Management of Schools: Letter of 16 March 2018 from Bill Alexander, Director of Care and Learning Services, to all Parent Councils

The text of the letter is below, original here:

To Parent Councils –
The Care, Learning & Housing Committee met on 15 March, and considered the report on the management of schools programme, available at:
As you will know, over the last few weeks we have talked with Headteachers and other stakeholders about a number of developments in the programme, and these are set out in the report. The recommended way forward was agreed by Committee, so we will not be proceeding at this time with proposals from the discussions that took place with Phase 2 ASGs over October/February.
Recognising the importance of these issues, we shall be continuing the engagement with parent councils, Headteachers and other stakeholders, to ensure sufficient time and focus on a smaller number of ASGs. We shall be talking with members and Headteachers about the specific ASGs over the next few weeks, and I would hope to revisit that at Committee in May.
We will also:
• invest in articulating and restating the purpose, vision and objectives of the Programme, including enhanced programme management
• establish a steering group (including parent council representation and HTs) to act as a ‘sounding board’
• give consideration to a matrix model, which might help determine local arrangements, based on identified variables
• initiate a formal evaluation of the outcomes of the Programme to date, and collaboration to share learning across the Northern Alliance
I recognise that communication and engagement with parents and other stakeholders need to be clearer in the future, and that will be part of the refreshed approach. These are complex issues requiring full consideration, and we need to ensure proper and robust discussion of the various aspects.
The Council is appreciative and has asked me to thank all those who have contributed in these discussions to date, and I hope these developments are regarded as helpful and provide reassurance. I have written to the Highland Parent Council Partnership, suggesting we reflect on how we might engage in these discussions in more productive ways, and I would be keen to meet with parent council chairs if that was considered helpful.
Regards –
Bill Alexander

Director of Care and Learning
Highland Council
01463 702860
07769 641503

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