‘Education is the enabler, the leveller of playing fields, but to deliver that we need great leadership in our schools’
- Sir Tom Hunter
Tremendous progress has been made to promote the use of ICT in Scottish schools, especially in recent years. Significant investment, including in the national schools’ intranet, Glow, has provided teachers with the potential to enrich peer engagement, teaching and learning. Connectivity has been enhanced and more equipment has been made readily available; teacher skills, confidence and competence have improved.
Furthermore, the launch in September 2016 of the National Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy has been designed to empower teachers to truly reflect on when, how and why they should use digital technology in the classroom.
It still, however, remains vitally important that digital technology be seen as a natural part of good teaching practice and the curriculum.
Leaders of change
New technologies and trends are emerging daily and they are challenging fundamental assumptions about Scotland’s education system, our workforce and the skills and capabilities needed to be successful citizens in the 21st century.
The pace of change is an incredible challenge for our school leaders: 65 per cent of Scots children joining primary school this year will go to jobs that don't even exist today.
In the digital world, the role of the headteacher has never been more important. Headteachers are the leaders of change, who motivate staff, ensure the right technologies are adopted, boost continued professional development, all to the benefit of their teachers at whatever stage they might be in their careers – and in turn helping to meet local and national objectives and, address the pupil attainment gap.
Effective school leadership is key to the success of schools. Successful schools have strong leaders. On top of challenges in the forms of administrative, policy and budgetary pressures faced by Scotland’s headteachers, a core element of strong school leadership is promoting high-quality teaching, tools and learning, which has the most powerful influence on pupil outcomes.
Among the many challenges, but also opportunities, for Scotland’s school leaders today is to harness the range of technologies now available and use these to enhance the learning experience in Scotland’s schools.
Across the day through a series of plenary sessions and peer-led interactive sessions, the Leaders of Change Summit will address the opportunities, challenges and solutions provided by digital technologies inside and outside traditional classroom settings and examine how Scotland’s headteachers can further facilitate change in our schools.