Apologies: M.Shafique, Mara Roelofse, Lindsay Hall, Cherif Merrouche, Lorna Durie
Present:Kevin Kane, Susan Lawson (minutes), Peter Alexander, Marjorie Phillips, Omar Noor, Tahir Mohammed, John Donnelly, Cath Sinclair, Mrs Ann Grant, Eilidh McAlister, Lindsay Campbell.
2. Duke of Edinburgh Scheme Teachers Eilidh McAlister and Lindsay Campbell run the D of E group in Shawlands Academy (assisted by Mr MacBride and Mr McGougan). They came to give us an overview and ask for some advice regarding practical help and funding. This is the third year of it being run in SA, and uptake has increased. Hopefully by the end of this academic year 25 will have completed bronze and 13 silver. 30 new 3rd years have signed up for bronze. Pupils are offered the chance to join in 3rd year, and have to commit to one hour per week expedition training, volunteering, development of skills, and the expeditions. Students from different backgrounds have grown in self confidence and leadership skills through participation. The plan is that they complete one of each of the three levels within a year. A 2hr drop-in session is held in school once a week as well, which helps students to work towards award completion.
Participants pay a joining fee of £40, £25 of which goes to DoE organisation to register. Shawlands DoE now have their own equipment after being given grants by Tesco and National lottery- it is a great advantage and leveler to have a supply of tents, boots, etc. Current needs to continue are:
(a) more leaders/helpers for expeditions: Parents or others who are qualified expedition/mountaineering instructors, or possibly people needing to build up hours of leading expeditions (they would be disclosure checked). Also, qualified first aid instructors to teach skills to participants (could also be a medical professional used to teaching this). Suggestions included: to set out club’s needs on school website; Kevin to speak to PTC member, Tom Prentice.
(b) funding: This is for on-going costs associated with expeditions, particularly for transport. It costs around £470 per trip (6 per year) for transport by hired coach. Suggestions included: co-operate with other organisations (also will look good on funding applications); fund-raising event involving local businesses with past pupils of SA [Mrs Grant concerned that DoE staff already heavily time-committed]. Suggestions included: pupils combining DoE activities with fund raising (as has happened previously).
(c) other help with transport (costs): Suggestions included: liaise with other voluntary organisations to share resources (Scouts, BB, churches esp. those that run DoE); better use of public transport (eg West Highland Line, Clyde Ferries) and better link suitable expedition locations with public transport (eg Cowal, Loch Lomond / West Highlands).
Kevin thanked Miss McAlister and Miss Grant for their time and effort they put into DoE and its value to young people at Shawlands, hoped that the PTC’s suggestions were helpful and noted that the PTC was willing to help financially, were its needed to put the club on a secure footing. Miss McAllister and Miss Grant left the meeting.
3. Minutes of 8th Nov 2010. These were accepted as accurate, aside from a minor spelling correction.
4. Matters arising from the minutes of 8th Nov 2010
Lockers: a sample locker was present to view. Everyone very impressed and general approval, though wondered if it could be a little deeper to take an A4 folder (which could only fit face-on and not spine-on).
Art Fair – no longer to happen in the near future. As one new way to raise money for the New York trip, is to sell calendars designed by 1st years. It was suggested they be advertised more widely by being placed on the school website.
4. Finance: The PTC has £2,820.42 in account at present and Kevin suggested the PTC should not sit on this money needlessly. Suggestions included
(a) Assist DoE scheme, to help to secure a firmer financial footing or for a specific item of equipment.
(b) More benches in playground- staff agreed current benches are very popular and more could be used. ACTION: Mrs Grant to find out supplier (and cost) of existing benches for next meeting.
The Secretary noted the recent “discovery” of a PTC pigeon hole in the School Office. Susan noted several replies to the PTC AGM invitation from Councillors (Archie) Graham (apologies), James Dornan (apologies and wished to be informed of future meetings). ACTION: PTC AGM Minute to be amended.
6. Action in response to financial cuts: Kevin had made contact with the Glasgow Parent Forum to ensure it had the issue of the impact of financial cuts on its forthcoming February 2011 agenda.
7. Parent member Reactions to School Closure (due to weather). Parent PTC Members’ opinions had been sought after the recent weather-related closures. Mrs Grant confirmed that council policy is that decisions on closures should be made jointly by the authority and Head Teachers. Some issues which may affect closure are heating, plumbing, buses, taxis, staff availability. Parents present expressed concern that the first closure was a unilateral decision by the Council, and happened too late in the day (08.20) for many parents to make alternative arrangements. As the closures went on, parents were happy that information on the Shawlands Academy website was accurate and up-to-date and that the website hadn’t crashed (as the Council’s did). Pupils had been cared for (some all day) until able to go home, as they are told not to leave unless they know they can get home. Parent PTC members thanked the staff for all their hard work and concern - esp. for the school’s more vulnerable young people. Mrs Grant noted that 54 teachers from other schools had reported to SA, where they were able to use IT and other facilities to allow them to work. Suggestions for future were: (i) that the Council should agree a time by when decision should be made (suggestion 07.30); (ii) that decisions be made by the Head Teacher, in discussion with the Council; and (iii) that the school set up an emergency phone line service (noted on the website) to be used to provide information for parents / carers (such a service is low cost and very flexible). ACTION: Mrs Grant to inform the PTC of the outcome of any Council “after-action” review.
8. Head Teacher’s report
S4 prelims: some postponed due to closures. Study leave was not extended. City Council Quality Improvement Officer visited 10th Dec, feedback awaited. Culinary Excellence: now back on curriculum. Lunch event in partnership with Celtic Football Club was very successful. School Discos: Mrs Grant said that there were none planned for the future, given unacceptable behavior by a minority of young people. Long term plan is to build more structured events by year group. Shawlands Gate project:6th years have worked with Architecture + Design Scotland to produce a design brief for the school frontage where landscape architects will specify new trees to be planted to enhance the school façade.
9. AOCB Marjorie had attended another meeting for the Janitors Garden. There is an appeal for donations of compost. Suggested this appeal could be put on website.
10. DOMN and Key Issue discussions
17th January (School Improvement Plan)
21st February (Health and Wellbeing)
21st March, 9th May, 13th June
Kevin thanked everyone for attending, Peter el al. for the mince pies and wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year