You can find a note of the motions taken to Congress 2015 and the decision of Congress below.
Links to Reports and speeches from Congress 2015 can be found here.
Motion A – Remitted to Executive
Congress calls on the SQA to remove the requirement for pupils to complete “Added Value Units” and Assignments at National 4 and National 5 as these have little educational value to justify the unnecessary stress they place on pupils and their teachers. These assessments do not measure the abilities of pupils but rather the amount of support at home to assist pupils with the research and preparation, as well as the abilities of teachers to get pupils through pointless hoops.
Ruth French, Aberdeenshire
Motion B – Largely carried
Given the evidence that rising numbers of pupils are being identified as self harming – usually a physical manifestation of underlying mental health/welfare issues – Congress is concerned that assessment burdens may be contributing to pupil stress and damaging pupil welfare.
Congress therefore calls on the SQA to review its current assessment requirements with the view to radically reducing the frequency and intensity of assessments that may be required to achieve course passes.
Kevin Madill, Aberdeenshire
Motion C – carried unanimously
Congress expresses alarm that a survey conducted recently by this Association regarding the implementation of New Higher Qualifications revealed there was a high level of dissatisfaction with the support received from Education Scotland and the SQA. The continued lack of accessible high quality assessment materials leads us to believe that these bodies have not taken adequate steps to address the concerns raised by teachers and other stakeholders following the introduction of previous National Qualifications. Congress calls for a survey to gather members’ views on assessment processes and procedures to seek to improve the structure of and support for National Qualifications assessment.
Catherine Nicol, Ayrshire
Motion D - carried unanimously
Conservative estimates place the number of young carers in Scotland as between 80000 and 120000. Recent research (August 2014) commissioned by the Scottish Youth Parliament highlights the fact that young carers face largely hidden but very significant challenges - not least financially and educationally - as the responsibilities they shoulder understandably take priority. In particular there is a need for greater co-ordinated supports - financial, emotional and educational - to be identified and organised in order to ensure that this vulnerable group have as a minimum the same life chances as their peers.
Congress instructs Executive to highlight the difficulties faced by young carers; to lobby the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government and COSLA in relation to the needs of these young carers and to support members in taking steps which will address the difficulties they face.
Ward McCormick, Executive Committee
Motions E – Defeated
Congress expresses its opposition to any attempt by Education Scotland/HMIe to impose 'no notice' inspections on Secondary schools.
Sid Sandison, Executive Committee
Motion F - carried unanimously
Congress wishes to see the retention of a state education sector in Scotland that is in the hands of democratically elected local authorities. This Association will oppose attempts by such local authorities to remove their education service to trusts or other arms length bodies.
Ward McCormick, Executive Committee
Motion G - carried unanimously
Bureaucracy is recognised as an increasing contributor to workload. This Association calls on the Scottish Government to report on the success in reducing Bureaucracy since the introduction of its document “Curriculum for Excellence Working Group on Tackling Bureaucracy”.
Paul Cochrane, Renfrew
Motion H - Largely Carried
It has come to light that the payment made to teachers for participating in “Supported Study” is inconsistent across the Local Authorities of Scotland.
This Association calls on SNCT, to acknowledge that “Supported Study” is a useful tool in raising attainment, and that payment for teachers be consistent and appropriate across all Local Authorities in recognition for the time spent with the pupils and the time required for preparation.
John Guidi, Renfrew
Motion I - Carried
Congress calls on local authorities to remind school leaders that, when preparing School Improvement Plans, each plan should be evaluated and shown to be demonstrably achievable within the school’s Working Time Agreement.
Euan Duncan, Ayrshire
Motion J - Carried
The SSTA acknowledges the principles underpinning the “Named Person’s” role. However in order to protect our most vulnerable children, the SSTA insists that adequate training and preparation time must be provided for those teachers who will be expected to undertake this important role.
Anne O'Kane, ASN Panel
Motion K – Carried
The SSTA recognises the importance of the essential work undertaken specifically by those staff working in the field of Additional Support Needs, and as a consequence instructs the General Secretary to contact the cabinet secretary, GTCS, individual local authority employers and individual independent schools to seek assurances that they too share our recognition of this and that there will be no further reduction in the number of staff who work in this important field.
Peter Donnelly, ASN Panel
Motion L - Carried
In the interest of furthering the inclusive nature of the SSTA, Congress calls on the General Secretary to investigate and then provide a report to Council on the ways in which this Association can widen access to all members, particularly those who have an incapacity or who have responsibilities as carers.
Catherine Nicol, Equalities Panel