So, who is Malcolm Payton?
My background in teaching started in 1982, before ICT was recognized as a separate subject. Like many other Naace colleagues, I ran evening classes, developed lunchtime computing clubs and short courses to help introduce ICT to young people, then began to offer formal courses as these became available. I was in due course appointed as a Principal Teacher of Computing; a post I held for six years before receiving further promotion.
Since then I have held a number of senior roles in Education, from Local Authority Director of Education to Head of International Programmes for a university-based distance-learning provider. I was also for three years engaged as a Professional Advisor to the Scottish Government Education Department.
Since 2007 I have worked independently, undertaking interim management and consultancy roles. These were mainly in England, although I have also worked with everyone from the City of Glasgow to the Supreme Education Council in Qatar. Roles in England included a year at Becta as Head of e-Strategy, two years as Executive Head over a group of schools, and developing ICT leadership materials for both Becta and the National College.
My main interest is how education is adapting to reflect the changing world of technology, and how school leadership can support this process of transformation.
There will also be many political challenges for the organisation over the next few years, one being the whole debate about the purpose and benefit of ICT in education. It seems to me we have to address this debate not by starting with the benefits of technology, but by starting with the educational needs of young people, then going on to tease out the new approaches that help achieve these aims. I hope that my experience would be useful in articulating these arguments and presenting the case for technology in schools, both at a strategic and an operational level.
Naace and its predecessor organisations have been at the forefront of educational development since the early days of technology in education. One of its most remarkable achievements has been the ability to support everyone from the leading edge practitioners to those who need help to take the first few steps towards the effective use of technology. Whether as a regular member of Naace or as a member of the board, I look forward to seeing this continue for many years.
What is his vision for Naace?
My main aims are to support the smooth running of the organisation and to help the team continue to develop and share strategies for fully embracing ICT in education. My expectation is that this will involve the ongoing development of tools to support and recognise achievement, along with raising the profile of these tools and approaches. I do however see the key to progress being a focus on developing the membership network so that the leadership team can benefit from the collective wisdom of the whole organisation, so priorities could develop and evolve in the light of consultation and discussion.