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APPENDIX III to the minute of the meeting of the Education Committee of 26 January 1999 (Article 1(d) refers)

MINUTE of SPECIAL MEETING of the JOINT CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE (TEACHERS) held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on 26 January 1999 at 2.45 pm.

Present: Authority Representatives

Councillors BRIAN M C MILNE, Mrs KATHLEEN RITCHIE and Mr JIM ANDERSON (Director of Education), and Mr NEIL LOGUE (Head of Education Services).

Teacher’s Representatives

Mrs LESLEY ANDERSON, Mr JIM FALCONER, Mr BRIAN McHARDY, Mrs ALICE McLEOD, Mr GRAEME KIDDIE, Mr PHILIP JACKSON (Joint Secretary), and Mr PETER ANDREWS (substitute for Mr ARTHUR PRITCHARD)

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Mr ARTHUR PRITCHARD and Mrs ANNE TRUESDALE

Councillor BRIAN MILNE, Chairman, in the Chair.

1. HIGHER STILL

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee (Teachers) of 3 December 1998, the Director of Education advised that he had received SOEID Circular 7/98 enclosing a Re-phasing Return to be submitted to the Scottish Office by 29 January 1999. He indicated that a small Working Group (comprising nominees of Teacher representatives on the JCC (Teachers) and members of the Council’s Higher Still Strategy Group) had made recommendations on re-phasing which had been included in the Re-phasing Return for Angus, a copy of which was tabled at the meeting.

Having heard Brian McHardy welcome the positive nature of the discussions on the time-scale of local implementation of Higher Still, but express some caution that appropriate resources would be needed to meet the aspirations of the programme, the Committee agreed to approve the Re-phasing Return as Angus Council’s response to SOEID Circular 7/98.

2. SOEID CIRCULAR NO 4/98 - THE EXCELLENCE FUND

The Director of Education advised that SOEID had recently issued Circular No 4/98 giving details of the "Excellence Fund for Schools". The Excellence Fund had been established by the Secretary of State following the Government’s comprehensive spending review and an additional £1.718m had been allocated to the education service in Angus in 1999/2000. In this connection, there was submitted by the Director of Education an Appendix to Report No 77/99 to be considered by the Education Committee later this day, summarising proposed expenditure in the nine "Core Programme" areas identified by Circular 4/98.

Peter Andrews expressed concern that the period set by the Scottish Office for replies had been too short to allow for extensive consultation on the nine "Core Programmes". Jim Anderson confirmed that the two established head teachers’ consultative groups (one primary and one secondary) had been consulted in relation to the proposals.

Brian McHardy referred to "Programme 1" (alternatives to exclusion) and sought confirmation that the ASPIRE Project had been evaluated. Jim Anderson confirmed that the Troubled and Troublesome Working Group had considered the ASPIRE Project as part of an ongoing evaluation. He confirmed that it was proposed that the project would be extended to every school, if possible, but that the requirements of each school would be different.

Graeme Kiddie referred to "Programme 2" (study support) and sought an explanation of the criteria for allocating funds to secondary schools. Jim Anderson explained that whilst it was intended that all schools should receive support, certain schools would be identified as being in greater need of funding for study support. However, further consultation (including consultation with the teacher representatives) would be carried out prior to implementation of this Programme.

Peter Andrews referred to "Programme 6" (class size reduction) and sought assurance that funding would be available from the Scottish Office to ensure that there would be a maximum of 30 pupils in Primary 1 and 2 classes. Jim Anderson advised that the national objective for 2002 was to reduce class sizes to a maximum of 30 pupils but that no detailed funding had been allocated for future years.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the summary of expenditure proposals as set out in the Appendix to Report 77/99; and

(ii) to note that the Report would be considered by the Education Committee later this day.