Minutes 2005-02

Minutes of Meeting 3 February 2005

Meeting on 3rd February 2005 at 7pm Staff room South Street Building

1. The chair opened the meeting and welcomed members to the first meeting of the new year. Present: P McKiernan (chair), I Falconer, C Dunn, S Thomson, A Nisbet, J Liston, H Marriage, E Rogerson, L Matheson. Apologies from: W Sangster, K Balfour, N Mordi, A Liggatt.

2. The minute of the meeting of 22nd November was read. Acceptance was proposed by I Falconer seconded by H Marriage.

3. Under Matters Arising the chair stated that a date (possibly late in February) would be agreed with the Parent Teacher Association for a joint evening between the organisations. He felt that a showing of one of the pupil plays about the Tsunami might open the event.

4. Other matters arising concerned the public meeting about the Estates Strategy and the Street Trader’s Licence application. There was some discussion about the public meeting, including the possible options that might be considered. When the outline plans were unveiled (“in the spring” it has been stated) a fuller discussion should take place. The Street Trader issue seemed to have been resolved at last, since the planning committee had turned down the application. The bus bay would also soon be marked out by the Roads department as a “clearway” during school hours. Councillor Liston, however, later noted that an appeal had been lodged against the sub-committee’s decision.

5. There were two items of correspondence. Firstly, a request from Ian Robertson, Senior Manager in the Education Department, that Boards use email for communication within Fife Council, this being agreed. Secondly, copies of both the national “Curriculum for Excellence” and the mission statements of the Fife Partnership were issued to members for information.

6. Mrs Thomson spoke to the item on Eco Schools, deferred from the previous meeting. She reiterated her strong commitment to the principles of the scheme but advised that the timing had to be right to mobilise pupils and staff in the project. Owing to the current overwhelming interest in the Tsunami relief campaign it might be best to wait for a few months before considering a start to the project. Meantime, however, Alastair Nisbet will raise the issue with the Whole-School Council, so that the pupil view of when to start the scheme can be gauged. Mrs Thomson will circulate the Fife publicity regarding Eco Schools to members.

7. The poor state of the girls’ toilets in Kilrymont Road was again raised, on the request of Mr Liggatt. It was felt that there had been excessive delay in bringing forward the promised plans for making the toilets capable of entry only from within the building. Councillor Liston will look into this aspect. The rector explained that one factor was the unfortunate illness since November of the designated school architect. The two pupil support posts currently being filled would also aid site supervision. Advertisements for a toilet attendant had not produced any interest.

8. There was extended discussion about the use of video and photography in school. It was felt that we should not regulate too closely the wide variety of useful educational and recreational activities that involved pictures of pupils. Particular care, however, should be taken in the use of pictures or names on the school website. Alastair will raise this matter at the Whole-School Council to assess the general pupil view of this matter.

9. The Estates Strategy release date is not yet known. Councillor Liston will request this date from senior officers.

10. Dr Falconer asked whether past papers were available in all subjects for revision purposes. The rector will check on the example given of one subject where these had not been offered.

11. Dr Falconer also asked whether pupils could take their own food into canteens. The rector explained that current policy was to allow pupils to eat their packed lunches in canteens, and he will speak to the supervisors to clarify the issue.

12. Councillor Liston noted that the licence of the ice-cream van currently trading near the Kilrymont building came up for renewal in November. The national “Hungry for Success” initiative proposed free school meals or at least fruit drinks, taking inspiration from the successful Finnish model.

13. Mrs Marriage and Dr Rogerson asked for information about the Tsunami appeal in school. Mrs Thomson, Alastair and the rector gave information. This led to a very animated discussion about the potential for parental involvement, by financial donation or in other ways. The possible link with a community close to Madras (Chennai) was thought most exciting. The rector will discuss with Mr Mackay, Depute Rector, how best to brief parents.

14. The rector outlined his personal ambition to institute a “continental day” in Madras College. At this stage he has offered outline plans to Fife Council and the Scottish Executive. Councillor Liston mentioned that she had heard of these plans from her Fife colleagues. The chair agreed that Board members should begin thinking about this matter.

15. The chair noted that Graeme Murray, Acting Principal Teacher of Art, would be joining the Board as a teacher representative.

16. To warm acclamation of all present a valedictory letter was read from the retiring Clerk, Morag Wilson. The chair was heard to whisper “What a woman!”.

17. The date of the next meeting was fixed for March 10th, 7.00 pm in SOUTH STREET.

18. The chair thanked colleagues for their attendance and contributions, and closed the meeting at 8.30 pm.

Hon Temp Clerk
3 Feb 2005