In his letter, Mr Galbraith reiterates the need to 'secure for Scotland the world-class schools system that our children deserve'.
He outlines a set of four key priorities on which he believes government and teachers should focus standards and quality, inclusion, partnership and technology.
The letter follows a meeting which Mr Galbraith and his deputy minister Peter Peacock held with 23 headteachers from primary, secondary and special schools, to discuss the key priorities.
schools every day.'
1.A copy of Mr Galbraith's letter is attached.
2.A list of the headteachers attending the meeting is also attached.
All Head Teachers
2 June 1999
I am writing to you as minister for education to say how much I, and my deputy minister Peter Peacock, look forward to working with you and all teaching and other staff in your schools.
I am sure you are aware of the central priority that the new administration
intends to give to education and the role of schools. Education is our number one priority. It is clear to us that we will not achieve any of our objectives unless we work closely in partnership with you. I look to you to help contribute solutions to meet the challenges that lie ahead in securing for Scotland the world class schools system that our children deserve, and on which their future depends.
I believe that the achievement of that objective requires us all to focus on a set of key priorities. These priorities underline all current activities in schools and will be at the core of future developments:
Standards and Quality: a world-class system requires world-class performance at all levels, most importantly we must target and celebrate success while addressing under-performance swiftly and effectively;
Inclusion: we must put children first and work together to realise the potential of each and every child. Our schools system must provide opportunities for all our children. The government will play its part in improving the life circumstances for our children. Education can then be the great liberator from social exclusion;
Partnership: we are committed to working in partnership with all teachers and parents to deliver our objectives; we will seek and listen to their views and expertise. We must work to raise the professional status of teachers there has been good progress in developing the professional framework recently which we must maintain;
Technology it is clear that developments in information and communications technology can greatly assist learning and teaching in our schools. We must ensure we make the most of these opportunities.
Peter Peacock and I met a group of head teachers from all parts of Scotland and in a wide-ranging agenda we discussed the importance of these key priorities. We were pleased to hear from them of the many positive developments taking place in schools throughout Scotland which are making these objectives a reality. We were also greatly impressed by their commitment and the good practical sense with which they discussed the challenges they face in schools everyday.
We are sure that in our schools we have a strong base on which to build. We look forward to working with you and meeting as many of you as possible in the coming months and years. Your views, and those of all your staff, will inform how we move forward together.
I am sending this letter to all headteachers in Scotland I would be grateful if you would show it all your staff. I am also sending it to directors of education in local authorities.
HEADTEACHERS' SUMMIT WEDNESDAY, 2 JUNE
Christine Compton, Culter Primary School, Aberdeen
Alan Devine, Saltoun Primary School, Pencaitland, East Lothian
Fay Black, Achaleven Primary School, Connel, Argyll
Alex Peggie, Carlogie Primary School, Carnoustie
Maureen Ruddy, St Fergus FC Primary School, Dundee
Patricia Lockhart, Kingussie Primary School, Kingussie
Sheila Jackson, Queensferry Primary School, South Queensferry
Alan Younger, Dalbeattie Primary School, Dalbeattie
Marion McMillan, Killermont Primary School, Bearsden
Frank Lennon, St Modan's High School, Stirling
Iain Duncan, Bannerman High School, Baillieston, Glasgow
Graham McKenzie, Dingwall Academy, Dingwall
Patrick Webb, Harmeny School, Balerno
David May, Craigie High School, Dundee
Olwyn Clark, Clippens School, Linwood, Renfrewshire
Sylvia Kerr, Drumchapel Family Learning Centre, Glasgow
Karen Fairlamb, The Gyle Nursery, Edinburgh
Robin Easton, Glasgow High School, Glasgow
Brian Wood, Hazelhead Academy, Aberdeen
Gordon McPherson, Milne's High School, Fochabers, Morayshire
Elizabeth Fleming, Cardross Primary School, Dunbartonshire
Doreen McPhail, Livingston, West Lothian
John O'Keane, Cardinal Newman High School, Bellshill, Lanarkshire