Report to Council from the General Secretary

 GS Report March 2015

SSTA meeting Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary – 26 February 2015

  1. a) New Higher Qualifications Minister rejected an extension of the existing qualifications
  2. b) Highlighted the importance of Supply Teachers to the education system and the need to restore pay levels and potential national register for supply teachers
  3. c) Measures to be developed to address underachievement in Secondary Schools
  4. d) The return of the SSTA to the CfE Management Board

New Higher Qualifications

  1. a) The SSTA survey was the basis of the discussion with Education Minister and highlighted the real workload demands on members. The lack of confidence in materials, assessment arrangements and time available to teachers to deliver the new arrangements was highlighted (see press releases on
  2. b) The survey also showed teachers removing themselves from the external qualification process. Further findings to be considered by the Education Committee
  3. c) SSTA gave evidence to the Education and Culture Committee on 3 February

Supply Teachers

SNCT is working on improving the current arrangements including a national register and restoration of pay rates.

Flexible Working

Any request must be agreed prior to beginning of the school year and the request can be declined (reps bulletin

Absence Management

  1. a) SSTA guidance being prepared for members on the process
  2. b) District Secretaries will be contacted for information to prepare more detailed advice

 Teachers’ Pension 2015

  1. a) Contribution rates for teachers will remain at 7.2% at the start of the range, but will increase up to 12.4% (previously 11.9%) for those at the top of the range. Actual pay rather than whole time equivalent pay to be used to determine contribution rate

(see reps bulletin

  1. b) Contribution rate for employers to increase from 14.9% to 17.2% in September 2015
  2. c) ‘Winding Down’ scheme is not included in the 2015 Regulations but will continue for those with NPA60 tapered protection

 ‘Named Person’ consultation

  1. a) Additional Support Needs advisory panel has produced a questionnaire for identified members to assist in the response to the consultation. School reps will be asked to assist in the process.
  2. b) SSTA will issue a bulletin to advise members of the potential changes

Scottish Teachers for Enhancing Practice

(incorporating the Association of Chartered Teachers Development)

  1. a) Saturday 21st March, Stirling Court Hotel 9.00am – 3.00pm
  2. b) SSTA sponsoring and have a stand at the event

More information at

Professional Update

Guidance for Senior Managers has been prepared by the Senior Mangers Advisory Panel and will issued shortly

Scottish College of Educational Leadership (SCEL)

  1. a) Headteacher Fellowships has been piloted and the next cohort is being selected
  2. b) SSTA raised concerns over the announcement of a Masters qualification for Headship and for it to be mandatory from 2018
  3. c) SSTA stressed the necessity of opportunities for all teachers

General Teacher’s Council Scotland

  1. a) The GTCS has been asked to make provisions for Further Education Lecturers
  2. b) Increasing concern of use of Social Media and referrals to GTCS
  3. c) Potential complaints to the GTCS of teachers’ involvement in the period up to the General Election 2015 and Scottish Parliament Election 2016.
  4. d) GTCS has offered an engagement with SSTA on the process/stages of the complaints procedure

 Scottish Parent Teachers Council AGM

The SPTC 1st Lecture took place in Glasgow with Professor Joyce Epstein, Baltimore USA on the ‘School, Parent and Community Partnerships’ that focus on raising student achievement. A wealth of evidence, information, and practical guidance can be found at

Scottish Trades Union Congress

118th Annual Congress Mon 20 – Wed 22 April, Ayr Racecourse

  1. a) SSTA motions i) To abolish fees at Employment Tribunals ii) Government support for Young Carers and iii) Devolution of Tax-Raising Powers (113 motions in prelim agenda)
  2. b) Education Unions' reception Mon 20 Western House Hotel from 6-8pm
  3. c) SSTA to take half page space in Congress 2015 Programme

 British Irish Group of Teacher Unions (BIGTU)

  1. a) Collection of evidence on experiences of IT/E-Learning in advance of June meeting that may lead to a formal research project
  2. b) Possible research project on Teacher Workload

 Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) NI Congress 26/27 February

  1. a) Education Budget Cuts ballot being conducted for strike action on 13 March
  2. b) To promote the 2012 Workload Agreement to tackle increasing teacher workload
  3. c) Opposition to the ‘Conscience Clause Bill’ to allow the discrimination of LGBT members
  4. d) One Education Library Board (ELB) to replace the current Five ELB’s from April 2015
  5. e) Pensions – teacher contribution 7.4% to 11.7% and employer contribution 17.7%

Teacher Union of Ireland ‘Curriculum Development’ Conference

Alan Mackenzie was invited as keynote speaker at the Conference. The theme was the Scottish Experience an account of Curriculum for Excellence. “Much of our experiences resonated with our colleagues in Ireland in particular with internal assessment and the Junior Certificate. There was a lively debate with contributions from the 200 delegates being incisive and informative. The feedback was positive and an Irish Senator who showed interest in making contact with the SSTA for further information”.

Forthcoming events:

  1. a) Health and Safety Reps training Fri 22 May, Stirling
  2. b) School Reps training late May/early June date to be confirmed
  3. c) Senior Managers seminar to be re-arranged for autumn term