Today and last Thursday, I toured the eight primary schools in my ward, along with council officers and councillor colleagues. What most impressed me was the children. In several of the schools, the head teacher delegated touring the school to a small group of pupils. Now, it's great to have a small group of children that are confident about engaging with strange adults. But everywhere, it was clearly evident that most of the children could have taken on the role of our guide. I was impressed.
Education is more than test results and exams. And these schools are getting good results on these measures. But they are also, I think, producing more than mere schooling. The children look set to being great adults - enagaged with the world.
The schools themselves varied from the relatively large primaries in Ellon and Newburgh and small primaries with multi-yesr classes in Arnage, Foveran, Tipperty and Slains. You can have long debates about the benefits of small more personal schools versus the range of opportunities a larger school can offer. But what is important is the quality and enthusiasm of the staff. Good teachers make good schools. And good schools provide us with the most valuable asset we can have for all our futures - children able and willing to reach their own potential.
I'm looking forward to planned visits to the Academys to see how they take up the challenge!