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APPENDIX I to the minute of the meeting of the Education Committee of 9 March 1999 (Article 3(b) refers)

MINUTE of MEETING of the JOINT CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE (TEACHERS) held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on 22 February 1999 at 2.30 pm.

Present: Authority Representatives

Councillors BRIAN M C MILNE and JIM ANDERSON (Director of Education), and NEIL LOGUE (Head of Education Services).

Teacher’s Representatives

LESLEY ANDERSON, JIM FALCONER, BRIAN McHARDY, GRAEME KIDDIE, ALICE McLEOD, PETER ANDREWS (FOR ARTHUR PRITCHARD), ANNE TRUESDALE AND PHILIP JACKSON (Joint Secretary).

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillor KATHLEEN RITCHIE and ARTHUR PRITCHARD.

Councillor BRIAN MILNE, Convener, in the Chair.

1. MINUTES

(a) Previous Meeting

There was submitted and approved as a correct record, the minute of meeting of the JCC (Teachers) of 3 December 1998.

(b) Special JCC (Teachers)

There was submitted and approved as a correct record, the minute of special meeting of the JCC (Teachers) of 26 January 1999.

(c) Central Consultative Committee

The Director of Law and Administration reported on the outcome of the meeting of the Central Consultative Committee held on 18 February 1999 as set out in the minute, a copy of which was attached to the minute of meeting of the Personnel and Property Services Committee of 16 March 1999, which was noted.

2. BEST VALUE/UPDATE ON SERVICE REVIEWS

Jim Anderson reported that Report No 95/99 on a Best Value Service Review of School Catering had been approved by the Education Committee at its meeting held on 26 January 1999. He indicated that a further four Best Value Service Reviews would be carried out on janitorial services, school lets, school cleaning services and Pre-Fives. The results of the reviews would be reported to the Education Committee at the earliest opportunity. It was also hoped that a review of secondary education could commence at the end of March 1999.

In response to a question from Peter Andrews on the involvement of teachers in the Secondary Education Review, Jim Anderson indicated that, at present, no firm plans had been made about the composition of the Service Review Team.

The Committee noted the current position, and it was agreed that further progress reports would be provided at each future meeting of the Committee.

3. STAFF DEVELOPMENT AND REVIEW

(a) Primary and Secondary Teachers

There were submitted Position Statements on Staff Development and Review for each primary and secondary school in Angus.

Jim Anderson reported that by the end of 1999, approximately 55% of teachers would be involved in the staff development and review programme. However, he expressed disappointment at the lack of progress over the past few years. He expressed thanks to those members of the Joint Consultative Committee and teacher representatives who had been supportive of the programme and indicated that it was not the authority's intention to make participation compulsory unless legislation made this a requirement.

Peter Andrews confirmed that mandatory participation would undermine the existing scheme. He expressed concern regarding the conclusions of the Millennium Review in relation to performance related pay. He therefore suggested that teachers would welcome a statement to the effect that staff development and review would not be related to performance related pay.

Brian McHardy expressed concern regarding the increasing number of initiatives within Education and suggested that some teachers genuinely did not have time to participate in a staff development and review programme. Jim Falconer supported Brian McHardy’s statement regarding difficulties experienced in resourcing the programme.

Councillor Milne noted the concerns of teachers regarding the possibility of the introduction of performance related pay, and agreed to consider making an appropriate statement in the weekly departmental Newsletter, VIEW.

(b) Draft Proposals on Staff Development and In-Service Training

With reference to Article 4 of minute of meeting of this Committee of 27 May 1998, there were submitted draft proposals prepared by the Working Group on Staff Development and In-Service Training, setting out proposals for a staff development calendar, prioritisation of courses, means of minimising disruption to pupils learning, resourcing and Primary Head Teachers’ meetings/Primary Head Teachers’ Training events.

Following discussion of the document, the Committee agreed:-

(i) to recommend the deletion of the word "all" in the first line of Section 42;

(ii) to note the recommended voluntary nature of the "twilight" training events; and

(iii) to note that a separate section would be included on minor contracts.

4. EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY

Anne Truesdale highlighted three main concerns arising from the recent Employee Attitude Survey regarding workload, resources and training of teachers in Angus Council.

Jim Anderson responded that the Working Group on the Attitude Survey had met and that it should meet again to prepare an Action Plan to take these issues forward.

The Committee agreed to note the current position.

5. RECRUITMENT PROCEDURES FOR UNPROMOTED TEACHING POSTS

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 15 September 1998, there was submitted Report No 74/99 by the Director of Education on recruitment procedures for unpromoted teaching posts. In response to a question from Graeme Kiddie on the monitoring of the procedures following their implementation in April 1999, Jim Anderson advised that feedback would be sought from candidates following interview. Peter Andrews stressed that training of Head Teachers in appointments was invaluable and indicated that sampling of unsuccessful and successful candidates would be useful.

Concern was expressed regarding difficulties in informing temporary or supply teachers of the new procedures and in matching supply teachers with posts. Jim Anderson acknowledged that these matters required consideration and a suitable article might be appropriately included in the next issue of the weekly departmental newsletter, VIEW.

The Committee agreed to note that the Report had been approved by the Education Committee on 26 January 1999 and noted the approved procedures for its interest.

6. HEADING TOWARDS A SHARED VISION

There was submitted a draft discussion paper by the Director of Education entitled "Towards a Shared Vision". Jim Anderson described the background to the paper and asked for views on how it could be taken forward.

Peter Andrews pointed out that the Employee Attitude Survey had indicated that less than 50% of teachers thought they were valued by Angus Council and suggested that this could be achieved by involving people in decision making. He questioned the advisability of starting with a draft statement of principles and values, preferring instead a more "bottom up" approach with more relevance to people in their everyday jobs.

Following discussion, the Committee agreed to Jim Anderson's proposal that the document be submitted to the next meeting of the Education Committee as a basis for the way forward for the education service in Angus, on the understanding that there would be opportunities within that consultation to ensure that grass roots views were taken on board.

7. HIGHER STILL

With reference to Article 1 of the minute of the special meeting of this Committee of 26 January 1999, Brian McHardy welcomed the additional funds allocated to this initiative but reiterated teachers' concerns that the documents were of an aspirational nature and that the procedures for minor contracts might not be clearly understood.

Neil Logue confirmed that there had been delays in receipt of nationally provided materials in Angus schools and it was hoped that this situation would be remedied. A Strategy Group had been set up to assess the familiarity of schools with new materials on Higher Still and the sum of £45,000 had been allocated to production, locally, of Higher Still materials. This would be complemented by resources or materials from other authorities. Neil Logue also confirmed that facilities were available for training of teachers in Higher Still and that £62,000 had been allocated across schools in Angus to meet development needs of teachers. All Head Teachers had already completed the training programme.

The Committee agreed to note the position.

8. THE EXCELLENCE FUND

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of the special meeting of this Committee of 26 January 1999, Brian McHardy expressed concern regarding the lack of formal communication with the professional bodies on the implications on the Excellence Fund and, in particular, the proposals regarding study support.

Jim Anderson indicated that the timescale for response to the Scottish Office had been extremely short and that consultations had taken place with the JCC at the special meeting and with teacher representatives on EDAG and the In Service Working Group. He indicated that significant monies and discretion on how it could be spent had been devolved to secondary schools. He also confirmed that a short-life working group had been established to make detailed recommendations on how best to implement the Excellence Fund and that Brian McHardy and Peter Andrews had been nominated to serve on that working group as teachers’ representatives.

The Committee agreed to note the position.

9. NEW COMMUNITY SCHOOLS

Lesley Anderson expressed concerns regarding effects on staff workloads should the Council’s bid for new community schools in Arbroath be successful. No consultation had taken place with teachers' organisations and staff had not always been kept informed of developments.

Jim Anderson accepted that there were concerns and confirmed that the Head Teachers of the four schools had been consulted with regard to the bid, but the timescale had been extremely short. He indicated that further consultation would take place on this matter should funding be made available, including consultation with Tayside Health Board and the Council’s Social Work Department.

The Committee agreed to note the position.

10. VIOLENCE AND AGGRESSION TOWARDS STAFF

There was submitted Report No 186/99 by the Director of Education giving information about eight incidents involving secondary pupils, five incidents involving primary pupils, and two incidents involving parents, all relating to violence and/or aggression to staff which had occurred during the period of September 1998 to 28 January 1999. In response to a question from Brian McHardy, Jim Anderson confirmed that he would consider the further development needs of staff coping with violence and aggression to staff.

Having heard further details from Jim Anderson, the Committee agreed to note the nature of the incidents.

11. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The Committee agreed that the next meeting should be held on Monday 31 May 1999 at 3.30 pm in the Town and County Hall, Forfar.