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Virtual staff college for directors

DIRECTORS of education, who spend their time worrying about the professional replenishment of teachers and others, are to start looking after themselves.

The launch of a virtual staff college takes place today (Friday) at the annual conference of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland. Its importance is underlined by a grant of pound;100,000 over two years from the Scottish Executive, which will be matched by the education authorities.

Fraser Sanderson, the new ADES president, said considerable emphasis had been placed on the professional development of school staff but the needs of those who manage education had been neglected. He admitted there were difficulties in recruitment to the ranks of the directorate and concern about where the next generation was going to come from.

Alan Blackie, this year's ADES president, said: "The improvement agenda for education requires managers to be provided with the skills and knowledge to offer leadership to a vital service." The association will carry out an audit of its members' needs.

The college will act as a broker for management courses rather than deliver them, through links with Strathclyde, Dundee and Aberdeen universities.

Mr Sanderson hopes that it may eventually be possible to broaden the work of the virtual college to include managers from other public services.

Viewpoint, page 24

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