Publication - Minutes

Pupil Support Staff Working Group minutes: 29 April 2021

Published: 27 Aug 2021
Directorate:
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Education
Date of meeting: 29 Apr 2021
Date of next meeting: 8 Jun 2021

Agenda and minutes from the group's meeting on 29 April.

Published:
27 Aug 2021
Pupil Support Staff Working Group minutes: 29 April 2021

Agenda

1.  Welcome and introductions

2. Minute of last meeting (18 February) 

    2.1 – Update on action points

3.  Discussion Paper on Professional Standards 

4.  Professional Learning Framework – actions and timeline 

     4.1       An Empowered System - Guidance for support staff (education.gov.scot)

     4.2       United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

5.  Next Steps – where do we want to get to by June 2021?

6.  AOB

7.  Date of next meeting

Attendees and apologies

Attendees

  • David Roy, Scottish Government (Chair)
  • Marion MacRury, Scottish Government (Minutes)
  • Simon Cameron, COSLA
  • Bernadette Casey, AHDS
  • Frances Foreman, Education Scotland
  • Fearghal Kelly, Scottish Government
  • Tracy Manning, Scottish Government
  • Scott Miller, Scottish Government
  • Peter McNaughton, ADES 
  • Maria Pridden, Unison
  • Janette Kerr, ASLO (Education Support Officer Dundee City Council)
  • Sally Cavers, Children in Scotland
  • Jo Fell, Fife Council (Training & Development Officer)

Apologies

  • Dougie Atkinson, Voice
  • Deborah Lynch, Scottish Government
  • Matthew Sweeney (COSLA)

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Chair (DR) welcomed members to the meeting and introductions were made for the benefit of those attending for the first time. 

Note of last meeting

The minute of the last meeting of 18 February was approved. Sally Cavers (SC) sought assurance in relation to wider education engagement. DR noted that the ambition remained and would pick up on agenda.

The following update on action points was provided as follows:

  • action 5.1: agreed to retain as action to return to
  • action 5.2: on agenda – item 3
  • action 5.3: on agenda – item 3
  • action 5.4: DR provided update re initial SLF 2021 enquires. SLF will be online, encompassing 80 sessions following 4 main themes. Decisions still to be made on how proposals are to submitted etc. – retain as action.

Discussion paper on professional standards

Fearghal Kelly (FK) summarised the circulated paper. He noted the pragmatic starting point of reviewing existing models, relevant to other parts of the education workforce, such as the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) and the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) noting that both approaches would be fairly complex and substantial areas to adapt. 

FK explained in detail the three main options set out paragraphs 7 to 9 and invited comment. Members acknowledged the scale of options, from full registration (para 7) to development of a ‘skills framework’ (para 9), which the paper set out succinctly. In addition to the GTCS and SSSC, it was suggested that the Community Learning and Development Competencies be reviewed as part of this exercise and FK undertook to take this forward. Members discussed a number of issues, from envisaged timescales, challenges with assimilation, complexity of workforce, limitations across country etc. Caution was also be noted as to any unintended consequences.

Following useful discussion, the consensus was that the development of a skills framework was the preferred approach with aim to work towards registration in time. DR sought the views on approach to consultation. Members agreed that:

  • there was a definite requirement to consult practitioners
  • prior to consultation, options needed to be refined and there needed to be an agreed direction of travel
  • an initial paper be drafted, setting out what any consultation may look like, objectives, timeline etc. which would be brought back to the group for consideration and agreement. SG would take forward in advance of next meeting
  • comms is important and a number of events that could be utilised as part of consultation as well as articles placed in relevant publications, e.g. UNISON magazine
  • both the learning framework and skills framework, discussed in more detail below, should be part of the one product and consulted on as discussed previously

Action 5.1: FK to review Community Learning and Development Standards, to inform next steps on development of a skills framework.

Action 5.2: SG to draft paper on what consultation may look like etc. for next meeting.

Professional learning framework – actions and timeline

Fran Foreman (FF) summarised the circulated draft learning framework, advising that population was on-going. Education Scotland’s transformational change colleagues had advised an August/ September launch would be possible. The final product may look different but it would continue to be hosted on the National Improvement Hub.

FF advised that she was working directly with both a local authority and Education Scotland’s Wellbeing and Inclusion Team in Education Scotland in the development. Utilising ADES networks was also suggested and FF confirmed she would be happy to receive their input. Members noted the benefits and potential of the learning framework, whilst noting caution on handling of messaging. Reference was made to the consultation phase prior to launch of the Autism toolbox and the steps taken to ensure tone and content were right.

Scott Miller (SM) enquired if further support was required from the group or externally as any part of the framework population and review stages. FF confirmed she was confident with position, relevant specialist officers had been involved and the areas highlighted were consistent across authorities. Peter McNaughton (PMN) noted that the impact of COVID-19 needed to be included in the framework. Reference was made to recent reports (Education Scotland, ICEA) particularly in light of additional support needs

FF advised that the peer review stage would be undertaken over the next couple of months. The draft would be shared with a range of pupil support staff to gauge feedback and consult on questions etc. Following enquiry as to what was achievable this term, FF confirmed utilising the ASLO network in June for this purpose, noting it wouldn’t be credible if staff had not had chance to review in the development phase. FF envisaged a number of ‘wee blethers’ no longer than 45/50 mins. Janette Kerr (JK) advised of two ASLO meetings prior to summer (7th May and 4th June). Members welcomed the opportunity to attend.

In terms of items 4.1 and 4.2 on agenda it was agreed that there was no need to discuss separately, that future work should take cognisance of both as integral to future development.

FF to continue to populate learning framework.

SG/ES to combine skills and learning framework into one product.

JK to circulate invites to ASLO meetings.

Next steps – where do we want to get to by June 2021?

In addition to the discussion above, the group discussed the development of a communications and engagement strategy prior to the summer. SG undertook to draft initial plan for discussion at the next meeting. The importance of engaging further with both young people and practitioners, especially in light of UNCRC was highlighted, and there was particular suggestion of approaching Children in Scotland’s Inclusion Ambassadors.

Action 11.1: SM to develop initial communication plan for next meeting.

Action 11.2: SM/MMR to explore options for engaging with Inclusion Ambassadors as part of the development of a consultation and engagement strategy.

Any other business

No other business was raised.

Date of next meeting

The date of the next meeting would be scheduled for early June.

Action 13.1: SG to trawl and schedule a meeting date for early June.

Summary of action points

Action 5.1: FK to review Community Learning and Development Standards, to inform next steps on development of a skills framework.

Action 5.2: SG to draft paper on what consultation may look like etc. for next meeting.

Action 10.1: FF to continue to populate learning framework.

Action 10.2: SG/ES to combine skills and learning framework into one product.

Action 10.3: JK to circulate invites to ASLO meetings.

Action 11.1: SM to develop initial communication plan for next meeting.

Action 11.2: SM/MMR to explore options for engaging with Inclusion Ambassadors as part of the development of a consultation and engagement strategy

Action 13.1: SG to trawl and schedule a meeting date for early June.