General Secretary Report - October 2019

Teachers Pay Deal 2018-2020 included

  • Job Sizing Review (to include ASN, Guidance and PEF appointments)
  • 2 Additional in-service days - aimed at reducing unnecessary workload and addressing challenges in supporting pupils with additional support needs.
  • SSTA guidance issued to members. SNCT to monitor and identify good practice

SNCT Career Pathways Report– SNCT 26 September 2019

     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.
  • Full report available at

SSTA Survey on S4 Classes 

     SSTA members survey 1247 replies in June 2019

  • Subjects with most single qualification classes (French 50%, Maths 43%, Chemistry and English 34%)
  • Subjects with two or three qualifications (Business Management and Modern Studies 87%, Graphics and Geography 83%, Administration IT and History 82%).

SSTA meeting with Deputy First Minister – 28 August 2019

     Issues discussed

  • Raising Attainment – SSTA S4 Survey initial results
  • Multi-Course teaching and subject distribution
  • Qualification Process, value of Assignment, Units and Length of Papers
  • Teacher Workload – sought up-date of the Government reports
  • Curriculum for Excellence Working Group on Tackling Bureaucracy – 2013
  • Curriculum for Excellence Working Group on Tackling Bureaucracy Follow-up Report - 2015
  • Empowering Schools: education reform – concerns raised
  • Headteachers’ Charter – the need for a school committee of union representatives to discuss school policy in addition to condition of service matters
  • Enhancing the Teaching Profession – acknowledged the Teachers’ pay deal and the Career Pathways report but highlighted the lack of the ‘Teacher Voice’ in the empowering schools agenda

SSTA – Getting It Right for Every Secondary Teacher

Review of Senior Phase – 16 September 2019

  • Education and Skills Committee following an inquiry on the number of subjects available to pupils in secondary school and in particular concerns regarding reduction in subject choice at S4 called for a review

  • DFM announces Independent review to consider implementation of Curriculum for Excellence between S4 and S6.

Named Person – 19 September 2019

  • Information sharing proposals dropped and named person provisions repealed.
  • The proposed new law on information sharing on named persons will not proceed.
  • Existing voluntary schemes that provide a point of contact for support will continue under current legal powers, where councils and health boards wish to provide them and parents want to use them.

Empowering Schools: education reform progress update – published 25 June

SQA - Removal of Recognising Positive Achievement

  • The interim measure of ’Recognising Positive Achievement’ – the automatic ‘fallback’ to National 4 – came to an end of the 2018-2019 session.
  • From session 2019-20, candidates who are unsuccessful in their National 5 course assessment but who have passed a combination of SCQF level 5 freestanding units, and the National 4 added value unit, will no longer achieve National 4
  • Follow link to SQA document 

Strategic Board for Teacher Education (SBTE) - 11 September 2019

   Alternative Routes into Teaching

  • 778 participants over two years – retention rate of 84% (traditional routes 80%)
  • 346 have completed their programmes and 304 are continuing.
  • attracting a more diverse group of individuals to access the teaching profession, particularly career changers;

   Enhanced Leadership Support Package for Teachers

  • Excellence in Headship Programme (EiH) two or more years in post
  • EiH residential events in 2019, 27% of all headteachers will have completed EiH Induction; 35% of all secondary and 26% of all primary headteachers.
  • Engagement of headteachers ranges between 20-32% across Regional Improvement Collaboratives

   Masters Guidance

  • Review the Masters Framework – variable, confusion, opportunity to strengthen professional learning and a link with Career Pathways.
  • Life-span of credits and transferring of credits to be considered further

STUC GENERAL COUNCIL - 4 September     


  • One in five people in Scotland are in relative poverty. The figure is higher for lone mothers, black and ethnic minorities and disabled people.
  • Poverty and inequality are at historically high levels and are far higher than they were in the 1970s. Despite progress in reducing poverty in the 1990s and 2000s, poverty has been increasing since 2010.
  • 24% of children in Scotland are in poverty. Related to this, lone mothers are almost twice as likely (39%) to be in poverty than the population at large.

   STUC MEETING WITH COSLA - 27 August 2019

  • Spending Review 2020/21 - Agreement to continue to share information during the ongoing budget process and to make the case for increased revenue for Local Government.
  • Brexit - Resilience and planning around a no-deal Brexit and highlighted the positive role that union representatives at a local level can play in developing and implementing resilience plans.
  • Fairwork - STUC encouraged COSLA to do more to promote Fair Work and positive relationships with unions to its members in general terms. Further discussion on the role of COSLA in promoting Fair Work would be taken forward.
  • Change of the May Day bank holiday to the 8th May to commemorate VE day.

STUC change had been made in many LAs without consultation with unions. COSLA agreed to remind COSLA members of their duty to consult with unions. 


Agenda to include:

  • Economy, Brexit, Fair Work, Public Ownership, Poverty and Inequality


  • Development Fund and Learning Fund 2019/21

Applications to the Learning Fund for a total of 249 courses have been received since 1 April 2019. 

  • Fair Work: Leadership and Equality Programme

Fifteen applications were received for funding through the Fair Work: Leadership and Equality Programme in 2019/20.

Forthcoming Events

STUC Black Workers’ Conference, Clydebank, Glasgow 5-6 October 2019

STUC Women’s Congress, Perth 28-29 October 2019

STUC Congress, Perth, 20-22 April 2020

SSTA Congress, Crieff,15-16 May 2020

SSTA Members Briefings

  • Tuesday 22 October – Dundee, Hampton Hilton Hotel
  • Wednesday 23 October – Edinburgh, SSTA Head Office

SSTA Professional Learning (SUL) – Dates to be confirmed

  • Understanding Mental Health

– Glasgow and Edinburgh (Nov 19)

  • Understanding Dementia

– Dundee (Nov 19) and Glasgow (Feb 20)

  • Understanding Autism

– Aberdeen and Dundee (Feb 20)