is here to stay
Scottish Executive Education Department has said that it
will not fund the Ethos Network beyond July 2005, because
ethos is now firmly on the educational agenda: "SEED
considers that a positive school ethos must be regarded
as integral to effective teaching and the development of
children who are confident individuals, successful learners
and effective contributors. School ethos is now referred
to in a wide range of policies and initiatives. SEED feels
this is in part due to the success of the SSEN and the commitment
of its staff".
therefore, is the last Ethos Network Newsletter, which may
well be a disappointment to the thousands of Network members
who have contributed to its events and publications. David
May, Head Teacher of Craigie High School in Dundee, wrote
to tell us of his feelings on hearing the news: "The
conferences, newsletters and case studies organised and
produced by the Network have made a considerable difference
to not only raising the importance of ethos in schools but
also to what we do. The SSEN has identified and promoted
good practice, and enabled us to pick up ideas and to adopt
and customise them to our needs. My hope is that, despite
the demise of the SSEN, the importance of school ethos will
not be lessened".
is evidence to suggest that David's wish may be fulfilled.
At all levels, from the Executive through HMIE to Local
Authorities and individual schools, ethos is consistently
mentioned in mission statements and aims. But how often
do we think about what it really means? The word is over
two thousand years old. Aristotle saw "ethos"
as being one of three forms of rhetoric. He said that "logos"
is an appeal based on logic, "pathos" is an appeal
based on the emotions and "ethos" is an appeal
based on the moral character of the speaker.
scientific, technical and mathematical components of the
curriculum mean that schools are strong on "logos".
In teaching art, literature or history we may use "pathos";
but when we promote inclusion, treat children and colleagues
respectfully and tackle problems calmly we demonstrate the
"ethos" which we hope our pupils will adopt in
their adult lives.
without a Network dedicated to it, ethos will not go away.
It is central to what we as educators and parents should
do. The real legacy of the Ethos Network lies not in what
schools might say about their ethos but in the way that
it is experienced by pupils, parents and staff members.
Work to improve this experience can and must continue. It
is up to all of us who have been part of the SSEN during
the last ten years to make sure that this happens.
Manager of the SSEN
newsletter is edited by Kate Betney. Produced by MALTS.
from Central Primary School, Inverness at the SSEN/ABN joint
conference in the Highlands, October 2000.