17 9.30 am to 12.30 pm Applying nurture as a whole school approach: A framework for self-evaluation professional learning Atlantic Quay, Glasgow As above. This professional learning will be most beneficial to those who have already undertaken some work on implementing nurturing approaches
27.10.17 9.30 am to 12.30 pm Applying nurture as a whole school approach: A framework for self-evaluation professional learning Victoria Quay, Edinburgh As above

For further details or to book a place on any of these courses please email the Education Scotland Inclusion Team and put ‘Inclusion’ in your e-mail subject heading. Don’t forget to specify the course you would like to attend.

Inspection – working together to support improvement⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

1It has now been a few months since we told you all about our plans to continue to develop new inspection approaches. We introduced the ‘full establishment model’ of inspection in schools in September 2016 and I’m pleased with how well this is progressing.

We’ve had positive feedback, with schools being inspected saying that they enjoyed using How Good is Our School? (4th edition) and valued discussion with inspectors around these new Quality Indicators, as well as highlighting the professional dialogue with inspectors as helping the school focus thinking and giving them a sharper focus on how to move forward.

Some of the positive feedback relates to a new aspect of the approach that we introduced which is asking the school to identify a Quality Indicator (QI) for additional focus. It clearly demonstrates our commitment to working in partnership with school staff during the process.

We’re well aware that inspection can be viewed as quite a stressful experience as school staff worry about making sure that inspectors get to see all the work they have been doing. Some feel that their work is going to be judged and they “don’t want to be the one to let the school down”. We want to get away from that perception. Inspections are about working together to support improvement through professional dialogue between staff and inspectors. The experience should be helpful, understanding and professional leaving you in a better place to take the school or other establishment forward. That is what we are striving to achieve.

Shorter visit inspection model
I am pleased that the full establishment model has being well received and now look forward to the introduction of the new shorter visit inspection model which started at the end of January 2017. This approach will be piloted in a small number of primary school inspections through to Easter 2017. We will pilot the short visit model in secondary schools after the summer break, modify as necessary and fully implement it across the academic session.

However, the general approach is that this inspection model will be undertaken over fewer days than the current full establishment model and the numbers of inspectors in these teams will be smaller. This will allow inspectors to visit more schools across a year. There will be fewer but more focused areas being looked at during these inspections.

Amongst the feedback we received during the ‘try-outs’ of the short visit model over the 2015/16 academic session was that the increased focus meant that schools felt they were clear about what inspectors needed to see and hear, and they felt there was less documentation and evidence to make available for the team’s arrival.

Greater use of digital technology
We are also continuing to prepare for the introduction of short-notice inspections some time in the future – not to be confused with the short visit model. The idea being that schools will have a reduced notification period before inspectors arrive.

Feedback received during the engagement phase of the review of inspection was mixed with approximately half of teachers saying that they welcomed the shorter notification period as it reduced anxiety preparing for the visit. Almost all of the rest felt that the current notice period was about right with feedback generally saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

There’s still work for us to do before we introduce this model as we need to make greater use of digital technology to support this approach. For example, the paper questionnaires which we have been using until recently need to be issued in advance and can take some time to process so we are currently piloting an online version of this survey to gather views of children and young people, parents, teaching and non-teaching staff and other stakeholders.

The pilot began in January 2017 and the learning from this pilot phase will inform how we implement online surveys for all inspections. The External Reference Group for the inspection review will, of course, discuss what we find out before we finalise and I look forward to telling you all about its feedback and the next steps in the development and implementation of new models.

I am looking to engage with many practitioners over the next few months to hear directly your experiences and thoughts on the new approaches to inspection. The first opportunity will be a Glow meet on 23 February for you to join me and other inspectors for an informal discussion and Q&A session. More details on this coming soon.

In addition, over the coming weeks we will be using a lot of the feedback we’ve been receiving to shed light on many of the misconceptions and myths that have built up around inspections. You can follow these on Twitter and Facebook by searching for us @EducationScot and you can follow our hashtag #InspectionMythBusters.

Teachers play a pivotal role in Scotland’s future⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

The Teaching Scotland’s Future (TSF) legacy event in May 2015 considered how much we have achieved since its publication in 2011 and the interdependency of the national priorities for progress:

1. Improving progress for all learners
2. Enhancing teachers’ practice as active learners and leaders at all levels.

Only this week, the First Minister has pledged to make a difference to the life chances of young people in the most deprived areas of Scotland, and whilst schools cannot achieve this alone, they can develop cultures and practice to enhance teachers’ practice and so improve progress for all learners .

Scotland now has in place the policies and guidelines, and is developing the practices, which support teachers and school leaders to engage in a culture of career-long professional learning (CLPL), where impact is sought, evidenced and acted upon to continually improve the outcomes for young people.

A CLPL cycle of evaluation, planning, implementation and review is illustrated below, with the appropriate national policies / guidelines accompanying each stage of the process. This may be useful as a reference for practitioners throughout the PRD process and to support the planning of career-long professional learning opportunities with/for colleagues.

1. Self-evaluate against the appropriate standards
( GTCS’ standards / PRD guidelines )

2. Set professional learning target/s
( PRD & CLPL guidelines / My GTCS)

3. Develop a Personal Learning plan
(PRD & CLPL guidelines / Framework for Educational Leadership(SCEL)/ MyGTCS)

4. Undertake appropriate activity to develop professional learning
( Mentoring Matters/The Model of Professional Learning( CLPL guidelines )/ Framework for Educational leadership(SCEL) / My GTCS)

5. Reflect on impact
(CLPLguidelines /My GTCS/My ProfessionalLearning /PU/My GTCS)

All of these resources can be accessed from the Education Scotland Professional learning area

For further information contact the teacher education team at Education Scotland.

For more information about the Teaching Scotland’s future legacy event visit.