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APPENDIX to the minute of the meeting of the Education Committee of 23 April 1996 (Article 2 refers)

MINUTE of SPECIAL MEETING of the JOINT CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE (TEACHERS) held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 26 March 1996 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Education Committee Representatives

Councillors BRIAN M C MILNE, WALLIE B LEASK and SANDY WEST.

Teacher Representatives

LESLEY ANDERSON, JIM FALCONER, ALICE McLEOD, PETER ANDREWS, DAVID DRYSDALE, BRIAN McHARDY and ARTHUR PRITCHARD.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN and GEORGE NORRIE.

Councillor MILNE, Convener, in the Chair.

1. PLANNED ACTIVITY TIME AND ABSENCE COVER

There were submitted Reports by the Director of Education on planned activity time and absence cover.

The Scheme of Conditions of Service agreed by the Scottish Joint Negotiating Committee for Teaching Staff in School Education made provision for an additional maximum of up to 50 hours within the working year of the teacher for planned activities related to the wider educational needs of the school. Of these 50 hours, under the direction of the Head Teacher not less than 40% had to be allocated to meet the needs of personal professional development as identified by the teacher (and to be carried out at a time and place appropriate to the task) with the remainder being allocated to whole school, departmental or other group needs.

Within Tayside Regional Council, in acknowledgement of the professionalism of teachers and their commitment to curricular and extra-curricular activities, it had been agreed in 1989 that, under normal circumstances, the 50 hours per annum maximum would be reduced to a maximum of up to 40 hours per annum, which should be allocated for planned activities with:

(a) not less than 16 hours per annum, and in individual cases not more than 20 hours per annum, being allocated to meet the needs for personal and professional development as identified by the teacher, and to being carried out at a time and place appropriate to the task; and

(b) a maximum of 24 hours per annum, and in individual cases a minimum of 20 hours per annum, being allocated to whole school, departmental and other group needs.

The Report on absence cover informed the Committee of the current arrangements operated by Tayside Regional Council, in terms of which supply cover for secondary schools and for primary schools with non-teaching Head Teachers was normally provided as soon as a teacher had been absent from duty for two consecutive days. However, in agreeing the Revenue Budget for 1996/97, the Council had instructed the Director to make savings of £475,000 from the teacher staffing budget, including the possibility of some of these savings being achieved by a lower level of expenditure absence cover. Accordingly, it was proposed that the agreement on absence cover be amended.

After a full discussion and exchange of views, the Committee agreed:

(i) to the temporary cessation of the local agreement on supply cover as described below, on the understanding that planned activity time as identified in part (b) of the local agreement, cease for the same time;

(ii) that the arrangements were predicated on an acceptance from the Council that a significant slowing down of developments would take place, and that this would be reflected in the delivery of school and Education Department Development Plans;

(iii) that these arrangements should not impinge on the normal relationships, goodwill and professionalism of all teaching staff and may include occasional meetings of staff as agreed by those involved; and

(iv) that the local agreement on absence cover be amended so that -

* supply cover was provided in secondary schools normally as soon as a teacher had been absent for five consecutive working days;

* supply cover was provided in primary schools with non-teaching Head Teachers normally as soon as a teacher had been absent from duty for three consecutive days;

* supply cover would continue to be supplied in Townhead Nursery School and in primary schools with teaching Head Teachers on the first day of a teacher’s absence; and

* arrangements would be subject to the availability of a supply teacher who was registered for the sector concerned.

(v) to note that it was anticipated that these proposals would take effect in April 1996, and that they would be treated as a temporary adjustment to previous arrangements, and be re-examined as soon as the Council was in a position to do so.

2. TEACHER STAFFING - EXPENDITURE LEVELS

There was submitted and noted a Report by the Director of Education on the adjustments which he had proposed to make to achieve the savings of £475,000 from the teachers staffing budget agreed by the Council at its meeting on 5 March 1996 when approving the revenue budget for 1996/97.