GS Report December 2017

Teachers Pay - April 2017

  • It is anticipated that the offer will be a 1% increase backdated to cover April to end of December 2017, and a further 1% from January until the end of March, across all grades and scale points.
  • We are advising that there will be an SNCT on 18 December and that we hope the offer to be made and accepted at that meeting.

National Improvement Framework

a) Governance Arrangements - reorganisation of existing bodies

  • Scottish Education Council –1 teacher union rep (but 7 ADES)
  • Curriculum and Assessment Board
  • Education Leaders Forum – 70 representatives meet twice a year

b) International Council of Education Advisers (ICEA) – next visit March 2018

c) BGE Improvement Tool Dashboard

  • Comparator Tool for Improvement available early in 2018
  • Not intended for tracking and monitoring
  • Bench mark performance of schools
  • Does not impact on teacher workload (from existing information)
  • No access for parents and pupils
  • Secondary section to include link to ‘Insight’

d) BGE Public facing dashboard (parentzone)

  • All school information including: pupils, teachers, PTR, average class size, exclusion rate, condition of school, etc. Plus achievement levels and improvement

e) Scottish National Standardised Assessment

  • 240,000 by the end of academic year - 20,000 taken place by November
  • Phase B training - What to do with the data? From November (1 hour 30 mins)
  • ‘Norming study’ – 8,800 pupils (2,200 per key stage) to take place in November 2017 and March 2018.

Education Governance

Next Steps - Empowering Our Teachers, Parents and Communities to Deliver Excellence and Equity for Our Children’ (June 2017) includes:

  1. Establish 7 new “regional improvement collaboratives” (now 6 see COSLA below)
  2. Develop a Headteacher Charter
  3. Talks on new career pathways (Autumn 2017)
  4. Consult on Education Workforce Council – include GTCS and other education professionals (Autumn 2017)
  5. Launch fast-track route to Headship (2018)
  6. Develop new “executive consultant head” and “cluster leaders” (2018)


Deputy First Minister/Cabinet Secretary (SLS Conference) has said

  • Regional Improvement Collaboratives – allows high performing local authorities support poor performing local authorities
  • Headteacher Charter – curriculum, selection of staff, greater discretion. Informed by practitioners. Leaders of learning - not the leaders of bureaucracy.
  • Need to invest in professional learning and leadership


‘Put pupils first – give teachers time to teach!’

 Education Scotland has stated

“School Improvement Plans should focus on a small number of priorities, aware of WTA and cutting bureaucracy – some schools producing their own bureaucracy in case of Inspections - not needed"

 Industrial Action - Members are being advised to work within the SNCT contracted 35 hour working week and Working Time Agreement. Guidance available at



COSLA: Regional Improvement Collaboratives (ICs) for Education (September 2017)

A response to the Governments Next Steps Document includes:

  • Six collaborative regions with a ‘Regional Improvement Lead’ appointed by the IC and employed by a local authority (October 2017)
  • Regional Improvement Plan following consultation (January 2018)
  • Enhance and improve professional learning
  • Identify, promote and share good practice – develop networks of teachers
  • Subject-specific and sector-specific support and advice
  • Regional approach to staffing – recruitment and retention, build capacity
  • Support wider collaborative working across LA services
  • Each IC to develop a ‘workforce plan’ and decide their ‘model of staff deployment’

Education Bill 2018 – consultation closes 30 January 2018

To create a school and teacher-led education system

  • Headteachers’ Charter - right and responsibilities, to be the leaders of learning
  • Improve parental and community engagement
  • Strengthen the voice of children and young people
  • Regional Improvement Collaboratives which will provide professional learning and leadership, support in both curriculum and specific sectors, sharing of good practice, and peer to peer collaboration, among other responsibilities.
  • Education Workforce Council - registration of other educational professionals, taking the responsibilities of the GTCS and Community Learning and Development Standards Council


Attainment Challenge (AC), Closing the Gap and Pupil Equity Fund (PEF)

  • Attainment Challenge (9 local authorities) – seen major improvements in literacy but small improvements in numeracy
  • Focus - Attainment, attendance, inclusion/exclusion, participation and engagement
  • PEF more flexibility and creativity. Imaginative approaches to empower schools to focus on the needs of the young people. Progress may include experiences rather than evidence at this stage
  • PEF needs to be targeted at pupils living in poverty (particularly when part of a wider provision)
  • Needs to be additional, but not being used for substitution (e.g. health services)
  • Summary - define attainment gaps, identify and review progress of children living in poverty, plan additional activities to raise literacy and numeracy, moderate and clear judgements, simplify and clarify the curriculum and assessment model

Strategic Board for Teacher Education (SBTE)

ITE Intakes 2017/18 (including new routes into teaching)

  • Secondary PGDE 1750 places 30% below target but meeting primary target
  • 5% increase in intake since last year
  • Teacher vacancy rate increased by 100 since last year
  • New routes expecting 200+ places
  • Announcement of 100 bursaries of £20,000 for career changers

  Use of Online Distance Learning to respond to teacher shortages

  • Further research into the progress of the Western Isles e-Sgoil (e-school)
  • To consider information on a EU project Erasmus in a number of countries

Speaking Engagements at Fee-Charging Conferences

  • Resistance to participation in private organised events
  • Need to provide an alternative to meet the demand for CPD events

Student Placement System

  • SPMG manages the system – questions over the capacity in the system
  • 18,000 placements, 6,000 students and 170 courses
  • Schools data is out of date - LA and schools delay in confirming places


British Irish Group of Teachers’ Unions


  • Campaign ‘Europe Needs a Pay Rise’
  • ETUCE mid-term conference 26-28 November 2018, Athens
  • ETUCE Statement on BREXIT – identifying the different jurisdictions (UK and Ireland)
  • ETUCE is not a ‘creature’ of the EU and membership not dependent upon EU.

b) BIGTU Elections and Voting Arrangements

  • To confirm arrangements and positions of individual unions for a BIGTU ‘slate’ at the next BIGTU meeting in May 2018

c) Pay, Conditions of Service – survey

  • Updated comparison sheet (across the four jurisdictions) attached


Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC)

a) Public Service Campaign

  • Co-ordinating on bargaining and industrial action
  • Winning the case for public service investment and public sector pay

b) Media and Social Media Activity

To expand its media, social media and website operation.  Key outputs will include:

  • More up to date, better structured and more attractive website
  • Creation and support for an STUC media and communications group
  • A planned approach towards a much greater use of social media
  • A shorter, but much earlier, press brief carrying stories of key interest
  • Monitoring of social and traditional media

c) Black Workers’ Conference 7-8 October

Motions included:

  • Tools to challenge Racist Behaviour,
  • Equalities Training for Schools,
  • Hate Crime: Recoding of Racist and Islamophobic Incidents in Educational Establishments
  • Discrimination in Higher Education Institutions

d) Dumfries House Trust’s meeting with HRH Prince of Wales 23 October 2017


 STUC meeting First Minister 22 November

a) Budget 2018

  • UK Budget - settlement & block grant 50% of Scottish Budget - expecting a in ‘real’ terms reduction in 2018 - Scottish Budget 14 December 2017
  • Scottish Government will lift the public sector pay cap, but a phased approach over a number of years - Teachers expecting a significant pay increase

b) Brexit

  • Little clarity at present (following meeting with Prime Minister)
  • No deal – worst outcome. Opposition to Withdrawal Bill

c) Economy

  • Scottish economy has remained resilient.
  • 20% of those employed are below the Living Wage
  • 880,000 living in poverty with 60% women

d) Childcare and Early Years

  • By 2020 provide 1140 hours for all 3 and 4 years (and eligible 2 year olds)
  • £840m investment by 2022 – need for 11,000 more early years workers
  • Need for a public sector provision to enable highly qualified, higher waged workforce and a consistent provision (opposition to private provision)


Forthcoming Events

STUC Budget Day Rally, Scottish Parliament, 14 December 2017

SSTA meeting Deputy First Minister, Scottish Parliament, 19 December 2017

STUC Women's Weekend School, Glasgow, 17-18 March 2018

STUC Annual Congress, Aviemore, 16 -18 April 2018

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


SSTA School Representative Training – to be delivered locally details to be circulated