Renfrew High School Parent Council
Minutes of Meeting – Wednesday 19th January 2017
B Burke (Head Teacher), C Calderwood, L O’Neill, , M Hunter, A Howat, C Thomas J Aitken, J Shaw, W Arbuckle, J Kennedy, M Timmlin and C Stewart
F Russell and P Kirkwood
The PC was read a statement by B.Burke in relation to recent negative press coverage. There was no additional discussion in relation to this matter. The statement has been included in the minutes for reference (see end).
- Minutes of Previous Meeting
Proposed by C Stewart and seconded by C Calderwood
- Matters Arising
No feedback as yet from Renfrewshire council on the availability of the reach programme for S4. C Calderwood will follow up with Liam Kennedy.
The consultation period on the positive relationship policy is still open. PC member are asked to contact Billy directly if they have any comments by 9th February.
- Head Teacher Update
Acting Head of Science – Catherine McLeod now in post.
1 vacancy in Home economics department
No drama in the curriculum at the moment due to long term illness.
Planning for next academic year is underway with projected staff requirement hopefully advertised before Easter.
PC members are reminded that main school events are communicated via the twitter feed.
December concert: Billy congratulated the pupils and music staff for a wonderful concert which showcased RHS musical talent. Unfortunately the audience numbers were low and Billy has asked the PC for their support in promoting next year’s event to a wider audience.
Scottish College of Educational Leadership (SCEL) deliver professional learning for all stages of teachers. Billy is investigating opportunities to engage with SCEL for teaching staff CPD.
Flexible Learning Base – target date for opening is the start of February with young people attending from the end of February. In addition to the Principal Teacher, Kerry O’Neill has been appointed as English teacher and they are in the process of recruiting 2 key workers and 2 ESN workers. C Calderwood is the link Senior Leader for school strategic and operational issues. Billy will provide an update for all parents in the next newsletter and hold assemblies with all pupils.
New pitch update – work started on 23 January to install a new 3G pitch. The work is fully funded by Renfrewshire Council and is anticipated to be completed in 13 weeks. All pupils have been informed of the importance of adhering to all Health and Safety notices as the work involves the use of heavy machinery. Billy has reviewed and is happy with the security arrangements. The PC has asked him to seek clarity on responsibilities for the maintenance of the finished pitch.
- Attainment Challenge
Renfrewshire has become an Attainment Authority. This brings with it additional staff resources and requires a joint plan for allocation across relevant schools. No clarity has been provided on the areas of focus but they are likely to be in:
- Literacy and Numeracy
- Pupil wellbeing (i.e. pupils can and do attend school)
- Software to improve the ability to learn
Pupil Equality Fund – in addition to the attainment challenge, from 2017/18 all schools in Scotland will receive an allocation of an attainment of £1,200 per pupil in receipt of free school meals in S1 – S3 for the life of the current Scottish Parliament. RHS has 14% of pupils currently claiming entitlement to free school meals however Billy believes that this could be higher.
Head teachers across Scotland will meet in the new academic year to agree parameters for use of the Pupil Equality Fund
Future suitability of school building
The PC discussed the current and planned new housing developments in Renfrew and the impact that this may have on both the feeder primary schools and RHS. The PC charged Billy with opening discussions with the Council on the future maintenance of the fabric and capacity of the school.
Billy has received a consultation on Health provision in schools. He will circulate this to the PC for information.
Winter Assessment timetable
W Arbuckle raised concerns over the setting of 2 Social Science exams on the same day. This situation was not felt to be ideal and Billy agreed to ensure that this does not happen again.
Winter Assessment study leave
- Timmlin noted that pupils in neighbouring Authorities received study leave. Billy to explore the potential of this being adopted by Renfrewshire Council and the Chair to raise with PC chairs. Local Authorities offering this study leave include Ayrshire, Lanarkshire and Glasgow.
Fifth and Sixth year event
Following the unfortunate cancellation of the Snow Ball, the school is keen to host an event for fifth and sixth year pupils. The pupils will be consulted on the type of event they would like to have.
Education Appeals panel
- Aikman currently represents the school on this group. As this is his final year on the PC, a suitable replacement will need to be nominated. It was agreed that this should be included as a future agenda item and therefore the chair will invite the organisers to attend a future PC meeting.
Statement by Mr Burke
An article appeared in a local newspaper last Friday – in print and online. The content referred to an incident involving a pupil and a teacher at this school. I cannot comment on the incident except to assure that policies and procedures were applied appropriately, and relevant agencies were involved fully.
The article itself is factually incorrect and based on anonymous information. The article was removed from their website on the same day.
I am discussing next steps regarding the vexatious nature of the article, which in my view breaches guidelines, with my employer and professional advisers.
I appreciate the many messages of support received from pupils, parents, colleagues, friends and family.
Next Meeting – Wednesday 1st March 6PM