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ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of MEETING of the EDUCATION COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 23 November 1999 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors BRIAN MILNE, SHEENA WELSH, Provost Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN, Councillors JACK GIBB, DAVID LUMGAIR, STEWART McGLYNN, GLENNIS MIDDLETON, ROBERT MYLES, PETER NIELD, GEORGE NORRIE, KITTY RITCHIE and SANDY WEST and Mr PETER ANDREWS and Mr BRIAN McHARDY.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Reverend MARK CASSIDY, Reverend CARLEEN ROBERTSON and Reverend KENNETH GIBSON.

Councillor MILNE, Convener, in the Chair

1. MINUTES

(a) Previous Meeting

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 19 October 1999 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

(b) Staffing Sub-Committee

The minute of meeting of the Staffing Sub-Committee of 11 November 1999, a copy of which is appended hereto, was submitted and noted. (APPENDIX)

2. 2000/2001 REVENUE BUDGET

There was submitted Report No 1211/99 by the Director of Finance advising the Committee of the latest position with regard to the preparation of the Education Departmental 2000/2001 Revenue Budget and associated issues, together with a summary of the departmental provisional base budget for 2000/2001 as submitted to the Director of Finance and subsequently reviewed by the Technical Validation Group.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report for its interest at this stage in the budget process and that more detailed reports with specific recommendations would be brought forward later in the budget cycle.

3. 1999/2003 FINANCIAL PLAN AND 2000/2001 CAPITAL BUDGET

There was submitted Report No 1212/99 by the Director of Finance advising the Committee of the latest position with regard to the preparation of the 1999/2003 Financial Plan (incorporating the 2000/2001 Capital Budget) for the Education Department, together with departmental Financial Plan submissions for 1999/2003 as returned to the Director of Finance and subsequently reviewed by the Technical Validation Group.

The Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report for its interest at this stage in the Financial Plan process and that more detailed reports with specific recommendations would be brought forward later in the Financial Plan cycle.

4. IMPROVING OUR SCHOOLS: SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS - THE RIDDELL REPORT

With reference to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of the Social Work Committee of 16 November 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 1163/99 by the Director of Social Work and the Director of Education drawing the attention of the Committee to the publication of the Scottish Executive’s response to the Report of the Advisory Committee of Children with Severe Low Incidence Disabilities, chaired by Professor Sheila Riddell of Glasgow University.

The Report of the Advisory Committee, known as the Riddell Report, had been welcomed by the Scottish Executive and had led, in turn, to the publication of a consultation document entitled "Improving Our Schools: Special Educational Needs". Views on the consultation document, which made 22 recommendations, were invited from all interested parties by 30 November 1999 and Angus Council’s proposed response was outlined in Appendix 1 to the Report.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of the Report for its interest;

(ii) to endorse the comments in the Appendix to the Report as Angus Council’s response to "Improving our Schools: Special Educational Needs"; and

(iii) to instruct the Director of Education and the Director of Social Work to bring forward detailed reports following the national consultation exercise setting out the resource implications for Angus Council.

5. IMPLEMENTING INCLUSIVENESS: REALISING POTENTIAL - THE BEATTIE COMMITTEE REPORT

With reference to Article 10 of the minute of meeting of the Social Work Committee of 16 November 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 1162/99 by the Director of Social Work and the Director of Education drawing the attention of the Committee to the Beattie Committee Report which comprised a series of documents focusing on the range of needs of young people who required additional support to make the transition from school to post-school education, training or employment.

Comments on the Report were sought by 30 November 1999 and Angus Council’s proposed response was outlined in section 4 of the Report.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of the Report for its interest;

(ii) to endorse the comments in section 4 of the Report as Angus Council’s response to the Beattie Committee Report; and

(iii) to instruct the Director of Social Work and the Director of Education to bring forward detailed reports setting out the resource implications for Angus Council following publication of the National Action Plan, as outlined in the Report, and consultation with further education institutions, the enterprise network, the voluntary sector and the business community in Angus.

6. "QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN EDUCATION - SELF EVALUATION FOR LOCAL AUTHORITY EDUCATION DEPARTMENTS" - RESPONSE TO DRAFT GUIDE

With reference to Article 3(a) of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 19 October 1999, there was submitted Report No 1200/99 by the Director of Education advising the Committee that Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Schools had prepared a draft guide entitled "Quality Management in Education" to assist Education Departments to engage in systematic and ongoing self evaluation of their quality management functions. The Report encouraged the Committee to offer a cautious welcome to the draft guide and sought approval for the response set out in the Appendix.

The Committee agreed to authorise the Director of Education to forward a copy of the Appendix to the Report to the Scottish Executive as Angus Council’s response to the draft guide.

7. EARLY INTERVENTION - PHASE 1 EVALUATION REPORT

With reference to Article 7 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 26 January 1999, there was submitted Report No 1201/99 by the Director of Education which advised the Committee that the evaluation of Phase 1 of the Early Intervention Project had been completed and set out the key issues and recommendations addressed in the Evaluation Report.

The Angus Early Intervention Project had now entered its third phase and all primary schools were now involved. The Evaluation of Phase 1 of the Project had been encouraging and there were promising signs that a basis was being established which would enhance pupil achievement in future years.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of the Report;

(ii) to note in particular the summary of key issues addressed within the Evaluation Report, a copy of which had been placed in the Members’ Lounge; and

(ii) to note in particular the continuing positive impact of the Angus Early Intervention Project in Phase 1 schools and the sound basis for an improved pupil achievement which was being established through the Early Intervention Project.

8. ANTI-BULLYING POLICY STATEMENT

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 19 October 1999, there was submitted Report No 1202/99 by the Director of Education seeking the Committee’s approval of the revised Anti-Bullying Policy Statement as set out in the Appendix. It was intended that the Statement would provide a framework for the consistent and systematic management of concerns about bullying which were brought to the attention of schools or the authority.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the terms of the Report;

(ii) to approve the Anti-Bullying Policy Statement appended to the Report; and

(iii) to authorise the Director of Education to issue the Statement to schools and support services.

9. MONIFIETH HIGH SCHOOL POOL USAGE

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 18 November 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 1147/99 by the Director of Recreation Services, the Director of Education and the Contract Services Manager providing members with an update on the use of Monifieth High School pool during the October school holiday period. The Report concluded that utilisation of the pool during this period had been successful and would now fall to be further considered as part of the overall operation of the Council’s pool facilities.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

(i) to note the contents of the Report; and

(ii) to note that a Report on the future operation of the overall pool facilities of Angus Council would be brought forward early in the New Year.