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ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of MEETING of the EDUCATION COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 13 October 1998 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors BRIAN M C MILNE, Mrs KATHLEEN RITCHIE, HELEN ANGUS, Provost Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN, Councillors JACK GIBB, Mrs RENATE LAMONT, STEWART McGLYNN, GLENNIS MIDDLETON, GEORGE NORRIE, and SANDY WEST; and Rev M CASSIDY, and Mr BRIAN McHARDY.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors GEORGE P ALLAN, RICHARD SPEIRS and SHEENA WELSH and Rev C ROBERTSON, Ms M KINGSTON and Mr PETER ANDREWS.

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, 3, 4 and 5 below 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 1, 6, 8 and 9.

2. ARBROATH TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVE

With reference to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 10 March 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 1043/98 by the Directors of Education and Information Technology outlining the result of a tendering exercise for the Arbroath Technology Initiative and recommending a preferred supplier, following an appraisal of the three tenderers selected to give a presentation.

The Committee agreed for its interest:-

(i) to approve the award of the contract for the Arbroath Technology Initiative to RM plc;

(ii) to authorise the Directors of Information Technology and Education to discuss and agree a detailed implementation plan with RM plc; and

(iii) to refer the Report to the Finance and Information Technology Committee.

3. REVIEW OF ADMINISTRATIVE AND CLERICAL SUPPORT WITHIN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

There was submitted Joint Report No 1048/98 by the Director of Education and the Director of Personnel advising that a recent review of the structure, working practices, duties and responsibilities of all administrative and clerical jobs within secondary schools in Angus had identified the need for changes to the structure and grades of administrative and clerical support staff. The Report concluded that the proposals outlined in the Report would contribute to the motivation of staff, retain flexible working hours and ensure the provision of responsive and effective administrative support within secondary schools.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note and approve the terms of Report No 1048/98 for its interest, and

(ii) to refer the Report to the Personnel and Property Services Committee on 20 October 1998.

4. SOEID CIRCULAR 6/97 - CAPITAL EXPENDITURE 1998/99

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 27 January 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 1049/98 by the Director of Education and the Director of Property Services outlining the current position in respect of Capital Expenditure committed through SOEID Circular 6/97. The Report advised that there had been a delay in progressing plans for the conversion of Glamis Primary School and recommended that the project be rescheduled, and that an alternative project at Hayshead Primary School be brought forward for implementation in 1998/99.

Having noted that the Council would continue its commitment regarding the Glamis Primary School project, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the delay in commencing the intended project in Glamis Primary School;

(ii) to approve building improvements at Hayshead Primary School;

(iii) to note the estimated costings for both projects; and

(iv) to refer the Report to the Personnel and Property Services Committee on 20 October 1998.

5. PROPOSED DISPOSAL OF VILLAGE HALL SITE, FOWLIS EASTER

There was submitted Joint Report No 1076/98 by the Director of Education and the Director of Property Services advising that the Fowlis Easter Village Hall Association, being tenants of the Village Hall in Fowlis Easter, had enquired about the possibility of acquiring the site for the purpose of constructing a new Village Hall. The Report recommended the disposal of the site to the Association and indicated that the provisional terms and conditions had been agreed.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to declare the site of the Fowlis Easter Village Hall, measuring 0.05 hectares or thereby, surplus to the requirements of the Education Department; and

(ii) to refer the Report to the Personnel and Property Services Committee on 20 October 1998.

6. MINUTES

(a) Previous Meeting

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 25 August 1998 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

(b) Special Cases Sub-Committee

The minute of meeting of the Special Cases Sub-Committee of 3 September 1998, a copy of which is appended hereto (Appendix I) was submitted and noted.

(c) Joint Consultative Committee (Teachers)

The minute of meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee (Teachers) of 15 September 1998, a copy of which is appended hereto (Appendix II) was submitted and noted.

Having heard the Provost express concerns (under Article 12 of the above minute) about the number (15) of incidents of violent or threatening behaviour to teachers in the period April to August 1998, and following subsequent discussion, the Committee asked that confidential Report No 957/98 be circulated to all members of the Education Committee.

7. SCHOOL SECURITY - PROPOSED WORKS 1998/99

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 28 April 1998, there was submitted Report No 1044/98 by the Director of Education outlining the progress made in implementing the Council’s School Security Policy, recommending a programme of works for 1998/99 and 1999/2000 and setting out the financial implications.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the improved security measures implemented to date as outlined in Report No 1044/98;

(ii) to approve further security improvements as detailed in Appendix A to the Report; and

(iii) to instruct the Director of Education to bring forward a further progress report in due course.

8. HIGHER STILL - IN-SERVICE CLOSURE DAYS FOR SECONDARY PUPILS

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 25 August 1998, there was submitted Report No 1045/98 by the Director of Education advising that he had received formal confirmation from SOEID that there would be a two day reduction in the 1998/99 school year for Angus secondary pupils in order to enable the introduction of Higher Still in schools in August 1999. The Report detailed feedback on consultation with the JCC (Teachers) and Secondary Head Teachers on proposed closure dates and recommended Friday 7 May 1999 and Thursday 10 June 1999 as in-service closure days for secondary pupils in schools in Angus.

The Committee agreed to approve two additional in-service closure days for secondary schools, being Friday 7 May 1999 and Thursday 10 June 1999, specifically to enable the introduction of Higher Still in August 1999.

9. SOEID CONSULTATION PAPER - PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPING A FRAMEWORK FOR CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (CPD) FOR THE TEACHING PROFESSION IN SCOTLAND

With reference to Article 15 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 9 June 1998, there was submitted Report No 1046/98 by the Director of Education referring to an SOEID consultation document on proposals for developing a framework for continuing professional development (CPD) for the teaching profession in Scotland and appending a response to the document from Angus Council.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of the consultation document (which had been placed in the Members’ Lounge);

(ii) to note the list of consultation questions and the suggested response to these questions as outlined in the Appendix to Report No 1046/98; and

(iii) to authorise the Director of Education to submit the Appendix as Angus Council’s response to SOEID in response to their requests for comments.

10. PROMOTING LEARNING - DEVELOPING COMMUNITIES

COSLA CONSULTATION PAPER ON THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL AUTHORITY COMMUNITY EDUCATION IN SCOTLAND

There was submitted Report No 1047/98 by the Director of Education referring to a COSLA consultation document on the future development of local authority community education in Scotland (which had been placed in the Members’ Lounge) and appending a response to the document which, in order to comply with COSLA’s timetable, had been submitted to COSLA on 28 August 1998 as an officer response.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the COSLA consultation document; and

(ii) to note the response appended to the Report which had been sent to COSLA as an officer response on behalf of Angus Council.

11. REVIEW OF CHILDMINDING, DAY CARE AND EDUCATION SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AGED UNDER EIGHT YEARS IN ANGUS

With reference to Article 12 of the minute of meeting of the Social Work Committee of 6 October 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 1018/98 by the Director of Social Work and the Director of Education advising of the completion of the final draft review of childminding, day care and education services for children under eight in Angus. The Report summarised the findings of the review.

The Committee agreed for its interest:-

(i) to note the content of the final draft review report (which had been placed in the Members’ Lounge); and

(ii) to approve the publication of the report.

12. THE NATIONAL YEAR OF READING

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 8 October 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 1030/98 by the Director of Cultural Services and the Director of Education reporting on the Angus programme for the National Year of Reading in Scotland, which was a Government initiative to celebrate the written word in all its forms, as part of a national effort to raise standards of literacy.

Having heard Councillor Mrs Ritchie in support of the Community Education Service campaign to promote reading, the Committee agreed to note the terms of Report No 1030/98 for its interest.