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APPENDIX I to the minute of the meeting of the Education Committee of 24 August 1999 (Article 1(b) refers)

MINUTE of MEETING of the JOINT CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE (TEACHERS) held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on 31 May 1999 at 3.30 pm.

Present: Authority Representatives

Councillors BRIAN M C MILNE and SHEENA WELSH, JIM ANDERSON (Director of Education), NEIL LOGUE (Head of Education Services) and JAN NOWAK (Head of Education Services).

Teacher’s Representatives

GRAEME KIDDIE, BRIAN McHARDY, ALICE McLEOD, ARTHUR PRITCHARD, ANNE TRUESDALE, LESLEY ANDERSON, JIM FALCONER and PHILIP JACKSON (Joint Secretary).

Officer Representative

JANICE TORBET (Director of Personnel)

1. ELECTION OF CONVENER AND VICE-CONVENER

Members noted that under Paragraph 4(a) of the constitution, the convenership of the Joint Consultative Committee should rotate on an annual basis between the Convener of the Education Committee and the member appointed by those representing the Trade Unions and Teachers Associations, with the Vice-Convenership rotating on a similar basis.

In 1998/1999, Councillor Milne was the Convener and therefore for the period until February 2000, the Convenership required to be held by a teacher representative. Accordingly, the Committee was invited to appoint a Convener from the representatives of the Trade Unions and Teachers Associations and a Vice-Convener from elected member representatives.

Graeme Kiddie, having been nominated by Arthur Pritchard and seconded by Brian McHardy assumed the Chair.

Councillor Brian Milne was appointed Vice-Convener having been nominated by Jim Anderson and seconded by Councillor Sheena Welsh.

2. APPOINTMENTS TO EDUCATION COMMITTEE

With reference to Article 5(d) of the minute of meeting of Angus Council of 13 May 1999, members were invited to appoint two teacher representatives to the Council's Education Committee.

Accordingly, Mr Peter Andrews and Mr Brian McHardy were nominated to serve as Teacher Representatives on the Council's Education Committee.

3. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

There was submitted and approved as a correct record, the minute of meeting of the JCC (Teachers) of 22 February 1999.

4. MATTERS ARISING

(a) Higher Still

With reference to Article 7 of minute of previous meeting, Brian McHardy expressed concern regarding the availability of some Higher Still materials and information and communication technology hardware. He also expressed concern that staff development for information technology staff did not take place on the in-service day held on 7 May 1999.

Neil Logue expressed surprise that concerns of the latter type raised by Mr McHardy were being raised only within the forum of the JCC - believing that such an approach made immediate remedial action impossible; however, he indicated that emergency arrangements could be made for information technology training if necessary and that the slippage in terms of provision of Higher Still materials was subject to a national timetable which was beyond the control of local authorities. He also indicated that he would investigate the specific problems which had been brought to his attention.

The Committee agreed to note the position.

(b) Excellence Fund - Study Support

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of previous meeting, Brian McHardy indicated that concern had been expressed by a number of professional associations that they had not been sufficiently consulted on proposed Study Support programmes and requested that this item be considered at the next meeting of this Committee.

Jim Anderson responded that he had sought from Head Teachers details of all proposals for Study Support projects in secondary schools by 21 June 1999. In response to a further question from Brian McHardy, he indicated these projects would be evaluated in due course.

The Committee noted the position.

(c) Alternatives to Exclusion

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of previous meeting, Brian McHardy asked that provision be made to evaluate the expansion of the ASPIRE model to six secondary schools.

Jim Anderson responded that an informal evaluation of the project had been carried out by the Troubled and Troublesome Working Group. However, he recognised the need for a systematic evaluation of the project. He indicated that the monies available were sufficient to make the project sustainable in six schools but it was hoped that the project could be extended in 2000/2001 to all eight secondary schools in Angus.

In response to a further question from Jim Falconer on the appointment of three principal teachers as part of the study project, Jim Anderson explained that these were temporary additional support posts.

The Committee agreed to note the position.

5. BEST VALUE - SERVICE REVIEW PROGRAMME

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of previous meeting, there was submitted by the Director of Education, a summary of the Best Value Service Review Programme for the Education Department from June 1998 to January 2002.

The Committee agreed:

(i) to note that a report on the Best Value Service Review Programme would be submitted to the Education Committee on 8 June 1999; and

(ii) to note that the Primary Education Review had been brought forward in order that issues arising from the Primary and Secondary Education Reviews could be considered at the same time.

6. EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of the previous meeting, Anne Truesdale advised that Philip Jackson had met with Tom Smith, Adviser, Education Development Service to discuss the Education Department's response to the findings of the employee attitude survey. She asked:-

(i) for a separate breakdown of primary and secondary teachers responses;

(ii) if a breakdown of the main issues had been issued to schools; and

(iii) for information on how the success of new procedures and actions plans would be evaluated in future.

In response to (ii) above Jim Anderson indicated that notification of issues, if sufficiently clear, could be given to schools via the weekly departmental newsletter entitled "View".

In response to (i) above Janice Torbet indicated that it was not feasible to provide a breakdown of primary and secondary teacher responses because of the way in which the information was analysed but that, if it was felt to be useful, this information could be included in future surveys. In response to (iii) above Janice Torbet indicated that it was intended that future surveys would be carried out at two year intervals and that input from trade unions would be welcomed.

In response to a question from Arthur Pritchard on availability of the Action Plan arising from the survey, Janice Torbet confirmed that the Action Plan had been considered by all Chief Officers and a summary of the Employee Attitude Survey had been circulated in employee payslips. The Action Plan could be accessed via the internet and copy summaries were available from the Personnel Department.

The Committee noted the position.

7. TOWARDS A SHARED VISION

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of the previous meeting, Arthur Pritchard sought an update on the position from Jim Anderson and confirmed that nominations for teacher representatives on the working group on this initiative would be submitted to him at the earliest opportunity.

Jim Anderson advised that the Education Committee had agreed that a statement of principles and values on the way forward for the Education Service in Angus would be developed by a process of consultation with input from parents, School Boards, pupils and community groups and that three staff sounding boards were in the process of being established. He hoped that the process would be completed by Christmas 1999 and confirmation that nine nominations for teacher representatives on the staff sounding boards had been sought from the Joint Secretary, Mr Jackson.

8. EDUCATION DEPARTMENT'S SERVICE PLAN 1999/2000

Brian McHardy indicated that, notwithstanding the teacher representation on Education Development Advisory Group (EDAG), it was important that the JCC should at an early stage play a formal role in future consultation on the Education Department's annual Service Plan. He suggested that a reminder be issued by the Director of Education to schools to the effect that the Education Service Development Plan would impinge on school development plans and that this impact should be discussed within school consultative mechanisms.

Jim Anderson indicated that it would be useful to discuss Education Development Plans with members of this Committee at an earlier stage, if possible, and that he would welcome discussion of the plan within school consultative mechanisms. Neil Logue confirmed that a timetable for consultation on the plan was due to be issued to all schools. The Director of Education had written to all School Board and Head Teachers on 24 February seeking comments by 21 April. However, he was aware of the commitments and workload of Head Teachers and that school development plans were designed to be implemented over a three year period.

Arthur Pritchard expressed concern that advice on the pre-school education initiative had been issued prior to consultation with the Joint Consultative Committee. He expressed further concerns regarding the increased workload associated with nursery profiling formats. Jan Nowak stressed that support materials on the pre-school initiative had been issued in order to provide exemplars for use by Head Teachers based on the pre-school curriculum framework. The use of these materials was not mandatory and other models could be used if the school preferred. Arthur Pritchard sought clearer instructions for their use in future.

The Committee agreed to note these points.

9. NEW COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of the previous meeting, Brian McHardy reiterated the importance of consultation on any major initiative that may impact upon teachers' Conditions of Service. He enquired specifically about the remit, status and qualifications expected for the post of "Integration Manager" for the New Community School project as recently advertised in the press.

Jan Nowak described the background to the tight timescale for the bid for funding for the project and regretted that this had ruled out meaningful consultation. However, the four Head Teachers concerned had been consulted. The advertisement for the "Integration Manager" had specified that applicants should have an understanding of issues relating to education, social work and health (or as many of these areas as possible).

Brian McHardy indicated that teachers were concerned regarding possible expansion of the New Community Schools project without further consultation. While he understood the limitations that the tight timescale had placed on consultation in the first instance, he stressed that any impact on teachers’ Conditions of Services should be subject to consultation at local level.

The Committee agreed to note the position.

10. VIOLENCE AND AGGRESSION TOWARDS STAFF

There was submitted Report No 521/99 by the Director of Education giving information about three cases involving primary schools; nine cases involving secondary pupils; one case involving a former pupil of a secondary school and one case involving a parent of a primary pupil, all relating to violence and/or aggression to staff which had occurred during the period January to April 1999.

Having heard further details from Jim Anderson, the Committee agreed to note the nature of the incidents.

11. DATES OF NEXT MEETINGS

The Committee agreed that the next meetings should be held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar at 3.30 pm as follows:-

Monday, 20 September 1999

Monday, 13 December 1999