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ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of MEETING of the EDUCATION COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 24 November 1998 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors BRIAN M C MILNE, Mrs KATHLEEN RITCHIE, GEORGE P ALLAN, HELEN ANGUS, Provost Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN, Councillors JACK GIBB, Mrs RENATE LAMONT, STEWART McGLYNN, GLENNIS MIDDLETON, GEORGE NORRIE, and SHEENA WELSH; and Rev CARLEEN ROBERTSON, Ms MADELINE KINGSTON, Mr PETER ANDREWS and Mr BRIAN McHARDY.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillors RICHARD SPEIRS and SANDY WEST and Rev M CASSIDY.

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 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. SCHOOL LIBRARIAN POSTS - BRECHIN HIGH SCHOOL AND ARBROATH ACADEMY

There was submitted Joint Report No 1198/98 by the Director of Education, the Director of Cultural Services and the Director of Personnel recommending that a post of School Librarian be established in each of Arbroath Academy and Brechin High School following a review of School Librarian posts in secondary schools in Angus.

The Committee agreed, for its interest:-

(i) to approve the establishment of a post of School Librarian in each of Arbroath Academy and Brechin High School;

(ii) to approve the detailed staffing implications contained in the Report 1198/98; and

(iii) to refer the Report to the Personnel and Property Services and Recreation and Cultural Services Committees for their respective interests.

3. ACCEPTANCE OF TENDERS

There was submitted Report No 1209/98 by the Director of Education detailing tenders received in respect of contracts for Physical Education Equipment and the Inter-School Mail/Courier Service. The Report indicated that the tender exercise was undertaken every two years.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the award of the contract for Physical Education Equipment as detailed in Appendix 1 to Report No 1209/98, and

(ii) to note the award of the contract for an Inter-School Mail/Courier Service as detailed in Appendix 2 to Report No 1209/98.

4. MINUTES

(a) Previous Meeting

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 13 October 1998 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

(b) School Attendance Sub-Committee

The minute of meeting of the School Attendance Sub-Committee of 6 November 1998, a copy of which is appended hereto (Appendix I) was submitted and noted.

(c) Special Cases Sub-Committee

The Committee noted an oral report by the Director of Law and Administration on the outcome of the meeting of the Special Cases Sub-Committee held earlier this day as set out in the minute, a copy of which is appended hereto (Appendix II).

5. 1999/2000 REVENUE BUDGET

There was submitted Report No 1252/98 by the Director of Finance advising of the latest position with regard to the preparation of the Education Departmental 1999/2000 revenue budget and associated issues, together with a summary of the departmental provisional base budget for 1999/2000 as submitted to the Director of Finance and subsequently reviewed by the Technical Validation Group.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of Report No 1252/98 for its interest at this stage in the budget process, and that a more detailed Report, with specific recommendations, would be brought forward later in the budget cycle.

6. PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AT WORK - PROMOTION OF NEW BYELAWS

There was submitted Report No 1256/98 by the Director of Law and Administration advising of the recent changes in legislation with respect to protection of children at work and seeking the Committee’s approval to promote the new "Employment of Children Byelaws" for Angus Council as attached to the Report. The Report advised that European Directive No 94/33/EC on the Protection of Young People at Work prohibited 13 year olds from being employed in jobs, unless the jobs were specifically permitted in terms of Byelaws. The Directive was implemented into UK law by the Children (Protection at Work) Regulations 1998 which came into force on 4 August 1998.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the recent changes in legislation, namely the Children (Protection at Work) Regulations 1998;

(ii) to instruct the Director of Law and Administration to consult with the Chief Constable, Tayside Police on the proposed Byelaws, to advertise these as required and to submit the Byelaws for approval by the Secretary of State for Scotland in due course; and

(iii) to refer Report No 1256/98 to the Policy and Resources Committee.

7. MEETING THE CHILDCARE CHALLENGE - A CHILDCARE STRATEGY FOR SCOTLAND

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of meeting of the Social Work Committee of 17 November 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 1100/98 by the Director of Education and the Director of Social Work outlining a number of proposals for developing local childcare provision by accessing financial resources provided by the Secretary of State for the specific purposes of establishing new facilities and developing existing services.

The Committee agreed, for its interest:-

(i) to note the terms of Report No 1100/98;

(ii) to authorise the Director of Education and the Director of Social Work to implement the plans detailed in the Report; and

(iii) to instruct the Director of Education and Director of Social Work to bring forward further reports detailing progress at regular intervals.

8. EDUCATIONAL LINKS BETWEEN ANGUS AND SAXONY IN GERMANY

There was submitted Report No 1199/98 by the Director of Education advising of arrangements being made to develop educational links between Angus and Saxony in Germany.

The Report indicated that, following the initial planning seminar which had taken place in Edinburgh in late May 1998, two Dresden representatives, being senior officials from the Ministry of Education, had made a brief visit to Angus. In the course of the visit, they had met with Directorate and EDS colleagues and had visited a small number of primary and secondary schools. Discussions with officers of the Education Department had included an exchange of information about respective education systems.

A summary list of local districts in each of Saxony’s three education authorities was appended to the Report, together with a summary of the Saxony school system. Arrangements had been made for senior officers of Angus Council’s Education Department to undertake a reciprocal visit to Dresden in December 1998.

The Committee agreed to note and endorse the arrangements being made to develop educational links with Saxony.

9. AMENDMENTS TO DELINEATED AREAS OF CERTAIN SCHOOLS

There was submitted Report No 1200/98 by the Director of Education proposing that amendments be made to the delineated areas of certain schools in Angus to take account of changes to road networks since the delineated areas had last been reviewed and, in several cases, to reflect more accurately parental preference of school arising from the geographical location of these areas and adjacent schools. It was proposed that formal consultation be carried out on the amendments outlined in Report No 1200/98.

The Committee agreed to approve a formal consultation exercise in accordance with the Education (Publication and Consultation, etc) (Scotland) Regulations 1981 on each of the following proposals:-

(i) Area ‘A’, as detailed in Appendix A to the Report, to be transferred from the delineated area of St Vigeans Primary School into the delineated area of Inverbrothock Primary School (and also from the delineated area of Arbroath Academy into the delineated area of Arbroath High School);

(ii) Area ‘B’, as detailed in Appendix B to the Report, to be transferred from the delineated area of Inverbrothock Primary School into the delineated area of Ladyloan Primary School;

(iii) Area ‘C’, as detailed in Appendix C to the Report, to be transferred from the delineated area of Ladyloan Primary School into the delineated area of Hayshead Primary School (and also from the delineated area of Arbroath High School into the delineated area of Arbroath Academy); and

(iv) Area ‘D’, as detailed in Appendix D to the Report, to be transferred from the delineated area of Warddykes Primary School into the delineated area of Hayshead Primary School.

10. ARBROATH HIGH SCHOOL - INTAKE LIMIT

With reference to Article 17 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 25 August 1998, there was submitted Report No 1201/98 by the Director of Education reporting on the outcome of consultation with the School Board of Arbroath High School on a proposal that the school intake limit be altered to a new recommended limit of 231.

The number of pupils in each year group had been rising for several years due to an increase in the school aged population within the school’s delineated area and, in part, to parental placing requests. Operating with ever larger S1 intakes had led the Head Teacher to highlight some accommodation difficulties. The Report therefore recommended an intake limit of 220 pupils enrolling in each year group of Arbroath High School, for the reasons set out in Section 4.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve an intake limit of 220 pupils into each year group in Arbroath High School; and

(ii) to approve an amended school capacity for Arbroath High School of 1160 pupils.

11. PRIORITISATION OF PARENTAL PLACING REQUESTS

With reference to Article 17 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 25 August 1998, there was submitted Report No 1202/98 by the Director of Education reporting on the responses from School Boards following consultation on the proposed amendment to the Council's guidelines for prioritising placing requests. The Report recommended a minor change to the current arrangements for prioritising the placing requests for primary and secondary schools.

The Committee agreed to amend the current procedures for prioritising parental placing requests and to adopt the scheme as set out in Appendix 1 to Report No 1202/98.

12. DISCIPLINARY AND GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES FOR TEACHERS

There was submitted Report No 1203/98 by the Director of Education reporting on consultation with the JCC (Teachers) on disciplinary and grievance procedures for teachers and recommending that the procedures appended to the Report be adopted. The Report indicated that it was possible that future consideration about procedures to be adopted for dismissal of teachers might be required and that, in the meantime, the current arrangements established by Tayside Regional Council should continue in force.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to approve the adoption of the disciplinary procedures for teaching staff as set out in Appendix 1 to Report No 1203/98; and

(ii) to approve the adoption of the grievance procedures for teaching staff as set out in Appendix 2 to Report No 1203/98.

13. ANDOVER PRIMARY SCHOOL - OPENING CEREMONY

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 26 November 1996, there was submitted Report No 1204/98 by the Director of Education notifying the Committee of the intention to hold a ceremony to mark the opening of the new Andover Primary School.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note that a ceremony would be held on Friday 4 December 1998 at 10.30 am to mark the opening of Andover Primary School; and

(ii) to otherwise note and approve the contents of Report No 1204/98.

14. NEW PRIMARY SCHOOL FOR CRAIGO/HILLSIDE

With reference to Article 20 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 9 June 1998, there was submitted Report No 1205/98 by the Director of Education providing an update on progress to date of the new primary school for Craigo/Hillside and specifically seeking a decision on the name of the new school and detailing other issues to be considered.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the progress to date in planning for the new primary school to serve the Hillside and Craigo communities, and the various steps still to be taken with respect, in particular, to property and personnel issues; and

(ii) to approve the name "Rosemount Primary School" for the new primary school for Craigo/Hillside.

15. CONSULTATION DOCUMENTS

(a) Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum (SCCC) Consultation Document - Curriculum Design for the Secondary Stages

There was submitted Report No 1206/98 by the Director of Education setting out a response to an SCCC Consultation Document on curriculum design for the secondary stages and seeking the Committee’s endorsement of the officer response which was appended to the Report.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of the Consultation Document (which had been placed in the Members’ Lounge); and

(ii) to note and endorse the terms of the response to the Scottish CCC as outlined in the Appendix to Report No 1206/98.

(b) Review of the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum (SCCC) and the Scottish Council for Educational Technology (SCET)

There was submitted Report No 1207/98 by the Director of Education advising that, in October 1998, SOEID had sent copies of a Consultation Paper to schools and education authorities making reference to reviews recently undertaken of SCCC and SCET and listing options for the future of these bodies. The Report commented that the timescale for consultation had been very short and that there had been insufficient time to bring together as full a range of staff as would have been desirable. However, a proposed response was appended to the Report and it was recommended that it be sent to SOEID as Angus Council’s formal response to the Consultation Paper.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of the Consultation Paper (which had been placed in the Members’ Lounge); and

(ii) to approve the response set out in the Appendix to Report No 1207/98 as Angus Council’s response to SOEID.

(c) SOEID Consultation Document - Age and Stage Restrictions at Standard Grade and Higher

There was submitted Report No 1208/98 by the Director of Education advising that SOEID had issued a Consultation Document on age and stage restrictions at Standard and Higher Grades and seeking the Committee’s endorsement of an officer response which had been submitted to SOEID.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of Report No 1208/98;

(ii) to note the terms of the Consultation Document (which had been placed in the Members’ Lounge); and

(iii) to note and endorse the terms of the response set out in the Appendix to the Report.

16. APPOINTMENT OF A LITERATURE DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 19 November 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 1189/98 by the Director of Cultural Services and the Director of Education proposing the appointment of a Literature Development Officer to encourage an interest in reading and raise the profile of writing in Angus in this National Year of Reading.

The Committee agreed for its interest:-

(i) to approve Report No 1189/98, subject to confirmation of 50% funding from the Scottish Arts Council for the appointment of a Literature Development Officer, to work within the Cultural Services and Education Departments;

(ii) to note that the balance of costs to the Council would be shared between the two Departments; and

(iii) to note that an application for matched funding was being submitted to the Scottish Arts Council.

17. CARNOUSTIE HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE USERS GROUP: PROPOSALS FOR PARTNERSHIP FUNDING

There was submitted Report No 1210/98 by the Director of Education providing information on the proposed partnership arrangement between Angus Council and the Carnoustie Theatre Users Group to jointly seek funding from the National Lottery for a purpose built theatre in Carnoustie High School.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to affirm its continuing commitment to work in partnership with the Carnoustie Theatre Users Group;

(ii) to approve, in principle, support for the bid which had been prepared by the Theatre Users Group (a copy of which had been placed in the Members’ Lounge); and

(ii) to authorise appropriate officers to work with Carnoustie Theatre Users Group to develop and submit a joint bid for Lottery funding.

18. PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION INITIATIVE: ADDITIONAL GRANT FOR AUTHORITIES WITH GAPS IN PRE-SCHOOL PROVISION IN RURAL AREAS.

There was submitted Report No 1211/98 by the Director of Education outlining proposals for the expenditure of additional grant of £225,207 for 1998/99 provided by the SOEID for the extension of pre-school educational facilities in rural areas, in terms of Sections 23 and 25 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1996.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of Report No 1211/98;

(ii) to approve the expenditure described in Report; and

(iii) to instruct the Director of Education to bring forward updated information in respect of these developments in due course.