The minutes from the Parent Council meeting which took place on Monday, 22nd April, are now available to view. Please follow the link below.
May 19, 2013
May 7, 2013
The meeting dates for Law Parent Council for the 2013/14 session, have been scheduled as follows:
Monday 2nd Sep
Monday 30th Sep
Monday 18th Nov
Monday 20 Jan 2014
Monday 3 March
Wednesday 30th April
Monday 16th June.
Meetings normally take place between 7 – 9pm at Law Primary School.
April 19, 2013
The next meeting of the Parent Council is scheduled to take place on Monday 22 April at 7pm.
May 22, 2012
We have uploaded the summary results of the parents survey that was recently completed. Many thanks to those who completed a copy.
October 25, 2011
May 29, 2011
New Housing Proposals for North Berwick
At the end of March 2011, East Lothian Council published a consultation paper on a proposed housing development at the South-West of North Berwick. With an estimated 500 homes proposed, this would obviously have a significant bearing on nursery, primary and secondary school education provision within the town. Any interested parties have the opportunity to respond formally before 23rd May 2011 as part of the consultation process.
The Parent Council has discussed this, and has responded to ELC on two main issues:
- Provision of safe routes to school from the new developments – noting ELC’s intention to make sure adequate provision is made and also offering to be involved in the fine detail of the planning process.
- Expected impact on roll of Law PC and ramifications – taking into account the new developments, what exactly are the roll projections and what are they based on? If the school were not to expand beyond its current boundaries, as the paper suggests, how would a significantly increased roll be addressed? How will the existing buildings and school infrastructure cope? Will we need new buildings?
We have copied our response to Councillors Berry and Rankin and also to NBHS Parent Council. We will keep you posted.
In the recent newsletter we updated you as to the successful response to the Traffic and Travel Survey that we had cirulated. We are grateful to all those who took the time to respond to this survey.
The Parents Council have produced a summary report which highlight the key issues as identified by the respondents and also the recommendations and suggestions that emerged.
We have circulated this report to the Parent Council members and will discuss next steps at our meeting on June 20th, 2011. Cllrs Neil Rankin and David Berry are also currently reviewing the report and will collate a response as to how they can assist at or before the next meeting.
The report summary is attached below. As you will observe there are many issues which need external influence and support in order to resolve them. There are however a number of areas in which all of those who travel to the school, particularly by car can make some amendments to their own actions that would help to make the environment around the school safer for all.
If you would like a copy of the full report or if you wish to make an further comments or suggestions, please do email the Parents Council at email@example.com
Summary of key suggested remedies:-
Areas that can be addressed/remedies by School/Parents Council/Others
- Ask the High School to mend the fence that is allowing primary school children access through this ‘short cut’ – also ensure that until that has taken place that it is communicated to children through assembly and to parents that this route is dangerous and not to be taken.
- Reiterate previous discussions that have taken place through assembly/newsletters to children/parents that the turning circle to the school should not be utilised as a drop off or pick up point during school start and finish times.
- Communicate to both children and parents the need for safe and appropriate behaviour in the car park of the Sports Centre – in particular respecting and leaving disabled spaces for disabled people who are using sports centre facilities and parking only in official parking spaces.
- Investigate the better communication of walking buses from different start points in North Berwick and seek volunteers to administer and be a source of contact and information on each of these routes.
- Communicate to children and parents the dangers of crossing over from the lollypopman crossing on Law Road across Wishart Avenue to Lochbridge Road.
Areas that can be addressed with input and support from ELC and others.
- The immediate investigation of making the road between top of St. Margarets Road and St. Andrew Street a one way system with a widened pavement.
- Altering the timing of refuse collection on Lochbridge Road and surrounding roads.
- Consider the following introduction of pedestrian crossings/traffic lights within the North Berwick area: Dunbar Road at the Coop, Kirk Ports, Dolphin Sculpture, St Baldred’s Road, Abbey Road (or widened pavement) and Dirleton Avenue.
- Mirrors to increase visibility at the junction of Ware Road and Old Abbey/Highfield and East Road at Lodge Grounds exit.
- Hedge cutting around the school to be a priority
- Signage – larger drivers do not overtake cyclists sign at Dunbar Road roundabout, speed limit and children playing signs on Kingston to North Berwick Road, on approach to Dolphin Sculpture in town, on approach to bad bend on East Road before the Tennis Courts. 20’s plenty and flashing signs near to school.
- Investigation of enhanced cycles paths to the school – possibly as part of new houses being built behind Lochbridge road.
- Look at speed limit on Grange Road from 30mph to possibility ‘20’s plenty’.
- Look at if any steps can/need to be taken with regards to Wishart Avenue in term sof parking restrictions, one way systems or signage advising drivers to be cautious of children crossing.
June 30, 2010
I attended a conference on Community Management of Schools on behalf of the Parent Council on 22 April. It was an all-day event at Queen Margaret University, was organised by East Lothian Council and attended by headteachers and Parent Council representatives from East Lothian, as well as representatives from other councils, unions, central government and others.
As you may be aware, East Lothian Council has floated the idea of moving towards community management of schools (sometimes refered to as trust schools). Their idea is that schools would be managed on a cluster basis – so each secondary (eg North Berwick) would be managed in a unit with its associated primary schools (Law, Gullane, Aberlady etc). The suggestion came out of budget discussions initially, but the Council stressed that it was about finding innovative solutions to improving children’s education. The conference was organised to brain storm some ideas, with a view to setting up a working group which would then report to the Council in December. The Council were also at pains to stress that no decisions had been taken yet; at this stage they just wanted to discuss the possibilities.
There were five main speakers at the conference. Mike Russell, Minister for Education, spoke first, and emphasised that with the current economic climate, coupled with the need to improve education generally, he felt it was important to look at ideas for delivering education (actually he went further, and said he thought we had a duty to look at new solutions, and invited other councils to follow East Lothian’s lead). He stressed however that although how to deliver was important, what was delivered was more important. He also said it was important to look at what had worked elsewhere, including abroad, in countries like Sweden.
Next, Professor Richard Kerley, from Queen Margaret University, looked at the background to where we are now, and what the drivers for change are. He looked in particular at the economic situation we now find ourselves in. He looked at local authority spending on education, which, as a proportion of total budget, is very similar across different authorities. He also looked particularly at East Lothian, which has a lower level of placing requests than the Scottish average, suggesting people are broadly happy with the schools in their own communities.
Councillor Dave Berry then looked at the particular circumstances of East Lothian. We have six towns of comparable size and and prosperity, but each with a distinct history and character (Musselburgh, Tranent, Prestonpans, Haddington, North Berwick and Dunbar). High school cluster areas correspond with Council wards; each has a distinct identity. East Lothian has a good quality of living, and most residents are comfortably off. Educational standards are high. Budget decisions are already devolved to headteachers through devolved school management, but there is still a significant amount dealt with by the council. Although the Council’s suggestions would devolve more to cluster level, they would ensure that there were safeguards for special educational needs and that funding would be from the public purse only.
Next, Professor Denis Mongon from the University of London said he saw it as his task to be provocative. He gave us a background to the situation in England, and outlined what he thought had worked well and what hadn’t worked quite so well. He felt that it was important to see education as more than teaching and learning, but about general health and wellbeing also. He stressed the importance of getting the whole community on board. He outlined what he called five possible “cameos” of what could happen, based on some of what had happened in England. These ranged from “the conglomerate” (schools would be educational brands, delivering highly standardised educational provision across a number of sites, like Tescos or Starbucks) to “the community” where partners (schools and also perhaps other partners, like health providers) would make a joint commitment to each other, pool resources and share services (like the EU or United States).
Finally, Don Ledingham, Director of Education at East Lothian Council, gave a more detailed outline of what the Council had in mind. He stressed that they had not made any decisions, and it was still a definite possibility that nothing would change at all. He said however that there was a definite direction of travel at the Council which involved taking decisions closer to the communities, that they wanted this to continue, and that cluster management of schools was one way of trying to achieve that. Nothing would happen without community support and if we do move towards trust status for clusters it would be gradual – services would transfer one by one with support from the Council. There would be a pilot starting in August 2011 in one (as yet unnamed) cluster.
The day finished with discussion groups, where we discussed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of such a system, and a brief plenary. There were lots of issues of detail being raised which will have to be considered – for example, how PPP schools will fit in; staff terms of employment; what happens to Parent Councils and many more. The working group, now being set up and due to report in December, will have its work cut out! We have been promised a video link to the conference, so if you are interested, you can listen yourself! We will post a link when we get it. In the meantime, although he has stopped posting for the moment, Don Ledingham’s blog http://edubuzz.org/donsblog/2010/04/26/community-governance-of-schools/.gives some background. Lynn Turnbull and Rachel Rae also attend meetings of East Lothian’s Parent Advisory Committee on our behalf and can raise any questions with Don Ledingham there – so if you have any, please let us know!