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Harvard helps turn heads into leaders

Eight heads and deputes are giving up part of their summer holidays to take an Ivy League approach to school leadership.

The first group returned this week from the Harvard Institute for School Leadership after studying ways to improve schools. The second group will head over at the end of the month to learn about leadership in the United States.

Robert Brown, Deputy Education Minister, said: "By taking part in these prestigious programmes, Scottish headteachers can learn from international best practice and will have great opportunities to develop their skills. A great leader can transform a school, motivating pupils and staff alike."

Those involved in the first course were: Jacqui McKenzie, headteacher of Sanquhar Academy; Alan Williamson, depute head, Hawick High; Laurinda Ramage, depute head, Wardie primary, Edinburgh; Franca Reid, head of Longforgan primary, Perth and Kinross; and Julie McGrogan, depute head, St Stephen's primary, Clydebank. They were led by Graham Thompson, director of the Scottish Centre for Studies in School Administration.

The second group, which flies out on July 24, includes: Liz Ruddy, head of Overton primary, Greenock; Dennise Sommerville, head of St Michael's primary, Dumfries; Laurie Byrne, head of St Maurice's High, Cumbernauld; Fiona Norris, quality improvement officer with Inverclyde Council; and Graham Short, director of education in East Ayrshire.

Margaret Alcorn, the national continuing professional development co-ordinator, who is leading the second party, said she was looking forward to learning about building leadership capacity.

Before they left, Laurinda Ramage said: "With A Curriculum for Excellence and the emphasis leaning now towards schools becoming learning communities, it has never been so important to ensure that we develop leaders among our staff and pupils."

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