General Secretary Report - December 2019

SNCT Career Pathways Report

     3 SNCT working groups established

  • Career pathway established for specialist roles in curricular, pedagogical and policy delivery through the creation of a new post of Lead Teacher.
  • Career pathways for Headteachers within and beyond Headship should be recognised including new opportunities in system leadership.
  • A national model for sabbaticals should be developed for all teachers, including Headteachers that is both attractive and sustainable.

Review of Senior Phase

  • Education and Skills Committee concerns regarding reduction in subject choice at S4 called for a review
  • OECD to conduct a review of the Senior Phase
  • Education Practioners Group – Chaired by Tony McDaid (South Lanarkshire) work to be undertaken between December to June and publish August 2020

Mental Health in Schools – announced 26 November 2019

  • Agreement has been reached between the Scottish Government and COSLA on the detailed allocation of £60 million over four years
  • Professional counselling services will be available to all secondary school pupils who require it by September 2020.
  • Counselling services currently delivered by qualified and registered counsellors through Pupil Equity or Scottish Attainment funding will continue, enabling local authorities to reallocate those funds to other priorities to close the attainment gap.

Scottish Government report on the PISA results

National Improvement Framework (NIF) – published 10 December 2019

Scottish National Standardised Assessment (SNSA)

  • Achievement of Curriculum for Excellence Levels (ACEL)
  • No longer an experimental process
  • To be published 10 December by Local Authority and school reports
  • Newsletter
  • Education Committee requested to look at SLSN (possible re-introduction) and value of the SNSA - decision in January 2020

Health and Wellbeing Census

  • To start in school year 19/20 to cover all pupils from p5 to S6.
  • Online platform administered by LAs (450,000 pupils) and provision for LA and school report. Non-mandatory
  • Delay in rollout reduced this year to P7, S2 and S4 taking place January to May

SSTA – Getting It Right for Every Secondary Teacher

Parental Involvement and Engagement (PIE)

  • Questionnaires circulated through 24 LA’s May and June (pilot year)
  • 42,000 responses (13,000 secondary) Published with the NIF
  • LA data to be used with schools and outcomes shared with government
  • Survey to be non-mandatory

Scottish Education Council

Issues discussed at SEC meeting in October

  • Scottish Attainment Challenge – way forward
  • National Improvement Framework
  • Named Person – continuation of Good Practice

Education Scotland changes

  • All officers are based in the regions (except HMIe)
  • 6 NIF officers appointed working with RICs
  • Moderation cycle to be renamed ‘Learning Teaching Cycle’
  • Information requested from LAs and Schools (NIF return)
  • Quality Assurance and Moderation Support Officer programme managed by Education Scotland with involvement of staff from LAs
  • Moderation events (Glasgow and Edinburgh 20 events)

Education Leaders Forum next meeting in April

International Council of Education Advisers (ICEA)

  • Last meeting end of September 2019
  • slow and steady progress now time for consolidation
  • inequality such as access to structured career guidance
  • Next meeting in Feb 2020. Report in Summer 2020 (end of 2 year cycle)

Strategic Board for Teacher Education (SBTE) – 28November 2019

   Overview of Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS)

     Key issues for further consideration:

  • a reduction in places being offered by local authorities for primary
  • an increase in probationers choosing the Flexible Route (FR)
  • a shift of probationers selecting local authorities in the West of Scotland
  • reduction of probationers choosing the Preference Waiver Payment (PWP)
  • mismatch in subjects offered by universities v current workforce requirements
  • variation in the support being offered to probationers

   Coaching and Mentoring (Education Scotland)

  • Mentoring to enable new leaders to develop their skills, knowledge and abilities in the early stages of a new post or role.
  • Coaching supports professional learning and is central feature of a teacher’s Professional Update through the coaching approach to PRD.
  •  The establishment of national coaching and mentoring sub-group

STUC General Council - 4 December 2019

   UK GENERAL ELECTION - Thursday 12 December 2019

STUC Manifesto for Social Justice

  • Rebuild Social Justice End Poverty, Create Fair Work
  • Right to Fair Work
  • Right to Food
  • Right to Housing
  • Right to Social Security and Decent Public Services

   2020 ANNUAL CONGRESS – 20 to 22 April 2020, Perth

  • Theme: Poverty and Inequality
  • Motions on the following topics:
    • Combatting Poverty and Inequality through Building Worker Power
    • Workers’ Rights and Fair Work
    • Promoting Public Ownership and Building the Foundational Economy
    • The Climate Emergency, Targets and a Collectively bargained Just Transition to Zero Carbon
  • Speakers: First Minister of Scotland, Leader of the Scottish Labour Party and President of the WTUC


  • Affiliation fee for 2020 of £1.61 a 6p (3.2%) increase from 2019
  • An additional affiliation fee of 37p per member will be required giving a total affiliation fee of £1.98 an increase of 6p (2.6%) from 2019.

  STUC CENTRE -Landressy Street (due September 2020)

  • Temporary move to Clyde Gateway’s Red Tree Rutherglen Business Centre end of January 2020
  • Formal ‘ground-breaking ceremony’ at the Landressy Street site be on 15 January. Derek MacKay MSP to attend

Forthcoming Events

SSTA Senior Managers Seminar, Edinburgh, 13 March 2020

STUC Congress, Perth, 20-22 April 2020

SSTA Congress, Crieff,15-16 May 2020

SSTA Professional Learning (SUL)

  • Understanding Mental Health

Inverness and Aberdeen (dates to be confirmed)

  • Understanding Dementia

Glasgow (6 February 2020)

  • Understanding Autism

Aberdeen (3 February 2020)

Dundee (4 February 2020)