Working together for better learning
Historically, publicly funded schools have operated at a distance from other local authority services and, in some senses, even from the local authority itself. Teachers tend to work in, and therefore ‘belong’ to, particular schools with long service in one institution being common. Consequently, class teachers’ sense of loyalty and obligation belongs to the school in which they work and to local authorities only at a secondary level. Moreover, professional development for teachers tends to be confined to educational issues with incursion into other areas of local authority concern being rare. There are exceptions, however, and policies like Getting it Right for Every Child (Scotland) and Every Child Matters (England) have provided the stimulus for closer working among children’s services (see Chapter 1). Indeed, while in the past local authority staff development tended not to include provision for teachers beyond exclusively educational matters, these policy developments have led to a rethinking of the place and purpose of schools within the wider community.