Primary school staffing arrangements to be made clear

The meeting will be held at Woodhill House in Aberdeen
The meeting will be held at Woodhill House in Aberdeen

Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee will receive an update on plans to clarify staffing arrangements at primary schools tomorrow.

In order to improve the consistency of curriculum delivery across Aberdeenshire, schools are to be given direct responsibility for the deployment of teaching staff.

There is currently a centralised model to provide support to schools via Visiting Specialist Teachers (VSTs).

The improvements were first proposed in 2013 and it was agreed that an incremental transition to the new arrangements should be followed.

Progress has been made with the changes, however it was recognised that this incremental transition had resulted in a lack of consistency across Aberdeenshire.

Therefore earlier this year the Director and Leadership Team agreed to a new staff engagement process. All VSTs were written to in May 2017 to confirm their options. There are also ongoing discussions with them which included three separate briefing sessions.

The next stage will involve individual meetings with VSTs to determine their options which will allow a transition plan to be put in place, supported by ongoing professional development.

The plans will also see primary school Head Teachers given more independence in how teaching staff are deployed, given their knowledge of using teachers with specific skills to the best of their ability.