Being A Shared Head Teacher

After a few days of illness - it's been impossible to dodge all of the germs that have been flying around in both schools - it was back to work with a bang on Monday with lots of emails and issues to catch up on.

Meetings that were cancelled had to be re-arranged in a calendar that is now looking very busy right up to the Christmas holidays. I was disappointed to not be able to attend the very successful Mcmillan Coffee afternoon at Achahoish but I was determined to at least share the success of this event on the Achahoish PS website and celebrate the children's achievement in raising a remarkable £178 for this very worthwhile charity.

Applications for the vacant classroom assistant post were waiting to be read and I was delighted to find that there had been a fantastic response to the advert.

It was with sadness that I heard of Simone's decision to end her spell as catering manager and I had a meeting with Andrea Harris, Regional Manager for Catering Services, to hear what was going to happen next and to ensure that the children had meals at lunchtime on their return to school from the October break.

I discovered I hadn't been the only member of staff absent and had to carry out three 'Back to 'Work' interviews for other staff who had also been poorly during the week. Thankfully everyone is now back at work and feeling much better.

After school I had a meeting with Mrs Firth where we set all of the dates we could think of between now and Christmas. Niether of us could believe how fast the weeks are passing!

On Tuesday, I met with my clerical assistant at Kilmartin to make sure I passed on the correct information to Achahoish parents about how to order meals! All of this information was emailed to parents and put on the school website.

Meeting with a range of support services and parents to discuss learning targets for children with additional support needs is hugely important and I always like to get the minutes of meetings completed as soon as possible, so some outstanding minutes had to be completed and emailed out to the relevant people. It is a vital part of my job to ensure that time is given to parents to discuss issues and that an agreed way forward is found. Ensuring that all children are progressing appropriately and that parents are part of this process is vital.

Meetings in both schools this week have focussed on the process of self-evaluation and continued improvement. We have used the document 'How Good is Our School?' which helps us to rate our current practice against a series of success criteria. I was very impressed by the level of discussion in both schools and some great ideas came forward and we managed to clarify where we are now and what we need to do next.

The end of the week brought more meetings with parents and meetings with staff. Sometimes these meetings can be planned but at other times people just need to be able to speak to me when they need to and it is very important that I find the time to do this, even if it means the work that I had planned to do gets shelved for a later date!

I had a trip to the Oban Education Office on Friday to be on the panel for the appointment of a new shared head teacher for Luing and Easdale Primary Schools. This is always an interesting process and reminded me of the huge responsibility of my role. It was lovely to meet the parent members of the panel and listen to their concerns and hopes for the future developments of their schools.

That's a flavour of my week. The best part, as always, was all the little opportunities to interact with the children and ask them about their learning. As Primary 1 at Kilmartin explained to me, they have been learning that stories have endings, middles and beginnings...a bit like my week as I move from one school to the other!

Where will I be next week?


Mid Argyll Cluster Head Teacher's Meeting in Lochgilphead Joint Campus

Achahoish Parent Council Meeting


Kilmartin PS


Achahoish PS and Harvest Festival in the church at 2.15pm

Achahoish staff meeting after school


Achahoish PS in the morning for meetings

Kilmartin PS in the afternoon

Kilmartin PS staff meeting after school

Kilmartin Parent Council Meeting


Kilmartin PS

Please remember - wherever I am, please contact me at either school.