Bulletin no 405/07 7 June 2007

BULLETINBulletin no 405/07 7 June 2007

1. CONGRESS 2007

The following are the main items from Congress 2007 held in the Hilton Coylumbridge Hotel, near Aviemore on 11 and 12 May.

(a) Presidential Address

The President, Albert McKay, addressed Congress on the theme of Your concerns – Our priorities. The full text of the Presidential Address can be found on the Association website at https://ssta.org.uk.

(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, https://ssta.org.uk.

(c) Life Membership

Life Membership of the Association was conferred on Barbara Clark, Stirling District and Bill Thomson, Ayr Area.

(d) Finance Committee.

The Report of the Finance Committee and Accounts for 2006 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 2006, as required by law, appears later in this Bulletin.

(e) Guests at Congress

The Association’s representatives were joined by guests from Aberdeenshire Council and from the political parties along with teacher unions from throughout the UK and overseas. The Highland Council generously provided a Civic Reception. The Programme Director of Curriculum for Excellence, Gill Robertson, addressed Congress in a Keynote Speech and answered questions from delegates.

(f) Motions to Congress

The following motions were approved by Congress.

MOTION 1

This Association believes that employers of teachers in Scottish schools should ensure that every time a pupil is excluded from school for violent behaviour, a Risk Assessment is carried out, as a matter of course, before that pupil returns to school.

MOTION 2

This Association expresses grave concern about misuse of internet posting sites to harass, intimidate and defame teachers. The Association calls on the Scottish Executive to co-operate with all appropriate regulatory bodies to ensure that owners of such sites are made responsible for the content therein.

MOTION 3

Congress calls on the Scottish Executive and the GTC(S) to ensure that the providers of Initial Teacher Education courses in Scotland review each of these courses to ensure that students are appropriately trained regarding Health & Safety legislation and regulation. Students should also be trained to recognise problems which they may encounter as teachers and which may affect the health & safety of both pupils and teachers.

MOTION 4

This Association, being aware of unusually high levels of mesothelioma in the population who attended school in Scotland from the 1960s onwards, demands that the Scottish Executive undertakes an intensive audit of all local authority schools in Scotland and ensures that no asbestos remains present in these buildings so that in consequence future health risks are minimised.

MOTION 5

This Association expresses concern that the focus of “A Curriculum for Excellence” loses sight of the traditional subject-based curriculum in favour of an excessive emphasis on a process driven approach.

MOTION 6

Congress notes with concern that, while schools are being exhorted to engage with the Curriculum for Excellence programme, there is, as yet, very little concrete detail with which to engage.SEED is therefore exhorted to produce a more definitive timetable for the programme’s implementation and more information to assist schools with forward planning and necessary curricular decision-making.

MOTION 7

This Congress calls on the Scottish Executive to take action to preserve the breadth of curriculum which has gained Scottish education an international reputation for excellence. The basic content of curriculum must be protected from individual Head Teachers and Authorities removing subjects currently on offer in schools and thus limiting choice to students.

MOTION 8

Congress calls upon the incoming Scottish Executive and all local authorities to ensure that the principles of a Curriculum for Excellence are not compromised by reductions in funding or staffing in any of Scotland’s schools.

MOTION 9

This Association reminds local authorities that the concept of inclusion has a wider application than merely to assign or condemn young people with additional support needs to mainstream education where some are clearly unable to access the curriculum in any meaningful way.

MOTION 10

Congress supports moves by the Scottish Executive to create an effective framework which ensures that monies intended for school use are actually used to provide services for or within schools and not diverted to non-educational services.

MOTION 11

Now that all schools in Scotland are health promoting schools, this Association calls upon the Scottish Executive to encourage and assist local authorities to take all necessary steps to ensure that a teacher’s work can be achieved within the agreed 35 hour week.

MOTION 12

This Association welcomes, in principle, the proposed introduction, by UCAS, of post qualification applications (PQA) to Higher Education, but registers its concern on the potential workload implications for teachers during the summer holiday period.

MOTION 13

This Association urges all local authorities to ensure that they observe the requirements of SNCT18 in disciplinary procedures relating to teachers. Furthermore, we urge employers to ensure that no employee may act as investigating officer without having undergone relevant training to include familiarisation with ACAS Code of Practice and the Employment Act 2002.

Emergency Motion

Congress welcomes the assertion by the Scottish Executive that funding will be made available to reduce class sizes in S1/S2 English and Maths from August 2007.

Congress does, however, remain sceptical that the introduction of 20 as an ‘average’ rather than ‘maximum’ class size will be to the benefit of all pupils, particularly those who will remain in classes of over 20 pupils and calls upon the new Minister for Education to reaffirm the SEED commitment to a maximum class size of 20.

2. COUNCIL 13 MAY 2007

The following members were elected to the Executive and Finance Committees:

Executive Finance
James Forbes James Forbes
Richard Goring Richard Goring
Bill Guthrie Sidney Sandison
Margaret Smith George Sturrock
Elaine Henderson  
George Sturrock  
   

3. FINANCIAL STATEMENT

INCOME
Membership subscriptions
£1,081,205
Other income
151,319
 
1,232,524

 
EXPENDITURE
*Annual Operating Costs
£1,178,422
Appropriations
SURPLUS/(DEFICIT)
54,102
 
1,232,524
 
*including:

In respect of General Secretary:

Salary
72,489

Superannuation and NIC
16,270
Employee’s Superannuation Contributions
4,233
Key Person’s life policy premium
2,183
essential user’s car allowance
822
 
Honoraria to elected Office Bearers:
General Treasurer
6,400
Minutes Secretary
4,600
President
1,900
 
£ 108,897

The Association does not maintain a political fund

4. AUDITORS REPORT

We have audited the financial statements of the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association for the year ended 31 December 2006 which comprise the Cash Flow statement, the Income and Expenditure Account, the Balance Sheet and related notes. The financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention and the accounting policies set out therein and the requirements of the Financial Reporting Standard for Smaller Entities.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

As described in the statement of Finance Committee’s responsibilities members of the Finance Committee are responsible for the preparation of the financial statements 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. Opinion

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 2006 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 and the information given in the Report of the Finance Committee is consistent with the accounts.

Tindell, Grant & Co

Registered Auditors

6 Munro Road

Springkerse

Stirling FK7 7UU

Date 7 May 2007

5. STATEMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH S 32A 6(A) OF THE ACT

“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.

6. MEMBERSHIP

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

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7. TEACHERS KEEP IN TOUCH – GTCS

Did you receive your copy of Teaching Scotland in February?If the answer to this question is “no” there is a possibility that GTCS may not have your correct address details on the register. With recent changes to the Teacher Registration Rules, it is now compulsory that teachers notify GTCS when moving home or changing name. This is important because:

– Registration rules state that teachers will be removed from the register if they do not update their details with GTC Scotland- As your regulatory body we need to have correct contact details so we can communicate effectively with you

Over the past year, the GTCS has been working hard to locate teachers for whom they have no up-to-date address details. Despite a targeted advertising campaign, including posters and leaflets, there are still 800 teachers who have failed to update their details.By 1 October those who have not updated their details could be removed from the register – which obviously could have major implications for you and your school.

Avril Barker, GTCS Director of Professional Services, and the person responsible for the register says “It is important teachers take responsibility for ensuring their contact details are up to date. This will enable us to communicate effectively with them throughout their teaching career”.

Checking if GTCS hold your up-to-date details is easy. Visit http://www.gtcs.org.uk/mygtcs and click on the ‘sign up for access’ link. Once approved (usually within 24 hours) you will be able to login, check and update your details if necessary.

8. WERE YOU IN THE JORDANHILL CLASS OF 1976?

Former students from Jordanhill College are being invited to attend a diploma awards ceremony – more than 30 years after they qualified.The special celebration is to be held in November on the Jordanhill Campus – now part of the University of Strathclyde – for the class of 1976. The year saw widespread student protests across Scotland and some diploma ceremonies, including those at the College, were cancelled as a result. Now, 31 years later, the University wants to give these alumni the opportunity to don a gown, walk across the stage and be congratulated by staff, family and classmates. All Jordanhill alumni from 1976 for whom the University has a postal address will be invited. The event will take place in the afternoon of Saturday 10 November 2007 at Jordanhill. To make sure you receive your invitation, please update your details via the alumni website at http://www.strath.ac.uk/alumi For more information about the awards ceremony, please contact Lucy Alder, Alumni Officer, on On behalf of the President and Council, the Association wishes all its members a well-deserved restful and enjoyable summer vacation.

ANN BALLINGER, President

DAVID EAGLESHAM, General Secretary

Published on 15 November 2007 - Bulletin