5th March 2013

DRAFT Minutes



Minutes of joint meeting on Tuesday 5th March 2013 at 7.30pm & PC Meeting following

Present: *Neil Langhorn (“NL”), Helen MacGregor (“HM”), *Melanie McAllan, Mrs Smith, *Emer Grimley, *Councillor Bill Henderson (“BH”), Jackie Wake, Jenni Belfall, *Mrs McGlynn (“CM”), Brenda Binnie, *Chris Cartwright (“CC”), *Lisa McCarthy, Leesa Roy, *Mrs Hall & *Christine Paterson.

Apologies: Annette Wilson.

Note: those asterisked attended the separate PC meeting which followed the joint meeting.

Joint meeting

School report (CM):

  • The Communications/Vision Group are having their first meeting on 8 March. They comprise one PC person, one PTA person, one staff member (Mrs Hall), Mrs McGlynn and a pupil. Their first task will be an audit of communication.

  • The Community Health Group has had their first meeting and will meet next on the first Friday after the Easter holidays – 12th April. The topic then will be Food & the Environment.

  • A letter has gone out about the 30 year anniversary activities. There will be lots of great learning opportunities for the children.

  • The windows in the school and some doors are to be replaced. The work starts 16th March and continues during the Easter holidays. There won’t be any disruption for the children.

  • Dog fouling: CM first noticed a problem a week past Monday. She took it to RAG and as a result the children have been designing posters encouraging people to be responsible dog owners. These will be put up shortly. Also, Gus the janitor is contacting the Council’s environmental wardens about the problem.

  • The link to the Friday note is being set up. CM is aiming to email the first link to parents/carers by next Friday.

PC report (NL):

  • The Comms sub-group hope to get a newsletter out asap. The first issue will be in hard copy but in future they hope to use the school facility to email a weblink. In the longer term this group want to look more closely at upgrading the PC & PTA websites. It was noted that a flyer about the PC & PTA for inclusion in the packs which the school give out to new parents would be useful.

  • Road safety: AW couldn’t come tonight but is hoping to set up a first meeting of her new group soon.

  • The Council are consulting on a Vision for Edinburgh Schools; anyone can comment.

PTA report (HM):

  • At their meeting to follow, the PTA will mainly be discussing the Spring Fair (20 April). Anyone wishing to help should contact HM.

  • On dog fouling HM mentioned that she filled in an online survey from the Pentland Community Safety Sub-Group and mentioned the lack of bins in Ratho for dog excrement. Others could fill in this survey also. There are hard copies of the survey in the Library and HM will email the survey monkey link to CM for the Friday note.

  • On 13 March there is to be a meeting in the Church Hall about roads and transport (see further below).

  • On 12 April there is to be an exhibition by Cala about their proposed development of 100 houses in Craigpark Quarry.

  • Local website: www.rathoonline.co.uk

  • The NHS are to use the DVLA building in Wilkieston Road as the new Doctors’ surgery. Dr Pandolfi retires on Thursday 7 March.

  • The Gala Committee are holding a fun run (and 5k/10k runs) on Wednesday 29 May.

PC meeting

Present: those asterisked above.

1. Dog fouling & dogs being kept under control

It seems that the school is already actively addressing the issue of dog fouling as mentioned above. We will monitor the situation and CM will let us know if there is anything the PC can do to help.

BH confirmed that the environmental wardens can operate covertly and when brought in previously at Nether Currie and Juniper Green, made a big difference.

As regards dog safety, it seems that the issue raised by Bobby Smith concerns one particular dog. The RAG children are to be asked for their views and again we are to keep an eye on this.

It was noted that dogs should not be in the school or community centre (beyond the green fence) but the path past the school is thought to be a public right of way so all we can do there is ask people to be responsible dog owners.

2. Housing & road safety

CC referred to the new houses to be built in Craigpark Quarry and the impact that will have on traffic passing through the village. Over the past few years traffic has greatly increased and the village is now used as a rat run. Many larger vehicles now drive through the village. The bridge at the canal is not strong and if any serious problem were to develop with it, that would cause a great deal of disruption. The poor condition of Freelands Road was also mentioned.

BH advised that Freelands Road is on the list of roads to be resurfaced. He generally believes in fighting for more funding for rural roads and is against development of the green belt.

The meeting on 13 March was mentioned again. This is in the Church Hall at 7pm and will be attended by Tony Lear, a roads manager with the Council. This meeting is an opportunity for people to have their say about local roads issues (also public transport).

As regards the school roll, CM thinks that more children on the roll would be a positive thing. In a small school the teachers have to work exceptionally hard to deliver all the things which there would be more people to provide in a bigger school eg each school still needs an Improvement Plan, certain policies etc. An increased roll would mean more management staff, more teachers, more money etc.

It was mentioned that the lollipop lady at School Wynd is sometimes distracted by people who stop to talk to her, in person or in their cars. CM is to follow up on this.

3. Balerno High School Parent Council meeting

This is to take place in Ratho next Monday 11 March. It’s a good opportunity to find out more about the High School. Parents can come along to this meeting if they wish.

4. Future topics for the PC

Some PC members met a couple of weeks ago and talked about areas which the PC might get involved in. Some strands were:

  • School life: what extra-curricular activities are on offer and what the PC could get involved in helping to provide.

  • The School Improvement Plan – inputting to this. A drop in session for parents/carers was suggested, at which each person leading on a particular area of the curriculum could give a short presentation.

  • Other areas the school could work on improving. The Comms/Vision group is relevant here. CM reiterated her strong view that parental engagement in the school and in children’s learning is paramount.

  • Consultation on school policies.

  • One-off issues that crop up from time to time eg dog fouling.

NL will try to list these.

5. AOB

  1. CM mentioned that she would like to have the opportunity to attend the PTA separate meeting sometimes, rather than always coming to the PC, and it was noted that on our next joint meeting date ie 9th April, she will probably attend the PTA meeting.

  2. There is a new café opening in the community centre on 8th April. It will be open during the week, from morning till early afternoon.

6. Future meetings

9th April

7th May (AGM)

4th June (NL suggested we put the Christmas tree on our agenda!)