Argyll and Bute represented in top education group

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Published Date: 

15 Sep 2011 - 18:06

An Argyll and Bute Council officer is one of five educationalists hand-picked from across Scotland by Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Mike Russell to form a new attainment group.

Anne Paterson, a former Scottish Head Teacher of the Year, will join four other heads or former heads in a bid to boost attainment in Scotland’s schools.

The group has been tasked with generating new ideas and approaches to raising attainment, and has been asked to report back to Mr Russell with its suggestions by the end of the year.

Argyll and Bute’s spokesperson for education and lifelong learning, Councillor Ellen Morton, said it was no surprise that Anne had been chosen for this high profile task.

“Her presence on the group is a clear recognition of the work she has done both in individual schools and across Argyll and Bute as a whole,” she added.

“Anne’s 30 years working in education in Argyll and Bute – as a teacher, head teacher and now quality improvement manager - have made an immeasureable difference to the life chances of many of our children, and it is fantastic that the Education Secretary wishes to draw on her expertise and experience.

“I am delighted that Anne is one of the people chosen for this very important group, and I look forward to hearing how it progresses and what ideas it reports back with.”

Anne joined Argyll and Bute Council as a class teacher before working her way through the ranks to eventually become head teacher of Minard and then Inveraray primary schools.

After winning the Scottish Head Teacher of the Year in 2006 she took on several roles within the council, where she is now quality improvement manager with particular responsibility for early years.

Her ambition in all her posts has been to develop innovative and creative curriculums based on the needs of pupils, and targeted at raising attainment in the broadest terms.

“I am constantly trying to raise the barrier for children’s learning. Good is not enough for our pupils in Argyll and Bute, and should not be enough for children and young people across Scotland,” Anne said.

“I am delighted and very excited to be part of the work of this new group, and to have the chance to work with like-minded people on such an important issue.

“I firmly believe that, as educationalists, our role is to prepare young people for tomorrow’s challenges. To be effective, education has to be engaging and meaningful for our children, as well as relevant for the world they will join when they leave school.

“I very much look forward to exploring all ideas for raising attainment with my colleagues on this group, and to seeing how whatever suggestions we report back with are taken forward in the future.”

 Mr Russell said he wanted the group to provide a renewed focus on improving and monitoring attainment.

“Scottish schools are providing a good education that international comparisons show is consistently above the global average. I want to build on this and make sure our system continues to improve,” he added.

“I firmly believe that our teachers and school leaders are the ones who can make a real difference to our record on attainment, and that’s why I’ve set up a group of people who have wide ranging experience of leading learning and teaching in schools and beyond to have an intensive look at what more can be done.

“There’s no doubt that pockets of best practice and genuinely great ideas exist. This group will be considering many of these and using their knowledge and experience to recommend the best approaches to raising attainment across Scotland.”

The other members of the group are Val Corry, head teacher of Balfron High School, Stirling; Lindsey Robertson, head teacher of Castleview Primary, Edinburgh; Arlene Black, head teacher of Williamston Primary, West Lothian and Brian McAlinden, retired head teacher of Castlemilk High School, Glasgow.