A Day in the Stirling Management Centre

Left home at 0715 and remembered to take my jacket with me this morning 🙂

Work started just after 0845 meeting Sally Fulton, Education Officer with Stirling Council and chair of the influential local authority ICT advisers network SICTDG. Sally wanted to update me on Glow funding issues and get a general update on progress.

Next was the LTS Advisory Council. The first major item was led by Carolyn Hutchison on ‘Recognising Wider Achievement’. How do we re-balance schooling to ensure that attainment is located broadly within the context of the wider achievements of children and young people? How do we ensure that the curriculum does not become distorted by focussing too much on the external summative and not enough on the internal formative? … Great discussion and a lot to think about.

Next up was May Sweeney looking at curriculum development in Victoria,Tazmania and Ireland. What are the lessons for a curriculum for excellence: need to build on research base; need to retain flexibility/adaptability; better if we take account of ‘student voice’; develop collaborative approaches to planning … What struck me was the fact that we are all struggling to renew the curriculum in the context of a rapidly changing world. All that is different is the local context, the history, culture, values, structures etc that have been transmitted from previous generations. The challenge for us all to reinvent our education system carrying forward the best of the past in a flexible and dynamic way that helps us to build a sustainable future.

After May’s presentation Craig Thomson, principal of Fife College, led a discussion on ‘vocationalism and a curriculum for excellence‘. How useful is the term? To what extent is vocationalism captured within the four capacities?

After lunch my colleague Stuart Ritchie, Director of Curriculum, and I met with Philip John and Gerry Toner of SCHOLAR. We discussed how SCHOLAR might develop in the context of a 3-18 curriculum, assessment is for learning and Glow. We also discussed how LTS might play a more influential role in the development of SCHOLAR.

My final meeting was with Marissa Lippiatt of NESTA. We discussed the Scottish education system and how LTS and NESTA might collaborate to support and encourage innovation.

After that it was a drive back home through the sleet and the snow. Got home just after 1830.


  1. The thing on building on the past is interesting – we are quick to assume that this is always the way to construct on a ‘solid’ foundation and that the future that builds on top of this will be firm. Part of me wants to believe this, but something Shimon Peres said in December at a conference I was attending has left a lasting mark: “the past wasn’t that great”.
    What he meant, is that the past has never had to cope with the level of change that technology has brought us, technology that never breaks down (like the iron wheels on a steam engine would break after a certain speed). For the first time, *we* are likely to break down before the technology.

    So, perhaps, building on the past is not always the best way to meet the demands of our flexible futures. Now, *there’s* a challenging thought 🙂 How much do we take from the known and how much do we delve into the unknown?

  2. Don

    These are really helpful updates about the direction that LTS is taking in a number of areas.

  3. Thanks for the update on LTS direction. I would love to know whether you got anywhere with Scholar or not!