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COVID update - professional learning support

Professional learning support

COVID-19 PLL support materials

Based on your feedback, we have identified a series of resources and professional learning activities which aim to support your work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. These resources, below, address themes including:

  • health and wellbeing
  • strategic change
  • empowerment and agency
  • resources to support reflection.

We are also scheduling a series of sessions to provide time and space to connect with colleagues and engage in professional discussion to share ideas, successes and challenges. To find out more about the sessions and to sign up, have a look at our events pages.

CERG workforce support

The COVID-19 Education Recovery Group (CERG) workforce support section on the National Improvement Hub (NIH) provides details of the support available across the education system from local authorities, Scottish Government and partner providers.

Supporting remote learning

The NIH also provides professional learning resources specific to supporting remote learning. These resources are intended to help education staff in enhancing skills and knowledge to support the remote learning of pupils.

COVID-19 PLL support materials

Health and wellbeing

Resources

COVID-19 education recovery | National Improvement Hub

Wellbeing approaches within the PLL team | PLL blog

Focusing on what matters – values and wellbeing | PLL blog

Related professional learning activities

Find relevant PLAs by searching on these titles in the professional learning activities section (requires a website log-in):

  • Finding ways to wellbeing through coaching and self-empowerment
  • Developing social and emotional learning across a setting
  • Multi agency collaboration to improve health and wellbeing
  • Promoting positive behaviour
  • Supporting children and young people through grief and loss
  • Supporting the professional learning of a student or probationer teacher
  • Using coaching approaches to lead colleague development
  • Action learning sets
  • Developing and sustaining a coaching culture
  • Leading a coaching culture: headteachers
  • Excellence in Headship - Supporting the health and wellbeing of headteachers

ES facilitated sessions

Public Health Blether - Teachers | Event
Gavin Oattes: Plant Trees You’ll Never See | Event
Gavin Oattes: Plant Trees You’ll Never See - CLD staff | Event
Gavin Oattes: Plant Trees You’ll Never See - all systems leadership colleagues | Event

Strategic change

Resources

Jenni Donohoo and Steven Katz - Quality Implementation | Systems Thinking seminar recording

A conversation with Dr Simon Breakspear | International Series seminar recording

Peter de Witt - What does remote instructional leadership look like during a pandemic? | International Series seminar recording

Leadership in challenging times | Systems Thinking seminar recording

Pandemic Learning | Systems Thinking seminar recording

Collaborative Middle Leadership workshop - Strategic planning: download the workshop presentation and the facilitator guide.

Professional learning activities

Find relevant PLAs by searching on these titles in the professional learning activities section (requires a website log-in):

  • Adaptive leadership
  • Develop an inclusive approach to improvement planning
  • Developing leadership capacity throughout an establishment
  • Implement a shared vision for improvement
  • Leading cultural change to effect improvement
  • Leading teams for school improvement
  • Self-evaluation for school and system improvement
  • Supporting collaboration between schools

ES facilitated sessions

International Series: Conversations around leadership for sustainability

Taking time to reflect on Covid

Resources

COVID-19 education recovery | National Improvement Hub
Global responses to education recovery during COVID-19 | National Improvement Hub
Collaborate for social change blog post: COVID-19: Why and how organisations can learn now to shape the future
Collaborate for social change: Learning from COVID-19: A tool for capturing insights now to shape the future and a Learning from COVID-19 editable template.

Related professional learning activities

Find relevant PLAs by searching on these titles in the professional learning activities section (requires a website log-in):

  • Self-evaluation for improvement in a formal leadership role
  • Self-evaluation for middle leaders
  • Self-evaluation for organisational improvement
  • Self-evaluation to develop as a school or system leader
  • Self-evaluation for school and system improvement
  • Understand and engage with the influences which shape national policy initiatives and developments in Scottish education
  • Undertaking reading of research, legislation and policy
  • Undertaking reading and research to improve practice
  • Headteacher role in policy leadership

ES facilitated sessions

A series of sessions for school staff will be offered throughout March. Go to our events pages for more details.

Sharing the learning

Resources

Teacher Leadership Programme practitioner enquiry posters | Flickr

Pandemic Learning | Evolving Systems Thinking seminar recording

Peter de Witt - What does remote instructional leadership look like during a pandemic? | International Series seminar recording

Middle Leaders Leading Change | PLL blog

All about impact | PLL blog

Now is not the time to ‘batten down the professional learning hatches’ and to wait for the storm to pass | PLL blog

Collaboration in the South West region | PLL blog

Reflections on Middle Leaders Leading Change | PLL blog

Related professional learning activities

Find relevant PLAs by searching on these titles in the professional learning activities section (requires a website log-in):

  • Effective online teaching
  • Effectively sharing practice and learning in public
  • Involving learners in planning their learning
  • Leading learning for sustainability
  • Leading learning through family and community partnerships
  • Leading learning through professional partnerships
  • Leading professional review and development

ES facilitated sessions

A series of sessions for school staff will be offered throughout March. Go to our events pages for more details.

Empowerment and agency

Resources

Jenni Donohoo - Collective Teacher Efficacy | International Series seminar recording

Paul Bloomberg - Leading Impact Teams | International Series seminar recording

Jenni Donohoo webinar - Fostering Collective Teacher Efficacy, Corwin | YouTube

Teacher Leadership Programme | Education Scotland

Related professional learning activities

Find relevant PLAs by searching on these titles in the professional learning activities section (requires a website log-in):

  • Adopting a practitioner enquiry approach to developing classroom practice
  • Developing leadership capacity throughout an establishment
  • Develop an inclusive approach to improvement planning
  • Developing a collaborative culture
  • Exploring teacher leadership
  • Finding ways to wellbeing through coaching and self-empowerment
  • Leading learning for sustainability
  • Leading the professional learning of colleagues

ES facilitated sessions

A series of sessions for school staff will be offered throughout March. Go to our events pages for more details.

PLL programmes

In line with the advice and guidance from the Scottish and UK Governments, we are delivering all our professional learning and leadership activity remotely using online platforms.

For colleagues currently engaged in PLL programmes, or those interested in participating, we have created a series of FAQs, below, to provide up-to-date information. We will continue to update these throughout the session.

If you have any queries regarding PLL programmes please contact edspll@educationscotland.gov.scot.

Find us on Twitter @EdScotPLL and @EducationScot

PLL programme FAQs

General FAQs

What is happening regarding current programme delivery?
Given the current circumstances and following Government advice, all face-to-face programme delivery has been paused until further notice. Our Lead Specialists adapted programmes for online delivery last year, and in light of the recent move to home learning, have made adaptations to support current programme participants to complete programmes wherever possible, and to defer to the next cohort where that is a more suitable option.

You’ll find specific information for each programme in the FAQs below.

I’m not currently enrolled on a programme and want to engage in professional learning. What can I do?
You can register for full access to the Education Scotland Professional Learning resource and complete self-led, online Professional Learning Activities in a variety of areas, at your own pace.

Without needing to register, you can also visit the Events section for a range of Education Scotland-led opportunities, and the Programmes section for Education Scotland endorsed programmes, offered by external providers.

If you wish to apply for an Education Scotland leadership programme in 2021-22, you will find information in the Programmes section, as well as in the programme-specific FAQs below.

There is also a wide range of resources available on the main Education Scotland website, which you might find useful and these are added to regularly.

Teacher Leadership Programme (TLP)

I am part of the current TLP Cohort and the dynamic of my online group has changed since the school closures; I am finding it difficult to find someone to interact with in the comments section. What should I do?

We would ask participants who find that the numbers of people posting in their regional group has dropped to venture into the other regional groups to interact. This could be a good opportunity to find a new colleague. You can also discuss this with your Programme Lead.

I can’t now carry out my enquiry plan in my setting the way I had hoped. Can I change it?

Yes. You may wish to adapt your plan, if that’s feasible, for the current context and go ahead with it (you may already have done this); or you may wish to keep it as it is.
The programme leads and critical friends are available to support you in redeveloping your plan if necessary.

If you are adapting your plan you do not need to redo any blog posts. You simply need to keep us informed of this in the upcoming January, February and March Update tasks.

I am part of the current TLP cohort and I don’t feel like I can continue my enquiry at this time, what should I do?

We’d be more than happy to fast-track you into the next cohort beginning in August 2021. From 1 February you can register to defer here

Please don’t feel like you need to fill in all the questions - just update your contact details and write ‘part of 2020/2021 cohort’ in open text boxes.

We would ask that whatever you choose to do - complete the programme, defer or withdraw - that you email your programme lead to let them know:

Name Region Email
Stephanie Peat Forth Valley and West Lothian stephanie.peat@edcuationscotland.gov.scot
Emma Andrew West, South West and Tayside gw16andrewemma@glow.sch.uk
Lesley Walker South East lesley.walker@educationscotland.gov.scot
Louise Sanders Northern Alliance

louise.sanders@educationscotland.gov.scot

How can I apply for the new 2021 cohort?

Recruitment for the 2021/2022 programme will be open from Monday 1 February until Friday 16 April 2021. You can apply here. 

I’d like to be a Critical Friend (CF) on the new cohort of TLP starting in August 2021 - how do I apply?
If you have successfully completed the programme then you can apply to be a CF by completing a short application form. Further details will be released about this in due course.

Will there be any face-to-face learning on the TLP for the 20/21 cohort?

The Programme team will continue to follow Scottish Government and NHS guidance on social distancing and will evaluate our plans as the programme progresses. This may allow for some face-to-face learning in 2021. Programme participants will be notified via email if face-to-face learning will resume. At the moment it can be assumed that the three contact sessions will take place online. 

I have a question about TLP not listed here. Who should I contact?

Please email edspll@educationscotland.gov.scot and your enquiry will be directed to one of the TLP team, who will respond as soon as they can. You can also post a question in the TLP Teams site.

Supporting Teacher Leadership (STL)

I am part of the 2020-21 cohort. Can I still complete the programme?

Yes, if you wish to. Participants in the current cohort who have attended Afternoons 1 and 2 will be able to complete the programme. It is our intention to go ahead with Afternoon 3 of the programme at 2-5pm on Thursday 25 February as planned. Participants attending all three Afternoons will have completed the programme and will receive a certificate.

Do I still need to complete the intersessional task?

Yes. Please post your intersessional task into the STL Community Team file by 18 February. The task is to reflect on the learning from Afternoons 1 and 2 and present your reflections in a format of your choosing.

I can’t now carry out my plan to support teacher leadership in my setting the way I had hoped. Can I change it?

Yes. You may wish to adapt your plan, if that’s feasible, for the current context and go ahead with it (you may already have done this); or you may wish to keep it as it is, and postpone carrying it out until a more suitable time. The expectation is that you have developed a plan to support your colleagues in teacher leadership through enquiry, that you can take forward at the most appropriate opportunity.

Do I need to have completed my planned activity in order to finish the programme?

No. It’s really important to note that completing the programme does not mean you have to have carried out your plan in its entirety, or even to have started carrying it out. You do need to have a plan in place, however, that you can take forward as soon as it will work within your context.

If I wanted to start the programme again, could I?

Yes. You can defer until the next cohort of STL (provisionally November 2021). You will not need to reapply, but you will need to inform us of your decision as soon as possible.

You would be expected to attend Afternoons 1 and 2 again, as programme content will always develop to some degree, and you will be with a new cohort and co-coach (unless your current co-coach also defers).

When does recruitment open for the next STL cohort?

It is anticipated that recruitment for the next cohort will open in August /September 2021, and the programme will begin in November 2021. We would hope to offer a second cohort in early 2022. Updates will be notified here and on Twitter. Follow us at @EdScotPLL and @EducationScot.

Will there be any face-to-face learning in the next STL programme?

The programme team will continue to follow Scottish Government and NHS guidance around social distancing. It is anticipated STL in 2021 will largely be undertaken online with the opportunity for participant interaction using Microsoft Teams or other suitable channel. We will evaluate our plans as the programme progresses. There may be the possibility of some face-to-face programme delivery later in 2021.

In the current climate, how can I use my learning to support others?

You can remain in contact with your co-coach and make time to engage in coaching conversations. You can support us in identifying professional learning activities which may support colleagues at the present time. You may be able to take forward your plan to support others, having adapted it to fit the current climate.

I have a question about STL not listed here. Who should I contact?

Please email edspll@educationscotland.gov.scot and your enquiry will be directed one of the STL team, who will respond as soon as they can. You can also post a question in the STL Community Team.

Aspiring to Middle Leadership

I am part of the 2020-21 cohort. Can I still complete the programme?

Yes, if you wish to. Participants in the current cohort who complete at least two of the ‘Roles of Middle Leadership’ PLAs by the end of the programme, have attended a midway touchpoint session (‘blether’) and the final touchpoint session scheduled for March will have completed the programme. Participants completing the programme will receive a certificate.

If I wanted to start the programme again, could I?

Yes. The second 2020-21 cohort is currently full however, so unless places become available through cancellations, you would need to wait until the first 2021-22 cohort. You will not need to reapply, but you will need to inform us of your decision as soon as possible and let us know if you would like to be added to the second 2020-21 cohort, or wait until 2021-22.

You would be expected to attend touchpoint sessions again.

When does recruitment open for the 2021-22 AML cohort?

It is anticipated that recruitment for the first 2021-22 cohort will open in May/June 2021, and the programme will begin in September 2021. We would hope to offer a second cohort in early 2022. Updates will be notified here and on Twitter. Follow us at @EdScotPLL and @EducationScot.

Will there be any face-to-face learning in the next AML programme?

The programme team will continue to follow Scottish Government and NHS guidance around social distancing. It is anticipated AML in 2021 will largely be undertaken online with the opportunity for participant interaction using Microsoft Teams or other suitable channels. We will evaluate our plans as the programme progresses. There may be the possibility of some face-to-face programme delivery later in 2021.

In the current climate, how can I use my learning to support others?

You can remain in contact with your co-participants using the AML Team and make time to engage in professional conversations. You can support us in identifying professional learning activities which may support colleagues at the present time. If you have time you could engage in up to six of the ‘Roles of Middle Leadership’ PLAs available at the PLL website, or other PLAs of your choosing.

I have a question about AML not listed here. Who should I contact?

Please email edspll@educationscotland.gov.scot and your enquiry will be directed one of the AML team, who will respond as soon as they can. You can also post a question in the AML Community Team.

Middle Leaders Leading Change (MLLC)

Are there any changes to the timelines of the programme given the current situation?
Module 2 was due to run from January to March and this has now been extended to the 7th May to ensure that there is additional time. Module 3 has a focus on reflecting on the area of change and therefore can be undertaken when you feel in a position to do so. Given the current situation it may be that your area of change has not been completed, this is absolutely fine! Regardless of the stage of your area of change, you will still be able to reflect on your learning over the course of this past year. You can still complete Module 3 without having successfully taken forward your area of change this session however, it will still be important to have your overall plan in place.

How many online sessions do I have to attend?
There are two further 1½ hour twilight sessions as part of the MLLC programme. The first remaining session is in two parts with a discussion which has a focus on Module 1 reflections followed by an introduction to Module 2 to highlight the content. Originally these sessions were scheduled by cohort, but in response to the current situation we have adapted these to be an open sign up to ensure that you can pick the session which suits you best. We recognise that at the moment, some participants may not be able to engage as much as they would like, however others may be in a different situation. Each session will have space for 85 participants and will be held on Teams. The final sessions are due to take place in May/June, however these will be confirmed closer to the time.  

I’m struggling to engage at the moment, what are my options?
We recognise that the situation has changed since the start of the programme. If you are struggling to engage at the moment we completely understand! First of all, consider whether the extension of time for module 2 and 3 helps you to continue with the programme. If you still feel that you are unable to commit the time that you would like to the programme then your options would be to:

  • withdraw from the current cohort and ask to be placed on the list for the cohort which will start next year (in essence, restarting the programme) or
  • withdraw from the current cohort and not sign up to the next cohort.

Please don’t worry if this is the case for you, we will completely understand and we will be delighted to see you back with us at a future time.

If you do decide to withdraw, we would be grateful if you could advise of us of this as soon as you can, so that we can remove you from the programme contact list, Team space etc., in line with Education Scotland’s privacy notice. Please note that if you have joined any participant contact groups, for example, a WhatsApp group, you will need to make your own arrangements to withdraw from that too, should you wish to do so.

I have a question about MLLC not listed here. Who should I contact?
Please email edspll@educationscotland.gov.scot and your enquiry will be directed to one of the MLLC team, who will respond as soon as they can.

Collaborative Middle Leadership (CML)

We have started workshops from CML but our plans have been disrupted, should we restart the programme?
It is entirely up to each school to decide what is best, however you may find it helpful to continue with the workshops that were previously identified whenever you are ready to re-engage.

We had planned the engagement session in May or June 2020, what will happen when we return to school?
You can contact your Lead Specialist link to discuss re-arranging at a suitable time – contact details are in the introduction above.

Into Headship

When can I apply for the programme?

Recruitment for the 2021/2022 programme will be open from Monday 1 February until Friday 16 April 2021.

Into Headship - Cohort Four

My awards ceremony has been cancelled – how will I get the Standard for Headship?
The GTCS and Education Scotland are working on an alternative way to recognise your achievement and celebrate the success and hard work of those who have achieved the Standard for Headship. Standard for Headship certificates will be posted out to participants in the summer term. Please check that your home address is up to date on MyGTCS.

Into Headship - Cohort Five

Each of our seven partner universities have their own arrangements regarding direct teaching sessions, assessment tasks and submission dates. For most questions, you should make direct contact with your course leader. All of our university partners are, at this stage, confident that the Into Headship programme can be completed and encourage participants to continue to engage with the course wherever possible.

Will the Cohort Five Into Headship programme be postponed?
At this time, the Into Headship programme will continue, although each university is considering some slight alterations that might need to be made to accommodate the current circumstances and government guidance.

My university Into Headship programme still has some taught days to happen on campus. How can I access this learning now?
Each university is making arrangements to cover any outstanding teaching sessions, for example through online learning, where this has not been the usual practice. Some universities already use an online learning platform. Please contact your university tutor for more information.

I am part-way through working on the strategic change initiative and can’t now continue working on this as planned – how can my learning continue?
Our university colleagues are considering how some aspects of the learning through the strategic change initiative could be evidenced with a wider focus on your leadership through these challenging times. Your tutor will be in touch with further details as soon as possible.

Will the date for my final submission change?
Each of the seven university partners have different dates for submission and will make their own arrangements – some will change the submission date, some may stay the same. At this time it is anticipated that, even with a later submission date, all participants will be able to complete by March 2021. Your tutor will be in touch with further information as soon as possible.

My personal circumstances mean that I will find it very challenging to continue to engage with the Into Headship programme at this time. Should I withdraw from the programme?
Each university has deferral guidance in place and you may be able to defer your programme engagement until the next cohort. However, at this stage you may well have completed a significant part of the course and we would urge you to continue wherever possible. We would reiterate the importance of speaking with your course tutor if you feel you are in this position and they will be able to provide further information on the deferral process.

The Standard for Headship will be a mandatory requirement for new headteachers this year. If I don’t complete the Into Headship programme by September 2020, will I be disadvantaged in applications for a permanent head teacher post?
No, the new legislation, which comes into effect from 1 August 2020, specifies that newly appointed headteachers will have 30 months to gain the Standard for Headship through the Into Headship programme.

Into Headship - Cohort Six

I am a local authority CLPL lead officer and have had to postpone the planned interviews for Into Headship Cohort Six, with the result that we will miss the deadline of 27 March. Will this deadline be extended?
All of the application processes for Education Scotland Professional Learning and Leadership programmes will remain open until 8 May 2020. If it is possible in your context, you might consider holding interviews through a virtual platform or telephone conferencing.

I have applied for the next cohort of the Into Headship programme and have been advised to attend for an interview with my employer, which has now been cancelled. What will happen to my application?
All application deadlines will remain open until 8 May 2020 to allow for the application process to be completed. For local authority schools, your local authority lead officer may contact you with alternative arrangements for an interview.

I work in the independent sector and have applied for the next cohort of the Into Headship programme. What will happen to my application now?
All application deadlines will remain open until 8 May 2020 to allow for the application process to be completed. You should still make your application through the mailbox and we will contact you with arrangements to interview you in due course. This is likely to be an online interview.

My employer has advised me that I have a place on Into Headship for the next cohort. Will it still go ahead?
At this time, we are liaising with our university partners and are planning for Cohort Six of Into Headship to commence in the autumn term. There may be a change to planned university induction dates. It is likely that the processes for 360 degree feedback, provided through Education Scotland, will take place in the autumn term.

Evaluation of Into Headship

I am a previous Into Headship participant and have said that I would be happy to engage with the evaluation of the programme planned by the Education Scotland PLL team. Will those discussions and interviews still go ahead?
The Education Scotland PLL team are working from home, and would be very happy to continue to engage with previous participants and other partners to evaluate the programme in greater depth. Alison Weatherston, the Lead Specialist currently working on school leadership programmes, would be very happy to hear from you and arrange a telephone or virtual call. She can be contacted through our mailbox.

In Headship

When can I apply for the programme?

Recruitment for the 2021/2022 programme will be open from Monday 1 February until Friday 16 April 2021.

In Headship - Cohort Three

Each of our four partner universities has their own arrangements regarding direct teaching sessions, assessment tasks and submission dates. For detailed questions, you should make direct contact with your course leader. All of our university partners are, at this stage, confident that the In Headship programme can be completed and encourage participants to continue to engage with the course wherever possible.

Will the In Headship programme be postponed?
At this time, the In Headship programme will continue, although each university is considering some slight alterations that might need to be made to accommodate the current circumstances and government guidance.

Will the planned residential event at the end of May go ahead?
No, unfortunately that event has been cancelled as due to the current circumstances and government guidance we have paused all PLL activity until further notice. The event involves some peer assessment activity. We are currently liaising with our university partners to plan for an alternative approach to these assessment activities, potentially online.

My personal circumstances mean that I will find it very challenging to continue to engage with the In Headship programme at this time. Should I withdraw from the programme?
Each university has deferral guidance in place and you may be able to defer your programme engagement until the next cohort. However, at this stage you will have completed a significant part of the course and we would urge you to continue wherever possible. We would reiterate the importance of speaking with your course leader if you feel you are in this position.

In Headship - Cohort Four

I have applied, or am thinking of applying, for a place on In Headship for the next cohort. Will it still go ahead?
At this time, we are liaising with our university partners and are planning for Cohort Four of In Headship to commence in the autumn term. This may involve a change to the usual university induction dates, which will now most likely be in the autumn. We will be in touch with further information on this as soon as possible.

Leadership of Early Learning

I am on the current Leadership of Early Learning programme. Will the planned engagement session on 14 May go ahead?
No, unfortunately that event has been cancelled as we have paused all PLL activity until further notice. We will be in touch with more information as soon as possible. We are planning a newsletter with links to resources and learning activities and will also update the FAQs regularly. There is a resource page on Glow blogs with early learning resources which you may find useful.

Excellence in Headship (EiH)

There is an EiH induction taking place in 2021. How can I join the programme?
You can still join the EiH programme via our one-day online induction. For more information contact the CLPL link in your Local Authority, who can arrange a place for you on our next induction which is being offered regularly throughout 2021. Please see further details on our EiH webpage.

What resources are there available to allow EiH colleagues to learn collaboratively?
All teaching professionals in Scotland have access to any of the professional learning activities available on the professional learning resource. Sign up for the resource on the Register page.

Will EiH Learn sessions be available online in 2021?
We have a full programme of online EiH Learn sessions. Please book via our Events page.

Evolving Systems Thinking (EST)

Will the planned sessions for current cohorts of EST modules take place?
Due to the current circumstances and government guidance all PLL activity is paused until further notice. Lead Specialists are exploring alternative options for each programme and will be in touch with further information as soon as possible.

All Regional Improvement Collaboratives currently have colleagues part-way through the programme. We will ensure that arrangements are put in place for all cohorts to complete.

Our RIC had planned a new cohort starting later this year. Will that go ahead?
For future cohorts, arrangements for participation will be made through Local Authorities and Regional Improvement Collaboratives and we will be in touch with our key contacts to confirm next steps as soon as possible.

Leading Systems Change

When will the next Leading Systems Change programme start?
Due to the current circumstances all PLL activity is paused until further notice. We have been working with ADES colleagues to reshape the programme and aim to offer a revised four day programme in future.