Last Week/Next Week 1.2.08

Wb 28.1
Monday of this week was back in Glasgow for a pile of internal meetings starting off with a corporate management team strategic review. My first external meeting of the week was with Jim Sweeney CEO of YouthLink Scotland.

I was supposed to back in Glasgow on Tuesday to meet with local authorities to discuss the establishment of Confucius (Chinese language and culture) classrooms in Scotland. My role was going to demonstrate the online dimension but my colleague Nick Morgan stepped in to allow me to stay in Dundee and catch-up with some tasks.

Wednesday was a Dundee start with a staff meeting to discuss the imminent office move. We are due to move out of Gardyne Road on Friday 8 February and be open for business in Overgate House on Monday 11 February. Our corporate distribution centre moved to Tom Johnston Road in Dundee this week and it was not as smooth as it should have been – combination of builders and IT! All sorted now and I am hopeful that the contractors involved in the office move are going to be more reliable.

Had an LTS Schools ICT Programme Board to look at progress with the LTS Online Service, how we are getting ready for Glow (LTS as user rather than manager), progress with a £700k contract for Determined to Succeed etc …

After that it was off to West Lothian House to see Gordon Ford, Director of Education and Culture, to discuss how developments and explore how LTS might add value. Lots of great stuff happening in this highly innovative authority. I was really impressed with the vision Gordon and Laura Compton have on the future of technology and impressed by the way West Lothian is getting on with Curriculum for Excellence.

Thursday was back in Glasgow for more internal meetings including an Glow Programme Board to review progress with the roll-out. Now 7 local authorities starting to use Glow and the next group due to come online in a month. Need to start to shift the focus from getting the technology in place to realising the educational benefits. Glow is going really well but as I would expect it is slow to really get started. I don’ think I am going to be saying that in a month.

Friday was back to Glasgow for more strategy review. This time it was in the light of the announcement that LTS is to be reviewed by the Scottish Government. No big surprises here as we have been waiting for a review since 2005 and it is right and proper that public bodies are reviewed to ensure that their functions are still relevant and that they carry them out effectively and efficiently.

Wb 4.2.
Early train to Glasgow on Monday for a Corporate Management Team meeting. Finish the day with the executive of the Scottish Further Education Unit and look forward to hearing about the key issues in the FE sector.

Tuesday is back to Glasgow to brief Eugene Windsor, the secretary to the Scottish Parliament Education Committee, on the functions of LTS and for us to learn more about his role. Then I have a meeting with an external consultant to review my directorate’s strategy and policy. I finish the day at BBC Scotland on Pacific Quay with Nick Simons, Head of Learning.

Wednesday in Glasgow is dominated by an LTS Board meeting. I end the day with a regular update with my two direct reports Ian Graham, Schools ICT Programme Director, and Marie Dougan, Glow Programme Director.

Thursday is my last day in Gardyne Road after 6 and a half years. Apart from chairing the (currently) weekly staff meeting and packing my last box I am going to be meeting the effervescent Louise McDonough of Do Be to find out how her latest innovative products are doing and being!

Friday is office move day in Dundee so I need to stay out of the way of the removal vans. I will spend the morning with Ian and Marie reviewing progress and planning for next year.

Friday afternoon is Tony van der Kuyl’s funeral and I will be there with many others to pay my respects.

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