Bulletin no 401/06 30 May 2006

Bulletin no 401/06 30 May 2006

1. CONGRESS 2006

The following are the main items from Congress 2006 held in Coylumbridge, Aviemore on 12 and 13 May.

(a) Presidential Address

The President, Albert McKay, addressed Congress on the theme of Supporting Teacher Professionalism. The full text of the Presidential Address can be found on the Association website at

(b) General Secretary's Address

The General Secretary, David Eaglesham, addressed Congress on the reform of the role of local government in education. His report in full can be accessed on the Association's website,

(c) Life Membership

Life Membership of the Association was conferred on Bill Fitzpatrick, Ayr Area.

(d) Finance Committee

The Report of the Finance Committee and Accounts for 2005 were approved. A copy of the Report and Accounts will be sent to all school representatives with this Bulletin and may be consulted by members. The Financial Statement to 31 December 2005, as required by law, appears later in this Bulletin.

(e) Guests at Congress

The Association's representatives were joined by Peter Peacock, Minister for Education and Young People, guests from the political parties, teacher unions from throughout the UK and oversees and The Highland Council, who generously provided a Civic Reception. The Chief Executive/Registrar of GTCS, Matthew MacIver, addressed Congress in a Keynote Speech and answered questions from delegates.

(f) Motions to Congress

The following motions were approved:


That this Association continues to express its concern at the establishment of faculty arrangements in secondary schools in Scotland, and consequently demands that the Scottish Executive sets in motion an independent academic review of those arrangements and that the review findings be published widely to all interested parties.


This Association calls upon the Scottish Executive Education Department to commission an immediate study of the impact of the changing promoted post structures on support for those students undertaking Initial Teacher Education and Probationary Teachers attempting to achieve the Standard for Full Registration.


This Association expresses concern about the implementation of the Chartered Teacher programme, in particular, its inaccessibility to many teachers because of the self funding requirement.Congress calls on SEED to undertake a review of the programme's implementation to ensure, inter alia, its accessibility to all teachers who wish to consider undertaking it.


This Association affirms the right of all teachers who acquire statutory employment rights to benefit from all conditions of service which apply to teachers holding full time permanent posts.


This Association urges all interested parties to ensure that History is retained as a discrete subject in the curriculum offered at all stages within Scottish secondary schools.


The Association congratulates the Scottish Executive on their proposal to reduce class sizes in English and Maths to 20 in S1-2 and looks forward to their extending this to all subjects.


This Association condemns funding cuts in schools and the damaging effects of such cuts on learning and teaching.


This Association urges the Scottish Executive to help tackle the growing rise in obesity and other diet related illnesses in school children in Scotland by ensuring that basic food preparation skills form part of every young person's education from S1 to S6.


This Association reminds all Scottish local authorities of their duty of care to their staff. It is with alarm that the Association notes the number of teachers absent through stress related illness. Congress therefore calls on all local authorities to investigate industry-wide good practice to ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to identify and support staff with such illnesses.


The Association commends the courage of teachers in Afghanistan who, at the risk of their own lives, continue to teach all young people in their communities regardless of gender. Congress calls on Education International to explore ways in which practical assistance may be rendered to our Afghan colleagues.


The Association welcomes the publication by Audit Scotland of “A Mid Term Report – a first stage review of the cost and implementation of the teachers' agreement ‘A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century'”, and commends the analyses which it provides.Congress deplores, however, the misleading inferences, being drawn from the report by certain commentators, which imply that ‘value for money' has not been delivered by the Agreement. Congress asserts that the Agreement, despite its acknowledged shortcomings, has brought about great improvements in the education system in Scotland for pupils, parents, teachers and the community.


Membership subscriptions
Other income


*Annual Operating Costs

In respect of General Secretary:



Superannuation and NIC
essential user's car allowance
Honoraria to elected Office Bearers:
General Treasurer
Minutes Secretary

The Association does not maintain a political fund


We have audited the accounts of the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association for the year ended 31 December 2005 which comprise pages 5 to 12. The financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention and the accounting policies set out therein. This report is made solely to the Association's members, as a body. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the Association's members those matters we are required to state to them in an auditor's report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the Association and the Association's members as a body, for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed. Respective responsibilities of the members of the finance committee and auditors Members of the Finance Committee are responsible for the preparation of the accounts in accordance with Trade Union Law and United Kingdom Accounting Standards (United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice).Our responsibility is to audit the financial statements in accordance with relevant legal and regulatory requirements and International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland). We report to you our opinion as to whether the financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of the Association's affairs. We also report to you if, in our opinion, the Report of the Finance Committee is not consistent with the financial statements, if the Association has not kept proper accounting records or if we have not received all the information and explanations we require for our audit. We read the Report of the Finance Committee and consider the implications for our report if we become aware of any apparent misstatements within it.

Basis of audit opinion

We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) issued by the Auditing Practices Board. An audit includes examination, on a test basis, of evidence relevant to the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. It also includes an assessment of the significant estimates and judgements made by the members of the Finance Committee in the preparation of the financial statements, and of whether the accounting policies are appropriate to the Association's circumstances, consistently applied and adequately disclosed. We planned and performed our audit so as to obtain all the information and explanations which we considered necessary in order to provide us with sufficient evidence to give reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement, whether caused by fraud or other irregularity or error. In forming our opinion we also evaluated the overall adequacy of the presentation of information in the financial statements.


In our opinion the financial statements give a true and fair view, in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice, of the state of the Association's affairs as at 31 December 2005 and of its surplus for the year then ended and have been properly prepared in accordance with the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.

Tindell, Grant & Co

Registered Auditors

6 Munro Road



FK7 7UU5

May 2006


“A member who is concerned that some irregularity may be occurring, or have occurred, in the conduct of the financial affairs of the union may take steps with a view to investigating further, obtaining clarification and, if necessary, securing regularisation of that conduct.The member may raise any such concern with such one or more of the following as it seems appropriate to raise it with: the officials of the union, the trustees of the property of the union, the auditor or auditors of the union, the Certification Officer (who is an independent officer appointed by the Secretary of State) and the police. Where a member believes that the financial affairs of the union have been or are being conducted in breach of the law or in breach of rules of the union and contemplates bringing civil proceedings against the union or responsible officials or trustees, he should consider obtaining independent legal advice.”A copy of the full financial report has been issued to each school representative and will be available for inspection. Any member wishing an additional copy should write to the General Secretary.


It would be extremely helpful if members who are retiring at this time of year would notify the Association office of the fact. Members who transfer school should also let the office know of their new school details.SSTA would take this opportunity to wish those members retiring a long, healthy and happy retirement or, in the case of those transferring to another school, a stress-free transition and continued career success. Office staff would be grateful to all members who move home address during the summer to contact with a note of their new private address.

On behalf of the President and Council, the Association wishes all its members a well-deserved restful and enjoyable summer vacation.

ALBERT McKAY, President

DAVID EAGLESHAM, General Secretary