Boroughmuir High School Parent Council Minutes of Meeting held on Wednesday 14th September 2011

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Boroughmuir High School Parent Council
Minutes of Meeting held on

Wednesday 14th September 2011

Present: Stephanie Hanna (Secretary), Andrea Henderson (Treasurer),

David Dempster (AHT), Bruce Munro (Business Manager), Tony Carbery,

Meg Kristensen (PTA rep), Nicki Innes, C Robertson, Douglas Moran, Cllr

Elaine Aitken, Cllr Paul Godzik, Paula Grieve, Gill Aitken, Sandra Farrer,

Rebecca Skillen, Anni Gibben, Karen Esslemont, Alison Dunnett, Chris Mason,

Stephanie Scott, Morna Findlay, Karen Gold, N Fernandz-Dain, Cathy Bird,

Simon Braunholtz, Iain Mackay, Josh Platt (Head Boy), Ailsa Bruce (Head Girl)
1. Welcome and Apologies Action By
Apologies: Stew Green, Mimi Cogliano, Scott Arthur, David Anderson, Ellen Wilson

Tracey Murray, Cllr Mark McInnes, Cllr Marilyne MacLaren

SH welcomed all to the meeting, in particular all the new people present and explained

that in the absence of a Chair and Vice-Chair she would chair this meeting.

Introductions were done around the table.
2. Approval of Minutes and Matters Arising
TC felt that the sentence relating to the PC opposing cuts and changes to the school did

not fairly reflect the feelings of the meeting and the points discussed. He felt clarification

was needed to highlight the fact that while the PC did oppose the cuts, it was in support of the actions currently being taken within the school. SH
A request was made that meeting agendas and minutes should be more accessible on the website, that it is currently very difficult to find them. MC
DD confirmed that a pack has been sent out to all parents with all relevant information

and dates for the forthcoming year.

PZ encouraged parents to put forward their views/feelings, whether or not they are

involved in the PC.

3. Members and Office Bearers
Volunteers are sought for the positions of Chair and Vice-Chair.

The need for more active members on the PC was highlighted. There are various

meetings outwith the school which require a representative from the PC to attend –if these could be allocated between members it would be less onerous than one person

attending all!

SH explained that all parents are part of the parent forum and anyone wishing to

become an active member of the PC is simply required to ask to join at one of the meetings. Only office bearers are required to be elected.

SB suggested that a synopsis of the required roles and the meetings which need attendance is put on the website. SH/MC
SH encouraged everyone to sign up to the website.

AH highlighted the need for parents to attend the PC meetings so it is in a position

to reflect the views of parents – even if parents don’t want to be actively involved

in the PC they are still very welcome and very much needed at meetings.

4. PTA Report
MK introduced herself as the PTA rep. Last year was very successful resulting in

some great projects taking place – of special mention is the new eating area which

has been greatly received by pupils.

There has been 1 request for funds this year already – although this is usually done

towards the end of the school year.

New parents are encouraged to join the PTA as new members are always needed.

Details of PTA dates and activities are on the School Calendar.
5. Head Teachers Report
DD explained that a copy of this report will be made available to staff using their desk tops. This will improve communication to staff and pupils. DD
A number of staff has left over the summer (through early retirements, retirements, and temporary contracts ending) and a number of new staff has started, all of whom are

temporary staff. This is the situation throughout the City of Edinburgh until the

current Management restructuring is complete. Permanent posts will need to be filled

in the future .DD wanted to dispel some parents concerns over probationary teachers. He highlighted that these teachers are newly skilled, fresh staff and are some of the best in the school. They have his full support.

The new school is still on the table and a lot of work is going on behind the scenes.

Two sites are being looked into as possible sites for a new school.

Implications of a refurbishment are being looked at as a total decant would be required.
The school roll this year is at it’s biggest – 1143 pupils. As a result the school has received extra funding and this combined with savings made last year (and carried forward) the budget is looking healthy at the start of the year. At a time when other schools are losing staff and pupils this is a very positive position to be in

Exam results this year have been the best in the history of the school!

5+ in both standard grades (level 5) and highers (level 6) were the best in Edinburgh.

Results for advanced highers were fantastic, narrowing being beaten to the top by one other school!

These results are down to the combination of good teaching and good learning. In Boroughmuir the very positive message is that it’s cool to be clever!

(Curriculum for Excellence is not reflected in these grades.)

Study classes which have worked very well for S6 pupils have been extended down to S5 and now to S4 pupils. S6 pupils are encouraged to attend school through registration and study classes and this has worked well.
DD confirmed that the management restructuring process is progressing. Instead of 23

principle teaches the move is towards 15 curriculum leaders. However the overall

number of teachers in the school will remain the same.
DD explained some of the work currently being done on Curriculum for Excellence.

Two models of how the school should follow it are on the table.

The Scottish Govt recommends that a 3 x 2 model is followed (S1-S3 / S4-S6)

The school currently run the other 2x2x2 model very successfully (S1-S2/S3-S4/S5-S6)

Subject choices were widely discussed as the CforE system looks for 5 subjects to be

studied for standard grades (instead of 8) and many felt that this is too narrow.

It was pointed out that clarification is needed on when pupils get their subject choices as

many S2 pupils expect this to happen this year.

The point was raised that CforE is not necessarily a negative step, that many students

struggle with university life because they are not properly prepared. CforE looks to

provide more rounded individuals who are better prepared for life outside of school

while continuing to build on academic achievements.

DD is expecting to have proposals of which CforE model the school will be supporting,

ready for the next PC meeting in November. DD

Activity week was very successful involving 900 pupils. Parents who were asked for feedback (3/4/5yr parents) were very positive. It is felt that this a great for getting

staff and pupils together in a different way.

Blazers are being requested by pupils from further down the school. In response to this

Aitken and Niven will be selling a school blazer with the school badge on it. DD is issuing a letter to all parents about this. Blazers will be optional but it was felt that their

success will be down to peer pressure!

It was asked if there could be an official school hoodie as part of the uniform. DD said he was happy to look into this with Aitken and Niven as another option for uniform. DD

The question of a school team strip for sports was raised. DD said he would like to take

one step at a time, dealing with the blazers and possible a hoodie first. The possibility of a standardised tracksuit, issued for all sports but allowing the team sport on the back e.g. hockey, football etc. was put forward.

Pupil achievements in the school are huge. Details can be found on the website.

6. New Boroughmuir

Covered in the Head Teachers report.

7. PC Budget and Proposed Spend

PC budget is currently in profit by £1,342.29

Recently in receipt of funds from City of Edinburgh representing:

Next proposed spend will be for upkeep of website (due Nov 2011)

8. Discussion/Updates on:
Curriculum Subgroup – TC has led this subgroup which usually meet to examine the

school’s results and feed back to the PC. There is little to report in light of the outstanding results this year however TC is standing down as this is his final year as a

BHS parent. It is hoped that someone will volunteer to lead this group as there will be

a lot to discuss in the future with regard to CforE. TC has offered to remain involved

for now to help steer someone into the role.
Budget – a mentioned the school budget is in a healthy position at the moment as a result of savings made from last year and more funding this year due to an increased pupil roll.
Parent Communication Subgroup – no update was able to be given due to absence.
9. Uniform and Team Strips
Covered in Head Teacher’s Report.
10. A.O.B.
SB felt that signage could be better to indicate where the PC meeting is being held.

(including signage on the door itself) AH/SH


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