SSTA Members' Bulletin – 9 July 2021

Re-opening of Schools in August
You will have seen that the arrangements for the reopening of schools in England are being revised and there will be pressure to follow suit in Scotland. At this point, schools have been advised to continue with the existing guidance and mitigations for the reopening of schools in August. This situation may well change again in the coming weeks when the impact of the lifting of covid restrictions are known. The SSTA advises all members not to make any arrangements in anticipation of any official Government announcements. The SSTA, together with other unions, has urged the Government not to make any changes before schools reopen in August to ensure that teachers can maximise their well-deserved vacation.

SSTA meets with new Cabinet Secretary
The General Secretary had an introductory meeting with the new Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, Shirley-Anne Somerville, this week and urged that the voice of the secondary teacher must be at the centre of the forthcoming education developments. The SSTA highlighted the need for a Lead Teacher in every subject for all secondary schools as a good starting point to retain teachers in the classroom.

The Minister also agreed that secondary teachers needed to know the arrangements for National Qualifications in 2022 before schools reopen in August as changes during the year only creates additional stress and workload that needs to be avoided.

Teacher Pensions
The SSTA has been fully engaged, over the past few months and continuing throughout the summer, in discussions with the Scottish Teachers Scheme Advisory Board and the UK Government Treasury to address the repercussions of the McCloud and Sargeant case. The SSTA will update members in the autumn as to the progress being made.

Please find attached the Scottish Teachers Scheme Advisory Board response to the consultation on increasing the normal minimum pension age that fundamentally disagrees with the proposal, as there is no reasonable justification in increasing the minimum pension age (NMPA) for Scottish teachers.

SSTA Financial Statement 2020 - addendum
The SSTA financial statement 2020 was issued to all members in the SSTA Summer Bulletin as specified by the Certification Officer. However, the association has been advised that the employer pension contributions to senior staff has to be recorded as a benefit and needs to be included. A link to the corrected financial statement has been attached.

And Finally
Apologies for interrupting your vacation and do ensure you ‘Take a Break’.  Try not to pre-empt any announcements, but await the reopening of schools.

Teachers Deserve A Break – Make Sure You Take It