Angus CouncilTel: 03452 777 778

ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of MEETING of the EDUCATION COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 3 June 1997 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors BRIAN M C MILNE, GEORGE ALLAN, Provost Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN, JACK GIBB, Mrs RENATE LAMONT, GLENNIS MIDDLETON, GEORGE NORRIE, Mrs KATHLEEN RITCHIE, RICHARD SPEIRS, Mrs SHEENA WELSH and SANDY WEST; Rev Dr R MACKENZIE, Ms M KINGSTON, Mr PETER ANDREWS and Mr BRIAN McHARDY.

Apology: An apology for absence was intimated on behalf of Councillor HELEN ANGUS.

Councillor MILNE, Convener, in the Chair.

1. EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Committee resolved in terms of Standing Order No 27(2) that the public and press be excluded during consideration of items 2 and 3 below to avoid the possible disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of Part 1 of Schedule 7A of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, Paragraphs 1, 6, 8, 9 and 10.

2. REVIEW OF DEPARTMENTAL STAFFING STRUCTURE

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 22 April 1997, there was submitted Joint Report No 632/97 by the Director of Education and Director of Personnel which recommended changes to the designations and grades of certain posts as a result of an organisational restructuring of the Education Department.

The Report advised that the proposals outlined would result in a net saving of £49,800 in 1997/98 and £45,700 in a full financial year, as detailed in Appendix II to the Report.

The Committee approved the terms of the Report for its interest, and agreed to recommend that the Personnel and Property Services Committee:-

(i) delete Post No 01/03 (Head of Educational Services - grade Chief Officer SCP 27);

(ii) delete Post No 04/05 (WP Operator, grade GS3);

(iii) redesignate Post No 04/01 (Support for Learning Officer - Teachers’ Conditions of Service - grade AHT Secondary) as Principal Officer (Support for Learning) grade SCP49-52;

(iv) regrade Post No 04/03 (Special Educational Needs Admin Assistant - grade AP2) to grade AP3;

(v) redesignate Post No 07/01 (Finance Officer, grade SCP42-45) as Principal Officer (Finance), grade SCP49-52;

(vi) redesignate Post No 09/01 (Client Monitoring Officer, grade SCP42-45) as Principal Officer (Physical Resources), grade SCP49-52;

(vii) regrade Post No 01/06 (Director’s Secretary) from grade AP1 to grade AP2;

(viii) establish a new Post 01/07 of part time Clerical Assistant (0.6 fte) working within the Central Support Unit; and

(ix) redesignate either Post No 02/09 (Admin Assistant - Staff Training) or Post No 05/01 (Admin Assistant - Specialist Services) as Admin Assistant - School and Community Support, grade AP3, the postholder to be selected by competitive interview from one of the two existing postholders of Posts 02/09 and 05/01.

The Committee also agreed that, in the context of a wider review of the delivery of central support services, the provision of financial, personnel and IT services to the Education Department be examined and that a Report on this review (across all Departments of the Council) be submitted.

3. TENDERING FOR EDUCATION SCHOOL CONVEYANCE REQUIREMENTS 1997/2000

There was submitted Joint Report No 639/97 by the Director of Education and Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development which detailed the results of the school conveyance tendering exercise undertaken in May 1997 and made recommendations about the award of the contracts in the Forfar and Kirriemuir areas.

The Report advised that changes in legislation regarding the fitting of seatbelts to certain vehicles, some of which were used to convey school pupils, had come into effect on 10 February 1997 and recommended that a review be undertaken to determine the options for increasing seatbelt provision, together with any associated financial and other implications.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to the award of contracts as detailed in the Appendix to the Report; and

(ii) to instruct the Director of Education and the Director of Planning, Transport and Economic Development to bring forward a further Report to the Education Committee and the Planning and Transport Policy Committee setting out the options for increasing seatbelt provision, together with any associated financial and other implications.

4. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee held on 22 April 1997 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

5. MINUTE OF JCC (TEACHERS) MEETING

The minute of meeting of the JCC (Teachers) held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Thursday 22 May 1997, a copy of which is appended hereto (APPENDIX) was submitted.

With reference to Article 9, Mr Peter Andrews emphasised that teachers valued the JCC (Teachers) as a fine example of constructive partnership between the Council and teaching staff. They very much appreciated the existence of a consultative forum which allowed direct dialogue between elected members and teacher representatives and many educational developments had gone ahead because of consensus with the JCC.

The Convener indicated that no final decision had been made on any changes to staff consultative arrangements, although recent discussions with all union representatives indicated that agreement was near.

The Committee noted the position.

6. NOTICE OF MOTION

The undernoted motion by Mr Peter Andrews, notice of which had been given in terms of Standing Order 34(3), was unanimously adopted by the Committee:-

"The Education Committee invites the Director of Education to bring forward a Report to examine education provision in Angus in order that a coherent and strategic approach to school closures, if required, may be achieved."

7. SCHOOL DISCIPLINE AND ALTERNATIVES TO EXCLUSION - GRANTS PROGRAMME

There was submitted Report No 638/97 by the Director of Education seeking approval for a bid which had been made to the Scottish Office for additional funding to enable the establishment of a new approach to the improvement of school discipline.

The Report advised that, in order to comply with the timescale set by the Scottish Office, a bid had been submitted on 29 May 1997, a copy of which was available in the Members’ Lounge.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to endorse the application for grant funding which had been made to the Scottish Office; and

(ii) that a further Report be submitted to the Committee on the success or otherwise of the bid, and the subsequent effectiveness of the proposed project.

8. SCHOOL TERMS AND HOLIDAYS 1998/99

There was submitted Report No 636/97 by the Director of Education seeking approval of the school term and holiday dates in Session 1998/99, as detailed in Appendix II to the Report.

The Report concluded that the present pattern of holiday dates seemed to be broadly acceptable and no fundamental amendments were therefore proposed. However, specific matters had been identified as a result of the consultation exercise, and these had been addressed.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the responses from staff, staff representatives and School Boards on the proposed dates of school terms and holidays for 1998/99; and

(ii) to approve the amended term and holiday dates as detailed in Appendix II.

9. LETTING CHARGES AND PROCEDURES - CARNOUSTIE HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE

There was submitted Report No 629/97 by the Director of Education seeking authority to establish a pilot partnership arrangement with regular users for the management and upgrading of the theatre facilities in Carnoustie High School.

Having noted a number of comments regarding funding being sought from various other sources, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to accept the proposals contained in the Report;

(ii) to authorise the Director of Education to work with Carnoustie High School, Carnoustie Theatre Club and Carnoustie Musical Society within the terms of the draft Constitution (Appendix I to the Report) during the period August 1997 to June 1998; and

(iii) to ask the Director of Education to provide an evaluative report on the work of the Carnoustie High School Theatre Users Group in June 1998.

10. EDUCATION DEPARTMENT - DEVELOPMENT PLAN 1997/99

There was submitted Report No 633/97 by the Director of Education advising the Committee of the outcome of the recent consultation exercise in relation to the draft Education Department Development Plan for 1997/99.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the favourable tenor of responses made to date to the draft Education Department Development Plan for 1997/99;

(ii) to note the arrangements now in place for the construction and submission of School Development Plans for 1997/99; and

(iii) to approve the draft Plan as the formal 1997/99 Education Department Development Plan, and authorise the Director of Education to notify staff to this effect.

Ms Madeline Kingston declared an interest in the undernoted item and took no part in its consideration.

11. COMMUNITY EDUCATION SERVICE - REVENUE GRANTS TO VOLUNTARY ORGANISATIONS 1997/98

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee of 7 May 1996, there was submitted Report No 630/97 by the Director of Education seeking approval of grants over £500 to three voluntary organisations.

The Committee agreed to approve the revenue grants, totalling £7,100, as detailed in Appendix I to the Report.

12. REVENUE GRANTS TO ADULT EDUCATION ASSOCIATIONS

With reference to Article 10 of the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 4 June 1996, there was submitted Report No 631/97 by the Director of Education which recommended grant aid to Adult Education Associations for 1997/98.

The Committee noted the contents of the Report and agreed to approve grant aid to Adult Education Associations for 1997/98, totalling £3,400, as detailed in the Report.

13. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CHILDREN (SCOTLAND) ACT 1995

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 29 May 1997, there was submitted joint Report No 604/97 by the Director of Social Work, the Director of Education and the Director of Housing informing members of the progress made by Angus Council in preparing for the implementation of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

The Report advised that the Children’s Services Planning Group had been meeting fortnightly since October 1996 and had undertaken a range of tasks to prepare for the full implementation of the Act. An Action Plan had been developed to assist the relevant Council Departments in considering the implications of the Act on the provision of their services, and to ensure that the corporate aspects of the planning for the implementation were co-ordinated within the Council’s strategic aims. The Report listed the major achievements of the past year and outlined the key issues facing the Council in 1997/98.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the progress made by Angus Council in preparing for the full implementation of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995; and

(ii) to note the contents of the Report "Working with Children and Families in Angus" and the Implementation Plan for 1997/98.

14. SPECIAL MEETING OF THE EDUCATION COMMITTEE

The Committee noted that a Special Meeting of the Education Committee would be held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Thursday 26 June 1997 at 2.00 pm to consider the outcome of the consultation exercise on the possible closure of the Secondary Department of Newtyle School.