Friday, September 30, 2005

Parent Power

The new "Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Bill" has been published on the Scottish Parliament website, and starts its legislative progress. A Scottish Executive news story gives some background.

It would change the current structure of School Boards, and give flexibility for new forums in which parents could be represented in school life. Not everyone likes this, as a BBC story "Chalk flies in parent power clash" points out.

There seems to be broad acknowledgement of the importance of parents being actively involved with their children's learning, but many parents are not convinced that formal representative bodies of any kind make a big difference. Me, I'm lucky. There's a vibrant Parent Teacher Assocation at the excellent local primary school, and I'm grateful for all they do.

But maybe not all of you can say that...

SQA exam results

Statistics about the qualifications achieved by students in Scottish secondary schools (excluding the independent sector) were published this week. A news story on the Scottish Executive website gives brief highlights and links to the full data.

No big surprises. Here's a couple of generalisations: Girls did better than boys. The economically-poor areas struggled, the relatively prosperous areas got better results. Will it always be that way?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Broadband for Education - SSDN

'Scottish Schools Digital Network' is a name that will soon become familiar to everyone working in the Scottish education sector. Think of broadband; not just faster access to Internet sites (although that's handy) but a wide range of new services, applications and resources. All provided in a secure online environment, where the needs of learners, teachers and the education authorities are the focus.

This will take time to achieve, but a major milestone was at the SETT show last week in Glasgow, where the contract was signed for the National Intranet. The SSDN webpages give background to the programme and describe where we are now.


ICT in Schools

There's new research out, from the Scottish Executive Education Department, which makes fascinating reading (well, to me anyway).

Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) is a broad term covering hardware (computers, scanners, digital cameras, handheld computers, etc), software and technologies such as videoconferencing and the Internet. There's lots more of it in schools, but what difference does that make? This research gives us a much clearer picture of what is going on.

"The Impact of ICT Initiatives in Scottish Schools: Phase 3, Final report" is the full length report

but luckily there's also a short summary of the findings in "Insight 20: The Impact of ICT Initiatives in Scottish Schools".


Friday, September 23, 2005

Welcome to the new blog

This blog is an experiment to see if a website of links to information and resources relevant to Scottish education is worthwhile. The intention is that a number of contributors add links to interesting stories or useful resources so that everyone can share the information or access the resource. It's intended to be a "best of the Web for Scottish education". Time will tell if it's worthwhile.

The blog is a labour-of-love for the contributors. The bloggers are volunteers who are willing to give up a little time to share information. If you would like to become a contributor, drop me an e-mail. The blog is not related to any organisation, school or college so the only qualification for membership is that you have the time and inclination to contribute something. Please note that the blog is not intended to be a means of appraising or analysing educational developments - so no rants!