Scottish Executive Education Department and its predecessors
funded the Scottish Schools Ethos Network (SSEN) for ten years
from 1995 to 2005. It was founded jointly by SOEID, as it
was titled in 1995, and by Moray House Institute of Education,
shortly thereafter to become part of the University of Edinburgh.
The closure of the Network at the end of July 2005 in no way
suggests any lessening focus on developing a positive ethos
in Scotland's schools, rather the contrary.
to the demand from schools to share information, ideas
and ways of improving school ethos
evaluation of school ethos and related policies and practices
experiences of developing and sustaining a positive ethos.
developed as a 'bottom-up' members' service, guided by members'
requests, initially as they set about implementing the recommendations
in the guidelines, Using Ethos Indicators in School Self-evaluation;
taking account of the views of pupils, parents and teachers,
(SOEID, 1992). Two of these documents, to support Primary
and Secondary schools respectively, evolved from work undertaken
by Archie McGlynn HMCI, Judy Arrowsmith of Moray House, John
MacBeath of Jordanhill College and others, who developed the
prototype indicators. A number of conferences were organised
following the launch of these documents and, such was the
overwhelmingly enthusiastic response of schools to these events
and schools' demand for more opportunities to share experiences,
that the Network came into being. A 'trial period' resulted
in more secure Scottish Office funding and SSEN's formal launch.
Network supported its members through the complex process
of evaluating the whole context of learning in their own setting.
The aim was to facilitate schools getting in touch with each
other to share approaches, methods of consultation, good ideas
and action for improvement of school ethos. The Network encouraged
a research attitude in schools and dedication to the systematic
and honest evaluation of school ethos. It facilitated the
celebration of good practice, providing an Ethos Award for
six years, and offered a national platform for talking and
writing about experience.
order to facilitate schools' networking, SSEN also established
a website and ran 25 local Seminars or Roadshows, 11 National
Conferences, two small International Seminars and an Open
Day. Although a range of distinguished speakers contributed
to SSEN events, there was always an emphasis on schools learning
from other schools.
created an extensive database of members' activities and developments
as well as producing a wide range of publications (still available
on this website) that included:
special issue Newsletters shared with its affiliated Network,
the Anti-Bullying Network.
School Case Studies.
Vision and Action School Case Studies.
books of Case Studies.
'Outline Papers' from contributions to SSEN conferences
originally a membership network for schools, SSEN membership
was also open to local councils - some of which took out collective
membership for all their schools, national/local voluntary
organisations and international organisations. Attendance
at events was open to all with an interest in developing a
positive ethos, regardless of membership. Publications were
also distributed widely beyond 'signed-up' members, at home
and beyond Scotland. SSEN hosted international visitors from
many countries, notably those who hoped to develop a better
ethos in their own schools.
under its Director, Professor Pamela Munn, was overseen by
a small advisory committee, membership of which included representation
from the Scottish Executive, Councils, schools and voluntary
would like to take this opportunity of thanking the following
for the vital part they played in SSEN through the ten years
of its existence, in helping Scotland's schools provide a
more positive ethos for their pupils:
communities (pupils and former pupils, staff - both teaching
and support - and parents/carers) who have contributed
ideas, workshops, talks, musical and dramatic performances;
items for publication, advice and comments
Authority officers and advisers
of the SSEN Advisory Group
Organisations and other Agencies who supported SSEN
SOED, SOEID, SEED officers
from all of Scotland's HE establishments and thinkers,
researchers and authors from there and from the international
educational community who have researched and illuminated
of the educational and other press
local and national