Key Decisions taken at Education Committee

30 January 2012

At the Education Committee last week (Monday 23rd January 2012) we took three key decisions.

The first was to approve the school holidays for the 2013/14.

This follows the new pattern of holidays which incorporate the October holiday in the second and third weeks of October.

It is helpful to declare school holidays a long time ahead as these days many parents and carers make holiday arrangements a long time ahead.

This allows them to do so with the confidence that they know when they can arrange their family holidays without compromising the education of their children.

Secondly, the committee approved the four classroom extension to Kingspark School at a cost just exceeding £1m.

I was fully behind this expenditure but had previously voiced concern that the council had put the cart before the horse by seeking planning permission for the proposed building work in advance of seeking approval from the Education Committee.

The inclusion of architectural drawings at the Education Committee and the City Architect available on hand to answer questions, provided reassurance that a development was appropriate to the needs of the children with multiple and profound disabilities that attend Kingspark and the short timescale had not compromised proper preparation of the proposal.

Thirdly, the Education Committee were advised that following a period of consultation, the proposal for a standardised 33 period week in each of our nine secondary schools had been dropped because it had failed to persuade parents, carers and teachers of its merit.

Incorporated in this design was a proposal for a daily twenty minute period of Tutor time where pupils would met their, Tutor or Key Adult.

This is defined as follows in the documentation for Curriculum for Excellence:

'All children and young people should have frequent opportunities to discuss their learning with an adult who can act as a mentor, helping them to set appropriate goals for the next stages in learning.'

I asked for reassurance that the provision of each pupil's entitlement for a Key Adult would be honoured in each of our secondary schools notwithstanding the 33 period week proposal falling


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