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."
Proposals that could provide Highland Council employees with a new ‘independent, dedicated and confidential route' to report malpractice and wrongdoing concerns have received support from Highland Councillors. Following robust discussion, Members of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee have endorsed the movement of the management of the Council’s Whistleblowing Policy and its processes to the Council’s Fraud Team.
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.