AHDS is your organisation. We are here to support you if things go wrong but we are also here to keep things on the right track.
Support when things go wrong is the bread and butter of support from any union and our professional advice service continues, unfortunately, to be very busy on that front. In the last quarter, AHDS Area Officers have recorded 750 hours of support to members, supporting 182 members. However, this is just one strand of our work and the others are focussed more on prevention than cure.
A crucial part of our work is to represent members nationally and to provide a mechanism for representation locally.
Our General Secretary and National Executive are very active on a wide range of policy groups to make the voice of members heard. AHDS works hard to make sure we are represented on all the different groups that are important to the working lives of our members and to make their voice heard.
There are two parts to our ensuring that we are making the representations that members would like us to – or, in the words of our strategic priorities, ‘speaking up on the issues that matter’. The first is to consult with members through various surveys. However, we are conscious that members have enough calls to complete surveys and other things dropping into their e-mail inbox without us adding to the load. So, we try to rely on the AHDS National Council where we can explore the views of members on issues that come up. At Council meetings (there are four a year – on Saturdays) where representatives of different parts of Scotland come together, we endeavour to provide a two-way forum for communication with members. By that we mean that we aim to provide Council members with insights from the National level that they wouldn’t otherwise get (such as engagement with speakers from Scottish Government, Education Scotland, Police Scotland, Local Authority, etc.) and at the same time use the meetings as the forum where we discuss the issues affecting members at the local level.
What people say about being on National Council:
“It is the best CLPL I could possibly ask for.”
“It gives me the opportunity to hear about national developments without the filter of my local authority – I often hear about things long before they are cascaded at HT meetings.”
We don’t have National Council representatives in all parts of Scotland – you can see this current list here https://www.ahds.org.uk/contac... . If you would like to know more about being on National Council, please get in touch with our General Secretary who would be more than happy to chat to you about what is involved firstname.lastname@example.org
An effective local AHDS voice often means an effective voice in National Council. We realise that there are not local groups in all parts of Scotland but where there are they can provide three important things to members:
- A peer network outside of local authority structures. This is particularly important for members who are new in their role (whether because they have been recently promoted or because they have moved from another authority).
- A mechanism for raising issues with the local Education Directorate which is collective rather than individual (as few want to raise their head above the parapet on an individual basis).
- A route to highlight and raise issues at the national level in AHDS through your National Council representative/s. This may be to tell AHDS about emerging issues, to tell us what you would like from us in terms of training and events, to influence our position on national issues or to share effective practice on issues which are facing colleagues elsewhere…
Strong local groups exist in many parts of the country. Some are built around the cycle of local HT meetings, others are built around the AHDS National Council calendar – meeting just ahead of or just after National Council meetings to hear about national developments and to inform their National Council representatives contributions at national meetings.
If there isn’t a local group in your area, please get in touch with head office (email@example.com) or with your Area Officer (https://www.ahds.org.uk/contac... ) to discuss how we can help you get a local group established in your area.