1. CfE Survey
The Association is conducting a survey to ascertain your views on CfE using fair and unbiased questions. Your school rep has been sent paper copies and an electronic copy can be completed online via the SSTA website. Please use one of these to enable the Association to represent your views to the Cabinet Secretary, and campaign for the best possible outcome for secondary teachers in Scotland. If you do not respond it will be assumed that you believe CfE can proceed in August 2010 without any additional information or reassurance.
2. Curriculum Consultation
The forum area of the website contains subject specialist areas to enable teachers to comment on any aspect of the curriculum. Your comments are particularly important during the current changes in Scottish education.
Please also use the forums to give your views on the 2010 diet of exams. The information collected is passed to SQA who report that we are the only group of teachers feeding back information, concerns and general opinion on the exam diet. They find the information invaluable.
3. REDUCING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Many of you will have received a copy of the Association CfE survey by email. The Association hopes to use this method of communication as often as possible for 2 reasons
• To reduce our carbon footprint
• To reduce our postal cost and assist in maintaining our annual subscription at the lowest possible rate.
If you are willing to participate in this carbon footprint reduction please email the office at email@example.com, add "carbon footprint" to the subject box and add your name and preferred email address in the text box.
4. LAWLINE SERVICE
Members are reminded of the Association's free legal advisory service, Lawline. Morton Fraser Solicitors provide SSTA members with free confidential legal advice by telephone or email. The service permits members to seek legal advice on any issues affecting them (excluding employment matters which should be directed to the General Secretary). The advice given is prompt, comprehensive, impartial and covers other jurisdictions as well as Scots law. Advice can cover consumer matters, domestic issues, contracts, family law, estates and travel to name but a few areas. To make use of the service you can telephone on 07770 748556 or email at: Lawline@morton-fraser.com.
5. COUNCIL 6 MARCH 2010
Council heard reports on the latest progress on the following issues:
• CfE-the lack of clarity over the proposed exam structure and increasing concerns about the lack of progress towards implementation.
• Problems associated with proposals to assess Literacy and Numeracy
• Workforce planning resulting in a reduction of 200 student secondary teachers across subject areas in 2010-11.
• Initial response to the government document "Toward an Independent General Teacher Council for Scotland - A Scottish Government Response" on the future of the GTCS. In particular members discussed and condemned the proposal for reaccreditation of Scottish teachers every 5 years.
• Amendments to legislation related to maternity leave and the accrual of holiday entitlement. An advice note will be issued when the situation is clarified. In the interim, members affected should contact the Association for advice.
The following Motions were approved:
- Due to the continued lack of progress in providing materials to allow the effective implementation of Curriculum for Excellence in secondary schools, this Association calls on the Scottish Government to delay the implementation of the programme until more work is done to provide a coherent and properly resourced curriculum for young people.
Schools will not be in a position to implement the new curriculum from August 2010.
We remain particularly concerned about:
the lack of specified content in subject areas where this is essential
the lack of any useful exemplification of the Experiences and Outcomes
the lack of detail on assessment for individual curricular areas
the concept of folio assessment for literacy and numeracy
the lack of workable curricular models
the disparity of provision across local authorities and individual schools
the lack of increased funding and resources during this planning stage and beyond
the shortage of relevant CPD
Our main concern, however, remains the damaging effect that unsatisfactory premature implementation will have on the next generation of pupils.
- Council expresses its extreme concern that the CfE Management Board has continued to fail to accept that enormous damage will be done to the state education system by the decision that the new National Qualification at level 4 will be totally internally assessed.
Council believes that this arrangement will cause the qualification to be seen as a second class award. Council recognises that the arrangement is again the cheap option.
Council cannot accept that the Management Board understands the relevant concerns and condemns the Board for this failing.
It is clear that Scotland's parents will be highly critical of the proposal and that their voice must be heeded.
Council now calls on the Cabinet Secretary to ignore the views of the Management Board and to instruct that the level 4 award be based on an assessment mechanism which is substantially externally assessed.
6. PROOF OF SALARY PAYMENTS AND DEDUCTIONS
The Association very strongly recommends to all members that they retain every salary advice notice from the day they entre teaching until they are past retiral.
This is all the more important for members undertaking part-time, temporary or supply work and for those in acting posts.
Regrettably there have been cases where members at the time of retirement have questioned the length of service or salary used to calculate their retiring benefits (pension and lump sum). Claims in this regard are very difficult to prove unless there is documentary evidence of the salary paid, and superannuation contributions.
It is not sufficient to rely on the employer to retain such records. They do not do so for the required length of time. The employer may, of course, no longer exist in its earlier form.
7. CHANGE OF ADDRESS
Members who have changes to their personal details are asked to notify the Association office in writing or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PETER WRIGHT President
ANN BALLINGER General Secretary