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ANGUS COUNCIL

MINUTE of MEETING of the EDUCATION COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Tuesday 9 March 1999 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors BRIAN M C MILNE, Mrs KATHLEEN RITCHIE, GEORGE ALLAN, HELEN ANGUS, Provost Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN, Councillors JACK GIBB, Mrs RENATE LAMONT, STEWART McGLYNN, GLENNIS MIDDLETON, GEORGE NORRIE, SHEENA WELSH and SANDY WEST; and Ms MADELINE KINGSTON.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Reverend MARK CASSIDY, Reverend CARLEEN ROBERTSON, Mr PETER ANDREWS and Mr BRIAN McHARDY.

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 Item 2 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 6, 8, 9 and 10.

2. PROCUREMENT OF ICT EQUIPMENT FOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS

With reference to Article 16 of the minute of meeting of the Finance and Information Technology Committee of 1 December 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 271/99 by the Directors of Information Technology and Education seeking homologation of their decision to procure information and communication technology (ICT) equipment in order to enhance and improve delivery of the curriculum within secondary schools.

The Committee agreed, for its interest:-

(i) to homologate the decision taken by the Directors of Education and Information Technology in consultation with the respective Conveners, to accept the lowest submitted tender for the procurement of ICT equipment for secondary schools;

(ii) to approve the procurement of computer equipment at a cost of £57,000 from Computer Technology (Scotland) Limited;

(iii) to homologate the decision taken by the Directors of Education and Information Technology, in consultation with the respective Conveners, to accept the quotation from Research Machines Limited in terms of Financial Regulation 14.1(3c) in respect of equipment which was compatible with the existing infrastructure at Montrose Academy;

(iv) to approve the procurement of equipment at a cost of £20,560 from Research Machines Limited; and

(v) to refer Report No 271/99 to the Finance and Information Technology Committee on 16 March 1999.

3. MINUTES

(a) Previous meeting

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 26 January 1999 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

(b) Joint Consultative Committee (Teachers)

The minute of meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee (Teachers) of 22 February 1999, a copy of which is appended hereto (Appendix I) was submitted and noted.

(c) Special Cases Sub-Committee

The minute of meeting of the Special Cases Sub-Committee of 25 February 1999, a copy of which is appended hereto (Appendix II) was submitted and noted.

(d) Teachers’ Grievance and Premature Retirement Sub-Committee

The Director of Law and Administration reported on the outcome of the meeting of the Teachers’ Grievance and Premature Retirement Sub-Committee held earlier this day. The Committee noted the decisions of the Sub-Committee as set out in the minute, a copy of which is appended hereto (Appendix III).

4. REVIEW OF CHARGES 1999/2000

There was submitted Report No 265/99 by the Director of Education recommending increases in charges made for services provided by the Education Department in relation to letting of school premises and the community education service.

The Committee agreed to approve the increases in charges as outlined in Report No 265/99.

5. RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS – AMALGAMATION OF BUDGETS

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of the Social Work Committee of 2 March 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 247/99 by the Directors of Education and Social Work setting out in an appendix the joint process of the Education and Social Work Departments for dealing with young people with difficulties.

The Report indicated that a Value for Money (VFM) study involving representatives of both Departments had been carried out to review the management of the budgets for residential schools. The VFM Group had recommended that the two budgets be amalgamated as set out in option B in the Report to ensure that the already good working relationship between the two Departments was consolidated and to enable available resources to be used on the joint approach to help develop services.

The Committee agreed to note the terms of Report No 247/99 for its interest.

6. TOWARDS A SHARED VISION

There was submitted Report No 266/99 by the Director of Education advising that individual schools and support services were expected, as part of the Council’s process of development planning, to develop an explicit statement of aims to ensure that schools and support services had a shared vision of the future of the education service in Angus into the new Millennium. The Report set out in an Appendix, a discussion paper which would form the basis for consultation to develop the shared statement.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to endorse the broad thrust of the discussion paper set out in Appendix I to Report No 266/99;

(ii) to authorise a widely based consultation exercise with the staff and School Boards on the discussion paper; and

(iii) to instruct the Director of Education to report on the outcome of the consultation exercise in due course.

7. LIFF PRIMARY SCHOOL – DELINEATED AREA

With reference to Article 3(a) of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 26 January 1999, there was submitted Report No 267/99 by the Director of Education describing the results of the recent consultation exercise on amendments to the delineated area of Liff Primary School and recommending a reduction in the delineated area as outlined in the map appended to the Report.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the outcomes of the recently completed consultation exercise on possible amendments to the delineated area of Liff Primary School;

(ii) to approve, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State for Scotland, the deletion of the area described in "Option B" (one of the options on which the consultation exercise was based) from the delineated areas of Liff Primary School, Forfar Academy and Monifieth High School as detailed in recommendation 1(b) of Report No 267/99;

(iii) to confer priority for future placement in Liff Primary School on the younger siblings of any children currently enrolled in Liff Primary School and residing in the deleted area as referred to in (ii) above, so that such children would have the same priority as any other children resident within the school’s delineated area; and

(iv) to authorise the Director of Education to seek the approval of the Secretary of State for Scotland for the amendment referred to in (ii) above.

8. CRITERIA FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SCHOOL CROSSING PATROL SITES

With reference to Article 13 of the minute of meeting of the Roads Committee of 11 June 1998, there was submitted Joint Report No 268/99 by the Directors of Roads and Education examining the criteria for determining whether or not a School Crossing Patrol was justified and recommending that the existing sites in Angus be assessed in terms of criteria set by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) and the Local Authority Road Safety Officers Association (LARSOA). A copy of the guidelines for the management and operation of the School Crossing Patrol Service had been placed in the Members’ Lounge.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to adopt the ROSPA/LARSOA National Criteria for examining the existing School Crossing Patrol Sites;

(ii) to instruct the Directors of Roads and Education to bring forward a further report in due course reviewing the justification for existing School Crossing Patrol sites assessed against these criteria; and

(iii) to refer Report 268/99 to the Roads Committee for its interest.

9. ANGUS EDUCATION/ENGINEERING INITIATIVE

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of the Economic Development Committee of 4 March 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 256/99 by the Chief Executive and Director of Education outlining a proposal for the development of a Forum at which schools and engineering companies could share their ideas and aspirations and develop mutual understanding.

The Report advised that the aim of the Forum would be to raise the profile of engineering by providing information about local engineering companies and about employment opportunities generally within this industrial sector and recommended that the Marketing Assistant from the Economic Development Unit be assigned specific duties in this regard for a period of 6 months.

The Committee agreed, for its interest, to approve the joint initiative by the Education Department and Economic Development Unit to implement an Education/Industry programme of action (in conjunction with the Tayside Engineering Forum and the Angus Education Business Partnership) aimed at developing a mutual understanding between local engineering firms and Angus schools and improving the image of engineering as a career.

10. APPOINTMENT OF A LITERATURE DEVELOPMENT OFFICER

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 4 March 1999, there was submitted Joint Report No 230/99 by the Directors of Cultural Services and Education informing members that match funding had been secured from the Scottish Arts Council in respect of the appointment of a Literature Development Officer and setting out the details of the post.

The Committee agreed to note that the sum of £10,000 in match funding had been secured from the Scottish Arts Council for the appointment of a Literature Development Officer.

11. COMMUNITY EDUCATION SERVICE

(a) Central Grants to National Organisations and Other Outside Bodies

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 269/99 by the Director of Education recommending the award of grants to nine national organisations. The Report advised that one organisation had requested grant aid above the level of £500 and the recommended award was detailed in the Appendix.

The Committee agreed:-

(i) to note the grants of under £500 approved by officers in accordance with agreed Council policy; and

(ii) to approve the additional grant of over £500 as detailed in the Appendix to the Report.

(b) Revenue Grants to Voluntary Organisations 1998/99

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 270/99 by the Director of Education setting out in an Appendix the applications received for revenue grants over £500 to local voluntary organisations and making recommendations regarding awards.

The Committee agreed to approve the award of revenue grants totalling £11,550 as detailed in Appendix 1 to the Report.