Minutes 2004-09

Minutes of Meeting 16 September 2004

Meeting on 16 September 2004 at 7pm Staff room South Street Building

Welcome and apologies. The chair welcomed members to the first meeting of the new session and gave apologies for the following: Mrs Rogerson, Mrs Thomson, Councillor Liston, Mrs Brown, Mrs Marriage and Miss Mordy.

Present: Prof. McKiernan (chair), Mr Liggat, Mr McGregor, Mrs Dunn, Dr Falconer, Mr Nisbet, Mr Flegg, Mr Matheson, Mr Jessop, Councillor Sangster.

Minute of meeting of 24th June 2004. Accepted for accuracy and approved.

Matters arising:
Mr Matheson gave a verbal report of the meeting on 12th July with Mr McLauchlin of Fife Council Education Department in connection with proposed works and refurbishments at Kilrymont Road. The appointment of an architect to advise the council on work that would be necessary to bring the building up to a good modern standard was welcomed by members. Several of the Board’s recent detailed concerns would be included in this comprehensive survey. In the discussion that followed this report it was proposed and agreed that the architect, Mr Bruce Kennedy, be invited to the next meeting (24th November).
The Chair will circulate an invitation to members to a forthcoming meeting with Mr Tom Dair, chair of the Children’s Services Committee, to discuss the state and adequacy of accommodation at Madras.

Budget. It was agreed that a sufficient sum should be retained for administration costs and the remainder gifted to the Locker Fund. The sum involved, £800 at this stage, will pay for approximately 25 lockers.

Clerk. Through rector and pupil representatives approaches will be made to senior pupils who may be willing and capable to take on this duty.

“Stargazers” show on 30th September as a fund-raiser for the locker fund.
“As You Like It” fliers were distributed (21st – 24th September)
Mr Nisbet reported on the two meetings this session of the Whole-School Council, at which there had been a lively debate about uniform, consideration of the locker issue for Kilrymont Road, and proposals for links with other Fife secondary schools, perhaps by hosting a conference on a topic of general interest. Members of the Board commended the start that the pupils had made to their duties.

Objection to Chip Van Licence Application. There was a full discussion about the possibility of objecting to the renewal of leases for street traders who operated near to the Kilrymont Road building. Grounds for objection included safety, health and litter. The positioning of street-traders so close to the school building flew in the face of the Council’s own policies on health and diet. Councillor Sangster felt that the school could ask that the bus bay should be reserved for bus parking during school hours, which would at least keep the traders away from the immediate precincts of the school. The Board will lodge an objection in principle to the Licensing Sub-Committee* against the renewal of a licence to the current applicant, on the grounds stated above. Individuals may wish to add their own particular objections. The rector will object on behalf of the school.

Timing of national examinations. A very full discussion took place about the existing flexibility and future “free-for-all” being heralded by the Education Minister on the timing of certificate examinations. Concerns were raised that concentration on exams alone could do a disservice to pupils, whose broader achievements and social development might suffer. If a modest move to certification at the end of S3 took place, however, it might fit well with the existing arrangement of the split-site and might also produce a sustained pace of learning for pupils. Particular attention, however would have to be given to those who chose to leave at the end of S4 and S5, to whom an appropriate curriculum should be on offer. It was accepted that any such major change would have to be carefully prepared.

Next Meeting. Wednesday 24th November at 7.00 pm was agreed.

The chair informed members of the exceptional plaudits he had received in respect of the Madras College Pipe Band performances at two recent major international conferences he had organised in St Andrews. The rector was asked to convey his congratulations to the band.
On the rector’s suggestion the Board chair will approach the chair of the PTA (Mrs Katy Pitman) to propose an informal reception to which members and other interested parents would be invited.
Mr Jessop intimated his forthcoming retiral (December). School staff will be invited to consider filling the resultant vacancy for a teacher representative.
Following the publication of this year’s examination statistics Mr Urquhart, Depute Rector, will survey with Dr Falconer the impact of the move to eight Standard Grade courses as the norm in Madras College.
Councillor Sangster noted that at the Community Safety Panel of 15th September the four pupil representatives had been commissioned to take on two safety projects, advised by PC Mark Anderson. They were commended for their initiative.

17 Sept ’04

* Law and Administration Department, County Buildings, St Catherine’s Street, Cupar, KY15 4TA, for the attention of Mrs Margaret Mitchell