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SP Paper 686

AU/S2/06/R7

7th Report, 2006 (Session 2)

A mid-term report - a first stage review of the cost and implementation of the teachers' agreement a Teaching Profession for the 21st Century

CONTENTS 

REMIT AND MEMBERSHIP

THE REPORT 

ANNEXE A – EXTRACTS FROM THE MINUTES

Extract from the Minutes – 8th Meeting 2006 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 9th Meeting 2006 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 12th Meeting 2006 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 13th Meeting 2006 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 15th Meeting 2006 (Session 2)
Extract from the Minutes – 16th Meeting 2006 (Session 2)

ANNEXE B – ORAL EVIDENCE AND ASSOCIATED WRITTEN EVIDENCE

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Letter from The Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland to the Clerk

12th Meeting 2006 (Session 2), 12 September 2006

ORAL EVIDENCE

Mr Mike Ewart, Head of the Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED),
Donald Henderson, Head of Teachers Division, SEED
Dougie Atkinson, Teachers Agreement Communication Team (TAC) Co-ordinator.

SUPPLEMENTARY WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Letter from Mike Ewart, Head of the Scottish Executive Education Department to the Convener 13 October 2006
Letter from Mike Ewart, Head of the Scottish Executive Education Department to the Convener 6 November 2006
Letter from Mike Ewart, Head of the Scottish Executive Education Department to the Convener 13 November 2006

Remit and membership

Remit:

1. The remit of the Audit Committee is to consider and report on-

(a) any accounts laid before the Parliament;

(b) any report laid before or made to the Parliament by the Auditor General for Scotland; and

(c) any other document laid before the Parliament concerning financial control, accounting and auditing in relation to public expenditure.

2. No member of the Scottish Executive or junior Scottish Minister may be a member of the Committee and no member who represents a political party which is represented in the Scottish Executive may be convener of the Committee.

(Standing Orders of the Scottish Parliament, Rule 6.7)

Membership:

Mr Brian Monteith (Convener)
Susan Deacon
Robin Harper
Margaret Jamieson
Mrs Mary Mulligan
Margaret Smith
Mr Andrew Welsh (Deputy Convener)

Committee Clerking Team:

Clerk to the Committee
Shelagh McKinlay

Senior Assistant Clerk
Joanna Hardy

Assistant Clerk
Clare O'Neill

A mid-term report - a first stage review of the cost and implementation of the teachers' agreement a Teaching Profession for the 21st Century

The Committee reports to the Parliament as follows—

INTRODUCTION

1. This report sets out the Committee’s findings in relation to the Auditor General for Scotland’s (AGS) report entitled “A mid-term report – a first stage review of the cost and implementation of the teacher’s agreement A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century”.

EVIDENCE

2. The Committee held one oral evidence session on Tuesday 12 September 2006.  The following witnesses gave evidence to the inquiry:

3. Mr Mike Ewart, Accountable Officer and Head of the Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED), Donald Henderson, Head of Teachers Division, SEED and Dougie Atkinson, Teachers Agreement Communication Team (TAC) Co-ordinator.

FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

4. The Committee’s key findings and recommendations are summarised below:

  • The Committee welcomes the positive benefits for the teaching profession which have resulted from the Agreement. 
  • The Committee concurs with the Audit Scotland finding that, given the large scale of the funding, appropriate financial monitoring should have been put in place.1
  • The Committee remains concerned at the absence of clear outcome measures within the Agreement.  The absence of clear outcome measures means that the cost-effectiveness of the changes brought about by the Agreement and the extent to which value-for-money has been achieved cannot readily be assessed at this time.
  • The Committee recommends that the AGS uses the HMIE report as the basis of a study to assess whether improvements in classroom practice are being delivered and to assess whether value-for-money was achieved in implementing the agreement.
  • The Department should continue to monitor the take-up of the Chartered Teacher Scheme and ensure equitable access to the scheme across the country.
  • The Committee welcomes the improved access and quality of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) arising from the Agreement.
  • The Department must ensure that staff concerns are monitored and consider how morale will be maintained within the new structure.
  • The Department should ensure that the benefits of using the tri-partite approach are applied elsewhere where appropriate. 

The Committee’s conclusions and recommendations are set out in full at Appendix A.

BACKGROUND

5. The Teachers’ Agreement is the tri-partite agreement reached in 2001 between the Scottish Executive, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and teacher organisations following the McCrone Committee report in 2000 into professional conditions of service for teachers.  The Agreement was signed at a time when teaching was seen as a ‘profession under pressure’.2 Poor and deteriorating industrial relations combined with low morale meant that industrial action was likely to resume(Col 1720).  

6. The Agreement set out to modernise Scotland’s teaching profession through the implementation of a series of milestones for change between 2001 and 2006.

7. The AGS report3 states that a range of positive benefits for the teaching profession have resulted from the implementation of the Agreement.  These include:

  • significantly improved terms and conditions for teachers;
  • improved recruitment and retention rates;
  • the introduction of a successful Teacher Induction Scheme; and
  • an improvement in the quality and variety of CPD available to teachers.

As a result, Scotland has also seen a period of stable industrial relations and the social costs of interrupted learning for pupils associated with industrial action have been avoided.

8. Conclusion: The Committee welcomes the positive benefits for the teaching profession which have resulted from the Agreement

9. A number of challenges for the future still face the Department in continuing to implement the agreement.  These include:

  • increased classroom cover by head teachers in order to meet targets for reductions in class contact time for classroom teachers;
  • ensuring that applications for depute or headship positions are not reduced as a consequence of the new career structure;
  • the impact of the new career structure on promotion opportunities and teacher morale in the secondary sector; and
  • demonstrating value for money from the £2.15billion invested to date.

COSTING AND MONITORING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGREEMENT

Costing

10. The Executive, during evidence, admitted that the information used to estimate what funds would be required was “not as complete as we would have desired it to be” (Col 1721) due to the former policy of non-involvement in negotiations of teachers’ terms and conditions. (Col 1719)  The Committee understands that historical position.  However, the consequence of this was an upward revision by £51.5m of the cost of implementation during the period 2003/04 compared to initial estimates.

11. Conclusion:  The Committee accepts that flexibility in some funding allocations was necessary due to the complexity of determining costs at the beginning of the implementation process.

12. The Committee notes that the information available on which to base costings improved as the implementation process unfolded.  However, Audit Scotland identified significant variances between costing assumptions and actual spend at each stage of implementation of the Agreement.4 Conclusion: The Committee accepts that some of these variances reflect slower than anticipated progress with implementation (recruitment of support staff for example).  However, other areas (such as salary conservation) reflect weaknesses in the original estimation process.

13. Recommendation:  While recognising the urgency of the situation faced at the time of signing the Agreement, the Committee believes that, for major programmes of expenditure such as this, costing models must be based on sound information.

14. The Committee heard that additional funds were disbursed to a number of Local Authorities who had claimed that costs allocated through the grant-aided expenditure (GAE) system did not adequately cover the actual costs of teacher’s salaries. (Col 1722)

15. Recommendation:  In responding to this report, the Committee recommends that the Department confirm that the GAE system is now adequate to fund teachers’ salaries in every Local Authority.

Monitoring

16. The cost of the implementation of the agreement between 2001 and 2006 was £2.15 billion – a major investment of public funds. 

17. The Executive used a range of proxy measures to monitor progress against the milestones set out in the agreement.5  As a consequence, the Executive was not well placed to monitor directly expenditure in some areas.         

18. The AGS report stated that “The absence of routine financial monitoring by the Scottish Executive and its reliance on more general intelligence on implementation of the Agreement from HMIE, TAC Team and others was a weakness in the financial governance of the implementation of the Agreement”.6

19. During evidence, the Department stated that “the data that were generally available at the early stages of the work were much less rigorous than they are now” (col 1732) but that “we knew what we were buying” (Col 1733).  Better monitoring might have been achieved through an annual return from each local authority in Scotland detailing:

  • actual against budgeted expenditure;
  • staff or other resources secured from the expenditure; and
  • progress made against the milestones contained within the Agreement.

20. Conclusion: The Committee acknowledges that the Department had a “big picture” understanding of implementation (Col 1733) but concurs with the Audit Scotland finding that, given the large scale of the funding, appropriate and proportionate financial monitoring should have been put in place.7

21. Recommendation:  In responding to this report, the Executive should state what measures have been put in place in response to the recommendation in the AGS report that “Any large-scale public service change programme which requires significant levels of new expenditure should be supported by comprehensive financial monitoring.  This should be linked to the achievement of predetermined outcomes.”

ASSESSING IMPACT AND VALUE FOR MONEY

Impact

22. The Committee heard evidence from the Department which reinforced the key findings in the AGS’s9 report on improvements in industrial relations, satisfaction with pay and greater time for teachers to prepare for lessons and develop the curriculum.

23. The AGS report found that “The Agreement does not contain any clear outcome measures.  This makes it difficult to form definitive judgements on its overall impact”10.  During evidence, Mike Ewart stated that “the more one sets specific and narrow parameters, the more one risks measurement becoming an instrument that prevents progress” (Col 1736).  Mike Ewart also stated that “it would be very difficult to trace the link between the implementation of the detailed milestones in the agreement and changed attainment over time.” (Col 1736)

24. The Committee welcomes evidence from the Department (cols 1726, 1735 and 1737) that the current, settled state of industrial relations in the teaching profession is encouraging discussions about educational policy and the development of the curriculum and notes the Department’s claim that “classroom practice is changing daily” (Col 1735).  The Committee accepts that it is not a simple matter to express such wide-ranging benefits as a bottom-line figure. Conclusion:  However, the Committee remains concerned at the absence of clear outcome measures within the Agreement.  The Committee believes that more highly developed measures to assess the impact of the Agreement are necessary and need not get in the way of progress.

25. Recommendation:  The Committee strongly recommends that the Department, in partnership with other parties to the Agreement, identifies clear outcome measures (including improvements in classroom practice) for use in monitoring the longer-term impact of the Agreement.

Value for money

26. The benefits arising for teachers from the Agreement are well documented in the Audit Scotland report and were reinforced in the evidence session.  However, in order to assess whether value-for-money has been delivered, it will be necessary to evaluate:

  • Improvements in classroom practice;
  • evidence of sustained improvements in workforce morale; and
  • the educational benefits arising from the agreement.

These areas will be subject to scrutiny by HMIE in its report11 due to be published within the next six months.  The report will give an insight into changes in educational attainment as a result of the Agreement.

27. Conclusion: The Committee considers that the absence of clear outcome measures means that the cost-effectiveness of the changes brought about by the Agreement and the extent to which value-for-money has been achieved cannot readily be assessed at this time.

28. Conclusion: Further evidence from the HMIE report should allow judgements to be made about the extent to which value-for-money has been achieved from the £2.15bn invested to date.

29. Recommendation:  The Committee further recommends that the AGS uses the HMIE report as the basis of a study to assess:

  • whether improvements in classroom practice claimed as a result of implementing the agreement (col 1735) are actually being delivered, and
  • to assess whether value-for-money was achieved in implementing the agreement.

FURTHER ACTIONS THAT MIGHT BE NEEDED TO MEET THE OBJECTIVES OF THE AGREEMENT

Chartered teacher scheme

30. The Chartered Teacher scheme was intended to provide a new career pathway within the profession by rewarding good teachers who choose to remain in the classroom.  The scheme delivers salary enhancements for teachers who complete the modules.  The AGS estimated that the cumulative cost of the scheme after ten years could be £110 million.12  It will be important to identify what value is obtained from such additional investment.

31. During oral evidence, the Committee heard that almost 300 teachers have reached full chartered teacher status and that in the region of 3,000 are working towards it.  In summing up the aims of the scheme, Donald Henderson said “the classroom teacher is the most important professional in schools and it is their skills that we are trying to reward” (Col 1727).

32. The Committee heard that the scheme is “deliberately intended not to be an easy option” (Mike Ewart Col 1728) although assistance such as granting study time and local delivery of learning modules are available from some Local Authorities.  The Committee also heard about initiatives to promote the role of chartered teachers in school.

33. The Committee received supplementary written evidence from the Department which stated that “A few local authorities did report that they did not actively encourage take up of the Programme”.

34. Conclusion: The Committee notes the Department’s assertion that the Chartered Teacher Scheme is likely to gather momentum in the coming years but feels the Department should do more to ensure that every teacher is granted the opportunity to take up the scheme.  Written evidence would suggest that the Department’s knowledge of progress by Local Authorities with regard to the scheme is scant.

35. Recommendation:  In responding to this report, the Department should set out what action it is taking, or intends to take, to ensurethat teachers across the country have equitable access to the CTS.  Specifically, the Department should ensure that local authorities have measures in place to:

  • encourage an even geographical spread of chartered teachers; and
  • ensure that teachers at all points in their careers are encouraged to undertake the scheme.

36. Recommendation:  The Department should continue to monitor and model the take-up of the Chartered Teacher Scheme in order to ensure that sufficient funds are made available and Local Authorities’ budgets are not put under undue pressure.

37. Recommendation:  The Committee recommends that the Department:

  • continues to promote the role of the Chartered Teacher in schools in order to improve take-up of the scheme; and
  • clarifies the added-value expected from the role so that value for money achieved through this additional investment can be assessed in the future. 

Sustaining progress

38. The Committee heard how the Teacher’s Agreement Communication (TAC) team enables the engagement of people from different parts of the country to share experiences of implementing the agreement.  The Department outlined a number of other ways in which practice is shared. (cols 1739-1740). 

39. The Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers comprising members from teaching organisations, Local Authorities, and the Scottish Executive will take a view on sustaining progress in the longer term. (col 1743)

40. Recommendation:  The Department must ensure that a focus on sustaining long term progress is maintained through the TAC (Teacher’s Agreement Communication) team and by involving the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

41. Conclusion:  The Committee welcomes the improved access and quality of CPD arising from the Agreement.

Support Staff

42. It was the intention of the McCrone Committee that teachers’ time should be freed up by appointing additional administrative and support staff so that “their skills can be used to best advantage in the education of young people.”14

43. Conclusion:  The Committee is concerned that only 45% of teachers interviewed in the course of the AGS’ study reported that the benefits of appointing support staff had been delivered, although it acknowledges that this may be a consequence of the whole-school role of many support staff and the relatively early stage of their introduction in many schools. 

44. Recommendation:  The Department must monitor the ongoing impact of recruiting additional support staff to ensure that the objective set by the McCrone committee and reflected in the Agreement is achieved.

CONCERNS OF TEACHING AND SUPPORT STAFF

Reduction in Class Contact Time (RCCT)

45. In order to meet RCCT targets, a significant proportion of senior staff are covering classes, with a resultant impact on management resource.  This effect is more frequently reported in the primary sector.  Changes to the supply pool (caused, in part, by new arrangements for newly qualified teachers) potentially exacerbate this problem and present further difficulties for the achievement of RCCT targets.

46. The Committee is encouraged that the Department stated it would “monitor what is happening in schools so that we can respond to any signals that would give us cause for concern”. (Col 1744)

47. Conclusion: The Committee believes that the Department needs to understand better why head teachers are taking significant time out from management tasks to cover classes in the pursuit of RCCT targets.

48. Recommendation:   In responding to this report, the Department should detail what factors are causing an increase in the number of hours spent by head teachers providing classroom cover and set out how it intends to address this unintended consequence of the Agreement.

49. Some Local Authorities have argued that funding difficulties will make it difficult for them to achieve the final milestone on RCCT.  During evidence, the Department stated that “We are confident that sufficient resources are in place to achieve the implementation of the agreement”, (Mike Ewart) (Col 1743)

50. Recommendation:    In responding to the report, the Department should provide evidence that Local Authorities have implemented the final milestone for RCCT i.e. that from August 2006, teachers would work a 35-hour week of which a maximum of 22.5 hours would be teaching in class.

New Career Structure

51. The new career structure has created a reduction in opportunities for career advancement in the secondary sector.  The job-sizing exercise has also meant that some secondary school teachers whose posts were job-sized at a grade lower than their current salary retained their existing salary, potentially removing the incentive for them to apply for senior posts.

52. Recommendation:   The Department must ensure that staff concerns are monitored and consider how morale will be maintained within the new structure.

53. Recommendation:   The Department should also seek to establish whether fewer staff are applying for promoted positions and act to ensure that senior posts are not left vacant for extended periods.

OTHER ISSUES

54. The negotiation process following the McCrone report represented a dramatically new process.  During evidence, Mike Ewart said of the negotiations that “It was a great learning experience for the Executive as well as for the Local Authorities and the teachers associations.” (Col 1720)

55. Conclusion: The Committee acknowledges the effective partnership working between the three signatories (the Scottish Executive, COSLA and teacher organisations) which led to the achievements set out at the start of this report.  

56.  Recommendation:  The Department should ensure that the benefits of using the tri-partite approach are applied elsewhere where appropriate.  The Executive should also seek to ensure that the views of stakeholders are sought as part of the process.

57. Recommendation:  The partnership approach will need to be sustained in pursuit of the future challenges set out in this report.

58. Recommendation:  The Executive should ensure that where joint agreements are utilised in the future, an appropriate balance is struck between building trust as part of a constructive dialogue and maintaining rigorous negotiations.

Appendix A

KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

A mid-term report – a first stage review of the cost and implementation of the teacher’s agreement a Teaching Profession for the 21st Century

BACKGROUND

Conclusion: The Committee welcomes the positive benefits for the teaching profession which have resulted from the Agreement.  (Para 8)

COSTING AND MONITORING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGREEMENT

Costing

Conclusion:  The Committee accepts that flexibility in some funding allocations was necessary due to the complexity of determining costs at the beginning of the implementation process. (Para 11)

Conclusion: The Committee accepts that some of variances between costing assumptions and actual spend reflect slower than anticipated progress with implementation (recruitment of support staff for example).  However, other areas (such as salary conservation) reflect weaknesses in the original estimation process. (Para 12)

Recommendation:  While recognising the urgency of the situation faced at the time of signing the Agreement, the Committee believes that, for major programmes of expenditure such as this, costing models must be based on sound information. (Para 13)

Recommendation:  In responding to this report, the Committee recommends that the Department confirm that the GAE system is now adequate to fund teachers’ salaries in every Local Authority. (Para 15)

Monitoring

Conclusion: The Committee acknowledges that the Department had a “big picture” understanding of implementation (Col 1733) but concurs with the Audit Scotland finding that, given the large scale of the funding, appropriate and proportionate financial monitoring should have been put in place. (Para 20)

Recommendation:  In responding to this report, the Executive should state what measures have been put in place in response to the recommendation in the AGS report that “Any large-scale public service change programme which requires significant levels of new expenditure should be supported by comprehensive financial monitoring.  This should be linked to the achievement of predetermined outcomes” (Para 21)

ASSESSING IMPACT AND VALUE FOR MONEY

Impact

Conclusion:  The Committee remains concerned at the absence of clear outcome measures within the Agreement.  The Committee believes that more highly developed measures to assess the impact of the Agreement are necessary and need not get in the way of progress. (Para 24)

Recommendation:  The Committee strongly recommends that the Department, in partnership with other parties to the Agreement, identifies clear outcome measures (including improvements in classroom practice) for use in monitoring the longer-term impact of the Agreement. (Para 25)

Value for money

Conclusion: The Committee considers that the absence of clear outcome measures means that the cost-effectiveness of the changes brought about by the Agreement and the extent to which value-for-money has been achieved cannot readily be assessed at this time. (Para 27)

Conclusion: Further evidence from the HMIE report should allow judgements to be made about the extent to which value-for-money has been achieved from the £2.15bn invested to date. (Para 28)

Recommendation:  The Committee further recommends that the AGS uses the HMIE report as the basis of a study to assess:

  • whether improvements in classroom practice claimed as a result of implementing the agreement (col 1735) are actually being delivered, and
  • to assess whether value-for-money was achieved in implementing the agreement. (Para 29)

FURTHER ACTIONS THAT MIGHT BE NEEDED TO MEET THE OBJECTIVES OF THE AGREEMENT

Conclusion: The Committee notes the Department’s assertion that the Chartered Teacher Scheme is likely to gather momentum in the coming years but feels the Department should do more to ensure that every teacher is granted the opportunity to take up the scheme.  Written evidence would suggest that the Department’s knowledge of progress by Local Authorities with regard to the scheme is scant. (Para 34)

Recommendation:  In responding to this report, the Department should set out what action it is taking, or intends to take, to ensurethat teachers across the country have equitable access to the CTS.  Specifically, the Department should ensure that local authorities have measures in place to:

  • encourage an even geographical spread of chartered teachers; and
  • ensure that teachers at all points in their careers are encouraged to undertake the scheme. (Para 35)

Recommendation:  The Department should continue to monitor and model the take-up of the Chartered Teacher Scheme in order to ensure that sufficient funds are made available and Local Authorities’ budgets are not put under undue pressure. (Para 36)

Recommendation:  The Committee recommends that the Department:

  • continues to promote the role of the Chartered Teacher in schools in order to improve take-up of the scheme; and
  • clarifies the added-value expected from the role so that value for money achieved through this additional investment can be assessed in the future. (Para 37) 

Sustaining progress

Recommendation:  The Department must ensure that a focus on sustaining long term progress is maintained through the TAC (Teacher’s Agreement Communication) team and by involving the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers. (Para 40)

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Conclusion:  The Committee welcomes the improved access and quality of CPD arising from the Agreement. (Para 41)

Support Staff

Conclusion:  The Committee is concerned that only 45% of teachers interviewed in the course of the AGS’ study reported that the benefits of appointing support staff had been delivered, although it acknowledges that this may be a consequence of the whole-school role of many support staff and the relatively early stage of their introduction in many schools. (Para 43) 

Recommendation:  The Department must monitor the ongoing impact of recruiting additional support staff to ensure that the objective set by the McCrone committee and reflected in the Agreement is achieved. (Para 44)

CONCERNS OF TEACHING AND SUPPORT STAFF

Reduction in Class Contact Time (RCCT)

Conclusion: The Committee believes that the Department needs to understand better why head teachers are taking significant time out from management tasks to cover classes in the pursuit of RCCT targets. (Para 47)

Recommendation:   In responding to this report, the Department should detail what factors are causing an increase in the number of hours spent by head teachers providing classroom cover and set out how it intends to address this unintended consequence of the Agreement. (Para 48)

Recommendation:    In responding to the report, the Department should provide evidence that Local Authorities have implemented the final milestone for RCCT i.e. that from August 2006, teachers would work a 35-hour week of which a maximum of 22.5 hours would be teaching in class. (Para 50)

New Career Structure

Recommendation:   The Department must ensure that staff concerns are monitored and consider how morale will be maintained within the new structure. (Para 52)

Recommendation:   The Department should also seek to establish whether fewer staff are applying for promoted positions and act to ensure that senior posts are not left vacant for extended periods. (Para 53)

OTHER ISSUES

Conclusion: The Committee acknowledges the effective partnership working between the three signatories (the Scottish Executive, COSLA and teacher organisations) which led to the achievements set out at the start of this report. (Para 55)  

 Recommendation:  The Department should ensure that the benefits of using the tri-partite approach are applied elsewhere where appropriate.  The Executive should also seek to ensure that the views of stakeholders are sought as part of the process. (Para 56)

Recommendation:  The partnership approach will need to be sustained in pursuit of the future challenges set out in this report. (Para 57)

Recommendation:  The Executive should ensure that where joint agreements are utilised in the future, an appropriate balance is struck between building trust as part of a constructive dialogue and maintaining rigorous negotiations. (Para 58)

ANNEXE A

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES 

8th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 16 May 2006

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Mr Brian Monteith (Convener)
Mary Mulligan Eleanor Scott
Margaret Smith Andrew Welsh

Apologies were received from Margaret Jamieson

Teaching Profession: The Committee received a briefing from the Auditor General for Scotland on his report entitled “A first stage review of the cost and implementation of the teachers’ agreement A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century” (AGS/2006/6).

Teaching Profession (in private): The Committee considered its approach to the AGS report entitled “A first stage review of the cost and implementation of the teachers’ agreement A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century” (AGS/2006/6). The Committee agreed to hold an inquiry into the report and consider a remit for its inquiry at a future meeting.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES 

9th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 30 May 2006

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Margaret Jamieson
Mr Brian Monteith (Convener) Mary Mulligan
Eleanor Scott  

Apologies were received from Margaret Smith and Andrew Welsh

Teaching Profession (in private): The Committee considered arrangements for its inquiry into the AGS report entitled “A first stage review of the cost and implementation of the teachers’ agreement A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century” (AGS/2006/6). The Committee agreed the following remit for its inquiry:

The Committee will consider and report on the Department’s role in preparing for and implementing the agreement including:

  • How the Department costed the agreement; how implementation was monitored; and whether and how key milestones for change have been achieved;
  • How the Department assesses the impact of the agreement, including how it will assess whether value for money has been achieved;
  • What further action by the Department is required to ensure that the objectives of the agreement are met fully; and
  • How the Department intends to address any concerns expressed by teachers and support staff about the impact of the agreement in practice. 

The Committee agreed to take evidence from the Accountable Officer at a future meeting.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES 

12th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 12 September 2006

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Margaret Jamieson
Mr Brian Monteith (Convener) Mary Mulligan
Eleanor Scott Margaret Smith
Andrew Welsh  

Teaching Profession: The Committee took evidence on its inquiry into the AGS report entitled “A first stage review of the cost and implementation of the teachers’ agreement A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century” (AGS/2006/6) from-

Mike Ewart, Head of Department, Scottish Executive Education Department, Donald Henderson, Head of Division and Dougie Atkinson, Teachers Division.

Teaching Profession (in private): The Committee agreed to consider the evidence taken its next meeting following publication of the Official Report.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES 

13th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 26 September 2006

Members Present:

Susan Deacon Robin Harper
Margaret Jamieson Mr Brian Monteith (Convener)
Mary Mulligan Margaret Smith
Andrew Welsh  

Teaching Profession (in private): The Committee considered the evidence taken at its meeting on 12 September 2006 on its inquiry into the AGS report entitled “A first stage review of the cost and implementation of the teachers’ agreement A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century” (AGS/2006/6).

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES

15th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 7 November 2006

Members Present:

Robin Harper Margaret Jamieson
Mr Brian Monteith (Convener) Mary Mulligan
Margaret Smith Andrew Welsh

Apologies were received from Susan Deacon

Teaching Profession (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the AGS report entitled “A first stage review of the cost and implementation of the teachers’ agreement A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century” (AGS/2006/6). The Committee agreed to consider a further draft report in private at its next meeting.

AUDIT COMMITTEE

EXTRACT FROM THE MINUTES 

16th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Tuesday 21 November 2006

Members Present:

Robin Harper Margaret Jamieson
Mr Brian Monteith (Convener) Mary Mulligan
Margaret Smith Andrew Welsh

Apologies were received from Susan Deacon

Teaching Profession (in private): The Committee considered a draft report on its inquiry into the AGS report entitled “A first stage review of the cost and implementation of the teachers’ agreement A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century” (AGS/2006/6). The report was agreed to.

ANNEXE B

WRITTEN EVIDENCE

LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE ASSOCIATION OF HEADTEACHERS AND DEPUTES IN SCOTLAND TO THE CLERK – 20 JUNE 2006

Dear Shelagh,

Teachers Agreement Inquiry

I understand that the Audit Committee are currently undertaking a short inquiry following the recent Audit Scotland report on the implementation of the ‘A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century Agreement’.  I would like to take this opportunity to highlight two issues from this report which are of significant concern to AHDS (we are a trade union representing more than 1400 headteachers and deputes from Scotland’s nursery, primary and special schools).  I would be grateful if you could share this letter with Audit Committee members.

The points I have to make relate to specific issues raised by Audit Scotland in relation to school leaders and come under the fourth strand of your inquiry remit:

“How the Department intends to address any concerns expressed by teachers and support staff about the impact of the agreement in practice.”

Impact of Reduced Class Contact Time

Audit Scotland stated that “while the reductions have been generally positive for teachers, they have contributed to an increased workload for head teachers.”  They go on to say that while head teachers have always done some classroom cover as part of their job 63% reported that they had to provide cover for reduced class contact time.  This statistic is all the more significant when you consider that it is not disaggregated - very few examples will exist of headteachers in the secondary sector covering classes.  It is likely that if the statistics relating only to primary heads was considered then the proportion covering for classroom teachers would be significantly more than 63%.

The ability to provide RCCT without impacting on time for leadership and management is crucially important as effective leadership is widely considered to be one of the key determinants of a successful school.  Two situations lead to the need for school leaders to cover classes for RCCT.  The first is where there is staff absence and no supply cover is available.  The second situation is where the resources downloaded to schools or the pattern of resources do not match with what must be delivered.  The arrangements for funding RCCT differ from authority to authority with some less generous than others.   With the extension of RCCT in August this year it is already clear that the overall picture in Scottish schools is likely to result in a greater classroom burden for promoted staff.

Lack of Applicants for Headship

Audit Scotland recommended that “The Scottish Executive, and others, should undertake research to examine whether the reduction in applications for head teacher posts is a widespread problem and the potential reasons behind this.”  AHDS believes that job-sizing is the single biggest contributor to the reduction in applications for headship.  We continue to call for a review of job sizing and the re-introduction of significant differentials between head teacher and depute.

I appreciate that you and the members of the Audit Committee will have countless pages of information to consider so I have tried to be as succinct as possible in this letter.  If you would like me to expand on any of these points please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Yours sincerely,

Greg Dempster
General Secretary

Audit Committee Official Report 12th Meeting 12 September 2006

SUPPLEMENTARY WRITTEN EVIDENCE 

LETTER FROM MIKE EWART TO THE CONVENER – 13 OCTOBER 2006

AGS REPORT TEACHING PROFESSION

Thank you for your letter of 27 September.  You noted that I agreed to provide the Audit Committee with the following information:

  • A note of which local authorities provide 0% interest loans to teachers in order to fund progress towards Chartered Teacher Status (CTS);
  • How does marketing of the CTS scheme vary between local authorities?;
  • Are schemes to encourage the take up of the CTS common to all local authorities?;
  • Details of the geographical spread of take-up of the CTS;
  • Examples of how support staff are being deployed in schools.

Officials within the Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) are currently collecting the information requested on the first 3 points.  When this information has been collated, I shall report back to the Committee.

However, I am in a position to answer the final 2 points on: (i) details of the geographical spread of take-up of the CTS; (ii) examples of how support staff are being deployed in schools.

Details of the geographical spread of take-up of the CTS

You will note from the attached chart, ‘Chartered Teacher Programme – Numbers by Local Authority’ (Annexe 1), that as of September 2006: 335 teachers had completed the Chartered Teacher programme; 1,435 teachers have completed modules 1 to 3; 391 teachers have completed modules 4 to 6; 162 teachers have completed modules 8 to 11.  Details of the geographical spread of take-up of the CTS is explained in greater detail in Annexe 1.

Examples of how support staff are being deployed in schools

Annexe E of the Teachers’ Agreement provided for additional non-teaching resource for schools to help free up teachers time to concentrate on teaching. According to Audit Scotland, over £168m was spent by local authorities between 2001 and 2006 on additional administration and support staff in schools. At the time of their study, Audit Scotland found that 3125 FTE support staff had been recruited.

There are three main categories of staff that authorities have recruited:

Classroom assistants

Administrative and clerical staff

Business/support managers

How authorities have distributed non- teaching posts was a matter for them – although Annexe E set out the sorts of jobs teachers should not be routinely expected to do.

All 32 authorities have put additional staff in place. Some have opted for a policy of more highly paid business managers supporting Head teachers and their Senior Management Teams – hence fewer lower paid classroom assistants and clerical staff. And some have decided to put more classroom based support in place but no business managers.

The SNCT published an update in 2005 of what changes were happening in support staffing as a consequence of Annexe E. A copy of that report is attached for your convenience. However, The Teachers Agreement Communication Team has found several excellent examples where authorities have maximised the impact of the additional resources and integrated them fully into the workings of their schools. The best have also ensured that there is flexibility in how the non-teaching staff are deployed and have put in place career progression and development opportunity arrangements to satisfy the development needs of that group of staff. South Lanarkshire received a Cosla Excellence Award last year in response to their work in this area. I also attach a copy of a short report outlining how South Lanarkshire went about that (Annexe: 2).

The TAC Team has also encountered many examples where the addition of Business Managers are having a profoundly positive impact on the way schools are run

ANNEX: 1

CHARTERED TEACHER PROGRAMME - NUMBERS BY LOCAL AUTHORITY (The modular route to CT status comprises 12 modules.)
September 2006
  CTs 1 to 3 Modules 4 to 7 Modules 8 to 11 Modules Total for LA
Orkney Islands Council 6 20 3 1 30
Eilean Siar 13 16 5 2 36
Shetland Islands Council 3 25 - 1 29
East Dunbartonshire Council 14 48 12 7 81
Aberdeen City Council 13 75 14 10 112
East Renfrewshire Council 13 41 12 6 72
Renfrewshire Council 15 54 25 10 104
Highland Council 27 85 25 10 147
West Dunbartonshire Council 12 36 4 3 55
South Ayrshire Council 4 34 11 10 59
Edinburgh City 30 113 15 6 164
Aberdeenshire Council 7 82 25 11 125
Glasgow City 26 169 44 21 260
Stirling Council 4 32 4 1 41
Moray Council 6 28 10 - 44
East Ayrshire Council 9 27 14 2 52
South Lanarkshire Council 20 89 19 8 136
Argyll & Bute - 26 10 3 39
Dumfries & Galloway Council 11 35 10 6 62
West Lothian Council 2 37 17 11 67
North Ayrshire Council 10 26 10 7 53
East Lothian Council 5 22 7 1 35
Midlothian Council 2 22 4 2 30
Scottish Borders Council 5 25 6 1 37
Inverclyde Council 4 17 6 - 27
Angus Council 9 18 9 1 37
North Lanarkshire Council 20 73 19 3 115
Falkirk Council 7 21 14 3 45
Fife Council 15 60 21 4 100
Perth & Kinross Council 11 17 4 3 35
Dundee City Council 8 22 5 3 38
Clackmannanshire 2 4 - 1 7
Non Local Authority 2 36 7 4 49
Scotland total 335 1,435 391 162 2,323
data from GTCS database
this does not include 362 teachers undertaking Chartered Teacher by the accreditation route.

Excellence Awards

Category 4

Securing a Workforce for the Future

“A Culture Change in Support Services”

January 2005

Securing a Workforce for the Future

4. Programme for Change Overview

The programme for change in support services started in 1999 and involves over 1200 people working in clusters and schools in South Lanarkshire. It is a programme with a vision which aims to  secure a workforce which will enable support services to successfully take on the challenges of the 21st century. It  is a programme for current staff and  for future generations of staff in support services in schools in South Lanarkshire.  The staff involved in this change are not typically those who are the focus of initiatives in career development, succession planning or investment in training. This has now changed. Support services have changed.

In 1999 a Best Value review of school administration developed into a review of all school support staff….clerical staff, admin finance assistants, classroom assistants, special needs auxiliaries and technicians.  The Best Value review also embraced the national “Time for Teaching” programme and the outcomes of the McCrone enquiry “A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century”.  Each of these developments presented major challenges for the future of support services.

The challenges included:

  • Recognition of the role of support services in the development of a world class education service.
  • The need to redress the low levels of investment and interest in the development of support services over many years.
  • The move from a disparate workforce doing what was often described as “nice wee jobs" into a professional service for the 21st century which attracts and retains high quality staff.
  • The development of the capacity of the service to tackle the tasks arising from changes in the education service and more specifically the tasks highlighted in 'Time for Teaching' and 'A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century'.
  • The need to have an organisational structure for support services which tackles traditional boundaries and ways of working to secure a service which can respond effectively and flexibility to changing needs and circumstances.

Over the past four years a range of significant changes have successfully taken place to secure a workforce for the future in support services in schools.  This submission describes these changes, their impact and the ways in which the above challenges are being met.

4.a. Project is linked into wider departmental organisational goals and objectives have been set for the initiative.

The programme for change in support services has proved very influential in shaping the overall strategy for the future provision of education in South Lanarkshire. The recent, innovative and fundamental change in the provision of education through Learning Communities across South Lanarkshire has its origins in the programme for change in support services..  The links to specific departmental and organisational goals are summarised in Table A below.  The key objectives which have been set for the development of support services over the last four years are summarised in Table B.

Table A:  Links to Wider Organisational Goals

Wider Organisational Goals Development in Support Services

Ensuring Best Value in all services (2000-Present)

Best Value review produced a range of options for the future organisation of support services and addressed principles of

-transparency
-ownership
-accountability
-continuous improvement

(These four principles have permeated developments in Support Services over the past four years).

 

Addressing the underdevelopment of support services to increase the capacity to tackle change effectively (2000-Present)

In particular the technician service suffered from a lack of direction and low morale.  Key issues addressed included

-sense of direction
-more flexible working
-increased staffing
-new organisational structure
-increased high quality training
-investment in modern resources

 

“Professionalising” support services to ensure a high quality service (2000-Present)

A root and branch review of the overall management and organisation of support services to meet the anticipated needs of schools in the 21st century.  A key theme was in the development of integrated support services to meet the needs of local learning communities.

Addressing the issues raised by the national report ‘Time for Teaching’ and the Education Department’s commitment to continuous improvement in learning and teaching (2000-Present)

The response to this report, which highlighted the key role for support services in releasing time spent on support activities of both senior staff and class teachers to increase time for teaching and learning activities, was innovative and effective and had a major impact on the career structure for staff in support services. (See later sections for details).

The implementation of “A Teaching Professional for the 21st Century” (2002-Present)

This supported the principles of Time for Teaching and added a very practical dimension in terms of the need to examine in detail the roles, remits and responsibilities of posts in support services and to examine ways of streamlining a range of critical administrative processes in support services.

The establishment of Learning Communities in South Lanarkshire (2004-Present)

The concept of a Learning Community was first explored in the Best Value review of support services in 1999/2000.  It  reflected the vision for support services with a structure which provides effective, professional, integrated services to groups of schools across all sectors. (i.e.secondary school, associated primary schools, SEN schools and early years establishments in a local area).  These groupings are currently being established as learning communities which are supported by a new cluster based structure for support services.

The key objectives in the development of support services have been set to secure a workforce with the motivation, expertise and capacity to address current and future needs.  It was and continues to be a challenging set of objectives.  A summary of the key objectives is presented in Table B.

Table B:  Key Objectives

Session Key Objectives/Milestones Achieved on Time
1999/2000
  • To reach agreement with staff in support services on a vision for support services for the future.
  • To produce a three year action plan to secure the vision for support services.
  • To agree an organisational and management structure for support services based on the concept of a learning community.
  • To identify approaches to streamlining key admin processes (process mapping).



2000/2001
  • To produce a detailed set of job matrices, agreed with staff and trade unions, for all posts in the new management structure.
  • To appoint a manager for support services (the post did not previously exist).
  • To establish cluster offices in six clusters.

X    Took longer than predicted

2001/2002
  • To appoint a senior member of staff to manage support services in each learning community (still called clusters in 2001).  No senior posts had previously existed.  Headteachers managed support staff in their schools.
2002/2003
  • To develop a comprehensive programme of training opportunities for staff in support services and to identify support services training budgets for all clusters.  Previously no separate budgets for support services were in place.  This was a key change with an important motivating message for all staff in support services about investing in the future of support services.
  • To develop approaches to the assessment of leadership potential with a view to supporting staff to apply for newly created team leader posts in all schools.
  • To introduce new job matrices for technicians and to establish a new central technician team with a key role in the identification of training needs.
  • To introduce new apprenticeship training opportunities for technicians and administrative staff.  (This required co-operation with a college and other authorities to arrange viable apprenticeship/SVQ training).
  • Establishing a framework of performance indicators for use in self-evaluation and profiling in support services “How Good is Our SupportTeam”.
  • To establish cluster offices and teams in a further seven clusters.
  • To produce an evaluation specification for support services based on the requirements of Best Value/Time for Teaching/A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century and the Vision for Support Services.
  • To establish a “traffic light” system to monitor progress on “time for teaching” targets in relation to administrative tasks identified in the “McCrone Agreement” for teachers (more details in section 4). 
  • To establish cluster officers in the remaining five clusters (i.e. to complete setting up of cluster offices and teams in all clusters).

 




X Not achieved on time








The principles of Best Value remain central to the programme for change in support services. Each year a quality management seminar has involved a large sample of support services staff in each cluster in discussing and agreeing key strategies and priorities.  Discussions of remits and responsibilities for all new posts have involved a wide range of consultations and negotiations with trade unions.  The establishment of new processes has been through sharing and developing best practice across clusters and through the use of process mapping.  The major development of a well conceived and developed self-evaluation tool “How Good is Our Support Team” has been achieved through the extended involvement of a wide range of staff in support services and schools..

4.b. How was the opportunity issue identified?  What approach was taken, how was this decided on, how was it project managed?

The programme for change in support services had a fairly routine beginning.  Support services were included in the 1999/2000 council programme of Best Value reviews.  It quickly became apparent in the review that there were serious concerns about a range of issues across support services. These concerns included low morale, limited training, poor career structure and lack of investment. Each of these issues raised serious doubts about the capacity of the services to meet the challenges posed by the outcome of the national study of the roles of teachers and support staff “Time for Teaching”.  This was further highlighted by the agreement on 'A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century' which identified specific tasks for support services in the future.  The table below outlines the range of issues which have been identified over the last four years, the approaches taken to address these and the involvement of support services to staff and partners in the management of change.

Main Issues Identified Approaches Used Management Strategies
Need for a future direction for support services which took account of Time for Teaching and the Teaching Profession for the 21st Century Series of visioning workshops and quality management seminars.  Resulted in an agreed vision for support services and highlighted a wide range of strengths and areas for development Involvement of over 450 support services staff and representatives from unions, Audit Scotland, HMIe and the Clydesdale Bank (as outside consultant).
Need to have clear action plan and programme management in place to translate the vision into a future organisational structure for support services The Best Value Review Group (BVRG) became the management group for the programme for change.  A number of specialist sub-groups e.g. to work with staff in the technician service were established. The BVRG carried out a range of surveys and consultations with specific groups of staff to identify strengths and needs.  An action plan for the programmed was produced.
Need to develop readiness among staff to introduce agreed new management structure for support services The BVRG organised a range of workshops, consultations, meetings with individual groups to present and refine the proposed management structure.  A detailed Q & A booklet was produced. The active involvement of a wide range of staff in extended preparatory phase was critical to future developments.
Need to identify range of skills and competencies required to introduce the new structure for support services.  Leadership skills at the level of individual schools, clusters and in the education department were identified as a priority A range of assessment workshops were offered to all staff in support services who were interested in applying for new team leader posts in schools and clusters.  These were oversubscribed and were considered valuable by staff involved. Workshops helped identify/assess leadership potential among existing staff and to produce job descriptions for all new posts.
Need to appoint key senior staff to manage the introduction of the new structure and to produce agreed job matrices for all new posts including the new post of school support assistants which replaced clerical assistants, classroom assistants and SEN auxiliaries – a major development in establishing integrated, multi-skilled teams in all schools and clusters A manager for support services was appointed and the remit for the support services co-ordinator post to manage support services in clusters was agreed with staff and trade unions (support services co-ordinators were appointed to clusters in 3 phases between 2002 and 2004) The development of remits for all the new posts in support services involved extensive consultation and negotiation.  All posts reflected the vision for support services.

Main Issues Identified Approaches Used Management Strategies
Need to develop
  • comprehensive training programme
  • streamlined services/ processes
  • framework of indicators for self-evaluation
Specialist groups were established to address these needs.  Valuable assistance from Audit Scotland was obtained in delivering workshops on process mapping to staff in schools and in support services.  The framework of indicators for self-evaluation was completed in 2004 It was considered essential to maintain the principle of Best Value, i.e.-accountability-transparency-ownership-involvementthroughout the programme for change.  This applied to the work of the central group and to specialist development groups.
Need to evaluate the programme of change as a whole and the progress being made in achieving specific goals and objectives The BVRG developed into the programme evaluation steering group.  In addition to agreeing a detailed specification for the evaluation of the programme the group carried out regular surveys and consultations on progress in specific aspects of the programme The evaluation group meets regularly to receive evaluation reports from the manager of support services and to raise issues identified in the operation of support services in clusters and in schools.

The change strategy has had a consistent overall purpose and direction since 2000.  It has however been a responsive strategy which has encouraged and supported the direct and active involvement of support services staff at all levels in shaping and managing the change process.  At all stages issues have been identified and have stimulated effective and appropriate responses at Council, cluster and school levels. These have strengthened the commitment of staff to the new structure, new remits and new ways of working.  Without this responsiveness the changes would not have resulted in a workforce and structure which have the capacity to meet the challenges of education in the 21st century. 

The leadership and commitment of

  • the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive;
  • the Executive Director, Education Resources and senior management team;
  • the Manager of Support Services;

have been critical to ensuring this major programme for change has been consistently and enthusiastically supported over the last four years.  In addition to providing sound advice and guidance they have ensured the appropriate level of resourcing has been sustained as part of the core funding for education.  This has had a major impact on the commitment and morale of staff at all levels in support services.  It is viewed as an investment in the future of these services and the people who deliver them.

4.c. Innovations shown in the approach

The programme for change has been a tremendously innovative approach to bringing about a major cultural change for over 1200 staff in support services in Education Resources in South Lanarkshire.  Innovative approaches are evident at all levels in the changes which have taken place.  The table below highlights a range of creative and innovative developments.

Creative and Innovative Features
  • The series of visioning workshops for support services and teaching staff (Partners: Audit Scotland; Clydesdale Bank).
  • The structure for support services based on learning communities.
  • New management and leadership structures i.e.
-new post of team leader in every school-new post of school support assistant-support services teams no longer directly managed by headteachers(Partners: range of trade unions)
  • The opportunity for staff in support services to attend a leadership potential assessment workshop to assist staff to consider their future career path in support services
  • The development of a new self-evaluation tool “How Good is Our SupportTeam” which takes account of local and national standards
  • The application of process mapping to streamline a range of administrative processes
      (Partner:  Audit Scotland)
  • The clear investment in people through the establishment of training budgets and an annual extensive programme of training courses for staff in support services together with opportunities to access training previously open only to teaching staff
  • The appointment of support services co-ordinators from a wide range of backgrounds in industry, commerce and other public services (the Support Services Manager has a background in the Health Service)
  • he extension of support services to other sectors e.g. cluster technician service teams now support primary and SEN sector (previously based only in secondary sector).
  • The introduction of a “Support Services” section in the weekly staff newsletter.  (Previously the newsletter focused only on items relating to teaching staff and pupils).

The programme for change in support services in Education Resources is characterised by,

  • increased professionalism;
  • greater integrated working;
  • reduction of barriers to make responsive practice;
  • the principles of best value;
  • investing in people;
  • new ways of working;
  • a clear vision for support services;
  • acknowledging and valuing the contribution of support services to ensuring high quality education provision for all young people.

The vision for support services

“We will develop an environment in which valued staff provide quality support services for learning and teaching through an integrated delivery system which meets effectively the needs of the learning community.”

is one which could quite easily be adopted by any Council which wishes to develop the capacity of its support services to meet the challenges of the 21st century.  It is a vision which when implemented effectively will make a significant contribution to securing the workforce and the organisational structure for the future.

4.d. Monitoring, evaluation, review and results

There has been a high level of commitment to planned, rigorous and systematic evaluation throughout this challenging programme.  The central place of evaluation activities is a reflection of the innovative, sensitive and challenging nature of the changes which are involved.  It has always been considered essential to have three types of evaluation i.e.

  • Formative – gathering feedback and data on an ongoing basis which informs the next steps in the programme and addresses unexpected or new issues as they arise.
  • Summative – gathering information at predetermined key phases in the programme which enables progress across the programme up to that point to be evaluated and reported.
  • Illuminative – gathering information on specific aspects from a number of points of view which help develop an understanding of why specific development is working well or not so well.

The development of the programme of change has been effectively informed by regular evaluation. (See timeline for evaluation - figure 1 below)

As the ‘start up’ phase of the programme was completed the Best Value Review Group became the programme evaluation steering group.  The group agreed an overall evaluation specification for the programme.  This included ten key outcomes for the programme.  These are presented in Table A below together with a summary of the success in their achievement. 

Table A:  Evaluation Specification:  Key Outcomes (Position at December 2004)                         

Outcome Achieved
Progress on Schedule
Progress
Behind of Schedule
Limited Progress
All posts in the new structure are established and operating    
Enhanced and improved support services operate in all schools (in the first two phases) * * *
All tasks identified in Appendix E are undertaken by staff in support services    
The amount of time headteachers and other staff spend on support services had been reduced * * *
A range of new support services processes are operating at school and cluster level    
Levels of stakeholder satisfaction with the effectiveness and impact of the new structure and processes for support services are high * * *
New information and communication systems are operating    
Outcomes of development review of staff reflect an awareness and interest in the opportunities provided by the new structure * * *
A self-evaluation framework for support services is in use in all clusters and informs development and improvement activities    
All clusters have produced draft development plans and training plans for support services    

* = significant variation across clusters

Within the outcome relating to tasks identified in a Teaching Profession for the 21st Century (Appendix E Tasks) a series of targets related to specific activities has been identified.  The degree to which these tasks are now undertaken solely by support services or in conjunction with teachers serves as an indicator of the success in addressing the central issue raised in Time for Teaching.  An innovative approach to reporting the progress of the programme, using a “traffic light” approach is illustrated for one cluster in Table B

Summary of the overall position is presented in Table C.

Table C:  Transfer of tasks * from teaching staff to Support Services staff

(*tasks listed in Annexe E)  (Position at December 2003)

This table indicates the pattern of transfer of 19 key tasks from teaching staff to support services staff in the four pilot clusters in the programme, e.g. reading line 1.

17% of tasks in cluster 1 were previously done by only teaching staff pre-cluster.  After restructuring of support services only 6% of tasks were done only by teaching staff.

Red: Teaching staff only

Yellow: Teaching and support staff

Green: Support staff only

Clusters 1 to 4
Before % New Structure After % New Structure
1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Red 17 13 12 14 6 8 5 11
Yellow 44 37 34 38 41 29 32 36
Green 34 44 44 40 48 56 53 45
Not undertaken 5 7 10 8 5 7 10 8

A range of evaluation approaches have been successfully used.  These include

  • questionnaire surveys of samples of staff and of complete specialist groups of staff;
  • workshops and seminars in which key evaluation questions are discussed;
  • focus groups of staff established to consider the impact of specific initiatives;
  • comprehensive consultation on e.g. the job matrices;
  • the work of the evaluation steering group where members raise successes and identify areas where problems have arisen;
  • the production of evaluation proforma used at the end of all training activities.  These have helped refine and review specific training activities.

A major recent development is the production of the self-evaluation tool “How Good Is Our School Support Team”.  This includes a range of performance indicators which each have related statements of best practice which fulfil two junctions.  They act as benchmarks against which staff in clusters can evaluate (on a 1-4 scale) their performance and secondly they provide a further method of disseminating good practice across learning communities. 

Table D provides an illustration of a section from the self-evaluation tool.

Two external sources have provided evidence on the success of the programme in bringing about cultural change in support services and securing a workforce to tackle future changes and challenges.  The following quotes from the reports illustrate the progress which has been made.

1. The Investors in People assessment in September 2002.

“The Best Value review of school based support staff will result in considerable improvements to the management and development of this group and the work done to date through the pilot exercise is commendable.”

“The commitment to training school based support staff in preparation for new appointments is excellent practice.”

“They explained what was happening with the schools’ pilot and the opportunities for training.  Now we can see a career path.  Commitment has improved 100%.”  (Quote from member of support services team)

2. The Report by HMIe on the Education Functions of South Lanarkshire Council (Published February 2004)

“The modernisation of the delivery of school support services……provides a very strong framework for achieving major improvements in the quality of services to stakeholders.”

“The impact of effective consultation was evident in …. the implementation of clear proposals for changes arising from the wide ranging Best Value review of School Administration.”

“By reviewing the deployment of both teaching and support staff the Council had been able to identify more effective approaches to meeting the needs of children and young people and promoting inclusion.  This in turn had an impact on the quality of their learning experiences.”

20 January 2005

LETTER FROM MIKE EWART TO THE CONVENER – 6 NOVEMBER 2006

AGS REPORT TEACHING PROFESSION

I wrote to you on 27 September to provide some follow-up information to the Audit Committee.  In that letter I said that officials within the Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) were still collecting information on the following points:

  • A note of which local authorities provide 0% interest loans to teachers in order to fund progress towards Chartered Teacher Programme (CTP);
  • How does marketing of the CTP scheme vary between local authorities?;
  • Are schemes to encourage the take up of the CTP common to all local authorities?;

To date we have received 14 responses from the 32 local authorities.  The outstanding returns are being actively pursued, but the following summary can only give a flavour of what is happening at local authority level.

A note of which local authorities provide 0% interest loans to teachers in order to fund progress towards Chartered Teacher Programme (CTP);

I need to start with an apology.  My colleague had a clear recollection of conversations with local authorities around low or interest free loans for career development purposes.  However none of the returns so far received indicate any such schemes are running in relation to progress such as Chartered Teacher, which bring automatic salary rises.  We have also checked the terms of the career development loan scheme run by DfES but its terms mean that only candidates who are unable to pay for the course themselves are eligible.  One local authority which has specifically looked into the possibility of providing zero or low interest loans concluded that the administrative costs involved would not make it worthwhile, particularly when low cost loans are extensively available (currently around 6%APR).

How does marketing of the CTP scheme vary between local authorities?;

Local authorities reported that where they promote the Chartered Teacher Programme they use a variety of ways to do this.  Listed below are the main ways used to promoted the Programme and authorities will use a mixture of these as they see fit within their individual circumstances.

  • Jointly promoting the Chartered Teacher Programme by the authority with Programme providers (this can take the form of written material and/or briefing sessions);
  • Circulating information leaflets to schools and holding information sessions;
  • Hosting on-line discussion of the Programme which would be open to all teachers;
  • Establishing networks to support potential candidates and these can include full Chartered Teachers;
  • Granting study time to candidates;
  • Inviting GTCS to give presentations and this can include contributions from full Chartered Teachers;
  • Using EIS learning representatives to give their impression of the Programme;
  • Tailoring CPD opportunities so that they can be used as a progression to the Programme; and
  • Delivering locally modules from the Programme by providers/authority to allow easier access.

Are schemes to encourage the take up of the CTP common to all local authorities?;

Local authorities do not encourage take up of the Chartered Teacher Programme in exactly the same way.  However, many use similar initiatives such as sending out information about the Programme including information from Chartered Teacher providers and holding information sessions where the GTCS and/or Chartered Teachers may present.  Some local authorities also work in partnerships around CPD such as the Central Scotland Partnership and the East Lothian, Midlothian and Scottish Borders consortium.  This will obviously ensure a degree of consistency in approach between some authorities.

A few local authorities did report that they did not actively encourage take up of the Programme.  In one case this was down to the authority considering that agreeing the most appropriate forms of  professional development were best agreed between the individual teacher and their line manager.  This way one form of development was not seen to be getting authority endorsement over another.

We will be analysing the returns, when complete, to see if there is a detectable link between uptake and promotion of the scheme.

I shall report back to the Committee in a more comprehensive manner when the outstanding replies from local authorities are received.

LETTER FROM THE MIKE EWART TO THE CONVENER – 13 NOVEMBER 2006

AGS REPORT TEACHING PROFESSION

I wrote to you on 6 November providing an analysis of the initial 14 responses from local authorities to the points below. These covered the following local authorities Angus, Argyll & Bute, Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Lothian, Falkirk, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Orkney, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, Stirling, and West Dunbarton.

• A note of which local authorities provide 0% interest loans to teachers in order to fund progress towards Chartered Teacher Programme (CTP);
• How does marketing of the CTP scheme vary between local authorities?;
• Are schemes to encourage the take up of the CTP common to all local authorities?;

I have now received responses from all local authorities apart from one and a comprehensive response is detailed below, incorporating information from my earlier reply.

A note of which local authorities provide 0% interest loans to teachers in order to fund progress

towards Chartered Teacher Programme (CTP):

None of the returns indicate any local authorities making loans, interest free or not, to teachers to cover the costs of progressing through the Chartered Teacher Programme. We have also checked the terms of the career development loan scheme run by DfES but its terms mean that only candidates who are unable to pay for the course themselves are eligible. One local authority which has specifically looked into the possibility of providing zero or low interest loans concluded that the administrative costs involved would not make it worthwhile, particularly when low cost loans are extensively available (currently around 6%APR). In some local authorities schools have devolved CPD budgets and it may be that schools are prepared to support candidates financially by allowing a percentage of the individual's CPD budget to go towards covering Programme costs.

How does marketing of the CTP scheme Vary between local authorities?:

Local authorities reported that where they promote the Chartered Teacher Programme they use a variety of ways to do this. Listed below are the main ways used to promoted the Programme and authorities will use a mixture of these as they see fit within their individual circumstances. Also individual schools may have their own marketing initiatives.

• Jointly promoting the Chartered Teacher Programme by the authority with Programme providers (this can take the form of written material and/or briefing sessions);
• Circulating information leaflets to schools and holding information sessions;
• Ensuring probationer training covers awareness of the Programme;
• Raising awareness that APL (Accreditation of Prior Learning) claims can be made following completion of other programmes such as the Diploma in SEN;
• Awareness sessions for headteachers to encourage them to talk to their staff about the Programme;
• Suggesting that it is covered within a teacher's annual professional review and development interview;
• Hosting events for Chartered Teachers to share their god practice;
• Teachers' views sought on the preferred times of delivery of modules;
• Hosting on-line discussion of the Programme which would be open to all teachers;
• Establishing networks to support potential candidates and these can include full Chartered Teachers;
• Bringing together teachers who intend to undertake the same modules;
• Granting study time to candidates;
• Inviting GTCS to give presentations and this can include contributions from full Chartered Teachers;
• Identifying and contacting teachers who have completed modules but for whatever reason seem to have stopped progressing through the Programme;
• Using EIS learning representatives to give their impression of the Programme;
• Tailoring CPD opportunities so that they can be used as a progression to the Programme; and
• Delivering locally modules from the Programme by providers/authority to allow easier access.

Are schemes to encourage the take up ofthe CTP common to all local authorities?:

Local authorities do not encourage take up of the Chartered Teacher Programme in exactly the same way. However, many use similar initiatives such as sending out information about the Programme including information from Chartered Teacher providers and holding information sessions where the GTCS and/or Chartered Teachers may present. Some local authorities also work in partnerships around CPD such as the Central Scotland Partnership, the East Lothian, Midlothian and Scottish Borders consortium and the Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and Moray consortium. This will obviously ensure a degree of consistency in approach between some authorities.

A few local authorities did report that they did not actively encourage take up of the Programme. In one case this was down to the authority considering that agreeing the most appropriate forms of professional development were best agreed between the individual teacher and their line manager. This way one form of development was not seen to be getting authority endorsement over another. We will also analyse the returns in more detail to see if there is a detectable link between uptake and promotion of the scheme.

I trust that this information will be of interest to the Committee


Footnotes:

1 AGS 2006/6 A mid-term report page 15, paras 48-49

2 A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century, The Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Professional Conditions of Service for Teachers, 2000

3 AGS 2006/6 A mid-term report

4 (2001/02 – 2005/06) (Exhibit 7, page 14)

5 AGS 2006/6 A mid-term report page 13, paras 38 and 39

6 AGS 2006/6 A mid-term report page 15, paras 48-49

7 AGS 2006/6 A mid-term report page 15, paras 48-49

8 AGS 2006/6 A mid-term report page 15, para 49

9 AGS 2006/6 A mid-term report page 16

10 AGS 2006/6 A mid-term report page 8

11 Study commissioned by SEED from HMIE, terms of reference: ‘how pupils’ experiences and achievements have improved through implementation of the Agreement’

12 AGS 2006/6 A mid-term report page 31, Para 125

13 Letters from Mike Ewart dated 13 October and 6 and 13 November

14 McCrone Report