This week was a short one for our pupils with a holiday Monday and then two days with no school. On these two days staff were involved in a range of work aimed at developing their skills and taking forward some of the priorities of the school.
The Tuesday saw many of us go over to AECC for an event jointly organised by a number of the local authorities in the North of Scotland (sometimes referred to as the Northern Alliance). The event opened with an address by Depute First Minister John Swinney. He spoke about new funding which will come directly to schools to help youngsters who are affected by poverty. Mr Swinney also spoke about initiatives to recruit more teachers to our schools. Both of these are welcome initiatives which we hope will help us overcome some of the challenges we are facing at present.
It leads very well into the report which I gave to the parent council at their meeting on Thursday night – a copy of which you can see here: Parent Council HT report 16 February 2017 The report identifies that although we are doing relatively well in terms of teacher recruitment there are some areas where we are struggling to get teachers (Computing, Biology) and others where we feel vulnerable if anyone should leave. I have noted we may, depending on the budget decisions being taken by the council, find ourselves unable to recruit to some non teaching posts a situation which we would need to monitor closely. My report also highlighted concerns I had in relation to finances. As your Head Teacher I am required to provide parents and pupils with impartial and factual information and this I have tried to do. At the parent council there was quite a bit of concern and discussion over the position reported and in the end the parent council agreed to write to our local councillors to eek reassurances that there would continue to be investment I the school building and youngsters would not miss out on opportunities as a result of the financial position faced by the City Council.
There is no doubt that we are facing considerable challenges. I am a great believer that our real character comes through when we are required to work through challenges. Do we remain optimistic/resolute, work together and look after each other or do we grumble/crumble, blame others and work against each other. We are going to face some pretty stern tests in the months and years ahead and I will be trying to work with pupils, parents, local and national groups – to help them through the challenges they face and to get what help and ideas they have to help us with the challenges we will face.