EIS members within Argyll & Bute are delighted to report that the Council have decided the Collective Leadership Proposal will not go ahead. Following a clear message from the recent consulta-tive ballot result, the EIS-ULA Executive Committee decided to move ahead with balloting the affected members for strike action.

Elected members of this committee were asked to agree that the proposal, as consulted on, is not progressed. This means the proposed introduction of Executive Heads posts in Argyll & Bute, to cover a ‘collective’ of schools in early years, primary and secondary will now not be progressed.

Alison Palmer, EIS Local Association Secretary for Argyll and Bute, said, “It was clear from the very beginning of this process that the overwhelming majority of our members were opposed to this proposal, and we raised significant concerns about this proposal from the outset. Through engagement with our members, parent councils, community councils, Councillors and community groups we managed to get our concerns across. We provided briefing notes for parent councils, engaged with the local press and through networking and sharing of information we managed to finally get the local authority to listen and stop this process.”

“This proposal was not going to reduce the crisis of recruitment in some of our rural areas nor reduce workload. It was going to replace Headteachers with Heads of Schools, pushing more workload on staff within schools, and have one Executive Head overseeing up to seven schools across nursery, primary and secondary.

The Local Association Executive surveyed our membership ahead of submitting our final response to this consultation. The turnout for the survey would have passed a legal threshold if it were a statutory ballot for industrial action. The result was overwhelming, showing 85.5% of EIS members in Argyll and Bute opposed the proposal.

Many individuals, groups and communities invested a lot of time and effort to ensure that a balanced view and accurate information was available for people to refer to when deciding and responding to this proposal as Argyll & Bute had paid a marketing company to undertake this consultation. Argyll and Bute Council now need to re-build relationships, as trust was questioned by both sides during this process. An open and honest working relationship, where communities feel listened to and empowered needs to be created. We need to work collegiately and collaboratively to address some of the concerns raised with regard to recruitment and retention of staff, especially the use of shared headships moving forward.”