General Secretary Report - May 2018

Teachers Pay - April 2018 

SSTA Position

  • First priority Retention and Second priority Recruitment and third priority the Restoration of teachers’ pay
  • a common % increase for all teachers at all grades
  • Parity for unpromoted teachers with FE lecturers of £40,000+

SNCT 2018 Pay Claim submitted on the 8 February

  • 10% restorative claim for all grades SNCT Pay Claim
  • EIS and SSTA are the only negotiators for the SNCT

COSLA (employers) response on 27 March

  • To offer all local authority workers equally in line with Scottish Government Budget
  • Scottish Government Budget has made provision for a 3% increase for public service workers earning less than £36,500 and 2% for those above

Scottish Government response on 19 April

  • Need bi-lateral talks with the employers
  • Next meeting with SNCT negotiators on 16 May


SNCT Panel on Career Pathways

  • The SNCT has agreed to establish an independent panel that will consider the design and development of career pathway models and report its recommendations to SNCT by the end of September 2018.
  • The panel will include representatives of the teacher associations, the employers, Scottish Government and an Independent Chair.
  • The new pathways will provide opportunities for teachers to diversify their career and act to support high quality teaching and learning.
  • Please note: the work of the Headteacher Recruitment Working Group will operate to the same timescale.

Regional Improvement Collaboratives (RICs) for Education

  • Six collaborative regions
  • Enhance and improve professional learning
  • Identify, promote and share good practice – develop networks of teachers
  • Subject-specific and sector-specific support and advice
  • The RIC will not replace the LNCT?
  • Second Development Plan – September 2018 to allow for wider consultation
  • Engagement with unions being organised


SSTA meeting Education Scotland -30 April 2018

     Role of Education Scotland

  • “Working for Scotland Learners working with Scotland Educators”
  • New remit for Education Scotland – two distinct roles Support for Regional Improvement Collaboratives(RIC) and Inspection (away from a dual role)
  • Major recruitment exercise underway (+32 permanent full-time-equivalents)

assistant director, attainment advisers, inspectors, senior education officers, education officers, and development Officers

  • Increase in number of inspections (250 a year)
  • Inspection to support school improvement but using different approaches
  • National priority Mathematics and Developing the Young Workforce


     Bench Marks

  • Bench Marks in all curriculum areas published on 23 March 2017
  • There is no expectation that teachers will report on learners' achievement of a level in curriculum areas beyond literacy and numeracy.
  • Benchmark for all other areas of the curriculum needs to be proportionate and manageable.
  • Teachers and other practitioners should be given time to engage in professional discussion to become familiar with the Benchmarks.
  • Emphasise on Holistic Assessments
  • Teachers are NOT required to use them but are for awareness raising
  • Inspectors will NOT be looking for Bench Mark evidence during Inspections but will ask as to their progress


Regional Improvement Collaboratives (RIC) - 6 Areas

  • Improvement Plans revised by end of September 2018
  • 6 Regional Advisers (Education Scotland, 5 with secondary background)
  • Each RIC will have individual work streams that will be supported
  • Each RIC will have a STEM gender balance officer


     Teacher Workload

  • New initiatives need to be accommodated within School Working Time Agreements
  • SSTA view that schools need to be aware of any new development prior to the school completes its Working Time Agreement
  • Example: Bench Marks were published in March 2017 and were not included in many schools Working Time Agreements


Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) – Aviemore 16 -18 April 2018

      First Ministers (Nicola Sturgeon) address (start 17.50 min)

      Leader of Scottish Labour (Richard Leonard) address


  • West Dunbartonshire decision not to cut trade union facility time
  • BiFab purchase with Government support
  • STUC/Government guidance on Trade Union Reporting


SSTA Motions passed

  • Additional Support Needs – additional resources, staff and training
  • Education Workforce Council - Scottish Government to set aside its proposals and engage with education unions on appropriate mechanisms for regulation for education workers

Education Union Motions

  • Poverty and Attainment Gap Funding
  • Public Sector Pay and Ageing Workforce
  • Women at Work
  • Mental Health and Well-Being
  • Sexual Harassment of Women and Girls
  • HE Workload and Funding
  • University Pensions
  • Freedom of Movement and Prevent


STUC General Council

     STUC to focus on May Day activities (week 5 – 12 March)

        ‘Educate, Agitate, Organise’


  SQA - New National 5 and ‘Fallback’

  • The SSTA will conduct a survey of members after the Easter break on the changes made at National 5 and the impact they have had on pupils and teachers.
  • The SSTA has met with SQA and raised members concerns on this issue at National 5 in different subjects and the need for schools to allocate sufficient time to prepare materials and pupils for the examinations.
  • Unfortunately, the Ministers decision to retain ‘fallback’ has resulted in 90,000 unit entries taking place at National 5. It is worth noting that ‘fallback’ had been intended to be used only in exceptional circumstances.
  • This information shows that pressure has been placed on pupils and teachers to complete more work than is necessary to achieve national qualifications.


New Highers

  • The SQA has assured the SSTA that all information required for the new Higher Qualification in all subjects will be available to schools by the end of April.
  • It is also anticipated that Advance Higher materials will be produced in a similar way and completed by the end of April 2019.

Forthcoming Events


SSTA Congress, Crieff 18 - 19 May 2018

STUC LGBT+ Workers Conference, Glasgow, 9-10 June 2018

STUC Women's Conference, Dundee, 29-30 October 2018