At School Leaders Scotland's annual conference (TESS, 23 November), the programme illustrated the malaise in school management.
Most of it comprised displacement activity of little relevance to core issues: no time to address the concerns of teachers about the new exams or the continuing disquiet about Curriculum for Excellence, and nothing regarding the downside of faculty systems on pupils' learning or staff careers. (Of course, headteacher and deputy delegates already enjoy promoted status, so perhaps the latter is of no concern.)
Instead, a millionaire tax refugee was asked to give a keynote speech. Later they could hear advice about pensions.
To be fair, there was a scheduled question session. The chiefs of the Scottish Qualifications Authority and Education Scotland were no doubt so ruthlessly grilled they considered resigning. I doubt it.
When I asked SLS for its support regarding the SQA's "scam" of charging late fees for appeals while moving the deadline to its earliest date ever, the reply I received was limp to the point of acquiescence. As for laying into the inspectorate, no chance. Heads are so aware of their next inspection that they will disseminate, uncritically, documents on the latest initiative, no matter how unsound.
SLS should have passed a motion at its conference years ago, rejecting all CfE material until it was intelligible. That would have been worthy of the title "school leaders".
John Samson, Blinkbonny Gardens, Edinburgh.