Teacher recruitment update in Highland
7th August 2020
An update on the recruitment of teaching positions in Highland was presented to Members of the Council's Education Committee yesterday (6 August 2020).
Head of Education, Nicky Grant, said: "I want to thank our staff members who have stepped into these vacancies while we continue in our recruitment of teaching and support staff. Their willingness to adapt, particularly within the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, is recognised and appreciated.
It has been extremely challenging to progress with recruitment to promoted posts during the lockdown period, I am glad we can now do so. We look forward to beginning this process this month and welcoming new colleagues to the Highland Council".
The Deputy First Minister announced that Local Authorities were to receive funding specifically for the recruitment of additional teachers and support staff to help their progress in the return to education.
The distribution of the announced £50m across Local Authorities has just been confirmed, with detail to follow shortly from the Scottish Government. Planning will begin with Head Teachers and union colleagues on how to maximise additional teaching and support resources when they are made available. The intention to target numeracy, literacy, health and wellbeing and the new attainment gap will remain an initial focus.
Recruitment is set to begin this month for a number of posts in Primary, Secondary, Deputy Head Teacher, and Head Teacher positions. These will be advertised externally on ‘myjobscotland', the on-line platform used by all local authorities and in the Times Educational Supplement.
Highland Councillors have commended the Council's ongoing efforts to reduce carbon consumption over the past year. Members have welcomed the information that the Council has saved over 6,000 tonnes of carbon this year.
Virtual education in Highland - Supportive, Interactive, Engaging. The Highland Council can support and deliver education to any pupils who are asked to self-isolate by the Health Protection Team, in all of our 203 schools across the region.
Young people at school are the winners as a result of discussions between High Life Highland and The Highland Council that will see the Charity's staff phased back into schools after the October break. Speaking about the arrangement, High Life Highland Chairman, Ian Ross said, "I am delighted that once again our partnership working arrangements with colleagues in The Highland Council mean that High Life Highland staff will be able to recommence their work with young people during the school day and within school buildings.
The Highland Council is calling on the UK Government to help resolve the inequity of fuel poverty experienced in the Highlands of Scotland where people pay more for fuel and energy than other regions in the UK. Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson has written to the UK Government's Minister of State (Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth) The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP calling on the government to replace the current electricity distribution system with one that replicates that of gas and telecoms and share the cost of energy distribution equally across the UK.
To mark Scotland's Climate Week for 2020, which runs from today until the 20th September, The Highland Council has organised a range of virtual events to share information and seek views from Highland residents and Council employees on climate related topics. Whilst the circumstances for Climate Week 2020 are very different to previous years, it still provides an important opportunity for organisations and communities to celebrate and showcase what they are doing to tackle climate change.
Highland residents are being warned that letters claiming they have won a share of £425,000 in a ‘postcode lottery' is a scam. The letters appear to be targeting the Skye area but are likely to be sent to various addresses across the Highland area.
Fiona Malcolm, has been appointed by The Highland Council as Interim Executive Chief Officer with immediate effect for Health and Social Care, pending recruitment of the permanent ECO post which is currently taking place. A qualified solicitor, Fiona has worked within the legislative and policy frameworks in place for both children's care and adult social care since joining The Highland Council in 2001.
Communities in The Highland Council area are to benefit from Crown Estates funding to be disbursed by the local authority. Councillors have agreed a funding distribution model to enable the disbursement of over £3million Crown Estates funds across the region.
Council today agreed an urgent motion by Cllrs Margaret Davidson, Andrew Jarvie, Alasdair Christie and Jimmy Gray with a call for more detailed local information sharing on Covid-19 for members in local government. The motion is as follows: "Throughout the pandemic we have received information on national and Highland wide numbers infected with Covid 19.
At the meeting on 9 September 2020 of the Council's Housing and Property Committee, Officers confirmed that house building targets will be met despite lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Chair of the committee, Cllr Ben Thompson, said: "I am delighted that we are able to continue to meet our targets for the Council house building programme.