Minutes of Meeting 10 March 2005
Meeting on 10 March 2005 at 7pm Staff room South Street Building
1. Present: P McKiernan (Chair), J Flegg, Cllr W Sangster, C Dunn, S Thomson, H Marriage, Cllr E Gunstone. Cllr J-A Liston, A Nisbet, I Falconer, G Murray, L Matheson. Apologies: D McGregor and N Mordi.
2. New member. The Chair welcomed new staff member, Graeme Murray (Acting PT of Art and Design). He also noted with regret the resignation of Mr Clive Palmer, whose other commitments on Thursdays rendered his further involvement impractical. He will write a letter expressing the thanks and good wishes of the Board to Clive.
3. Minute of meeting of 3rd February, ’05. The minute was approved after a correction under Item 4 concerning the Street Trader’s licence restrictions. Adoption was proposed by C Dunn seconded by I Falconer.
4. Matters arising. Item 3: C Dunn will liaise with K Pitman of the PTA with regard to a joint meeting. Item 10: I Falconer was assured by the rector that past papers should be available on loan to pupils in all subjects. Item 14: J Flegg would represent the Board on the forthcoming Continental Day Steering Committtee, and H Marriage would deputise if required
5. Correspondence. Various items were circulated for members’ interest.
6. Position of Clerk. Katy’s letter of resignation was read. The rector explained that she had left school. The Chair asked that she be thanked and wished well in her career.
7. Future of School Boards. A general exchange of views took place on the draft proposals of the Scottish Executive that Boards be made less formal. On balance the Board was of the view that advantages currently outweighed disadvantages, that communication by the Boards could certainly improve, that elections could be much less formal, but that as a forum offering strong input to school, council and national debate, we still had an important role to play. The Chair will write in these terms to the Executive. H Marriage will write a paragraph for the Easter Newsletter outlining the activities of the Board. A stall will be manned at forthcoming parents’ meetings (S1 on Monday 30th May and S3 on Tuesday 7th June).
8. Estates Strategy. Various rumours about how the Strategy would affect Madras had been heard, and some of these were shared. We have to wait until the meeting of the Children’s Services Committee in May to learn of the outcome for this school. An important issue was the one raised by W Sangster concerning the timescale for any changes. Meantime it was agreed that we keep up the pressure to achieve a solution to the school that does not involve the problematic split-site.
9. School Buses. It was agreed that the introduction of single-decker coaches was a considerable benefit to order and safety. The Board should take some credit for its campaigning in this aspect. A new bus-bay was urgently needed. The present arrangement at Kilrymont was not satisfactory at all. There was now a good chance that a proper bus-bay will be constructed. The promised “clearway” in the existing bay is still awaited. Senior pupils often report concerns to staff that they have noticed on particular buses. This works better than the identification of seniors as bus prefects.
10. School closure. The rector explained the circumstances of the recent (1st March) closure. Buses were unavailable and many staff could not get to school. An early decision had been made. The communication system had shown up some flaws, which had been noted and passed to the Council.
11. Accessibility. J Flegg raised the issue of accessibility to the buildings. The rector replied that a lift was being planned this year for installation by October. There did not appear to be any prospect of a lift in South Street, however.
12. Activities. J Flegg also asked how we coped with those pupils who were disappointed in not being chosen for their preferred 3-Day activity. LM will raise this with the organising staff, but pointed out that we depended totally on staff volunteering to offer activities, and some pupils were bound to be disappointed. A similar disappointment could be felt by those who wished to go on the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, but for whom there were insufficient places. On the issue of risk the rector replied that all activities were covered by risk assessments and that we were very keen as a school not to reduce our range of activities through fear of litigation.
13. Car parking. S Thomson noted that learner drivers used the car park as a starting point, occasionally causing inconvenience to hard-pressed teachers travelling between the buildings. The rector agreed to speak to the tutors.
14. UCAS rejection. C Dunn noted the deep trauma felt by some pupils experiencing rejection by HE institutions. I Falconer raised a query about how Guidance staff tracked those who had experienced disappointment.
15. Lockers. The first 200 lockers for Kilrymont have been ordered.
16. Date of next meeting. Thursday 12th May, ’05. Agenda items (via Temp Clerk meantime) by 5th May.
15 March 2005