Headmaster's Blog

The Attainment Gap

You have to admire any politician who puts education at the heart of their personal agenda and when that politician is the First Minister then you suspect there will be a number of people whose...

Teenage Stress

The recent WHO report into the Health Behaviour in School-Aged children makes for interesting reading. It is a mammoth undertaking stretching to 294 pages and providing quantitative data and statistics, qualitative responses and policy implications....

The Impact of Technology on Attainment

It is always comforting to know that a policy developed by Clifton Hall, and very much one that flew in the face of conventional wisdom, has been proven to be an educationally sound one. Today’s...

Standardised Testing in Scottish Schools

I am sitting at my desk listening to the statement from Nicola Sturgeon regarding education and am shaking my head in utter bewilderment. Let me say from the outset that I have been fairly vocal...

Scottish Review Excerpt

The Kafkaesque surveillance of our schools: Walter Humes As Scottish schools re-opened last week after the summer holidays, a rather unusual event took place. Amid the excitement of the start of the new session, a dissident voice was...

Best Days of Your Life?

Published, in full, The Herald, Thursday 14th August 2014 Do you remember the old adage about your school experience as being ‘the best days of your life’? I do, and they were. What I remember...

Scotland’s Heads to Face ‘Leadership’ Training

Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that from 2018 all new Head Teachers will require to have passed a Masters’ Qualification in Headship is an interesting move. She insists that having ‘the best qualified’ people in charge will...

In Defence of Independent Schools

Published, The Scotsman, 12 November 2013 Sir John Major’s assertion that “it is ‘truly shocking’ that the private-school educated and affluent middle class still run Britain”, certainly resonates with me. I completely understand why there...

Homework in Primary Schools

Published as an Interview, Scotland on Sunday, October 13th, 2013 Published as an Interview, Daily Mail, Monday October 14th, 2013 Published in whole, Edinburgh Evening News, Tuesday October 15th, 2013   The issue of homework...

To Defer or not to Defer

Local authorities in Scotland, and particularly the one in Edinburgh, are currently encouraging fewer deferrals amongst our youngest pupils who are earmarked for going into Primary 1 in August. There has been a significant push...