1st September 2015


Minutes of meeting on Tuesday 1 September 2015 at 7pm

Present: Neil Langhorn (“NL”), Lynne Smith (“LS”), Annette Wilson (“AW”), Jackie Wake (“JW”), Christina Enever (“CE”), Morag Dalton (“MD”), Emma Ewart (“EE”), Lizzie Booden (“LB”), Donna Dack
(“DD”), Karen Borthwick (“KB”), Leanne Horsburgh (“LH”), Kirsty Marshall (“KM”), Kirsty Mann (“KM”), .Michel Gebre (“MG”), Lisa Cockburn (“LC”), Morag MacLachlan (“MM”), Lynn Paterson
(from CEC)
Apologies: Anna Hazel, Lisa McCarthy, Sarah Chisnall, Melanie McAllan, Sam Mitchell, Stacey O’flaherty and Kay Sommerville

1. Head Teacher Recruitment

Janice MacInnes sent her apologies. Lynn Paterson from CEC talked us through the recruitment process and our involvement in it. 
Key dates
  • 6 September – applications close. 
  • 11 September - Janice meets with parent reps to shortlist applications (if required). 
  • 29 September - long leet interviews take place at the school. 
  • 8 October - Short leet interviews take place at City Chambers
Long leet panel includes: 
  • Aileen Mclean – Council 
  • Lorraine Budge- pier head teacher 
  • 2 parent reps
Short leet includes above, other than pier head and also includes a councillor and senior educationofficer. Neil highlighted a potential issue of the same 2 people not being available to meet all the dates above. Neil to follow up with Janice.

Formally we get to ask 2 questions, but Janice indicated she would want to work with us to incorporate more where possible. Lynn provided Neil with sample questions from another school. Neil asked the group for input on what questions could be. The following suggestions were made: 

  • What qualities can you bring to the role - vibrant, organised, good communicator?
  • What attracts you to RPS; a smaller school?
  • How would you build an environment which fosters stability for the staff?
  • How do you plan to work in partnership with the parent body?
  • How would you plan to incorporate the outdoor space in our children’s’ learning?
  • How do you plan to manage the increase in the school roll?
  • What ambition and drive can you bring to the school?
  • What new initiatives would you bring to RPS?
  • How would you involve/engage the kids so their voice is heard e.g. RAG?

Lynn advised it is not possible to ask candidates about their long term plans. We don’t have previous questions (from last head recruitment). Ruth and Chris were involved. Emma asked how the shortage of head teachers across Scotland could affect the recruitment. Lynn suggested RPS had to sell itself to potential heads, e.g. outlining how the parent body would support the new head. 

Action: NL, AW, HM and Alison Flower to finalise the suggested questions and submit these to Janice MacInnes in advance of the interviews. 

2. RSV Family Funday 5/9

Event will be outside if weather is good. Gus raised concerns over tables and seats being damaged outside (if it rains). Gus is not here on Saturday (a temporary replacement will be here in his place). No electrics outside is preferred to reduce trip hazard. Access is from 11am for set up and be away by 4:30pm. 
Decisions: Bouncy castle and putting challenge dropped. Circus skills to replace bouncy castle. Josh to teach circus skills, but would need adult in charge.

  • Lizzie providing a gazebo. 
  • Christina providing gazebo, circus skills and barbeque. 
  • Christina to get biscuits and shot glasses (for apple juice). 
  • If anyone knows of anyone else willing / available to help please get in touch with Sarah Chisnall.

3. Acting Head Teacher Update

Lynne Smith, Acting Principal Teacher provided an update covering:
  • New building went to the wire. P1 and P2 teachers were in over the weekend to finish setting up. Meetings are still ongoing to find solutions to a few issues, but everything is in hand.
  • Key school dates will go out this week with the Friday newsletter and will also go on the school website. Please advise if there is anything else that should be included.
  • Recruitment is underway to fill positions in the nursery and P1a
    • Olivia Rowlands from the nursery is leaving to do teacher training at university.
    • Mrs Campbell is just a tempory placement; she may apply for the permanent position.
  • Friday note:The survey has had a low response. How can we encourage more people to respond? There could be some lying in P1 school bags.
    • Offer a prize to the class that gets the highest level of responses from their parents. Any other feedback on the Friday note?
  • The number of lunch week has been missing from the newsletter. Please add it back.
  • Make it possible to search across all newsletters online. You can’t search across all the PDFs on the website.
  • School Website will have more uniformity over class pages. Any feedback on school website?
    • Add tips for parents specific to each year. 
    • Direct parents to useful apps, websites, play-room resources. 
    • Include pictures of what they have been doing in class. 
    • Include any loose homework sheets that kids can mislay.
  • School car park - The council have been approached re extending the school car park, in line with the growth of the school (Judy Wightman made the approach). Emma suggested incorporating a drop off zone. Neil to follow up with Judy.
  • RAG volunteer - RAG has moved to a Wednesday, 1:15 – 1:45pm. Lynne Smith is leading this and looking for a parent volunteer to support this; even if they are only able to come along now and again. Annette, Helen and Morag all remarked on how positive it had been to see the class reps working together on the issues they are interested in. Contact lynne.1.smith@ratho.edin.sch.uk for more details. NL asked whether it would be possible to foster a closer link between RSV and the RAG/pupils – e.g. by inviting a RAG member(s) or house captain(s) to come to an RSV meeting to highlight things they are working on. Lynne thought this was a good idea and would explore further with Anna.
  • School improvement plan to be circulated by Lynne, rather than discussed at the meeting.

4. RSV Year Ahead

Lynne outlined a wish list of what they would like from the parent body, covering both volunteering and financial assistance.

Parents’ suggestions and comments
  • Event based fundraising is the hardest way to go about raising funds.
  • Offer a non-event based way for parents to contribute to school funds, similar to the gala 100 club or the PTAs 50/50 club. 
  • Correlate event to classes which it appeals to. E.g. Get P1 & P2 parents to fundraise for books needed for their years.‘
  • How can I help the school’ flyer giving parents options on how they contribute their time or money e.g. 50/50 club, man a stall at an event, buy cake, attend meetings, help in the garden…
  • Class reps, possibly 2 per class. Could meet with Anna and Lynne and/or class teachers and run events specific for their year. 
  • Ask the pupils – what do they want to fund-raise for; both for school and external charities. 
  • Would be good for parents to know the fundraising plan at the start of the year, rather than continually being asked for more money. 
  • Sub groups. Do we need to get a fundraising subgroup set up?
  • Communications – we need regular feedback and advertising. 
  • RSV creation and rebrand next steps?
Decisions: Class reps approved as a concept.

  • Lynne to provide a prioritised list of what the school needs to Neil. We can then look to the best way of achieving this. 
  • Jackie & Emma volunteered to get Class Reps off the ground. 
  • Lynne to ask pupils/RAG group what they want to fundraise for. 
  • Next meeting of RSV to focus on firming up list of projects/activities for the year ahead

5. AOB - Homework

P2 are having a meeting with parents on how to support your child with homework. Neil asked if there are plans to offer this type of meeting out to other years. Many of those present welcomed
this suggestion

Actions: Lynne to take this feedback away and discuss further with Anna. 

6. Date of next meeting

Tuesday 15th September at 7pm.

Actions: Jackie to book community centre.