Minutes 2002-10

Minutes 30 October 2002

Meeting on Wednesday, 30th October 2002, at 7.30pm in the Staff Room, South Street Building.

Present: Mrs M Brown, Mrs C Dunn, Mrs I Falconer, Mr J Flegg, Mr C Jessop, Mr D Macgregor, Prof P McKiernan (Chair), Mr C Palmer, Mrs M Wilson (Clerk)

In Attendance: Mr L S G Matheson, Rector

Apologies: Mr A Liggat, Dr E Atkins, Councillor J A Liston, Mrs I Rogerson, Mrs S Thomson

Minutes of previous Meeting (29/05/02) accepted by D Macgregor, seconded by I Falconer and Minutes of Meeting (29/06/02) accepted by D Macgregor and seconded by C Palmer.

Matters arising from previous meeting (29/06/02): Publicity for School and Board– D Macgregor advised the Board the St Andrews Community Council newsletter would be issued to all households soon and that the main article was about Madras College – the need for a new school.
National Debate on Education– Forms replied to and findings now available from Clerk.

Letter to Mr A McKay – still awaiting reply – clerk to follow up.

Feedback on Forums – The Chairman– Professor McKiernan said that the two mini forums had been very successful and that there had been a great deal of publicity generated by them. He had met with MSP Ian Smith who had asked for the North East Fife School problems be debated at Scottish Parliament, which upset the Convenor of FC who felt that discussions etc should take place with them. The Chair said that he had also had a meeting with Councillor Law and Councillor Edward wish to work together with Madras SB on project. They said that Madras was very high on list if options – dearth of information demographics, social leads etc. St Andrews University Students are working with FC on a project. He felt that things were progressing and felt that perhaps Forum 5 could involve all Primary School Boards, School Boards from Bell Baxter and Waid and also pre school involvement. Mr Flegg felt that Newport /Balmullo had a different perspective re a new school in the bridgehead area. After a short discussion, it was felt that All parents of pre school and primary schools be informed of the options – be given a fact sheet and then organise another Forum perhaps in the Guardbridge area. Professor McKiernan said that he had also spoken to Joe Headon of Headon Developments re the whole of the western expansion – general issues plans. He said that he built houses and had not been involved in building a school before but would talk to other building companies who have. He said that the Board had received an invitation to a general meeting that Mr Headon was holding on 11 November regarding the housing developments. Mr Matheson said that he also had received an invitation. The Board agreed that the Chair would attend the meeting as an observer and report back. Mr Matheson said that he would also attend the meeting.

The Madras School Board Web-site -I Falconer – Dr Falconer had issued information on Web-sites to board members. She said that the School Board had an obligation to keep parents involved in what we were doing and one way was a web site. It was agreed that before designing a web site that we should look into being part of Madras College’s website. Dr Falconer/ Mr Matheson to liaise with A Pardoe about pupils involvement in keeping the web-site up to date. The Chairman thanked Dr Falconer for her report.

Report from Rector on School Budgets– Mr Matheson advised the Board that Department heads were working on a ‘shoe string’ budget and that this was very frustrating for them, as they do not have enough money for resources for their department. Regarding hiring local tradesmen to carry out work, the Council have been slightly more flexible in their approach but he said that it was very difficult to get things done urgently. Mr Matheson advised the Board that Queen Anne and Kirkland had similar budgets – but that the budget for Madras was insufficient for a split-site school. He had asked Mr MacKay to put to Fife Council that Madras could been classed as two schools in terms of funding for as long as it remains a split-site .

AOCB – Letter from Mr McKay inviting member’s of School Boards to training sessions. Anyone interest to advise Clerk.

Professor McKiernan said that at past Board meetings they had split into groups eg Health, Fabric and Maintenance, Transport and at the end of every meeting each group would give a brief report on their subject. He asked how the Board felt about doing this again for exampled having three groups 1, Communication, 2. School Open Agenda 3, Forum related. The majority of the Board felt that they wished to continue with the present form of meeting.

Mr Matheson said that a new Head Janitor had been appointed – Mr B Simpson and asked the Board to consider asking him to become a non-teaching staff representative. He felt that Mr Simpson would be an asset to the Board. The Board agreed.

D Macgregor to edit a Board Christmas News Letter?

Dr Falconer gave a breakdown of what the students are doing regarding a scenario of Education in East Fife Schools. Though the final report will not be ready until the end of November the students did not consider that the status quo was even an option.

Madras felt that the second option of building a school in the Newport/Tayport area as ultimately giving rise to problem that madras has now. Madras/Waid/Bell Baxter joins together as part of a network of small schools electronically linked. *Travel-v- attainment – travel had a detrimental effect on behaviour in school *Children from middleclass can cope with being in larger schools better than poorer class children. *The evidence was inconclusive so far from the students’ survey.

Mrs Brown asked if there had been any more information regarding the Travel Expenses problem. Professor McKiernan said that to date we had received a letter from M Miller stating that this was being looked into. Mrs Brown said that at future meetings she would be bringing up the subject of McCrone and the impact re job sizing etc.

Headon Development – Professor McKiernan and Mr Matheson going to listen.

Professor McKiernan asked if members were happy to continue having the meeting in South Street. The members were. The next meeting would be held in the Staff Room in South Street on 20th November 2002 at the earlier time of 7pm.

There being no further business the Chair closed the meeting by thanking all members for their contribution.