Congress Stage

The Following motions were approved at the SSTA's 72nd Annual Congress, 20/21 May 2016 #SSTA16

Motion A

Internal assessment demanded by the SQA varies considerably for all levels of national exams.  It places onerous and unsustainable demands on teachers.

The SSTA demands from Scottish Government, Local Authorities, employers, Boards of Independents Schools and SQA an immediate and significant reduction in internal assessment.

Proposer – Sarah Dargie, Renfrew Area

Motion B

Congress is concerned about the lack of subject choice in the Senior Phase and the variation in the number of qualifications taken by pupils in different Local Authority areas.  Congress calls on the CfE Management Board to re-examine this issue.

Proposer – Alan Johnston, Perth & Kinross

Motion C

The SSTA calls on the Scottish Government to introduce a National 4 gradable, external examination in order to improve the value of the qualification.

Proposer – Ruth French, Education Committee

Motion D

Congress notes the general requirement to raise attainment for all and calls on the SNCT to increase the amount of time teachers have available for preparation and assessment procedures by agreeing a reduction in class contact time.

Proposer – James Cowans, Renfrew Area

Motion E

Congress notes that the distinction between practical and non-practical classes has become blurred over time, therefore the SSTA urges a re-evaluation of practical/non-practical subject status by the SNCT.

Proposer – Catherine Nicol, Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee

Motion F

To avoid local variations, the SSTA calls on the SNCT to negotiate national Sickness Absence Management policies that would apply to teachers across all Local Authorities.

Proposer – Stuart Hunter, Lothian Area

Motion G

The SSTA is alarmed that teaching is increasingly perceived as an unattractive profession.  The opportunities for career progression are limited by the classification, category and number of promoted posts currently available in Secondary schools.  The Association calls on employers to ensure that there are appropriately remunerated career progression opportunities available.

Proposer – Catherine Nicol, Ayrshire Area

Motion H

The SSTA is aware that Guidance teachers already face considerable levels of stress.  Congress believes that duties associated with Named Person provision will generate an unsustainable burden.

The SSTA urges employers to improve the provision of counselling support for those affected.

Proposer – Ruth French, Aberdeenshire

Motion I

Congress affirms that the provision of specialist Principal teachers of  Guidance in secondary schools has been one of the great successes of Scottish Education in terms of meeting the Health & Wellbeing needs of our pupils, as well as a vital part of enabling young people to find the most appropriate pathway to positive destinations.

The SSTA opposes any attempt by employers to seek to achieve budget cuts at the expense of guidance provision.

Proposer – Kevin Madill, Aberdeenshire

Motion J

The burden of new qualifications, excessive internal assessment, the lack of available applicants to fill vacancies and the lack of supply teachers have resulted in the majority of teachers working in conditions of severe long term stress with a significantly poorer work/life balance. The SSTA calls on the Scottish Government and employers to take immediate steps to reduce the workload of teachers by calling a moratorium on any further changes in the classroom, reducing the assessment burden and ensuring there are sufficient qualified staff to fill vacancies and cover for absence.

Proposer – Jacquie Bradley Heeps, South Lanarkshire

Motion K

The inclusion agenda has been largely met over the last 15 years through the dedicated efforts of mainstream schools to provide appropriate support for pupils with Additional Support Needs.  This support has comprised adequate levels of support staff including classroom support, librarians, technician and admin staff.  Local Authority cuts are having a detrimental impact on these levels of support.  Consequently the SSTA calls on the Scottish Government to protect support staff numbers in order to sustain and realise fully the inclusion agenda in Scottish schools.

Proposer - Janine McCullough, ASN Panel

Motion L

The SSTA acknowledges the principles underpinning the Named Person’s role. However in order to protect our most vulnerable children, the SSTA insists that adequate time for tasks is provided for those teachers who will be expected  to undertake this important role.

Proposer – Anne O’Kane, ASN Panel

Motion M

The SSTA recognises the importance of the UNICEF Rights Respecting School Award in recognising and realising the rights of all children and calls upon all Local Authorities and Boards of Management of Independent Schools to promote participation in the scheme to help create safe, healthy and respectful schools across Scotland.

Proposer – Maggie Nesbitt, Equalities Panel

Motion N

The SSTA welcomes the recent commitment from the First Minister to reform gender recognition in line with international best practice. The SSTA urges the Scottish Government to ensure that in any such reform, priority is given to supporting young people, particularly those under the age of 16, in all school environments in dealing with the whole spectrum of LGBTI issues and of gender recognition including that of non-binary.

Proposer – Janine McCullough, Executive

Motion O

Health and Well Being is an intrinsic part of CfE for pupils. The delivery of CfE and the new National Qualifications is having an impact on teachers’ health and wellbeing.

The SSTA calls on the Scottish Government to ensure that all local authorities are proactive in implementing workplace policies which promote and improve teachers’ health and wellbeing.

Proposer – James Cowans Renfrew Area

Motion P

Every day teachers in Scotland are facing increasing levels of false allegation, violence and abuse allegations from pupils and parents.  Only incidents which require 5 days or more absence from work by an employee are required to be recorded by the Scottish Government.  The SSTA calls on the Scottish Government to require all 32 local authorities to adopt a zero tolerance approach to violent behaviour in schools and to encourage actively the recording of all violent incidents, whether physical or verbal, and to request submission of these recordings for proper scrutiny and response by their officers.

Proposer – John Bennett, Health & Safety Advisory Panel

Emergency Motion 1

Congress congratulates John Swinney on his appointment as Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.

We look forward to developing a fruitful working relationship which will address critical issues in education such as

  • Supply Teachers
  • Workload, including National Qualifications
  • Teachers’ Pay
  • Retention and Recruitment
  • Named Person

Proposer: Kevin Campbell, Vice President

Emergency Motion 2

Congress urges the Scottish Government to delay further implementation of the Named Person legislation until a thorough review of its implications for teachers takes place

Proposer:  Neil Sinclair, Ayrshire