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ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of MEETING of the EDUCATION COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 4 June 1996 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors BRIAN MILNE, WALLIE LEASK, GEORGE ALLAN, HELEN ANGUS, Provost Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN, Mrs GLENNIS MIDDLETON, GEORGE NORRIE, Mrs KATHLEEN RITCHIE, RICHARD SPEIRS, SANDY WEST, Father M MALCOLM, Rev Dr R MACKENZIE, Mrs E HOWSON, Mr P ANDREWS and Miss A BEGG.

Councillor MILNE, Convener, in the Chair.

1. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 23 April 1996 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

2. MINUTES

The undernoted minutes were submitted and approved or noted and are attached as Appendices I-III to this minute.

(i) Special Cases Sub-Committee - 23 April 1996 (APPENDIX I)

(ii) Teachers’ Grievance and Premature Retirement Sub-Committee - 23 April 1996 (APPENDIX II)

(iii) Joint Consultative Committee (Teachers) - 22 May 1996 (APPENDIX III)

The proceedings of meetings of the undernoted Sub-Committees, held earlier in the day, were reported orally and noted. Copies of these minutes are attached as Appendices IV and V

(iv) Special Cases Sub-Committee - 4 June 1996 (APPENDIX IV)

(v) Teacher's Grievance and Premature Retirement Sub-Committee - 4 June 1996 (APPENDIX V)

3. APPOINTMENT OF EXECUTIVE SUB-COMMITTEE

With reference to Standing Order No 32(3), the Committee appointed Councillors Milne, Leask and Norrie to an Executive Sub-Committee to consider urgent items during the annual recess.

4. HMI REPORT - MATTOCKS PRIMARY SCHOOL

There was submitted and noted a letter dated 29 April 1996 from HM Chief Inspector of Schools on a visit to Mattocks Primary School in February 1996.

5. CLOVA PRIMARY SCHOOL - PROPOSED CLOSURE

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 23 April 1996, there was submitted Report No 398/96 by the Director of Education on the results of the recent consultation exercise regarding the proposed closure of Clova Primary School.

The Committee agreed, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State for Scotland:-

(i) to the closure of Clova Primary School with effect from 26 June 1996;

(ii) to the enlargement of the delineated area of Cortachy Primary School to include that of Clova Primary School; and

(iii) to declare the Clova Primary School building surplus to educational requirements.

6. PADANARAM PRIMARY SCHOOL - PROPOSED CLOSURE

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 23 April 1996, there was submitted Report No 397/96 by the Director of Education on the results of the recent consultation exercise undertaken in connection with the proposed closure of Padanaram Primary School.

Having heard Provost Mrs Duncan, the local member, the Committee noted the terms of the Report and agreed:-

(i) to approve the closure of Padanaram Primary School with effect from 26 June 1996;

(ii) to extend the delineated area of Kirkriggs Primary School, Forfar to include that part of the delineated area of Padanaram Primary School which overlapped with the delineated area of Forfar Academy;

(iii) to extend the delineated area of Southmuir Primary School, Kirriemuir to include that part of the delineated area of Padanaram Primary School which overlapped with the delineated area of Webster’s High School; and

(iv) to declare the Padanaram Primary School building surplus to educational requirements.

7. SECONDARY SCHOOL PROVISION FOR PUPILS LIVING IN AUCHTERHOUSE, BIRKHILL, LIFF, STRATHMARTINE AND NEWTYLE

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 31 January 1996, there was submitted Report No 400/96 by the Director of Education on a consultation exercise recently undertaken in connection with extending choice of secondary schools for parents living in the Auchterhouse, Birkhill, Liff, Strathmartine and Newtyle areas.

After noting that the parents of pupils resident in the delineated area of Tealing School already had the facility to attend Forfar Academy without the necessity of making a placing request, the Committee approved the terms of the Report and agreed:-

(i) that parents of pupils normally resident in the current delineated areas of Auchterhouse, Birkhill, Liff, Newtyle, Strathmartine and Tealing schools would continue to be able to send their children to the same secondary school as at present, but in addition, and with immediate effect,

(a) that the parents of pupils completing P7 and residing within the delineated areas of Auchterhouse, Birkhill, Liff and Strathmartine Primary Schools and Newtyle Secondary School (Primary Department) should be able to choose, without making a placing request, to send their children to Forfar Academy;

(b) that parents of pupils completing S2 and residing within the delineated area of Newtyle Secondary School (Secondary Department) should be able to choose, without making a placing request, to send their children to Forfar Academy; and

(ii) that the Director of Education be instructed to bring forward a report on possible options for the future of the Secondary Department at Newtyle School.

8. CROSS BOUNDARY NURSERY ENROLMENTS

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 27 September 1995, there was submitted Report No 343/96 by the Director of Education on a request from Dundee City Council for payment in respect of Angus children attending that Council's Nursery Schools. The Report recommended the adoption of criteria for considering requests for nursery enrolments of children resident outwith Angus.

After hearing the views of some members, the Committee agreed:-

(i) that the Director of Education be authorised to respond to Dundee City Council indicating that Angus Council did not agree to make an inter authority payment of the type requested;

(ii) that the Director of Education be instructed to accept any request for enrolment in a nursery school or class from a parent resident outwith Angus only if there were no Angus pupils over the recommended minimum nursery age of 3 years 4 months on the waiting list for the nursery school or class in question; and

(iii) that the Director be instructed to monitor closely the pattern of nursery enrolments in Angus, together with pre-school development across Scotland, including the pilot scheme being introduced by the Government on nursery vouchers, and to report back to the Education Committee in due course.

9. PLACING REQUESTS FOR ROMAN CATHOLIC SCHOOLS

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 23 August 1995, there was submitted Report No 309/96 by the Director of Education describing present arrangements for placing requests and recommending that the Council embark on a consultation exercise to establish a clear system of prioritising placing requests for the two Roman Catholic Schools it managed (ie St Thomas’ Primary School, Arbroath and St Margaret’s Primary School, Montrose).

The Committee noted the current policy and agreed that formal consultation take place on the proposal set out in the Report in terms of the Education (Publication and Consultation etc) (Scotland) Regulations 1981, as amended.

10. REVIEW OF LETTING CHARGES AND PROCEDURES

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 13 March 1996, there was submitted Report No 396/96 by the Director of Education on the review of letting charges and procedures for Education Department premises.

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

(i) to approve the proposed pricing structure contained in the Report;

(ii) that the Director of Education write to all users of Education Department premises advising them of the new pricing structures and scale of charges;

(iii) that the Director of Education liaise with Head Teachers and School Boards to ensure the most economic use of school premises for lets in session 1996-97;

(iv) that the Director of Education liaise with School Boards to simplify the present administrative arrangements to provide a more efficient ‘one-stop’ service for lessees;

(v) that the Director of Education produce further reports on the specific issues of the vetting of applicants and the use of rural schools where there is no caretaker; and

(vi) that the Director of Education continue to liaise with the Directors of Recreation Services and Cultural Services with a view to establishing consistent Council policies on the letting of all premises.

11. APPOINTMENT OF PRIVATE PROSECUTOR (TRUANCY)

There was submitted Report No 482/96 by the Director of Law and Administration on the benefits to the Council of appointing an appropriate officer to act as prosecutor of parents whose children were not attending school regularly.

The Committee agreed that Alistair R Doig, Head of Legal Services (Contractor) be authorised to institute proceedings on behalf of the Council, as education authority, against the parents of children who were reported by Head Teachers as failing to attend school regularly, where the institution of such proceedings had been requested by the School Attendance Sub-Committee.

12. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES MONITORING (GENDER) UPDATE

There was submitted Report No 475/96 by the Director of Education providing an update on proposals implemented by Tayside Regional Council in 1991 to monitor equal opportunities within the Education Service in Tayside, with particular reference to the number of women in promoted posts within the Education Service in Angus.

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

(i) that the Director of Education be instructed to bring forward a further Report in due course as implementation of the Department’s equal opportunities policy was monitored within the context of its Development Plan; and

(ii) that the Report be submitted to the Joint Consultative Committee (Teachers) for consideration.

13. A PARENTS’ GUIDE TO SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

There was submitted Report No 474/96 by the Director of Education containing a draft response to the letter issued by the Scottish Office on the review of "A Parents’ Guide to Special Educational Needs" and seeking approval to submit the response on behalf of Angus Council to the Scottish Office Education and Industry Department.

After noting the Director’s summary of the main points in the consultation paper, the Committee approved the comments set out in the Report as the Council’s formal response to the Scottish Office.

14. DEVELOPMENT OF LINKS WITH CORFU

There was submitted Report No 485/96 prepared jointly by the Director of Education and the Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development setting out a general description of the existing Angus Council links with the Municipality of Corfu and recommending that the links be continued and extended to include contact between primary schools as well as the enhancement of partnerships within the business communities of Angus and Corfu.

After noting the Report prepared jointly by the Economic Development Manager and an Adviser in the Education Department on an international study visit to Corfu in March 1996, which was appended to Report No 485/96, the Committee approved the terms of the Report and agreed:-

(i) that the achievements to date in building effective education/business partnerships be acknowledged and built on/extended;

(ii) that the authors be instructed to ensure that specific initiatives which had already become established (eg links between secondary schools and Angus College and their counterparts in Corfu) were maintained, subject to the Council being able to make available adequate financial provision;

(iii) that the key role which both education and economic development had to play in continuing and extending the existing strong links be recognised; and

(iv) that the authors be instructed to seek to establish an effective and lasting partnership based on the education and business community links established in Angus and report on progress as and when it was appropriate to do so.

15. UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

There was submitted Report No 418/96 by the Director of Social Work and the Director of Education informing members of the status and the contents of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its relationship to the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. The Report also invited the Committee to consider the most reasonable implementation of the Convention within the context of the implementation programme for the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

After noting that the Report had been approved by the Social Work Committee on 28 May 1996 (Article 9 refers) and would be considered by the Policy and Resources Committee on 18 June 1996, the Committee approved the recommendations for its interest.

16. SCHOOL HEALTH SERVICE REVIEW

There was submitted Report No 454/96 by the Director of Education on the School Health Service. The Report summarised the work of the Tayside School Health Service Review Group including proposals for a pilot scheme based on health assessment for children by school nurse interview and referral of selected children for medical examination.

The Committee noted the terms of the Report and, after hearing Councillor Speirs regarding the inclusion of General Practitioners in the Partnership approach outlined in Conclusion (b) of the Report, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report;

(ii) to approve, in principle, the main proposals of the Report, subject to further clarification and detail as identified; and

(iii) to instruct the Director of Education to report back on the final detailed proposals of the proposed pilot scheme.

17. EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

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

18. SCHOOL CONVEYANCE TENDERS 1996/99

There was submitted Joint Report No 434/96 by the Director of Education and the Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development detailing the results of the school conveyance tendering exercise undertaken in April 1996. The Report also summarised the requirements in respect of seat belt provision on school conveyance vehicles and the Council’s policies in this regard.

Having noted the terms of the Report, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the changes in legislation with regard to seat belt provision on 10 February 1997 and the Council’s current policies in this regard; and

(ii) to award the contracts as detailed in the Report.

19. PROPOSED LEASE OF SITE TO THE NORTH OF BRECHIN HIGH SCHOOL

On the determination of the Convener it was agreed to consider this item as a matter of urgency in view of the requirement to obtain the Committee’s agreement in the current cycle of meetings.

There was submitted Joint Report No 367/96 by the Director of Property and the Director of Education seeking approval for the disposal of a disused piece of ground to the north of Brechin High School to Brechin Civic Trust by way of a lease.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report;

(ii) to declare the site surplus to requirements; and

(iii) to recommend that the Personnel and Property Committee approve the lease of the site to Brechin Civic Trust on the provisional terms and conditions contained in the Report.