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PLL update on Covid-19

The Education Scotland Professional Learning and Leadership team is working with colleagues to provide information and resources to support you in these changed circumstances.

Whether you have just completed a programme of learning with us, or are considering applying for a programme, we’ve prepared some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to provide you with detailed information on how we will continue to support your learning. We have also outlined some additional learning options for you and provided an update on our current programme recruitment. 

Our FAQs are updated on a regular basis to reflect the questions you have and as new information becomes available.

Our regular newsletter provides updates and information on our range of programmes and resources as well as ideas to keep you connected with professional learning. 

For general enquiries you can email edspll@educationscotland.gov.scot.

We will also post regular updates on Twitter and you can follow us @EdScotPLL and @EducationScot

General 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 have explored options around the different programmes to identify the best ways to deliver them. You’ll find specific information for each programme area in the FAQs below.

I’m keen to keep engaging in professional learning, what can I do?
You can register for the Education Scotland Professional Learning resource and complete online Professional Learning Activities in a variety of areas. We are developing new learning activities which will be added over the coming weeks. You can find articles and useful links in the fortnightly Professional Learning and Leadership newsletter. There are also a range of resources already available on the main Education Scotland website which you might find useful and again these will be added to regularly.

Education Scotland is also running a series of virtual events known as Education Scotland Wee Blethers. The blethers cover a range of topics relevant to Scottish education, and the aim is to support education professionals to connect, share and collaborate. To find out more about upcoming blethers, go to our Events section.

Programme-specific FAQs

Teacher Leadership Programme (TLP)

I was part of the 2019/2020 cohort how do I complete?
As of 31 July, the 2019/2020 cohort has now completed. Successful participants have submitted their enquiry poster, three pictures presentation and completed all remaining blog posts. These participants have also received their completion certificate and local authority CLPL leads have been notified of the completing participants in their area. If you have any queries please contact Stephanie.peat@educationscotland.gov.scot

How can we view the enquiry posters?
The posters will not be printed but they will be uploaded online to our poster gallery in due course.

I am deferring from the 2019/2020 cohort- what do I need to do?
All the deferring participants have now been contacted. You should have received welcome emails with pre-programme tasks and reading to complete.

You will still be able to use the same reflective blog and update it as you go to reflect new learning. However practitioner enquiry is so context -dependent that your itch/class will have probably changed so the enquiry focus would need to adapt to take account of this.

You should also join the face-to-face learning days as part of the new cohort to network and learn with new colleagues. Some of the content may be similar but the discussions and personnel will be different. If you have any questions around this please contact your programme lead.

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

I’d like to be a Critical Friend (CF) on the new cohort of TLP starting in August 2020 - how do I apply?
All the CFs for the 2020/2021 cohort have now been contacted with the information they need. If you feel like you should have been contacted please email Stephanie.peat@educationscotland.gov.scot. There will be further opportunities for past programme participants to be CF in 2021/2022.

I am part of the new 2020/2021 cohort - what do I need to do to get started?
All the new 20/21 participants have also been contacted by the programme team. An email has been sent to the address that you provided in your application with further information and instructions. If you have not received these emails please contact Stephanie.peat@educationscotland.gov.scot

Will there be any face-to-face learning on the TLP for the 20/21 cohort?
The induction day for the 20/21 cohort will be virtual via the TLP Microsoft Teams site. Please ensure you have joined this team before the induction days on the 22 and 29 September. We are offering two induction days to better suit people’s schedules but you only need to attend one. Further information on the induction days will be emailed to the participants and posted on the Teams site.

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.

The CFs will also have a virtual learning day on the 15 September and this will take place on the same TLP Microsoft teams site.

Supporting Teacher Leadership (STL)

I was part of the 2019-20 cohort. How do I complete the programme?

As of 31 July, the 2019/20 cohort is complete. Successful participants have uploaded their intersessional task to Wakelet, and completed a Professional Learning Activity (PLA) in place of Day 3. These participants will receive a completion certificate and local authority CLPL leads will be notified of the completing participants in their area. If you have any queries please contact lesley.walker@educationscotland.gov.scot.

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

Due to the uncertain circumstances, we cannot offer the programme in its current format for the foreseeable future. We would not recommend participants restarting the programme at a later stage as Days 1 and 2 cover the vast majority of the learning. If you wish to complete the STL programme, please reapply when registration opens for the 2020/21 programme.

When does registration open for the next STL cohort?

It is anticipated the next iteration of the programme will begin in November 2020, with registration opening a few weeks in advance of this. Updates will be notified here, in our newsletter 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 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 learning in 2021.

Are there other learning activities I can engage in to support my STL learning  now I have completed the programme?

Yes. Provisional plans include an online meeting event for a small group of peers to share learning from the 2019/20 STL programme, a future learning network and new Professional Learning Activities. Details will be notified through our website, newsletter, and Twitter.

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

You can remain in contact with your peer 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.

How can I use my learning to support others in the future?

We would encourage previous participants to use the STL learning to support their RIC and local authority in delivering this programme in future.

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.

Aspiring to Middle Leadership

I was due to attend an Aspiring to Middle Leadership day soon - is the day going ahead?
Due to the current circumstances we have paused all PLL activity until further notice. We hope to be able to offer the Dundee and Cumbernauld events at a later date and will be in touch with participants with further information as soon as possible.

Do I have to reapply for the programme?
We intend to carry forward the current participant list to new dates when they are arranged. Once the dates are confirmed you will be asked to confirm your attendance which will allow us to track numbers and potentially offer spaces to those on the waiting list.

Is there any other professional learning I can engage in now?
New professional learning activities will be developed around this engagement day with a focus on the different roles of middle leadership and will be available on our online resource. There is already a professional learning activity 'Aspiring to Middle Leadership' on the professional learning resource which you may find useful.

Can I apply for the programme for next session?
Yes, the programme will take place from September onwards. Initially it will be delivered as online modules with supporting professional learning activities on our online resource. There is also the possibility that we may move to some face-to-face delivery at some point later in the year. Recruitment will take place in June 2020. We will communicate this via social media and our website as well as notifying individual local authorities.

Middle Leaders Leading Change (MLLC)

I am due to attend Day 3 of MLLC. Is it going ahead?
No. Due to the current circumstances and government guidance we have paused all face-to-face professional learning and leadership activity until further notice. The learning that would have been delivered at Day 3 has been packaged into an online professional learning activity (PLA).

So how do I complete the programme?
The MLLC Day 3 PLA will be available on the professional learning resource from 11 May 2020. If you wish to complete the programme you will be required to complete the PLA.

What does the MLLC Day 3 PLA involve?
The PLA is an online activity which you can complete in your own time at your own pace. It has a series of steps, each involving either reading or watching a short video followed by some reflective questions. The final step is an ‘impact step’ which supports you to think about how your learning has impacted/will impact on your practice. This final impact step should be downloaded as a pdf and emailed to the PLL team at edspll@educationscotland.gov.scot. Instructions for how to do this are included within the PLA.

Is there a deadline for completion of the PLA?
Yes. The deadline for submissions is 31 July 2020.

What about the inter-sessional tasks?
You can continue to meet virtually with your coaching partner to give mutual support at this time. You can continue to engage in professional reading and use the professional learning resource activities as indicated above.

If I want to start the programme again, can I?
Due to the uncertain circumstances, we would not recommend this at the current time. Middle Leaders Leading Change will become an online programme for 2020/21 and there will be a PLA for the content of each day.

My priorities have changed. Can I withdraw from the programme?
If you 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.

Will I get a certificate to show that I have completed the programme?
Yes. This year we are producing a certificate as evidence that you have completed the programme.

Are there other online learning activities which I can engage in to support my learning once I have completed the Day 3 PLA?
There are a number of other learning activities on the professional learning resource which you can explore. These include:

  • Exploring middle leadership
  • Leading teams for school improvement
  • Self-evaluation for improvement in a formal leadership role
  • Self-evaluation for middle leaders
  • Leading a specific change project
  • Leading cultural change to effect improvement
  • Leading the professional learning of colleagues

We will also be developing new online PLAs to support the MLLC programme over the coming months.

Can I apply for the programme for next session?
Yes, the programme will take place from September onwards. Initially it will be delivered as online modules with supporting professional learning activities on our online resource. There is also the possibility that we may move to some face-to-face delivery at some point later in the year. Recruitment will take place in June 2020. We will communicate this via social media and our website as well as notifying individual local authorities.

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

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

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)

I had registered to attend an EiH Learn session which has been cancelled. Will this session run at a later date?
Due to the current circumstances and government guidance we have paused all PLL activity until further notice. The EiH team are currently developing professional learning activities related to EiH Learn sessions that will be made available to you through the professional learning resource. We will be in touch with further information on future, and any rescheduled, EiH Learn sessions as soon as possible.

I am due to attend EiH Learn sessions in May and June will they be cancelled?
Due to the current circumstances and government guidance we have paused all PLL activity until further notice. The EiH team are currently developing professional learning activities related to EiH Learn sessions that will be made available to you through the Education Scotland website. We will be in touch with further information on future, and any rescheduled, EiH Learn sessions as soon as possible.

There are no EiH inductions taking place. How can I join the programme?
As soon as it is possible to do so, we will advertise our EiH induction dates for session 20/21. Once you have been offered a place for an EiH induction, then it will be possible for you to book onto EiH Learn sessions. In the meantime you will have access to all of the learning activities available on the Education Scotland professional learning resource.

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. The EiH team is currently developing new online materials that you can use with school teams and across the EiH community. We would also be delighted to hear your views on this and any ways in which you would wish us to collaborate with you remotely over future weeks.

Will the 20/21 calendar for new entrants onto the EiH induction be available before the summer break?
Yes the calendar will be advertised in June 20. Final decisions on delivery and timescales will however be subject to government guidelines on Covid-19.

Will the 20/21 calendar for EiH Learn sessions be available to EiH participants before the summer break?
We are currently working on the 2020/21 calendar of EiH Learning. Due to the current circumstances and government guidance all PLL activity is paused until further notice. As soon as we are able we will be in touch with more information on future activity.

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.