Minutes of Parent Council meeting 8th May 2013

Roslin Primary School Parent Council

Minutes of meeting on 8th May 2013

1.      Present: John Phillips(JP)(Chair), Claire Witney(CW)(Minutes), Annie Douglas(AD), Jennifer Allison(JA), Laura Cameron(LC), Sam Hamilton(SH), Lynn Harrower(LH), Shelley Kay(SK), Pam Stewart(PS) ), Sarah Keer-Keer(SKK), Anna Hulton(AH),  Linda Smith(LS), Caroline Findlay(CF), Andrew Coventry(Councillor)(AC)     

       Apologies: Angela Newton(AN), Mairi Needham(MN), Nina Sobecka(NS), Jon Steele(JS), Teresa Reid(TR), Zoe Fergie(ZF)


2.      Minutes of meeting on 6th March accepted


3.      Matters arising

a) Grounds:

Security – The fence from the school office down past the MUGA is currently being installed and the dog grids are in place at the MUGA gate and top area gate.  Signs are now required for all gates to the school grounds stating “NO DOGS ALLOWED”.  AC will check legality of this.  It was agreed the gates at P1 and P3 will be locked during the school day, overnight and at weekends and will only be open to allow access at the start and end of the school day.  The gate at the MUGA will be locked and the gate at the top area will be closed when the children are outside allowing access from the Wimpey estate to the nursery.  At all other times for now, these gates will be open to allow residents from the Wimpey estate a route across the village and to allow access to the MUGA and football pitch.  In the long term, it was agreed we should pursue the option of an alternative fenced right of way path from Charlton Grove to just outside the school grounds at the P1 gate.  It was felt this would not necessarily give rise to increased car traffic to Charlton Grove at the start and end of the day as there will be no direct access to the school ground from here and all the access gates will remain open at these times of day.  AC was very supportive of the plan.  JP is to email AC a detailed plan for further consideration.   

Play equipment – The play equipment is very popular with the children at both sites and the high quality and good installation was praised by all as well as a vote of thanks given to the Councillors who funded this initiative.  LH commented that it was unfortunate the P1/2 at Bilston currently do not get to use the equipment there.  JA agreed to timetable an appropriate slot for P1/2 use, possibly during lunch when the nursery is no longer in attendance.    

Garden – Chris Yapp and Kenny Young have made good progress with the gardening club and have installed the raised beds as discussed.

b) Communication from school – LC, JP and CW met with Alan Thomson, technology support from Midlothian Council re the possibility of using Facebook.  He advised that Facebook has created certain problems when it has been used by schools, especially where they allowed replies/comments to be posted and where parents administered the page.  He did however recommend Twitter which has been successful in various schools.  It has the advantage of being easily updated by staff and teachers and a link on the school web page can be created allowing parents to view tweets.  Parents can also follow the school on Twitter to ensure they receive communication directly.  SKK commented that many people receive multiple tweets so may not pick up communication this way and while she felt it was a good additional tool, we should not rule out a PC administered Facebook page in the future as she is aware of its wide and successful use elsewhere.  It was agreed we try Twitter and revisit Facebook at a later time.

c) Hand dryers – The new Clerk of Works, Alan Miller, has just been appointed and JA has scheduled a meeting for 9/5/13 to discuss costs of hand dryer installation.

4.     P7: Leaving celebration – It was agreed we should allow the pupils in P7 to vote for their choice for the leaving celebration and the PC will donate ₤4 per pupil as agreed last year (see minutes from 9/5/12).

P7: Uniform – A query has been received from the current P7 about printing their name and year on the back of their hoodies.  A brief discussion followed and it was unanimously agreed that this would not be appropriate.

P7: Transition days – JA advised that for the last two years, P7 pupils have had to catch a first bus and pay for their transport to Beeslack for their transition days.  JA felt this was inappropriate as pupils are provided with a private hire coach for the journey when they are at Beeslack and it would be of benefit to have experience of the procedure they will use every day.  PC agreed and supported the school in their decision.  JA will approach Debbie Hunter who organises transport to try and arrange a coach for the transition days.


5.      Care Inspector Report

Roslin nursery received very good feedback from their inspection, the only issue being building requirements as the door requires replacing as it is not fit for purpose.  JA is still to establish how costs are to be met.


6.     Education staff at Midlothian Council

Sheena Dawe, Head of Schools is retiring in the summer and Peter McNaughton, an Inspector with Education Scotland, will take up the post.  Don Ledingham, Director of Education for East and Midlothian has given notice and recruitment will follow for a successor.


7.     Head Teacher recruitment

The post of head teacher at Roslin has been advertised with a closing date of 12/5/13.  Suzanne Thayne and Peter McNaughton will carry out initial interviews and the candidates short listed will be interviewed by three PC members along with three Councillors.  A discussion followed about options for interviewing candidates by school staff and pupils.  JP will discuss this with Suzanne Thayne to establish if beneficial.



8.     AGM planning

The AGM will be held on Wednesday 22nd May at 6.30pm at school.  It was agreed that an informal approach is best and champagne and strawberry would be served.  All current PC members are asked to bring a prospective new member if possible. There will be a brief report from the chair and treasurer plus appointment of office bearers and new members at the AGM.  CW to send out letter to parents and arrange for refreshments.  


9.      Communications

Kevin McGuire has emailed about the next PC Liaison meeting to be held on 23/5/13.  JP to copy email to all.


10.   A.O.C.B

– Sponsored walk was a great success as was Health Week and a vote of thanks was extended to all staff and helpers involved.  The walk raised ₤900 and staff will discuss how this will be spent at their next meeting.  SKK suggested it may be beneficial to inform parents what the funds raised will be used for prior to the event next year as this may increase sponsorship.  SKK enquired if use of the pavilion during health week was free of charge and CF advised that with the aid of Steven Small at Midlothian Council, it was on this occasion.  A discussion followed about the possibility of using it at other times as our multi use hall makes activities including PE very limited and the pavilion appears to be underused during the day.  The school would welcome this opportunity but would not be in a position to pay for the hire.  AC will look into the possibility of school using the facility without charge.

– PC funds are healthy at present and the option of purchasing a new stage along with other media equipment was discussed.  JP will liaise with Angela and look into costs of stages plus radio microphones etc.

– Roslin nursery has requested funding to buy wood to replace rotten planks on their raised bed.  All members agreed to fund this within reason.



Dates of meetings rest of session

Wed  22nd   May 6.30pm      Roslin Primary School – AGM

Wed  5th   June 6.30pm       Roslin Kirk Hall