Huge Turn Out for Northern Alliance Learning Festival

MORE than 900 teachers from eight Scottish council areas attended the 2018 Northern Alliance Learning Festival in Aberdeen last week.

During the event, they took part in a wide range of workshops and seminar sessions on good practice attainment and improvement approaches that are taking place across the region.

More than 50 exhibitors and speakers also attended what delegates described as “a rich and illuminating day”.

The Northern Alliance is a partnership between eight local authorities in the North of Scotland: Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Arygll and Bute, Highland, Moray, Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles.

Lead officer for the alliance, Laurence Findlay, said: “This was a valuable opportunity for delegates to share practice and explore new ways of working in partnership with others.

“The event was truly awe-inspiring, and a fantastic opportunity to get over 900 innovative educationalists together from across the north to share and learn.”

Seminars shared learning on literacy, numeracy, closing the gap, mental health, children’s rights, outdoor play, PEF, leadership and much more. Over 100 practitioners attended the Northern Alliance Emerging Literacy programme.

A new feature, the Digital and Curriculum villages, brought together five of the digital teams from across the Alliance and from Education Scotland to share work with teachers. The collaboration between the digital teams that emerged from the festival will form the basis for future partnership working.

Students from across the north of Scotland led a round-table discussion on LGBTI+ rights and highlighted the importance to work together to educate on acceptance and inclusion.

The Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, delivered the opening address via video link, followed by Gayle Gorman, HM Chief Inspector of Education.

The CEO of Scottish College for Educational Leadership, Gillian Hamilton, delivered the afternoon keynote speech about the importance of professional learning and leadership in improving the outcomes for our young people.

The sharing of expertise and the showcasing of services has set the stage for future collaboration and development opportunities across the region.

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