January 2016


Minutes of meeting on Tuesday 19 January 2016 at 7pm

Present: Neil Langhorn, Michael Lloyd, Rachel Lytollis, Cath, Claire Baker, Lisa McCarthy, Jackie Wake, Emma Hughes, Ruth Gillan, Christina Enever, Annette Wilson, Tom Scott (Active Schools Co- ordinator)
Apologies: Melanie McAllan, Sam Mitchell, Stacey O’flaherty, Morag Dalton, Kirsty Mann, Sarah Chisnall, Jen Rogers, Lizzie Booden, Helen Morris, Donna Dack, Gillian Fraser, Vicki Wallace, Michel Gebre, Louise Lloyd, Leanne Horsburgh, Debby Smith, Karen Borthwick and Morag MacLachlan

1. Active Schools Co-ordinator Update

Tom took up the role of Active Schools Co-ordinator at the end of November 2015. He works part time Tues, Wed & Thur and is responsible for the Balerno cluster of schools. There was an 8 week
period where there was no co-ordinator. Tom thanked the RSV for their feedback on what activities parents would like to see offered. 
Current developments are: 
  • Climbing club – Miss Tumblety & Mr Rae have shown interest in setting this up. Tom is in discussions with the Climbing Centre. 
  • Touch rugby – This is also in development with Mr Rae. It would be great to offer this, as rugby is a big thing up at the High School. 
  • Dance – Tom is in talks with ‘Step It Up Dance’ and another organisation offering a wide variety of dance. 
  • Basketball – Tom is looking to link this into golden time for P3 – 7. Graham Shaw had previously proposed an early morning activity. Tom to contact Graham. 
  • Drama – Christina suggested she offer Drama in golden time. Christina to progress with Rachel. 
  • Tennis – Tom is meeting with a tennis coach linked into the Balerno club. Louise Lloyd, P5 has links with Hatton Tennis club if any help to Tom. 
  • Girls’ football – There is a girls P4 & P5 pilot of sessions getting set up for Currie and Balerno cluster. 
  • Fencing club – Tom is attempting to progress this with Keith Cook, a local coach who was the 2010 British Champion and a five times Commonwealth medallist. 
  • Gymnastics – Tom is keen to understand more of what is already in place. Jackie to provide Tom with contact details for Babs and more info on local lady keen to set up gymnastics class [DONE]. 
  • Athletics – Harmony Athletics club just got funding for a 12 hour a week coach. Her remit is to do satellite sessions and build up Harmony club. Tom is trying to persuade them to come out to Ratho to do a session. 
  • Judo – Annette raised the possibility of approaching her daughter’s Judo club to see what they could offer. 
  • Cycling – Bikeability will run again this year.
Tom advised that not all of the above activities will come in at the same time, but will most likely be staggered.
Tom to return to an RSV meeting in May to give a progress update.

  • If there is a paid coach they would need at least 8-9 people to make it viable, if it was run by a volunteer, numbers would not be so crucial. 
  • Nursery would not come under the Active Schools co-ordinator, however, there may be scope for offering more activities in the nursery as well. 
  • Parents would prefer no [short] gaps between end of school and after-school activities but appreciate this may not always be possible. Where a short gap is necessary, Mel asked if parents/carers could look after the children in school. Rachel has agreed to trial this for P3/4, and kindly offered the use of the creativity suite. This option would need adequate parent/carer supervision.

2. Head Teacher Update
Rachel thanked all the RPS families for the warm welcome.

Mr Welander – full time principal teacher. 
Mrs Humphries – support for learning, been getting up to speed, but starting to see groups of children today. 
Mrs Brown – taken over P1 full time. 
Mrs Campbell – slotted into Mrs Brown’s previous role, re non-contact time. 
Miss Komvoki – P4 teacher full time
Mrs Fleming – retired but been popping back in again. 
Mrs Hall - commences maternity in March. Recruitment will be for full time post.

Panto trip
The cinema trip worked out really well for the children, however the theatre company are not happy and have put in a formal stage 1 complaint to the council. Claire Dixon is handling the response. Their argument was the bridge had [just] opened to buses and other schools in Edinburgh attended. However there was no contract and no deposit made. The bus company were going to charge us double. Some schools went on the train, which was not seen as viable option for us. Other schools had gone but arrived late, missed the start and arrived back home late, with a knock on impact for childcare. If it becomes a stage 2 complaint, the council’s legal teams take over and it’s taken out of the school hands. Neil confirmed that RSV would be happy to support the actions that the school took if that would be helpful.

New building.
Snagging issues are ongoing, but seem to be ticking along in the background. With regard to the walkway/shelter and the planning and development of outdoor spaces, there appears to be some confusion over whether budget was set aside for this. Neil to look back minutes and Rachel to raise again with CEC staff. On a positive note, the new building is a nice space and was delivered on time.

School Vision
Rachel would like to revisit the school vision to make it more succinct, memorable and something the children can articulate. The staff and RAG are looking into this. (This is currently displayed on
the notice board just as you come into the school, near the office). Rachel would like to articulate better what our curriculum is trying to achieve with our learners. She is looking for short phrases to sum up, ‘when our learners leave RPS they are….e.g. well rounded, confident, prepared for change and the challenges ahead, able to contribute positively to society,prepared for a bigger world in which they can make an impact. 
Rachel to put together a question for all class reps to get feedback on by 12 Feb. 

Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood Education
A parents' information meeting was held last week. Some good suggestions were raised re what could be built into the program in the future. This block will start w/b 1 Feb for 2 weeks and
continue for 4 weeks after the Feb break.

Online lunch ordering
Rachel emphasised the huge time saving this potentially offered the school, but highlighted there are also other initiatives being discussed within the council regarding online ordering of many things.
Claire Cooper, P2 was going to come in and meet with Admin staff to progress this. Rachel to check on progress.

3. Class Reps Update

P2 parents highlighted an issue with Maths homework, which they would prefer to be more specific. Current homework is very general and has not changed since October. Rachel to look into further.

School uniform
P1 parents raised an issue with the quality of the current supplier of school uniform. Rachel to look into sourcing different suppliers. There may be a difference in price to get higher quality. RSV
suggested a small increase may be acceptable if clothes would last longer and look more presentable.

Class Reps
Class Reps are due to meet on Thursday. Something needs to go into the newsletter and schoolbags to introduce the class reps. Jackie & Emma to organise.

4. RSV Chair Update

Christmas Fair
Neil thanked everyone for their efforts on the Christmas Fair, in particular the core team of organisers. Profit was around 2.5K.

SW parent councils meetings
Neil advised that people were very interested in our merger of PC and PTA.
The next SW parent councils meeting is Wednesday 27th. Neil can’t go; would anyone else like to go along and represent RSV?

We are looking into sourcing signs for the school from Vicki Wallace’s neighbour.

School Panto
Neil thanked Neil Brown for filming the panto. The plan is to put this on the website.

Online PLPs
Neil is meeting with Rachel tomorrow to discuss online PLPs.

Recruitment training
Another round of recruitment training is available, if anyone else wants to go, let Neil know.

P7 leavers
Historically a small event is run to mark P7 moving on. Helen Morris & Shona Johnson to meet with Miss Sandeman re what needs done. RSV usually support with some financial contribution.

Neil advised we need to find someone who knows what they are doing with the website.

Neil noted that we still need to formally agree the new constitution for the RSV.

5. Fundraising update

Jackie advised we have a license in place for 2016. Jackie & Rachel to meet tomorrow to go over detail, so we can get this up and running as soon as possible.

Cinema nights
Emma advised about the various licenses we would need. Neil has provided Emma with some additional reading and Christina is to see if she can glean anything more from a friend running a
similar venture. The general consensus was that it was worth trying at least one cinema event to see how it went. Emma to pursue further.

Spring Fair
Financially there is no immediate need to run a Spring Fair but there may be interest in a community event. If we decide to do it, we need to identify an owner and start organising it as soon as possible. Given the amount of work involved, it was suggested we join up with some other events running at the same time. E.g. adding garden produce and a café onto the farmers market, which Mr Welander is running (March 4th). Or sports day, running some sort of café stall without cutting across Andrew’s offering. Jackie also to contact Bridge Inn to see if they have any Spring events planned. Neil to discuss further with Mr Welander.

6. Bank account & Treasurers update

Bank account update:
We have a new business banking account with Bank of Scotland in the name of Ratho School Voice with 4 signatories: Annette, Neil, Jackie, Lisa. We have internet banking so can arrange to view
statements and make payments much more quickly. We still have funds sitting in the old PTA and PC accounts but these will be transferred via cheque payments this month and closed. Annette and Helen to make this happen.

New Treasurer:
We have a new treasurer, Michael Lloyd, who will take over from Annette as soon as he has access to the new account. Annette and Michael to complete necessary forms and submit to the bank and complete a handover. Annette will notify City of Edinburgh council of the new treasurer and new bank account as well.

Annette will finalise the paperwork for the PC and PTA accounts and submit it to Debby to audit.
Annette and Debby to complete before the end of financial year.

Available funds (subject to minor adjustments for unclaimed expenses or outstanding deposits):
Bank Account Balance: 
  • Ratho School Voice – £2529.82
  • Ratho Parent Council – £977.33
  • Ratho PTA – £6026.33
  • Total funds available – £9533.48
Outstanding financial commitments: 
  • £4769 committed by RSV to school in September meeting – to be confirmed and paid as required
  • Transport costs for Christmas cinema trip & nursery parties
Ring-fenced funds: 
  • £319 garden fund
  • £600 RSV operating costs
Request of funds for furniture (art and craft tables) RL and NL meeting Wed 20/1/16 and will discuss this further. 

7. Next Meeting

Next meeting provisionally set for 7pm, Tuesday 9th February. Jackie to book Community Centre [DONE]. Dates to be scheduled for meeting in March, end of May and an AGM in late April. Jackie to circulate suitable dates [DONE].