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ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of MEETING of the EDUCATION COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 27 August 1996 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors BRIAN MILNE, GEORGE ALLAN, HELEN ANGUS, PROVOST Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN, Mrs RENATE LAMONT, GLENNIS MIDDLETON, GEORGE NORRIE, KATHLEEN RITCHIE, RICHARD SPEIRS, SHEENA WELSH and SANDY WEST; Father M MILTON, Rev Dr R MACKENZIE, Mrs E HOWSON and Mr PETER ANDREWS.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors WALLIE LEASK and JOHN GIBB and Miss ANNE BEGG.

Councillor MILNE, Convener, in the Chair.

1.     MINUTES

(a)     Minute of Previous Meeting

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 4 June 1996 was accepted as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

(b)     Teachers’ Grievance and Premature Retirement Sub-Committee

The minute of meeting of the Teachers’ Grievance and Premature Retirement Sub-Committee of 6 June 1996, a copy of which is appended hereto (APPENDIX I), was submitted and noted.

(c)     Executive Sub-Committee

The minute of meeting of the Executive Sub-Committee of 25 July 1996, a copy of which is appended hereto (APPENDIX II), was submitted and noted.

(d)     Joint Consultative Committee (Teachers)

The minute of the special meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee (Teachers) held on 3 June 1996, a copy of which is appended hereto (APPENDIX III), was submitted and noted.

2.     THE COMMUNITY EDUCATION SERVICE

There was submitted Report No 703/96 by the Director of Education on the work of the Community Education Service, which comprised three key elements, namely, adult education, educational support for community development and work with children and young people. The Report explained the effect that the present financial constraints had had on the delivery of the Community Education Service and set out details of the developments planned over the next three years.

After discussion, the Committee noted the terms of the Report.

3.     INTER-DEPARTMENTAL AND INTER-AGENCY PLANNING AND CO-ORDINATION OF SERVICES FOR CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE AND FAMILIES

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of the meeting of the Social Work Committee of 20 August 1996, there was submitted Joint Report No 659/96 by the Director of Social Work, the Director of Education and the Director of Housing setting out proposals for a framework for inter-departmental and inter-agency planning, review and co-ordination of services for children, young people and their families which would enable the Council to meet its statutory responsibilities under Sections 19-21 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, Section 19 of the Children Act 1989 and the relevant Scottish Office circulars and guidance.

The Committee agreed, for its interest:-

(i) to note the new responsibilities placed on the Council by the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 in respect of inter-agency and inter-departmental planning and co-ordination of services; and

(ii) to approve the proposed framework for inter-departmental and inter-agency arrangements as outlined in the Report.

4.     BEEF AND BEEF PRODUCTS IN SCHOOL MEALS - EXTENSION OF CHOICE

With reference to Article 10 of the minute of the meeting of the Committee of 23 April 1996, there was submitted Report No 647/96 by the Director of Education reminding the Committee that, in order to minimise the risk of Creutzfeldt-Jackob Disease (CJD) being contracted by children through exposure to beef products containing BSE, it had been agreed that in various small schools where there was no choice, beef and beef products be removed from the menu. It had now proved possible to establish some facility for choice in very small schools which would enable beef and beef products to return to the menus of these schools, based on the same reassurances as were currently in place in other schools and on the understanding that parents would be given the option of requesting a beef free menu for their children in such schools.

The Committee approved the terms of the Report and agreed that, with effect from 21 October 1996, the current arrangements in place in larger schools which enabled parents to choose whether or not their children’s school meals contained beef and beef products be extended to all schools.

5.     COSLA DRAFT CODE OF CONDUCT ON RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION

There was submitted Report No 702/96 by the Director of Personnel indicating that COSLA had sought comments on a Draft Code of Conduct on Recruitment and Selection. The Code had been produced as a result of recommendations by the Task Force on Conduct of Local Government in Scotland. The comments of the Director of Personnel on the Draft Code were attached as an appendix to the Report.

After hearing Mr Peter Andrews regarding the possible implications for the Council’s procedures for appointing senior teaching staff, the Committee, for its interest, noted the contents of the Report.

6.     EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Committee resolved that the public and press be excluded during consideration of the following matters so as to avoid the disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of Paragraph 1 of Schedule 7A to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, paragraphs 6, 8, 9 and 10.

7.     SCHOOL CONVEYANCE CONTRACTS

(a)     Review of Contract Prices

There was submitted Joint Report No 650/96 by the Director of Education and the Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development indicating that school conveyance contract prices were renewed on an annual basis either on 1 July of each year or on the day immediately after the end of the academic session, whichever was the later.

The contract price increases were calculated on a formula based on indexed price movements. Using this formula, the annual increase in contract prices effective from 1 July 1996 had been calculated as 2.54% and would apply to all school conveyance contracts of more than 17 months duration entered into prior to 1 January 1996.

The school conveyance contracts for the Brechin and Montrose areas and special education contracts had been retendered for the 1996/97 academic session and were not dealt with in the Report.

The Committee noted the terms of the Report and agreed:-

(i) to approve the award of a 2.54% contract price increase with effect from 1 July 1996 for eligible contracts; and

(ii) to note that the Director of Education would endeavour, through the budget monitoring mechanism, to contain the projected £51,000 overspend within the overall budget.

(b)     Tendering for Leisure Facilities

There was submitted Joint Report No 705/96 by the Director of Education and the Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development indicating that tendering for school conveyance contracts was undertaken throughout Angus as part of a three year rolling programme and that the contracts to swimming and sports facilities had recently been retendered. However, it had not been possible to seek tenders for the swimming and sports centre contracts until the middle of July as the schools' requirements had not been finalised prior to this date. Consequently, in order to have the contracts in place prior to the new school session, the Director of Education, in consultation with the Convener of this Committee, had approved the award of contracts as set out in the Report.

The Committee noted the terms of the Report and agreed:-

(i) that the decision of the Director of Education to award contracts as detailed in the Report, where these exceeded £5,000, be homologated; and

(ii) that powers be delegated to the Director of Education, in consultation with the Convener, to award contracts up to £25,000, subject to any expenditure so incurred being contained within the Education Department's annual revenue budget.