"KINGUSSIE HIGH SCHOOL PARENT COUNCIL"
KINGUSSIE HIGH SCHOOL PARENT COUNCIL MEETING OF 3 SEPTEMBER 2007 KINGUSSIE HIGH SCHOOL, 7.30 pm Draft Minutes In attendance: Isobel McCourt (Chair); Kate Convery; Kate Wright; May Hobson; Kristin Duncan; Isla Russell; Judith Bullivant; Stephen Baxter; Catherine MacLeod; John Convery; John Tracey (Head Teacher) Apologies: Elspeth Blackshaw; Gregor Rimell; Fiona Love; Shona Pringle; Mike Donaghy Summary of Action points: Kate Convery to bring a camera to the next meeting of the Parent Council Catherine to investigate costs of MIDAS training and logistics John Tracey to canvass demand for after school activity transport Elspeth to write to Director of Education about railway bridge Kate Convery to arrange for closure of KHS Association account and transfer of funds to new Parent Council account Elspeth to advertise the (paid) position of clerk to the Parent Council Isobel/Elspeth to draft an article for the next school newsletter on the role of the Parent Council Isobel to ensure that the Parent Council constitution is placed on the school website Kate Wright to get back to sponsored walk team about sourcing some of the food Isobel welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the Parent Council and gave apologies from Elspeth Blackshaw. IMcC provided an overview of the agenda and the objectives for this, the first meeting of the Council. Moira McCarrol had recommended a photograph of the new Parent Council for the school newsletter. All to try and attend the next meeting, Kate Convery to bring a camera. Minutes of last meeting (of School Board) and matters arising: Minutes self-explanatory and all action points have been taken forward. On-going issues include the railway footbridge, transport after school, budget cuts and the HMI report. CMcL outlined after school activities transport issue. Demand likely to be high, but not yet fully assessed, waiting for clubs to re-start to better gauge demand. Effort will be made to co-ordinate club activities to focus demand. Volunteer drivers can be used but would need to be MIDAS trained. Currently the demand has come from Aviemore pupils but this would need to be fully assessed to gauge the demand for other routes. Parents likely to be prepared to pay for a cost-effective transport system. CMcL to investigate costs of MIDAS training and the logistics of picking up the minibus and returning it. JT will canvass demand from pupils/staff in the next newsletter. School Board Finances. There are no funds remaining in the School Board account. £200 was transferred to the per capita (resource allocation) from the School Board account. School Association: IMcC outlined the function of the Association and how funds were raised (e.g. through events, raffles, grids etc) and where the money contributed to school events (e.g. graduation) Head Teacher’s Report: An oral report was given by JT covering the following items: Finance: the debt of circa £70K has been written off by the Finance Officer. Finances for 07/08 are still tight and cuts are inevitable. There are staff on the payroll for whom there is no funding. Departments have the same per capita allocation as last year, but no money for new initiatives. Staffing: Mrs Moyce has returned to work and Mr Noon has taken a post in the maths department. Sheena Duthie is forging a link with a school in Malawi through the League for Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers. A link will be established through the staff, the pupils and the work done by the UCAN Club. Wider community links may be forged but initially we will be expecting an exchange with two Malawi pupils. Forward look and role of Parent Council: JT sees key role for Council in moving the education agenda forwards - through ‘badgering’ and canvassing to ensure that the education authority delivers what it is supposed to deliver. Specifically JT would like the Council to drive forward the issue of cramped accommodation, e.g. in the music department. JT also sees the Council assisting with fund-raising and this can often be better achieved through setting of targets (e.g. the Council will strive to pay for x and y). JT wants the Council to help develop the relationship between the parents and the school and finally JT sees the Council as helping to raise awareness of sustainability issues. KHS does not have a good record on greening matters, need for more education at school and in the home. It was AGREED that this is the way members would like to see the Parent Council functioning and to guard against separating into former roles of School Board and School Association (PTA). Need to maintain a flexible approach as a new body where members can feel comfortable in both roles. HMI Report: visit next month possibly to look at traffic control problem which is being dealt with by the Area Office. A pupil progress ‘tracking and target setting’ software package is about to be trialed. Tracking and monitoring the quality of teaching is in preparation but won’t be ready until next May. The railway bridge is an access safety issue. The Councils’ Property & Architecture Service is handling this, lots of ideas but little progress. Current bridge is condemned. The Parent Council could help influence progress here. It was AGREED to draft a letter to Hugh Fraser, Director of Education to keep this issue in the spotlight. Election of Office Bearers: Chair: Isobel opened by suggesting that we could have a joint chair (Isobel and Elspeth) for a short period until about December to give members a chance to feel their way into the new Council and elect a chair then, or that we could nominate and elect a chair at this meeting. There was unanimous AGREEMENT that the first option was the preferred option and this sat comfortably with the constitution. The motion was proposed by Kate Convery and seconded by Isla Russell. Thanks were mooted to both Isobel and Elspeth for offering to ‘hold the fort’ in the interim period until a chair is elected. Treasurer: Kate Convery offered to undertake the role of Treasurer, this was proposed by Kate Wright and seconded by May Hobson. The School Association has £649 in its account which needs to be closed and then the funds transferred to the new Parent Council. THC will provide eight twelfths of the former School Board’s revenue, less the fee for the public insurance liability. There will be two accounts, one for administering the Parent Council and one for fundraising. It was AGREED that Kate Wright and Judith Bullivant would be additional signatories to the Parent Council account. Kate Convery to contact Shena Wardrope/Sandie Hall to arrange for closure of School Association account and transfer to new Parent Council account. Secretary/Clerk: there was a long discussion about the role of the secretary/clerk , the likely number of meetings per year and whether or not this should be a paid position. The constitution states that the clerk is a non-voting role and should take the minutes, set the agenda and notify the date of the AGM. Securing a clerk was an on-going problem on the School Board. There was no support for a ‘rotating’ clerk and all agreed that minutes needed to be consistent and professional. Discussion about whether the clerk could be a volunteer from outwith the Council. The two options were to ‘elect’ a secretary on a voluntary basis from either within or outwith the Council or to pay for a clerk. A figure of between £30-£40 was deemed a reasonable fee per meeting and this would be paid out of the administration account. There was unanimous AGREEMENT that the position of clerk should be advertised with a payment of £40 per meeting. Elspeth to advertise this as soon as possible. Functioning of Parent Council: There was a short discussion toward the end of the meeting on the functioning of the new Parent Council. A skills audit was suggested. There are three major areas for the Council to consider - administration/school business and education issues; fundraising; communication. Some members were interested in communication and issues that parents wanted to raise. This led to a discussion about raising the profile of the Parent Council and raising awareness of its role. It was AGREED to place the Parent Council constitution on the school website and to raise the profile of the Council in the next newsletter. Isobel and Elspeth to draft an article for the next edition, explaining the role of the new Parent Council and reminding all parents that they are part of the Parent Forum. It was AGREED that members’ names would be placed on the school website and in the newsletter to help facilitate a contact mechanism for parents, but recognising that specific issues can be diverted to the Head Teacher. A more detailed discussion about the role and functioning of the Parent Council was deferred to the next meeting as was a discussion about co-opting members to the Council. AOB: There was a short discussion about the sponsored walk, scheduled for Friday 21 September. Three or four volunteers required to help with the BBQ. Isobel, Kate, May and Catherine volunteered. May will organise the food but Kate Wright will get back to the volunteers about sourcing some of the food. Date and time of next meeting : Wednesday 24 October at 7.30 pm in the library.