Oban High has teamed up with a secondary school from Norway to look at what can be learned from the sharing of best practice across education systems for pupils aged 16 years and over.
The school’s head teacher, Peter Bain, has also been selected to lead an international project on behalf of The Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL).
Mailand videregående skole in Norway was carrying out an evaluation of the opportunities available in Scottish schools for young people seeking work or further education, and got in touch with Oban High School to see if they could form a professional exchange programme, focusing specifically on post-16 education.
Staff from the Norwegian school visited Oban last October and, following a highly successful and positive trip, a project plan was established.
At the same time, Gillian Hamilton, Strategic Director at Education Scotland, which recently welcomed the Scottish College for Educational Leadership (SCEL), learned of this collaboration and asked Mr Bain to select a team of head teachers from across Scotland, and take a delegation to Norway to carry out a wider piece of work based on the SCEL learning themes. This work would benefit not just SCEL, but the whole of Argyll and Bute.
Pauline Walker, Headteacher of The Royal High School and Andy Smith, Headteacher of Larkhall Academy, and recently President of School Leaders Scotland, both kindly agreed to join, and a successful visit to Norway took place in February of this year.
Plans are now progressing well with both projects and Depute Head at Oban, Alex Craik, will host a visit from Mailand videregående skole staff led by Knut Kirkness next week.
A return visit to Oban High School followed by a visit to The Royal High School in Edinburgh by delegates from the Norwegian schools, Wenche Kavli (Head Teacher of Skedsmo videregående skole), Olav Wennemo (Head Teacher of Bjørkelangen videregående skole) and Hege Britt Johnsen (Head Teacher of Frogn videregående skole).
Mr Bain said: “Our plan is on sharing good practice with a focus on improvement and building capacity, from the perspective of strategy and learning and teaching.
“This partnership with Mailand videregående skole is an extremely positive move and we have a significant amount of common ground. I am certain that we will learn from each other and grow together.
“I am also honoured to be part of a team of excellent Head Teachers and leading an international project on behalf of SCEL. Together we can continue to ensure that all our children have the very best start in life and are given every opportunity to succeed.”
The Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Yvonne McNeilly said: “This is a truly excellent opportunity for us to showcase some of the great work that’s being done in Argyll and Bute.
“Argyll and Bute is above the national average for the number of young people aged between 16 and 19 who are currently in employment, education or training – putting us in the top 8 of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas.
“This new partnership with Norway will allow us to promote Argyll and Bute as a great place to live work and learn, but it will also enable us to exchange ideas and continue to grow to ensure our young people are given every opportunity to move on to positive destinations.”