Agenda item - Member Involvement

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Agenda item

Member Involvement

To consider the following matters raised by Councillors:

 

 

(a)         Written Questions: to consider any written questions;

 

(i)           Duke of Edinburgh Awards – Councillor Shanks

 

 

(b)         Notices of Motion: to consider any Notices of Motion referred from Council or submitted directly to the Committee:

 

(i)           NEU Strikes – Councillor Clare

 

 

 

 

Minutes:

(A)       WRITTEN QUESTIONS

 

(i)         Duke of Edinburgh Awards

 

63.1    Councillor Shanks put forward the following question:

 

I am sure all Cllrs will agree that the Duke of Edinburgh’s award gives young people a great opportunity to get out into the countryside, learn a new skill and undertake community activities. It also is largely run by volunteers. So can you explain why the council has decided not to continue its license to run the Award?”

 

63.2    The Chair gave the following response:

 

“Historically the council held one Duke of Edinburgh licence which could be used by all schools and youth groups in the city, with the council youth service organising and supporting its delivery. At present all secondary schools, with the exception of Longhill, hold a Duke of Edinburgh licence and deliver the programme. As a result of this, the national Duke of Edinburgh team created a new South-East full-time post whose task it is to support and develop Duke of Edinburgh programmes exclusively within Brighton & Hove. Many of the tasks undertaken by this post holder replicated the work of the council’s part-time Duke of Edinburgh co-ordinator, therefore a decision was made in March 2019 that the Youth Participation Team would not renew their Duke of Edinburgh Operating licence when it expires in July 2020.”

 

63.3    Councillor Shanks provided the following supplementary question:

 

“How will you ensure young people who missed out on it at school, don’t want to do it with school, whose school doesn’t do it, especially those with disabilities and from disadvantaged backgrounds, will be able to undertake the award. Will you be prepared to find the minimal costs of the license I understand only £1200 pa to allow some of these young people to achieve an award.”

 

(B)       NOTICE OF MOTION

 

(i)         Sixth Form College Strikes

 

63.4    Councillor Hannah Clare moved the following Green Group Notice of Motion:

 

“This committee notes:

1.    The recent National Education Union strikes at sixth-form colleges - which took place nationwide on 17th October, 5th November, 12th February, 27th February and a further date to take place on 10thMarch;

2.    the participation of two of the city’s Sixth Form colleges (Varndean and BHASVIC) in this strikeaction;

Further, that this committee resolves to request that the Chair of Children, Young People and Skills Committee writes a letter to :

3.    Staff at Varndean and BHASVIC, expressing this committee’s support for recent strikeaction;

4.    The Secretary of State and Shadow Secretary of State for Education: requesting information on how they plan to meet the demands of striking staff, including any plans to review the obligations for Sixth-Form Colleges to payVAT”

 

63.5    Introducing the Notice of Motion, Councillor Clare stated that those striking had the full support of the Green Group.

 

63.6    Councillor Hills formally seconded the Notice of Motion. Councillor Hills noted that it was important to support teachers and students in getting the funding required to provide the best learning environment.

 

63.7    Councillor Knight moved the following amendment which called for committee to amend the Green Group Notice of Motion as shown below in bold italics:

           

            That committee notes:

            :

·         The £700 million shortfall in funding for post 16 education, and the

additional funding pressures including academisation and the formation of new college groupings, and the impact this has had on national contracts, bargaining and pay;

·         The overwhelming 84% in favour of strike, ballot result of NEU members;

·         The recent National Education Union strikes at sixth-form colleges - which took place nationwide on 17th October, 5th November, 12th February, 27th February and a further date to take place on 10th March;

·         The participation of two of the city’s Sixth Form colleges (Varndean and

BHASVIC) in this strike action;

·         The ‘Raise the Rate’ campaign that has joint-union support, and seeks

increased funding for sixth form education;

 

Further, that this committee resolves to request that the Chair of Children, Young People and Skills Committee writes a letter to:

 

·         Staff at Varndean and BHASVIC, expressing this committee’s support for

recent strike action;

·         The Secretary of State and Shadow Secretary of State for Education:

requesting information on how they plan to meet the demands of striking staff, including any plans to review the obligations for Sixth-Form Colleges to pay VAT, and calling upon the government to pay the Teachers’ Pay Grant toall sixth form colleges and to provide a sustainable funding environment to improve the pay, working conditions and security of employment of teaching staff in the long-term.

 

63.8    Introducing the Notice of Motion, Councillor Knight stated that it was incumbent on Central Government to raise funding for sixth form schools. It was further stated that Central Government had to provide a firm commitment and long-term plan for schools funding. It was not4ed that the Labour Party supported the Raise the Rate campaign.

 

63.9    Councillor Wilkinson formally seconded the amendment and noted the pressing need for more funding to schools and sixth forms across the Country. Support was expressed for the Raise the Rate Campaign and that the teaching sector was under threat.

 

63.10  Councillor Brown stated that the Conservative Party could not condone strike action. It was noted that by striking, young people’s exam results were put at risk by not receiving lessons.

 

63.11  Councillor McNair stated that it was difficult to support strike action while parents could bee earning much less, may have received lower pay increases and did not have the ability to go on strikes as well. It was noted that strike action would compound the problem rather than resolve this and that teachers worked hard as did others and that strike action sought to only highlight the plight of one section of a much larger workforce.

 

63.12  The Youth Council Member stated that, from the perspective of a student in Sixth Form, there were nearly 5 days of lessons had been lost to strikes and that members should consider the various wider aspects to this issue and put aside the overtly political rhetoric.

 

62.13  The amendment was put to a vote and was carried.

 

62.14  RESOLVED -That the Committee agree the Notice of Motion as follows:

 

           This committee notes:

(1)   The £700 million shortfall in funding for post 16 education, and the additional funding pressures including academisation and the formation of new college groupings, and the impact this has had on national contracts, bargaining andpay;

 

(2)   The overwhelming 84% in favour of strike, ballot result of NEUmembers;

 

(3)   The recent National Education Union strikes at sixth-form colleges - which took place nationwide on 17th October, 5th November, 12th February, 27th February and a further date to take place on 10thMarch;

 

(4)   The participation of two of the city’s Sixth Form colleges (Varndean and BHASVIC) in this strikeaction;

 

(5)   The ‘Raise the Rate’ campaign that has joint-union support, andseeks increased funding for sixth form education;

Further, that this committee resolves to request that the Chair of Children, Young People and Skills Committee writes a letter to:

(6)   Staff at Varndean and BHASVIC, expressing this committee’s support for recent strikeaction;

 

(7)   The Secretaryof State andShadow Secretaryof Statefor Education: requesting informationon howthey planto meet thedemands ofstriking staff, includingany plans to review the obligationsfor Sixth-FormColleges to pay VAT, and callingupon the government topay theTeachers’ PayGrant to allsixth formcolleges and to providea sustainablefunding environment toimprove the pay, workingconditions and security ofemployment of teaching staff in the long-term.

 

 

 

 

Supporting documents:

 


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