Dundee Education Network for Social and Educational Equity Launch Event
By Madilyn Cancro
Earlier this year, staff from the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change travelled to Dundee to launch the Dundee Education Network for Social and Educational Equity (NSEE). Here, Policy Scotland intern Madilyn Cancro, explains what the Dundee network is aiming to achieve.
The launch, held 23rd April 2019 in Dundee, featured a keynote speech delivered by Policy Scotland director, Professor Chris Chapman. Professor Chapman focused on how Dundee is working at all levels of schools to build leadership capacity so that best practices in delivering education can be shared within and between all schools in the city.
He emphasised the need to empower teachers so that they can create the best possible learning environments for Dundee students, as schools and teachers affect 15-50% of students’ attainment outcomes.
This initiative pinpoints three key drivers, and seven lessons emerging from educational data across Scotland to give every student in Dundee access to an optimum educational experience.
Questions to the panel
To wrap up the morning, a panel with Alison Drever of Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland, Andrew Morley, Professor Chapman and Education Scotland’s Attainment Adviser Paul Fleming, answered questions from education professionals from across Dundee.
In the afternoon, conference participants were separated into two groups. Education professionals teaching and working with primary school pupils spoke to representatives from The West Partnership about how not only are those across Scotland facing similar challenges as Dundee, but also how they’re putting theory into practice to improve attainment outcomes.
Those working with secondary school learners heard from Fraser Sands from Lasswade High School about the collaboration within schools.
The day concluded with everyone coming together again and talking about plans going forward. Schools across Scotland are experiencing the same challenges; collaboration and learning from each other is the best way forward.
Key drivers and lessons
The three key drivers are:
- Focus on creating the highest quality learning and teaching in every classroom
- Build strategic leadership capacity by creating leadership opportunities at all levels
- Work with families and communities to create holistic opportunities.
The seven lessons are:
- Deploy resources to where they will have the most impact
- Deep analysis of context, focusing on conditions, capability and capacity
- Use evidence – local, national and international – to prioritise
- Targeted individuals and groups so that you get the biggest ‘bang for your buck’
- Collaborative Action Research to monitor progress and impact
- Focused collaboration within, between and beyond schools
- Draw on external support and critical friendship to support your agenda.
Following Professor Chapman’s discussion of the findings from across Scottish schools, Chief Educational Officer for Dundee City Council Audrey May talked about education in Dundee in general. She emphasised that this initiative focuses on collaboration between and within schools to share best practices so that learner attainment consistently improves at all schools in Dundee.