Minutes of Parent Council meeting 6th November 2013

Roslin Primary School Parent Council
Minutes of Meeting on Wednesday 6th November 2013
1.    Present: John Phillips(JP)(Chair), Claire Witney(CW)(Treasurer),  Lyndsey Hayes(LH1), Rhona Farren(RF),  Dorothy Denham(DD), Andrea Berry(AB), Sam Hamilton(SH), Pam Stewart(PS),  Caroline Findlay(CF), Lisa Ritchie(LR) (Secretary), Shelley Kay(SK), Mairi Needham(MN),  Zoe Fergie(ZF), Alison Herd(AH1)Lynn Harrower(LH), Angela Newton(AN), Alex Clark(AC1), Annie Douglas(AD), Anna Hulton(AH).
Apologies: Jon Steele(JS), Andrew Coventry(Councillor)(AC), Simon Bullock(SB), Juliette, Nina Sobecka(NS), Kim Blair(KB), Sarah Keer-Keer(SKK).
      2.  Nicola McDowell – Engaging with Parents – Nicola McDowell, the Midlothian School Groups Manager, as part of her remit to engage with parents came to the PC meeting to find out parents’ preferred forms of communication (eg Facebook, the school website, liaison meetings, parent conferences) and timings of events (eg day, evening or weekend) as she wants to ensure that parents get the information that they want in ways that they want it.  The PC agreed to discuss this at the next meeting and provide feedback to her.
3.  Minutes of meeting on 4th September accepted.
4.  Matters arising from previous meeting:
a)    Grounds:  DD updated the PC. The school gates will be closed and locked from Monday 11th November as per new signs and letter to parents.  School fence to the front of the school done with a ramp, lights mounted, P1 slabs fixed.  However, PC agreed that a pathway bypassing the school was needed and agreed that a letter should be sent to Steven Small. DD reported that dog fowling had decreased.  Friends for Learning reported that their new emphasis is on the middle and top areas of the playground as well as continuing with work already done and suggested a fundraiser for this.  They have received some good ideas from New Caledonia Woodlands such as planting fruit trees along the new fences, while they cannot help with the cost, they may be able to help with manpower.
b)    Funds: DD reported that the laptop will cost £560 including software, encryption, maintenance and carry case. ICT confirmed that 2nd hand computers cannot be used.  DD suggested that as it is a high spec computer, it could be used for educational purposes and a lower spec one used for assemblies.  As a result it was suggested that the PC should only pay for half, but others disagreed.  The Bilston Community Council is to be asked if it could contribute.  Updates and decision at next meeting.  JP will sort out a radio mic before Christmas.
c)     Homework Consultation: Working Party (CW, SB, JS, AH and LH1).  Results circulated and on the website and a hard copy to be placed in PC folder in Roslin school reception.  The vast majority supported the Homework Policy, but agreed clarification needed over reading.  More project work was suggested by some, but not an overall increase in time spent on homework.  DD said that any amendments regarding reading in policy should wait for the new academic year and the new head teacher to give her input.  The children themselves had some reall good ideas.  A circular will be issued to parents and children to show that the school and PC does listen.
d)    Recruitment: DD reported that the head teacher post had been filled subject to the necessary paperwork and notice periods.
    5. School Travel Plan
Plan circulated and on website and a hard copy to be placed in PC folder in Roslin school reception.  Survey (90% response rate) showed an increases in numbers walking to school and that parents believed that their children were “fairly safe” walking to school. The survey is completed every two years.
6.   Fundraiser Updates
Christmas Bazaar on 7th December.  PC agreed to pay for let at Roslin Community Hall.
7.    Lets
DD reported that all schools now have 12 hours of lets per year free of charge, thereafter it is £18 per hour with a minimum let of 2 hours.
8.    Appointment of Secretary
To be decided at next meeting. Alex Clark said she would consider putting herself forward but will need to think about it. 
9.   Communication
·         SPTC meetings on Tuesdays 4th of February and March.  See CW for details.
·         Backchat newsletter circulated.
10.  A.O.C.B.
·         A parent found the line up system at the start of the school day militaristic and the segregation on girls and boys bad.  DD and AB said that segregation came from the kids and was not a requirement, but that line up system was essential to calm the children at the start of the day and reduce noise levels.
·         P7 Camp will continue to be booked as part of a school group cluster a year in advance.
·         Concern expressed that the family letter system was not being followed or at least needed clarification. it was also asked if emails to parents could have letters attached rather than a link to the school website as this sometimes didn’t work straight away and busy parents don’t nescessarily have the time to or remember to go back and check.