Impact on PSA posts significantly reduced to under 12 across Highland
21st May 2019
There will be minimal impact on PSA posts due to extensive work done to protect staff through the holding back over 50 vacant posts and identifying other opportunities within the council.
We have committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies. PSAs will be given priority to move into new and vacant posts and they will be offered one to one discussions with an HR advisor if they wish, as well as access to a career coach and a guaranteed interview for relevant any post arising.
Only 1% of PSA staff are required to move into new roles - far fewer than originally expected.
There are currently over 1100 PSA members of staff and the Council identified 63FTE posts to be reduced from after the summer holidays. Over 50 of these have been achieved through deleting posts that are presently vacant and will be vacant by the end of term.
There are around 11FTE PSA staff to be supported into alternative employment with the Council. Just under 10FTE are in South Highland and under 2FTE in the North Highland area.
There may be some changes across a few schools where the needs of pupils have changed and PSA support will follow that need, but this is part of the normal allocations process and is not affected by the need to reduce the number of PSA posts.
Teacher training to support inclusive education has been developed and will be rolled out first to those schools affected by reductions in staffing to meet the needs of pupils. This will include training across all staff groups in schools in communication, nurture, resilience and autism, to support a more inclusive education system with an emphasis on staff wellbeing to relieve stress and reduce absence.
Following discussions with parents, a proposal was agreed at the beginning of May (9th May) as part of the Change Programme Fund, to allocate resource for Parent and Pupil Advocacy to ensure inclusion of the parent voice in the ASN redesign.
Budget Leader Cllr Alister Mackinnon said: "We have been working closely with staff, trade unions and interest groups as we are determined how best to meet the ASN allocation requirements. Now that we have reached our conclusion we will continue to work with affected staff in ensuring a smooth transition. We look forward to implementing our teacher training, as well as working alongside our parent and pupil advocates, once they are appointed, as work on the ASN redesign project progresses."
Members have, at a special council meeting today, agreed a top priority for the Scottish Government New Schools Investment Programme bid. Members agreed that the proposed Tain 3-18 Campus project is nominated as The Highland Council's priority for consideration by the Scottish Government for inclusion in the initial phase of the New Schools Investment Programme with a delivery timescale by the end of 2021.
At this time of year many householders are thinking of their gardens, keeping them tidy or seeing to those jobs that need done before the weather turns. This is also the same time of year for criminals to take advantage of this and prey on the unsuspecting.
The Council has successfully distributed more than 20,000 Chromebook devices to all its schools to support learners to acquire key technology and life skills in facilitating a digitally enabled generation. Based on the ICT in Learning Strategic Action Plan 2015, The Highland Council started the Chromebook Project in November 2017 where every pupil in P6-S6 will be allocated a Chromebook for their use in school and at home for educational purposes and P1-P5 pupils will have access to Chromebooks at school on a 1:5 ratio.
Considerable effort has been focussed on returning young people to Highland. Since the Councils enhanced Placement Programme began in June 2018, 34 young people have returned to Highland or circumvented OOA (Out of Authority) avoiding costs of over £5M as compared with these young people remaining out of area for a year.
In excess of 22,000 customers were assisted by the Council's Welfare Support Team and Citizens Advice during 2018/19 for support with welfare, debt and housing issues. 3,372 customers were helped by the Welfare Support Team and 18,777 clients were assisted by Citizens Advice.
One hundred and seventeen (117) probationer teachers were recently welcomed to Highland at an Induction course held at Millburn Academy in Inverness. The probationer teachers' induction day is the first of a number of professional learning events throughout the year specifically arranged to support probationer teacher induction and their ongoing professional learning.
Measures to be put in place to cut down amount of construction and demolition waste collected at Household Waste Recycling Centres. The Highland Council will be putting measures in place to restrict the amount of construction and demolition waste bought to its network of 21 Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Highland Council today (15 August 2019) launched a consultation on a potential Highland Transient Visitor Levy. The Council has not yet made a decision on whether to implement a Transient Visitor Levy (TVL), also known as a Tourist Tax.
The Highland Council is warning the public of the presence of an algal bloom at Loch Watten, Caithness, following an examination of sample water on Monday (12/08/19). As a precautionary measure, environmental health have posted notices next to the water body, warning that contact with the algal scum or material should be avoided.
An officer in the Highland Council's Trading Standards team has won a UK award for her work on anti-counterfeiting and protecting consumers. Lynn Foster was presented with the Dave Hankinson Memorial Award for Individual Excellence by Phil Lewis, Director General of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG).
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