A full list of the motions from the Congress Agenda 2017 are listed below.  This page will be updated during the course of Congress to indicate the outcome of the motion.

Video of Emergency Motions being debated at Congress 2017

Emergency Motion 1 - Carried Unanimously

Because of the radical change in content and lack of preparation time, the SSTA demands that the Cabinet Secretary for Education instructs the SQA to suspend immediately the changes to National 5 Computing and Biology

Proposer: Kevin Campbell, Education Committee


Emergency Motion 2 - Carried Unanimously

Young people are starting their National 5 courses as we speak.  The SSTA demands that the Cabinet Secretary for Education meets with the SSTA to negotiate appropriate and realistic timelines for changes to National 5 qualifications.

Proposer: James Cowans, Education Committee


Motion A - Largely Carried

The SSTA demands that the Scottish Government and Local Authorities respect GTCS registered subject specialists and employ only such teachers to teach and assess all accredited courses.

The SSTA also calls on the GTCS to specify the requirements for teachers to deliver new courses which do not have a tradition of teacher training.

Proposer: Peter Thorburn, Education Committee


Motion B - Carried Unanimously

Since the implementation of Curriculum for Excellence, there has been a squeeze on a number of core subjects resulting in a reduction of depth and breadth. The Association calls on both HMIE and Local Authorities to ensure a more balanced approach to all subjects within the Curriculum.

 Proposer: Stuart Hunter, Lothian Area


Motion C - Carried nem con

Insight has huge impact on the working of schools. The SSTA demands that the Scottish Government  reviews the structure of the Insight Dashboard to minimise any unintended consequences and ensure schools are organised for the benefit of pupils, not statistics.

Proposer: Ruth French, Education Committee


Motion D - Largely carried

Congress believes that having parts of National Course Assessments that can be completed at home contributes to the gap in attainment that exists between pupils from different backgrounds.

Congress calls on the SQA to end this unfair form of assessment.

Proposer:  Gordon West, Aberdeenshire


Motion E - Carried Unanimously

The SSTA calls on the Scottish Government to promote and incentivise subject specialists with an appropriate career structure thus maintaining subject specialism and enhancing pupil attainment.

Proposer: John Guidi, Education Committee


Motion F - Carried nem con

The Association believes in equity of opportunity for career progression for all teachers. It is unacceptable that teachers who are not qualified to teach RME/RMPS are increasingly being expected to teach this subject.  It reduces the value of the subject and can have a negative impact on teachers and pupils.  The Association calls on the employer to ensure that only trained subject specialists are used to teach the subject for which they have been appropriately trained and registered to teach.

Proposer: Stuart Hunter, Lothian Area

Motion G - Carried nem con

Education in Scotland has faced a 10 year period of almost continuous change. A new curriculum, a change in curricular models, a change in the national exams, change in policy around ASN, DYW etc. has all happened in a climate of efficiency savings.

SSTA calls on the Scottish Government to place a moratorium on change in educational policy for a minimum of 3 years to allow teachers, schools and Local Authorities time to embed fully these changes in their practices.

Proposer: Janine McCullough, National Executive Committee


Motion H - Carried unanimously

The Association calls on the SNCT to ensure that measures are put in place to monitor the impact on Teacher workload of Benchmarking and National Standardised Testing in the Broad General Education phase.

Proposer: Catherine Nicol, Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee


Motion I - Carried nem con

Austerity measures are having a direct effect on the capacity of Local Authority Human Resource Departments to carry out jobsizing procedures.

The SSTA calls on the SNCT to establish a national team of Job Sizers to evaluate promoted teaching posts as necessary and within an appropriate timescale.

Proposer: Sid Sandison, Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee


Motion J - Carried Unanimously

In December 2016, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills asked that the SSTA judge him on his progress on workload in 6 months’ time.   SSTA members have done so via a survey and have found progress disappointing.

This Association calls on the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills to clarify the present situation and future plans with regards to the reduction of workload for secondary teachers.

Proposer: Paul Cochrane, Renfrew Area


Motion K - Carried Unanimously

Congress is aware that staffing pressure on schools can lead to a lack of support for, and excessive demand on, new teachers.

The Association calls on the SNCT to challenge and protect the workload of new teachers in their induction year.

Proposer: Stuart Hunter, Lothian area


Motion L - Carried Unanimously

The Association calls on the SNCT to identify the responsibilities of staff undertaking the role of ‘Named Person’ and to ensure that they are adequately recognised via the Jobsizing toolkit.

Proposer: Catherine Nicol, Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee


Motion M - Carried Unanimously

The SSTA deplores the level of increase in GTCS annual subscriptions in the current economic climate.  This Association calls on the Scottish Government and Employers to make a fairer contribution in order to offset the level of increase.

Proposer: Ward McCormick, Ayrshire Area


Motion N - Remitted to National Executive Committee

The Association calls upon the GTCS to protect the integrity of our workforce as some Councils are looking to recruit teachers from agencies for supply cover and shortages in some subject areas.

The Association calls on the GTCs to ensure that all new recruits are qualified at the same level as at present.

Proposer Sandra Richardson, Lothian Area


Motion O - Carried Unanimously

Given the contractual obligation on all teachers to complete a maximum 35 hours CPD annually, as well as 5 yearly Professional Update, the SSTA asks all employers to provide an adequate budget and meaningful programmes of CPD in order to allow all teaching staff to meet their obligations.

Proposer: Ward McCormick, Ayrshire Area


Motion P - Carried Unanimously

SSTA data about the numbers of teachers and pupil support assistants working specifically and exclusively within the field of Additional Support Needs in secondary schools not only reveals a reduction in staff but is also contradictory and confusing. Consequently, the SSTA requests that the Scottish Government urgently reviews ASN provision within secondary schools in order to ensure that the needs of our most vulnerable learners are met within a fair and equitable system.

Proposer: Anne O’Kane, ASN Panel


Motion Q - Carried Unanimously

The SSTA calls on the Scottish Government and employers to provide teachers with appropriate training to ensure that they meet the needs of pupils with Additional Support Needs.

Proposer: Janine McCullough, ASN Panel


Motion R - Carried Unanimously

The SSTA asserts that education is a basic human right, established in the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 1951 Refugee Convention.

The Association calls on the Scottish Government to ensure that:

  • local authorities receive clear guidelines on developing specific policies and structures directed at supporting the needs of young asylum seekers and refugees,
  • staff are offered appropriate training in meeting such needs,
  • adequate resources are made available for effective migrant and refugee education.

Proposer:  Euan Duncan, National Executive Committee


Motion S - Carried Unanimously

The SSTA expresses concerns about the vulnerability of teachers to malicious claims from pupils and parents, Congress calls on employers to ensure that teachers are fully supported in the event of such claims.

Proposer:  Sally Shearer, East Dunbartonshire


Motion T - Carried Unanimously

Teachers in Scotland value the moderation and verification process as a means of assuring standards across schools.  Every school and education provider in Scotland is also evaluated periodically against a quality framework to ensure they are delivering an adequate service and are planning for improvement.  SSTA calls on the Scottish Government to moderate and quality assure the inspection process to ensure a consistency of approach and reporting using a similar model.

Proposer: Janine McCullough, Senior Managers Advisory Panel


Motion U - Carried Unanimously

Congress notes that HMIE has a valid role in identifying both good practice in schools and areas for school improvement in schools they inspect.  However, Congress is concerned that inspectors are often unwilling to describe arrangements or procedures they would regard as good practice.

Congress calls on HMIE to be more open in offering practical support to promote best practice

Proposer: Gordon West, Senior Managers Advisory Panel