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APPENDIX III to the minute of meeting of the Education Committee of 5 March 2002 (Article 1(c) refers)

MINUTE of MEETING of the JOINT CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE (TEACHERS) held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Monday 11 February 2002 at 3.30 pm.

Present:

Authority Representatives

Councillors BRIAN MILNE and SHEENA WELSH, JIM ANDERSON (Director of Education), NEIL LOGUE (Head of Educational Services) JAN NOWAK (Head of Educational Services) and CRAIG CLEMENT, (Head of Educational Services).

Teachers' Representatives

GRAEME KIDDIE, PETER ANDREWS, BRIAN McHARDY, ARTHUR PRITCHARD and ALICE McLEOD.

Apologies: Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of JIM FALCONER and LESLEY ANDERSON.

Mr Graeme Kiddie, Chairman, in the Chair.

1. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 10 December 2001 was submitted and approved as a correct record.

2. NATIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

With reference to Article 3 of the minute of previous meeting, there was submitted Report No 104/02 by the Director of Education which had been approved by the Education Committee on 22 January 2002. The Report set out the key issues arising from two consultation exercises in relation to the new National Qualifications (NQs), namely (a) a Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) Review of Assessment within National Qualifications which sought to explore views on two options for the assessment and certification of new National Qualification courses; and (b) a Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) National Qualification Review.

The Education Committee had endorsed the responses to the SEED and SQA Reviews which had been submitted by officers of the Education Department to comply with consultation deadlines and which had been informed by extensive deliberations within the Curriculum Advisory Groups (CAGs) attended by all Principal Teachers in Angus.

Neil Logue indicated that, whilst there had been some move towards replacing Standard Grade Science by the Intermediate National Qualification in Science at S3 level, Angus schools had taken a conservative approach towards the introduction of NQs in other subject areas at S3 level.

Brian McHardy referred to the consultation carried out with the CAGs and suggested that a wider consultation would have been preferable. He also pointed out that there had been differences of opinion among teaching staff on the preferred options in the consultation proposals. In response, Neil Logue referred to an article in "VIEW" seeking comments from all teachers, to which no response had been received.

The Group agreed:-

  1. to note the terms of the Report; and
  2. to note that Jim Anderson intended to submit to this Committee, a position statement on the introduction of National Qualifications in Secondary Schools in Angus.

3. BETTER BEHAVIOUR ­ BETTER LEARNING

(a) Working Group on Positive Behaviour Management

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of previous meeting, there was submitted a Note of Meeting of the Working Group on Positive Behaviour Management held on 9 January 2002 which set out the overarching remit of the Working Group to "map out a draft Angus Council Action Plan which builds on the recommendations of the National Discipline Task Group, contained within the Report of that Group "Better Behaviour ­ Better Learning"".

In considering its remit, the Working Group had proposed that the Scottish Executive Action Plan on the recommendations of the Discipline Task Group be issued to all schools in Angus with a covering letter from the Director of Education. The Working Group also recommended that a Report be presented to the Education Committee on the disbursement of additional resources from the Scottish Executive, in support of the implementation of the recommendations of the Discipline Task Group.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the Note of the Meeting of the Working Group on Positive Behaviour Management of 9 January 2001; and
  2. to note the overarching remit of the Working Group.

(b) The Discipline Task Group Recommendations ­ Resources for 2001/2002

With reference to Article 3(a) above, there was submitted Report No 97/02 by the Director of Education which had been approved by the Education Committee on 22 January 2002. The Report set out proposals regarding expenditure to be met from the additional resources allocated by the Scottish Executive in support of the implementation of the recommendations of the Discipline Task Group. The Report also sought an extension, from the Scottish Executive, of the deadline within which the expenditure,in the sum of £68,392 towards policy and review and planning and £227,974 towards the creation of pupil support bases in schools, could be incurred.

The Committee had agreed, in principle, to create pupil support bases in five secondary schools and had instructed the Director of Education to effect a short-term secondment, and establish a short life working group, to begin the process of policy review and planning.

Arthur Pritchard indicated that a short life working group had met and sought an update on the position with regard to the Scottish Executive deadline for expenditure. Jim Anderson indicated that he had written to the Scottish Executive in this regard. He had received no reply with regard to an extension beyond the current financial year with respect to the £68,000 allocation, but had received confirmation that the £227,000 allocation required to be committed within the current financial year.

Graeme Kiddie expressed the hope that the devolvement of "some" funding referred to in paragraph 3.3.2 of the Report would apply to all secondary schools in Angus.

Following discussion, the Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the terms of Report No 97/02; and
  2. that any outcomes from the Working Groups should be reported to this Committee prior to reporting to the Education Committee.

4. VIOLENCE AND AGGRESSION TO STAFF ­ NOVEMBER 2001 ­ JANUARY 2002

With reference to Article 6 of the minute of previous meeting, there was submitted Report No 196/02 by the Director of Education giving information about four cases relating to secondary pupils and eleven cases relating to primary pupils (two of these eleven involving one pupil who had been reported on six previous occasions); all relating to violence and/or aggression to staff which had occurred during the period November 2001 to January 2002.

Having heard further details from Jim Anderson, and Arthur Pritchard on to the need for the Discipline Task Group "Better Behaviour ­ Better Learning" funding to be allocated to primary schools, the Committee agreed to note the contents of the Report.

5. A TEACHING PROFESSION FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of previous meeting, the Committee considered progress reports in relation to the Tripartite Agreement "A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century" as follows:-

(a) Continuing Professional Development

The Committee agreed to note that the Guidelines on Continuing Professional Development had been issued to schools and that any comments received, to date, had been of a positive nature.

(b) Additional Support Staff

Jim Anderson reported on the provision of additional clerical and classroom support staff in schools in Angus and indicated that the Education Committee had recently approved additional IT and Property support staff. The Working Group was due to meet in March to consider additional support staff for 2002/2003.

The Committee agreed to note the position.

(c) Allocation of Probationer Teachers to Schools ­ August 2002 Onwards

There was submitted a draft paper by the Director of Education on the allocation of probationer teachers to schools from August 2002 onwards. The paper made a number of assumptions regarding the procedure, and set out the issues to be addressed, regarding the allocation and deployment of probationer teachers in primary and secondary schools in Angus. The paper also made proposals regarding a "fall back" position in the event that funding difficulties might arise.

Jim Anderson indicated that he had met with Mr Harvey Stalker (recruited by the Scottish Executive to assist in the implementation of the Induction Scheme for Probationer Teachers) regarding the placement of probationer teachers in Angus. Mr Stalker had advised that a computerised system would be introduced across Scotland, matching students to education authorities on a pro rata basis. Between 55 and 58 probationer posts would be allocated to schools in Angus. The posts would be part of a "guaranteed training year" but with no guarantee of permanent employment on completion of the probationer period. Each probationer would be guaranteed 1½ days of training per week within that "training year"

Jim Anderson had expressed concern regarding possible funding issues arising from a mismatch between the number of available places in Angus schools and the number of probationer teachers allocated.

Arthur Pritchard suggested that the draft paper formed a useful basis for discussion. He expressed concern regarding teachers who were currently on temporary contracts (including probationer teachers). He also highlighted the implications for cover by promoted staff in schools where two probationer teachers were appointed. Jim Anderson responded that there was an expectation within the "Scheme" that an "Induction Tutor" (with a ½ day per week time allocation) would be allocated within each school but that the implications arising from this would require to be considered.

The Committee agreed to note:-

  1. that the matter would be considered at a meeting with representatives of the Teachers' Panel to be held on 21 February 2002; and
  2. to note that further details of the allocation of probationer teachers to schools would be submitted to this Committee in due course.

(d) Formation of Joint Negotiating Committee for Teachers

Jim Anderson reminded the Committee that a Joint Negotiating Committee for teaching staff employed by Angus Council, required to be formed by 1 April 2002.

Peter Andrews indicated that good progress had been made in discussions. A further meeting of the Working Group would be held on 21 February 2002 when it was hoped that agreement would be reached on a revised Constitution and the authority's approval mechanism of local agreements.

The Committee agreed to note the current position.

6. TRAVELLING EXPENSES

There was submitted by the Director of Education draft Guidelines on claims for travelling expenses by peripatetic staff. The Guidelines had been produced following a recent internal audit and set out the existing responsibilities of employees and the procedure regarding claims for travel expenses.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the draft Guidelines on the current procedure for claims for travelling expenses by peripatetic staff; and
  2. to note that the issue of guidelines for peripatetic staff would be considered further in the context of the McCrone Agreement.

7. HEALTH AND SAFETY ­ PROVISION OF DRINKING WATER IN SCHOOLS

Brian McHardy reported on recent statistics in relation to the need for safe and drinkable water in schools. The statistics identified links between the low intake of water and poor educational performance and behavioural problems.

Craig Clement referred to a current survey which was being carried out on the accessibility of safe and drinkable water for staff and pupils in schools and indicated that a Report would be submitted to this Committee on completion of the audit.

Jim Anderson stressed that this was a genuine issue which could be addressed through either mains water provision or commercial supply although no additional monies would be made available.

The Committee agreed to continue to monitor the position in schools.

8. E LEARNING

There was submitted by Philip Jackson an EIS Paper on an E Learning initiative entitled "The Learning Representative Programme". The initiative had been undertaken jointly with the University of Paisley Business School. The rationale of the initiative was based on the need for Learning Representatives to support the current 250 members of the teaching profession undertaking the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) E Learning Programme.

The course was capable of being developed into a full post-graduate module which could be used by participants to develop lifelong learning or CPD portfolios through on-line work based learning.

The Committee agreed that Philip Jackson, Joint Secretary, should speak to this item, as he was a participant in the CPD Programme.

Thereafter, Philip Jackson advised that the CPD Programme was currently being piloted across Scotland and that Mr Peter Grant, Teacher, Arbroath Academy was the Learning Representative for Angus. Philip Jackson gave details of the role of the E Learning Representative, referred to the value of the course in terms of CPD, and sought recognition of the project and reasonable paid time off for the Learning Representative.

Jim Anderson recognised, in principle, the value of the project and indicated that he would refer the information on the pilot project to the Education ICT Team.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the EIS Paper on E Learning; and
  2. to note that Philip Jackson and Peter Grant would act as link persons with the Council's ICT Team with regard to the project.

9. REVENUE BUDGET 2002/2003

The Committee was advised that the Central Consultative Committee would meet on Thursday 14 February 2002 to discuss the revenue budget 2002/2003. The papers had been formally made available to teacher and trade union representatives as from 4.00 pm on this day.

Councillor Milne indicated that the Education Department had been required to make a cut of 1.5% in the Revenue Budget. Jim Anderson explained the various savings which had been necessary and indicated that the cuts had been spread over a range of services in all sectors to minimise the impact.

Peter Andrews expressed concern regarding staffing cuts and the impact of a further 1.5% cut in the current year on top of a cut of 1% in the Revenue Budget in the previous year. He recognised that the manner in which the cuts had been allocated would minimise the effect but stressed that, with year on year cuts, it would be difficult to retain the quality of the current service.

The Committee agreed to note the position.

10. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The Committee agreed that the next meeting should be held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Monday 13 May 2002 at 3.30 pm (Agenda setting meeting on Monday 29 April 2002).

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