Longniddry Parent Council Meeting
10th March 2010
Parent Council Members Present – Ros McIntosh (Chair & P4 Rep), Sue Whatmore (am Nursery Rep), Mhairi Hastie (P6 Rep), Stephanie Macfadyen (Teacher Rep), Alan McNeill (pm Nursery Rep), Jennifer Dunn (P5 Rep), Russell Devine (P7 Rep), Jennifer Shipston (P2 Rep), Catherine Jack (Head Teacher), Carrie-Ann Scougall (Clerk)
Visitors – Cllr Stewart Currie, Cllr Margaret Libberton, Miss McDonald, members of Eco Committee
Apologies – Sarah Boyd, Trish Lang, Liz Levy
Ros welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked members of the Eco committee for coming along.
2. Approval of Minutes/Matters Arising
The medical form is now on the website.
The issue of a fee being raised to enter into some writing competitions had been raised at the last meeting. This was brought up with staff and it was said there is no pressure to enter into these competitions although they are worthwhile initiatives.
Liz has sent out the results of the questionnaires to all parent council members.
Ros completed the SPTC questionnaire.
Mhairi attended the cluster meeting, which mainly focused on the budget. School transport was also discussed, where it was stated school buses will not be cut if there is a health and safety risk, and the Department of Transport are to carry out a risk assessment for every school. There is going to be a Community and Management Schools Event at Queen Margaret University on 22.4.10, Catherine and Mhairi are to attend. Action – Catherine and Mhairi
Ros apologised for not making it to the Parent Council Conference. A member of the parent forum had queried whether parent forum members could attend events such as these in place of a parent council member. Clerk is to contact ELC to find out. Action – Clerk
The minutes from 27.1.10 were approved.
3. Eco Group
The eco group came along to the meeting to give a short presentation on their work. Every class has an eco representative, and the group has already achieved 2 green flags and is currently working on its 3rd flag by completing 7 topics. The long term goal is to get 4 green flags, giving the school permanent eco status. The group has made up an eco rap which the whole school is to learn and sing at assemblies.
The eco group were thanked for coming along.
4. Year Rep Reports
PM Nursery, P4 and P5 had nothing to report.
AM Nursery – The assemblies take place on a Friday morning and Wednesday afternoon, meaning that the am nursery group does not get to attend. Catherine confirmed that there will be opportunities in the third term, as part of transition, for the children to attend assemblies which will be rescheduled to accommodate their hours.
P1/2 – An open session before lunch on a Friday was held recently, which was parents had been very pleased with. Although it was suggested that it be good to have events like this at the beginning or the end of the day to make it easier for working parents to attend. The meeting agreed that all parents enjoy the opportunity to come in and see the children’s work.
P6 – A parent was unhappy that their child was unable to attend the parent consultation evening as they enjoyed coming to the school with their child and seeing their work with them, however, this was done to maximise time with parents. It was suggested that the children at the senior end of the school should be able to attend, CJ is to take this back to the staff to find out their thoughts on the matter. Action – Catherine
There is an Internet awareness evening going to take place at St Gabriel’s Primary in Prestonpans, there has been a lot of parent interest in this. Clerk to find out if it is the same evening that was held at Preston Lodge in 2008 as it was very worthwhile going to. Catherine is also going to try to find out further information. Action – Clerk and Catherine
P7 – Jamie Wilson has agreed to do Junior Showtime, the date is to be confirmed.
A question came from a parent as to the possibility of any funds being available for the trip to Barga, but it was felt this was not appropriate as the Parent Council funds should be shared amongst the whole school.
5. Head Teacher’s Report
The Curriculum for Excellence evening will take place on Tuesday 16th March. Emails and letters are to go out asking for a reply as to who is to attend. The Head Teacher of Preston Lodge Gavin Clarke. The CFE principal officer and Quality Improvement Officer are to attend. The evening will give parents the opportunity to ask questions about CFE and to see how far the school has come with it.
The Head Teacher and Early Years Teacher from the twinned South African school will be visiting as part of global citizenship. 2 staff from Longniddry visited there in the February break and enjoyed the visit and participating in the school life.
Finances – the school is still anticipating future budget cuts so is stocking up on appropriate resources.
An update was given on the current staffing situation.
Work is ongoing with UNICEF as a Rights Respecting School and the school is currently aiming for level 2. There is the possibility of the group coming to the AGM and it is hoped to take this out into the community as well.
Property Refurbishment – Catherine has been told that no further refurbishment is currently planned, although the plan was presented as a 4 phase plan but only 2 phases have been completed. There are concerns over thermal insulation and the upstairs toilets, and Catherine is going to take this to property maintenance instead. Cllr Currie is also going to raise the matter as to when phases 3 and 4 shall take place.
Action – Cllr Stewart Currie and Catherine
Garden volunteers are still needed if anyone is interested. The parent council agreed to release funds for professional help with blitzing the Time Garden. Ros passed on contact details of Scottish Wildlife Trust who did the other work in the playground, as they use volunteers this should be cost effective. Stephanie is going to take this forward. Action – Stephanie
6. Treasurer’s Report
The treasurer was not present at the meeting, but it was agreed that the subscription fee for SPTC would be paid.
Some concerns have been raised by parents of ex pupils regarding the change of accounts for the 1995 Club and the need for all members to sign a different direct debit. Gary to report back on this at the next meeting. Parent reps agreed to help promote the 1995 Club using the new leaflets that Gary has put together. Action – Gary
Mhairi raised the issue of cheques being phased out by 2012 and concerns were raised about how parents pay the school for items such as milk money and photographs, as well as management of the Parent Council finances. Cllr Libberton to look into this with the Education Department Action – Cllr Libberton
Newsletter – it was felt it was no longer necessary to have a newsletter as the minutes now go out to all parents. Instead, there is to be a section in the school newsletter with any parent council news. Mhairi to contact Catherine each month with Parent Council items to be included. Action – Mhairi
Website – it was queried if the uniform form could go on the website, but as the school only orders in bulk, it was felt it was best not to put it on the website.
Questionnaire – the PC agreed that Liz had done a great job of the questionnaire analysis and it was agreed that this would be incorporated into the Parent Council Annual Review for 2009/10. Action – Liz and Ros
8. Events and Fundraising
The Events & Fundraising Group recycling sale is to be postponed until the summer term when the weather will be better and there will be more time for promotion. Parents are to be asked to donate out grown school clothes and brownie uniforms etc as well as garden furniture, bikes etc. The E & F Group are looking into having the event at pick on a Friday and to put on a bbq. The Eco Group will get involved in helping to organise this. The next E & F Group meeting will be on Friday 23 April. Action – Events & Fundraising Group and Eco Group
Ladies’ Night has been cancelled due to the cost implications.
It was noted however, that the Events & Fundraising Group has held a number of great events throughout the year and these have raised almost £3,370 for the school.
The AGM is to take place on 5th May. It was agreed that as well as election of new Year Reps and post holders the AGM should have a social focus and it is hoped that this will encourage good attendance from parents.
It was also agreed that it would be good to have representation from the pupils. After some discussion it was suggested that a presentation on the activities available to the children as a result of funds raised by the Parent Council Events & Fundraising Group through our well supported events would be very interesting. Action – Stephanie and Catherine
Sue agreed to arrange the social aspect, including catering. Sue will also liaise with Steph and Catherine regarding input from pupils.
Action – Sue and Stephanie/Catherine
Ros and Liz will work on the annual report and incorporate the results of the Parent Council questionnaire. With the election of new parent council members and Sue is to deal with the social side of the evening. Action – Sue and Ros
Ros circulated correspondence from Teaching and Learning Scotland and from The Scottish Government Education Department regarding the Curriculum for Excellence. The meeting agreed that the staff at Longniddry at already been working very hard to implement the new curriculum and keep the Parent Council and parents involved in the process. Thanks were giving to Mrs. Jack and the teachers.
The Scottish Parent Teacher Council newsletter Backchat was distributed. The SPTC are asking for parent volunteers who are willing to answer questions via email about various issues in education on a monthly basis. Jennifer agreed to put her name forward for this. Action – Jennifer Shipston
Ros thanked everyone for coming along to the meeting, particularly the Eco Group.
The next meeting will be the AGM which will take place on 5th May 2010 at 7pm.