Who got that job?

10th July 2009 at 01:00
Ever wondered who got a job you saw advertised in The TESS? Karen Young is adding an online tool to her primary kit

"It's a tremendous resource," says Karen Young, speaking about the Journey to Excellence website, which aims to demonstrate examples of excellence in Scottish schools.

She believes the website gives teachers and headteachers a unique insight into what's happening in hundreds of schools across Scotland, allowing them to take part in peer observation without having to step outside the door of their own establishment.

Ms Young recently became the national development officer for the Journey to Excellence. She has been seconded for a year to Learning and Teaching Scotland and HMIE from her usual role as head-teacher of Moncreiffe Primary in Perth. After three years in her first job as a head, the post appealed because it offered the chance to look beyond primary and her own authority.

"I felt that to understand the strategic framework, I needed a national perspective - otherwise you focus on your own place and local authority. It's good to raise your head and get a better understanding. I also felt, as someone who works in primary, this would give me a better understanding of the breadth of Scottish education."

Her role in the process is making sure there is a powerful online tool to help educators.

"I'm working very closely to improve the quality of the website, making sure it's easy to navigate and looking at what's on there. It holds a huge range of resources. I'll be involved with all of those and will be helping facilitate where they are being written and prepared."

Ms Young feels that the fact she is fresh out of school is a major benefit. "I can look at all this with a clear eye. I'm constantly thinking `as a practitioner how would that impact?' or `how would that read?'. It also helps you know what's practical."

Ms Young hopes to get out to local authorities to get feedback about the site and find out how councils feel it could work better for them.

Another part of her work will involve schools' intranet Glow, she predicts.

"If you are working on a professional development activity it would be great to have the opportunity to discuss that as part of an online community. Having practitioners meeting, discussing and sharing all impacts hugely on improvement."

Already Ms Young feels she has a better overview of Scottish education.

"It's interesting to see what's important in primary is just as relevant in every other sector - it's just translated in a different way. The drive to make a difference in children's lives is always the same."

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