Publication - Minutes

Pupil Support Staff Working Group minutes: 28 September 2021

Published: 17 Dec 2021
Directorate:
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Education
Date of meeting: 28 Sep 2021
Location: Held Virtually

Agenda and minutes from the group's meeting on 28 September 2021.

Published:
17 Dec 2021
Pupil Support Staff Working Group minutes: 28 September 2021

Attendees and apologies

Attendees

  • David Roy, Scottish Government (Chair)
  • Marion MacRury, Scottish Government (Minutes)
  • Simon Cameron, COSLA
  • Sally Cavers, Children in Scotland
  • Bernadette Casey, AHDS
  • Frances Foreman, Education Scotland
  • Archie Glen, Voice
  • Janette Kerr, ASLO (Education Support Officer Dundee City Council)
  • Scott Miller, Scottish Government
  • Maria Pridden, Unison

Apologies

  • Dougie Atkinson, Voice
  • Jo Fell, Fife Council (Training & Development Officer
  • Deborah Lynch, Scottish Government
  • Peter McNaughton, ADES 
  • Matthew Sweeney (COSLA)
  • Lorraine Thomson (Unison)
  • Louise White - COSLA

Items and actions

Minute of last meeting (17 August)

Update on action points

Framework and standards update

  • Scottish Learning Festival update
  • Pupil Support Staff - Professional Learning Framework 
  • updated Engagement Strategy
  • pre-consultation proposals
  • vision and Values Statement - Draft Consultation Section - September 2021
  • skills Framework - Draft Consultation Section - September 2021
  • professional Learning Framework - Draft Consultation Section - September 2021
  • online platform options update
  • next steps

Welcome and introductions

The Chair (DR) welcomed members to the meeting. Archie Glen (AG) was attending on behalf of Dougie Aitchison.

Note of last meeting

The minute of the last meeting of 17 August was approved and the following update on action points was provided:

  • action 3.2: completed and on agenda at item 4.2.
  • action 3.3: remains open
  • action 3.4: superseded
  • action 3.5: completed and on agenda at 4.1
  • action 3.6: completed and on agenda at 4.2
  • action 3.7: on agenda at item 4.4
  • action 3.8: completed and on agenda at 4.3

SG/Green Party Co-operation Agreement

DR referred the group the SG/Green Party Co-operation Agreement announcement of 20 August and in particular the following points of relevance to the PSSWG.

[We will] support the recruitment of at least 3,500 additional teachers and 500 classroom assistants over and above the 1,400 teachers recruited during the pandemic.

DR advised that the Scottish Government finance distribution for the above had been completed.

We will explore in collaboration with trade unions and other key stakeholders options for the development of an accredited qualification and registration programme for Additional Support Needs assistants with final proposals to be brought forward by autumn 2023.

DR noted that this was a significant government policy commitment to explore options of development of accredited qualification with full proposals due Autumn 2023. Members’ views were sought on the statement. Sally Cavers (SC) questioned why only related to ASN assistants. It was noted that this was the language used by the Green Party and may not be intentional to restrict. Members were also asked to advise on correct wording to feed into work going forward. 

Janette Kerr (JK) referred to differing grades within same job title (grades 3-6) with the senior grade holding qualification. Accreditation for all would resolve issue of differing grades doing same job if the training was being funded. DR noted accreditation would be linked to registration. Scott Miller (SM) suggested that members may wish time to consider and forward comments by e-mail. DR suggested separate discussions to start informed thinking on this sizeable commitment and enable the right language to be used in the consultation now being prepared by the Working Group.

Action 3.1: SG to issue e-mail for further comment on SG/Green Party Agreement in relation to PSS, and to arrange follow up discussions with identified members.

Framework and standards update

Scottish Learning Festival update

Fran Foreman (FF) provided an update on the Professional Learning Framework event at SLF on 22 September, thanking Scott Miller and Maria Pridden for their input to the session. Attendance was positive with around 30 participants with subsequent tweets and re-tweets. FF noted it was an evolving piece of work and that one local authority had since offered material to supplement the framework.  Recordings would be initially made available via speakeasy and then on the Education Scotland u-tube channel. FF also noted that the sessions could be re-recorded and that website analytics would be available.

SM echoed FF comments noting it was a potential tool to share at future engagements. MP noted that Stirling Council had already started identifying gaps in their training – raised awareness of session. 

Updated Engagement Strategy

SM provided a summary of the updated engagement strategy. Members were invited to comment, endorse/agree timeline set out in Annex C and what we can do in terms of pre-consolation. SC suggested that engagement with Children & Young people needed to be more explicit in terms of what will be sought and how it will be done. DR noted that funds may be available to support engagement with CYP.  SM/SC agreed to discuss further.  Simon Cameron (SC) also noted could take engagement wider and raise with Children & Young People’s Board. 

SM sought views on whether early 2022 was a suitable timeframe for consultation, building on period of pre-consultation. He noted advice would be sought from Learning Analysis and comms colleagues.  Members were asked to consider/suggest suitable events/practicalities and best methods for consultation. Reference was made to the 6 RIC events outlined in the strategy as an example.  The following suggestions were put forward at the meeting:

  • utilising school in-service days although not consistent across authorities
  • film/recording that could be used on in-service days
  • use of appropriate platforms SCOTS/ ES Wee Blethers
  • raising at AHDS Conference in November – 300 for online event
  • including Dyslexia Scotland and National Autism

Pre-consultation proposals

SM briefly summarised the purpose of the 3 circulated papers, again seeking comments from members as to the content, the appropriateness of the questions and their range. Also are there any practical barriers or gaps. Reference was made to the refresh of GIRFEC and areas such as trauma informed practices. FF suggested that a coverall statement be included and could provide appropriate text. Reference was also made to Presumption of mainstreaming guidance and Empowering Schools guidance and Headteachers Charter. Links to the ASN review were also noted as well as the inclusion of ‘supporting literacy and numeracy’. SM suggested it may now make sense to re-draft as one overarching document. 

Action: 6.1 SM to arrange follow-up discussions with members to finalise engagement strategy.

Action 6.2 SM/MMR to seek input from Learning Analysis colleagues.

Action 6.3  SM to redraft as one overarching document by early December.

Online platform options update

FF provided a verbal update to the group following liaison with ES Transformational Change Team. GLOW blogs / Wakelets could be utilised but the National Improvement Hub is considered as the best home at this stage, as natural route in finding information. FF noted that an external site would require procurement costs and ES experience suggests that, in terms of timescales, it can take around 9 months to fully develop a good, practical framework / online presence. FF therefore felt the funding could be used to supplement resources if retained on NIH but sought views. Concern was raised as to whether support staff were informed about the NIH and whether it was right to sit within a site that was dedicated to teaching. FF noted flexibility of keeping where is/adapting in line with transformational change.  Following discussion, whilst it was acknowledged that the group’s vision was for a separate site that this may be a longer term project following consultation etc. and that options could be developed and re-visited. DR again advised of potential resource to continue to develop resource at this stage.  FF undertook to for Development Officer to take forward on appointment. 

Action 7.1 ES to develop models and costings for initial development of resource and discuss with SG.

Next steps

DR summarised the agreed next steps as follows:

  • pre-consultation with sector
  • diversifying engagement phase including expanding engagement with CYP
  • continue to develop materials / online platform

Any other business

No other business was raised.

Date of next meeting

It was agreed that the next meeting would be scheduled for early December to finalise consultation documents/plans.

Action 10.1 SG to trawl and schedule meeting for early December.

Summary of action points

SG to issue e-mail for further comment on SG/Green Party Agreement in relation to PSS, and to arrange follow up discussions with some members.

Action: 6.1SM to arrange follow-up discussions with members to finalise engagement strategy.

Action 6.2 SM/MMR to seek input from Learning Analysis colleagues.

Action 6.3 SM to redraft as one overarching document by early December.

Action 7.1 ES to develop models and costings for initial development of resource and discuss with SG.

Action 10.1 SG to trawl and schedule meeting for early December.