On Thursday morning I spent some time at Webster’s Theatre in Arbroath attending a joint meeting of our primary and secondary head teachers. At the start of a new year, and a new term, those familiar with the world of education will not be surprised to hear there was a buzz in the room, even with the council’s Chief Executive coming along to tell his audience how tough the year ahead will be in financial terms. And I did not miss that opportunity.
In the time allowed at the end of my session for Q and A a number of comments were made about the extent to which our schools are not as joined up as they could be with the council’s efforts to transform communities and in particular our community planning and engagement processes. There was, I think, a clear willingness to be more engaged with that work and to make a contribution.
As we refresh our Community Planning Partnership, and in particular the localities model, we need to make sure that we go beyond seeing our schools only as places for formal learning. They are at the heart of our communities in so many more ways. At the same time colleagues across the council need to think more about how well we are aligned with the efforts schools are making to give our young people the best possible opportunity to be happy, healthy, safe and successful.