Publication - Minutes

Pupil Support Staff Working Group minutes: August 2021

Published: 9 Nov 2021
Directorate:
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Education
Date of meeting: 17 Aug 2021
Location: MS Teams

Agenda and minutes from the group's meeting on 17 August 2021.

Published:
9 Nov 2021
Pupil Support Staff Working Group minutes: August 2021

Attendees and apologies

Attendees:

  • David Roy, Scottish Government (Chair)
  • Marion MacRury, Scottish Government (Minutes)
  • Dougie Atkinson, Voice
  • Simon Cameron, COSLA
  • Bernadette Casey, AHDS
  • Frances Foreman, Education Scotland
  • Janette Kerr, ASLO (Education Support Officer Dundee City Council)
  • Deborah Lynch, Scottish Government
  • Scott Miller, Scottish Government
  • Peter McNaughton, ADES  
  • Matthew Sweeney (COSLA)
  • Lorraine Thomson (Unison)

Apologies:

  • Sally Cavers, Children in Scotland
  • Jo Fell, Fife Council (Training & Development Officer
  • Maria Pridden, Unison
  • Louise White - COSLA

Items and actions

Agenda

Welcome and introductions

Minute of last meeting (8 June) (enc)

  • update on action points
  • Framework and standards update (FF/SM)
  • Vision, Values and Skills Framework (enc) (SM)
  • stakeholder mapping and communications paper (enc) (SM)
  • Scottish Learning Festival Session (FF)
  • next steps 

AOB

Date of next meeting

Welcome and Introductions

The Chair (DR) welcomed members to the meeting. 

Note of last meeting

The minute of the last meeting of 8 June was approved and the following update on action points was provided:

  • action 2.1: completed and on agenda at item 3.3
  • action 3.1: outstanding
  • action 3.2: in progress – agreed to have further discussion under item 3.1
  • action 4.1: completed and on agenda at 3.1
  • action 4.2: completed and on agenda at 3.2
  • action 7.1: completed 

Framework and standards update 

Vision, Values and Skills Framework

Scott Miller (SM) summarised the circulated paper which had been updated following discussion at meeting on 8 June to explore a set of shared values for pupil support staff. SM had reviewed a range of values specific to the education sector for this purpose. Members were asked to consider and provide views on the approach and content of the updated paper. Did it provide an accurate reflection of pupil support staff and if further developed should it be consulted on alongside the Learning Framework? Members noted that it was a helpful paper that would raise the profile and status of pupil support staff. Members stressed the importance of consulting PS staff prior to any wider consultation. SM confirmed intention to receive pupil support input prior to wider consolation but initially seeking the seeking the views of the group and on how best to reach support staff. JK advised of recent meeting of senior pupil support staff in Dundee where it was discussed. DL also updated on plans to update the code of practice for ASL, which may be relevant.

Fran Foreman (FF) then provided an update on the Framework included at Annex A. Development and population was on-going and it had been shared with support staff in East Ayrshire Council as well as Education Scotland’s Inclusion, Wellbeing and Equalities Team  FF had also had discussions with the ES Ed Content team re format of final product and to have something in place for the Scottish Learning Festival (SLF) in September. Noted possibility of e-book and hosting on National Improvement Hub. It was acknowledged that it linked well with the values paper and that it could make a valid contribution to local job evaluation within local authorities. Both parts of the paper were endorsed by the group.

Stakeholder mapping and communications paper 

SM referred to the discussion at meeting of 8 June. A shorter paper was now being tabled with the purpose of firming up who to consult and how best to engage and members views were sought on the five questions set out in annex C.  

Again it was acknowledged that it was a well laid out paper which generated discussion. It was suggested including the following in the stakeholder mapping:

  • Additional Support for Learning Implementation Group
  • Care Inspectorate
  • independent schools/SCIS
  • CLD Standards Council for Scotland

In terms of the engagement proposals at Annex C, a magazine similar to Education Scotland’s Pupil, Inclusion and Wellbeing was suggested. In addition, FF confirmed she would be happy to develop a pupil support network and online conference/ webinar which the newly appointed Development Officer could take forward. SG to engage with FF/ES on development of network. There was discussion on the requirement for an effective communications strategy which acknowledged both the availability and personal responsibilities of support staff and lack of dedicated IT. PMN undertook to raise with ADES Networks. It was suggested that:

  • FF make enquires of a dedicated pupil support staff magazine
  • FF take forward establishing a pupil support staff network
  • SG to liaise with FF/ES on development of pupil support network
  • PMN to raise with ADES networks on engaging with school management/class teachers
  • LT undertook to speak to UNISON members and would promote through comms/local networks/tri-partied with LAs
  • JK undertook to speak to ASLO members
  • possible promotion through RICS and re-established Scottish Education Council

It was agreed to include the above in Annex C which would form the engagement strategy and objectives for the next few months.

Actions:

  • action 3.2 - SM to update engagement strategy/objectives
  • action 3.3 - members to take forward proposals

Scottish Learning Festival Session 

FF confirmed that a slot has been secured at the SLF on Wednesday 22 Sept at 8 am. Maria Pridden would co-present and members were invited to contribute to the session. Part would be pre-recorded and the whole session would be available afterwards. Members agreed that a slot at SLF was really positive, whilst acknowledging the need to inform the sector/stakeholders that it is happening and again include in engagement strategy. The following initial suggestions were made:

  • promote through Education Scotland Comms / social media channels
  • SG/Cab Sec Tweet
  • relevant education Facebook sites
  • ASLO through schools
  • ADES

DR asked members to let SG know of any further thoughts and FF to keep the group informed of SLF activity/progress.

Actions:

  • action 3.4 – Members to advise SG of any further opportunities for promotion of SLF event
  • action 3.5 – FF to keep the group informed of SLF activity/progress
  • action 3.6 – SM to update engagement strategy and assign responsibility for taking forward relevant promotion activity

DR referred to funding available in this financial year that could support sensible and proportionate spend and sought members views. FF asked if a standalone website specifically for pupil support staff would be helpful, noting that it could be developed quite quickly. Members noted that it would need to have enough information and to be maintained/updated regularly to merit existence. Deborah Lynch (DL) advised that an online platform was being considered as part of the Statutory Code of Practice for Additional Support for Learning staff and consideration was being given to other information to include. However it would be next year before developed due the statutory parliamentary process required. It was suggested that advice from ES digital staff be sought as to options to ensure sustainability of any platform. FF to take forward and bring option paper back to next meeting.

Action:

  • action 3.7 - FF to liaise wit ES digital staff on options for online platform and provide paper for next meeting

Next steps

Following a re-cap of the discussions above, it was acknowledged that a consolation on engagement following SLF was the logical next step with a written consultation post the October school holidays. Initial suggestions on pre-consultation engagement with support staff following SLF were: 

  • ASLO focus groups
  • Unison/Voice
  • ADES groups

Action:

  • action 3.8 - SG to set out options and timeline for pre-consolation and engagement with stakeholders leading to full consultation

Any other business

No other business was raised.

Date of next meeting

It was agreed that the next meeting would be scheduled for week beginning 27 September.

Action:

  • action 5.1 - SG to trawl and schedule a meeting date week beginning 27 September

Summary of action points:

  • action 3.2 -  SM to update engagement strategy/objectives
  • action 3.3 - members to take forward proposals
  • action 3.4 – members to advise SG of any further opportunities for promotion of SLF event
  • action 3.5 – FF to keep the group informed of SLF activity/progress
  • action 3.6 – SM to update engagement strategy and assign responsibility for taking forward relevant promotion activit
  • action 3.7 - FF to liaise with ES digital staff on options for online platform and provide paper for next meeting
  • action 3.8 - SG to set out options and timeline for pre-consolation and engagement with stakeholders leading to full consultation.