MINUTES OF THE SCHOOL COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON
MONDAY 26 OCTOBER 2009 at Law Primary School
Present: Mr J Arbuckle Chair
Mrs A Acton
Mrs J Blair
Mrs L Brogden
Mrs L Johnston
Mr J Maslen
Mrs R Rae
Mrs L Turnbull
Mrs G Baillie
Mrs W Brown
Mr N Barnes, Headteacher
Cllr. D Berry
Mrs E Westcott, Clerk
1. APOLOGIES Mr R Budd
Mr Arbuckle welcomed Ali Acton, Lorraine Johnston, Rachel Rae and Wendy Brown to their first meeting of the School Council.
The Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 31 August 2009 were taken as read, approved and signed.
4. MATTERS ARISING
The Clerk undertook to ask Mrs Armstrong whether she was willing to continue to act as the School Council/PTA contact.
4.2 Promoting Parental Partnership
Mrs Turnbull confirmed that nominations from East Lothian had been put forward to the National Parent Forum.
4.3 School Council Budget
The underspend of £240 for 2008/09 had been transferred to the school budget.
4.4 Annual Meeting for Parents – 28 September 2009
It was agreed that the right balance had been struck between the formal and informal parts of the meeting and that Judith Gillespie had been a good choice of guest speaker. A point to note for next year was the need for clear signs to the GP room. Members were reminded that any suggestions for ways of improving communications with parents would be welcomed.
Jane Burns (5B) had started her maternity leave. Clair Brodie, at present covering maternity leave in P7, was due to take this class after Christmas: Jessica Smith was covering in the interim.
4.6 Parent Information
Following the decision to post the Year Plan, Homework, Anti-bullying and Assertive Discipline policies on the website, the school was keen to discover whether parents were accessing it. During parents’ evenings paper copies of the policies for each year stage were made available but of those parents who admitted to not accessing the website, very few took advantage of this facility. Following discussion it was agreed to remind parents in the next newsletter that these policies varied from year to year.
5. HEADTEACHER’S REPORT
5.1 Malawi Backpack Appeal
Mr Barnes explained that the aim was to provide 2000 backpacks from the North Berwick cluster. Law Primary School’s target was 300 in time for the whole school assembly in the Sports Centre on Tuesday 3 November from where the backpacks will be “chained” to the High School. This was intended to be a sustainable project with the High School establishing a link with a particular school in Malawi with the aim of raising £7,000 to build a kitchen for the school.
5.2 Curriculum for Excellence
As part of St. Andrew’s Day celebrations, Catriona Matthews had been invited to visit the school on Monday 30 November. The In-service day on 26 October had been devoted to cluster numeracy.
5.3 Equipment Refresh
Eight-one PCs had been delivered to replace the I-books. These would be distributed to all three areas for use on a timetabled basis.
5.4 Quality Improvement Officer
David Scott, QIO, was scheduled to make his first evaluation visit this session on Tuesday 27 October.
5.5 P6/Nursery Transition Art Project
Mr Barnes reported that under the auspices of the Art Service, murals had been produced for the P1 playground, a scheme which would be rolled out over all East Lothian primary schools.
5.6 French Visitors
At very short notice, P6/7 pupils had welcomed some French visitors and even entertained them with a concert.
6. ATTAINMENT STATISTICS
The attainment statistics for Law Primary School and East Lothian for 2008/09 in reading, writing and maths at P3, P4, P6 and P7, plus the gender breakdown and ‘attainment beyond’, were discussed. From the statistics it was apparent that achievements were being maintained year on year, thanks to the level of support from staff and parents.
Staff were concerned that once national testing in its current form was removed, it would be difficult to measure and report on a child’s progress. Mrs Turnbull said that in a response to Law Primary’s question at the last ELAPCM meeting, Mr Ledingham had replied that parents should speak to the class teachers to get an accurate idea of their child’s progress.
7. TRAVEL PLAN
Iain Reid’s reply regarding the turning circle was noted. Mr Barnes reported that Colin Baird, Colin Sutherland and David Scott had been monitoring the situation regarding High School buses and had expressed satisfaction with the current arrangements. Unauthorised traffic would continue to be monitored by the JRSOs and the Police but it was agreed that the new sign needed to be repositioned.
8. REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE
Members noted the inventory from Neil Irvine, Building Surveyor, ELC of the repairs already undertaken and the proposed roofing works and window replacement. Mr Barnes had been assured that regular contact would be maintained and disruption to the school kept to a minimum.
9. CURRICULUM FOR EXCELLENCE
Copies of the presentation for parents and Parent Councils for information.
10. ATTENDANCE AT TRAINING/OTHER EVENTS
Mrs Turnbull’s notes of the meeting on 6 October were received. Cllr. Berry, responding to the possible 12% reduction in the Council’s funding over the next three years, said the Council would be looking at innovative ways of meeting the challenges ahead. The plan was to launch a community consultation paper on ELC budget 2010/13 and to ensure that the consultation process involved individual members of the public and as wide a range of interested parties as possible, including four Road Shows. Mrs Turnbull said that a Budget Sub-Group of the ELAPCM had been established with its first meeting on 1 December.
Mr Maslen undertook to contact Dave Gilmour, Education Network Development Officer, about ‘e-mail subscription’ and ‘Google Applications for Schools”.
The Clerk undertook to check the current conditions attached to lets.
12. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Monday 30 November 2009 at 7.00 pm in the GP Room of Law Primary School.