Member Bulletin - November 2023

Behaviour in Scottish Schools Research

The Scottish Centre for Social Research published the latest ‘Behaviour in Scottish Schools Research (BISSR’) following a seven-year gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The research in 2023 explored the headteachers’, teachers’ and support staff members’ views of relationships and behaviour in publicly funded mainstream schools, as well as the views of key local authority representatives across Scotland. The research project can be found here.  
The SSTA believes that Covid-19 highlighted the increased difficulties that teachers were experiencing before the pandemic and the findings of the Behaviour in Scottish Schools Research 2023 will add to the SSTA pupil behaviour survey. The SSTA survey highlighted the lack of reporting of incidents and the need for more support for teachers in schools.
The report states “school staff and LA representatives identified underlying reasons for these changes in behaviour, including a perceived lack of consequences for pupils who engage in serious disruptive behaviour, and a lack of support for pupils with additional support needs”. The SSTA is hopeful that the surveys together with the Cabinet Secretary’s pupil behaviour summits, that a rebalancing of the system will occur and an acceptance that what is happening in schools cannot continue.
Education Bill Consultation
The SSTA has welcomed the decision by the Cabinet Secretary to take further time to consider education reform to allow teacher engagement on a programme of change that is thoroughly considered and will give a degree of certainty to teachers, pupils, and parents in the future. The SSTA will be making representations with the Scottish Government at various forums but would like to encourage members to be aware of the consulations.
The Scottish Government launched a consultation on the Education Bill to seek further views on a new qualifications body to replace the SQA, along with views on changes to education inspection in Scotland. The consultation will close on Monday 18 December.
The reason for establishing a new qualifications body is to ensure that qualifications consistently meet the needs and expectations of their users, the education system, employers and everyone with a stake in qualifications and awards. The new body should involve pupils and students, the teaching professions, and wider stakeholders in its decision making, and it should be accountable and transparent through robust governance arrangements. 
The consultation is also an opportunity to help inform decisions on the most effective approach for reforming education inspection, including the role that any new legislation could play. The Scottish Government are specifically seeking further views on the range of establishments and services subject to inspection; the purpose and priorities for improvement of inspection; and the different possible legislative and non-legislative reform measures that can be taken to address the priority issues.
More information, and the consultation, can be found on the link below.

SSTA Academic Diary

We recently emailed members to inform them that we are transitioning to an opt-in system for the SSTA academic diary in an effort to reduce wastage and cut costs.  Starting from 2024, we will no longer automatically distribute the SSTA academic diary to all members. Instead, we kindly request that you indicate your preference to receive an academic diary by opting in. By doing so, you will help us minimize the environmental impact of producing and distributing unused diaries, as well as reduce expenses for the Association.
If you do not wish to receive an SSTA academic diary, you do not need to take any action.  If you do wish to receive an SSTA academic diary, please follow these simple steps to opt-in:

  • Click on the following link to access the opt-in form: Opt-In Form
  • Fill out the form and confirm your preference for receiving an academic diary.
  • Click "Submit" to confirm your choice.

The 2024/25 SSTA academic diaries will be distributed to members in May 2024 to those who have expressed their preference to receive one.