Netherlee Primary School

Netherlee Primary School

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Minutes of the Netherlee Parent Council Meeting – 13th September 2017

Minutes of the Netherlee Parent Council Meeting – 13th September 2017

Debby Biddles (Vice Chair)
Beverly Eades
Joanne Scott
Angie McHendry
Fiona Dempsey
Julie Roberts
Lisa Gold

Tennant Stevenson
Carole Chalmers
Margaret Robertson
Trisha Hamilton
Lesley Cook
Joanna Teuton

Apologies:          Alison McCosh, David McLeish, Ellie Murphy, Ruth Alexander, Fiona Leatham, Jane Thomson, Cllr Annette Ireland, Cllr David McDonald, Cllr Stewart Miller, Cllr Alan Lafferty

Observers:         Lynn Sweeney (DHT), Linda Bell (PT), Adam Capek


DB welcomed everyone to first Parent Council (PC) meeting of this school year.  DB noted that Nick Addington and Debbie O’Shea have stepped down from the PC.  DB thanked both Nick and Debbie for their help and support to the PC over the years.

DB advised that copies of the minutes will be sent to the councillors who represent the school catchment and are fully supportive of the school and PC meetings.  It was unfortunate that the first full council meeting had been scheduled for the same night as this PC meeting therefore the councillors are unable to attend this evenings meeting.

DB informed attendees that in order to keep the PC meetings to an hour, then some discussions may be parked and dealt with separately, as appropriate.

DB outlined the role of the PC and some of the responsibilities, which are:
·         Critical role in supporting Joanne Scott (JS) and her team at Netherlee Primary
·         To gather and promote parent views over a cross section of parents
·         Report back to JS with information and opinion on new and current initiatives in the school
·         Appointment of senior staff – three parent councillors are validated to be included in the senior staff recruitment process

DB then asked attendees to introduce themselves to the meeting.

Minutes from AGM – Wednesday 17th May 2017
Proposed by: TS                                                             
Seconded by: BE

School Matters

Summary Improvement Plan
JS reported the Improvement Plan for 2017-2018 was now on the school website for all parents to see. Over the next three years the main focus would be on:

·         Expressive Arts – Art & Design
o   Develop a Skills Framework and curriculum map that will identify the progression of learning and excellent learning opportunities across the school from Nursery to P7.
·         Social Subjects
o   To review the learning and teaching of social subjects i.e. Vikings, Romans and look to refresh these areas of social subjects i.e. geography skills.
·         Playful Pedagogy
o   Research innovative practice related to playful pedagogy learning in early years. Take appropriate steps to enhance our youngest pupils’ learning experience in a positive way and secure what we do well.
·         Pupil Equity Funding
o   Further develop, enhance and adapt our strategies and ways of working to ensure that all children are being well supported to make the best possible progress and that identified children demonstrate improved attainment.   
o   Netherlee Primary has received £31K as part of this government initiative, and are committed to using this well.  A new teacher has been employed and the SIMD (Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation) will be used to classify children who will benefit from this teaching focus. The funding is available for three years and JS said that at the end of the funding the extra teaching staff will remain. 
o   The school will continue to embed numeracy strategy and moderation in children’s attainment and all staff participate in this.  There is national moderation going on with a staff member involved in this so it will be good to measure Netherlee against other schools.
·         Nursery School
o   Adult child interaction – development of high quality interaction and effective talking and listening skills to improve children’s articulation of their learning.
o   Quality Assurance and Self Evaluation – develop enhanced quality assurance monitoring strategies to improve self-evaluation.
o   Creativity/Digital Skills – developing creativity through the improvement of digital skills of staff and children.

National Assessments
JS advised that National Assessments will begin in the 2017-18 school year across Scottish schools.  For Netherlee these are likely to be held after Christmas.  Tests will be held for Primaries 1, 4 and 7 and S3. 

This will be a standard assessment in reading, writing and numeracy and will be completed online.  This will not be flagged up as a test to pupils and information on tests will be given back quickly.  A link will be given to parents to showing the progress of how children are assessed.  JS indicated that the tests will be adaptive to the children and the answers given, i.e. if the questions seem too easy then more difficult questions will be given and vice versa.  This approach means that pupils will have different questions from their peers.  JS said it would be very interesting to see the results from these new tests.

The new National Assessments will not immediately replace the ERC Standardised Tests and both sets of tests will be run in parallel for a couple of years.  This is so that there can be a comparison and build-up of historical data for the new tests before stopping the ERC Standardised Tests.

Math’s Week
JS reported that math’s week in the school had been very successful, especially with it being run so early in the session.  Positive comments had been received from the recent numeracy handout sent out to parents.

JS said that the performance from all stages was excellent and she was pleased with how the children are responding to the challenges given to them.  The challenge for the school now was to keep the standard up.   JS also noted that the P7 presentations in maths week were excellent.

Digital Learning
JS said that a meeting had been held on Tuesday 12th September 2017 with parents and staff to go over the Digital Learning curriculum.  The meeting was very positive and parents got a good flavour of what children are learning and parents seemed to be very supportive of where the school is going with digital learning.

Leaving School Arrangements
TS commented that the letter issued outlining alternative exits for the school seems to have made improvements for children exiting school at home time.  JS said that parents are happy to help and this move has alleviated the congestion for children leaving school. Also encouraging parents to stand back has helped in this matter.

 JS commented that there is still some work to be done to alleviate some congestions points within the morning queues.

JS commented that a letter was sent out to parents prior to the summer holidays requesting that people local to the school keep an eye out for any signs of vandalism.

On the whole, the level of vandalism over the summer was low, however there had been some vandalism on the roof of a small meeting room where a bin lid had been used to smash approximately 60 tiles on the roof of this room. 

AM said that if any vandalism was observed to call 101 and the caller will then be directed to the appropriate department.  More calls made regarding vandalism would gain a better response to the issue.

JT asked if the letter could be shared with parents again requesting that they are vigilant about vandalism in and around the school.

Road Safety
There was a big focus on road safety last session and Lynn Sweeny and Jodie Osborne have taken over the Road Safety Initiative for this session.

There have been a number of reported near misses of children in the car park at Netherlee Pavilion.  JS said that Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs) had now been appointed from P4 to P7 and the aim was to put the onus on parents and carers to park responsibly.  There are still too many risks being taken parking on zig zags and double yellow lines.  Police, local councillors, environmental health and the fire service have all shown support for parking responsibly.

DB said that last year Councillor Mary Montague secured £10k for upgrading to the car park at Netherlee Pavilion.  DB has spoken to the Roads Officer at ERC and he should shortly be providing options for using the funding in the car park.  These may be to:
·      Build a path on the pavilion side
·      Painting lines in the middle of the car park to indicate no parking in the middle

Once options are received these will be shared with the PC.

Currently the car park is still under East Renfrewshire Leisure Trust, therefore wardens cannot issue parking tickets.  It is hoped that the car park will be moved under the remit of ERC Roads Department.

DB said that the JRSOs will continue to be supported by the PC and will aim to link in with Road Safety Week.

Last session there were three winners of the road safety poster competition.  DB will get these printed and positioned around the school. 

DB reported that she had been contacted regarding the lollipop man located on Linnpark Avenue and that he had positioned himself too far down the road at the entrance to the staff car park.  DB said that she had spoken to Lorraine Lowrie who has spoken to the lollipop man who has now moved further up the road.  It was agreed that it is better that he is positioned between the staff car park and corner of Clarkston Road, as being too close to the junction was quite dangerous.

DB also said that Lorraine Lowrie discussed getting cones to use on the roads at home time and the cones could be stored in the school.

LS shared information regarding a letter she had received from Mark Ruskell MSP who is looking to introduce a bill to reduce the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph around all schools in Scotland.  DB requested a show of hands to support this, the response was positive.

JT said she could provide more research on reducing the speed limits around schools.  DB welcomed the provision of this research.

ACTION: JT to give research information on reducing speed limits around schools to DB

AM said she would like to influence driver behaviour and put this out across the school community and, if appropriate, to advise and suggest safer car parking areas.  Discussion was held on whether this was appropriate to ask other parents to be involved in this, i.e. peer pressure and indicating that it is anti-social to park irresponsibly around the school and car park.  JT said that First Avenue had a lot of turning cars would be wary of showing this as a safe alternative path and should be indicated that this can be a busy road to cross.

It was proposed to put out a refresher information sheet to be mindful of parking and promoting ‘Park and Stride’.  It was agreed that this could be taken up by the JRSOs for Road Safety Week and get children to reinforce this.

ACTION: JRSO to issue refresher information sheets

DB asked that if anyone else would like to be on the JRSO forum then to contact her.

Any Other Business

Information Sheet for Planned Trips
DB said that a small number of parents had requested an information sheet for planned trips and costs throughout the school year.  JS said that it was difficult to plan the activities in advance for the full school year as the staff need to plan trips and respond to any changes to proposed excursions. 

LB said that plenty of notice is given to parents and that the cost of trips/excursions are tried to be kept to a minimum and that the school does pay for trips where no payment is requested from parents and this information is not always shared.  It was agreed that it would be good to inform parents when activities are subsidised by the school.

The area in front of the mural is being obscured by the plants.  LC suggested a gardening club be formed to clear the plants and trim them back.  JS said that ‘Tidy Friday’ could be used to do this.  There are still some funds left in the bank for the Mural and maybe these funds could be used for the upkeep of the mural. 

School Website
A request had been made for the school website to be updated more frequently and could be more efficient and useful.  JS requested that feedback be sought on the website.  JS indicated that it is no one person’s job to update the website.  It was commented that Netherlee Primary School’s website was functional and easy to navigate. 

FD commented that she found it hard to find newsletters on the website.

It was noted that the Twitter feed is kept up to date.

ACTION: DB asked attendees to give feedback on the website, please email feedback to DB at

Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 8th November 2017


Sunday, 6 August 2017

Minute of AGM Parent Council Meeting 17th May 2017

Present:          Simon Cunningham (Chair)   SC   Fiona Needleman            FN  
                      Lesley Cook (Secretary)        LC    Cllr David Macdonald   DM            
                        Debby Biddles (Vice Chair)   DB   Cllr Annette Ireland       AI                 
                        Joanne Scott                           JS      Nick Addington            NA            
                        Angie Mchendry                   AM    Tennant Stevenson        TS
                        Fiona Dempsey                     FD     Fiona Leatham               FL  
                        Julie Roberts                        JR       Jane Thomson                JT
                        Lisa Gold                              LG     Beverly Eades                BE
                        Susan Miller                         SM     Margaret Robertson       MR
                        Carol Chalmers                    CC      

Apologies:  Alison McCosh, David McLeish, Ellie Murphy, Ruth Alexander, Debbie O’Shea

Observers: Lynn Sweeney (DHT), Linda Bell (PT)


SC welcomed everyone to the AGM and final Parent Council (PC) meeting of this school year. Introductions were effected. He made specific reference to the two recently elected Local Councillors, Cllr David Macdonald and Cllr Annette Ireland.   

Chairman’s Report

Last session finished with the unveiling of the fantastic mural at the Clarkston Rd entrance to the school, again thanks to FL for being the main PC member driving this initiative. This session the main focus of the PC has been ‘Road Safety’. Today saw the last of 4 joint PC/JRSO (Junior Road Safety Officers) ‘Road Safety’ events at the end of the school day. The main aim of these events has been to stop irresponsible parking and near miss accidents in the Pavillion and Teachers’ Car Parks. This proactive approach has been organised and facilitated amongst others by the PC, JRSOs, Mrs Sweeney and Miss Osborne. SC commended the JRSOs who had been enthusiastic and focused throughout the year, sharing the vision of the PC and generating ideas to deliver the key messages to parents/carers driving in the vicinity of our school. These included designing posters, approaching and enthusiastically engaging with drivers to explain why the campaign was necessary and achieving the desired outcome. Congratulations to JRSOs. SC and the PC members are very proud of them all. SC and DB will present certificates to them before the end of term. The four Road Safety picture competition winners (2 in each of P5 and P7) and will have their designs made into banners for display around the school. DB added her thanks to AM who has given great direction and support to the campaign, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service who attended the final event and the Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra who have supported the campaign with frequent pictures and copy in the local newspaper. The messages we are trying to spread are clear and will continue to be shared next session.

Confirmation of Office Bearers

Chairperson:           Simon Cunningham will continue in post.
Vice Chair:              Debby Biddles will continue in post.
Secretary:               Lesley Cook is stepping aside from Secretarial responsibilities due to an increase in work commitments. Beverly Eades was nominated/seconded and has agreed to assume this post. Jane Thomson will deputise if required.
New PC members:  Tennant Stevenson, Angie Mchendry. Jane Thomson, Carol Chalmers-Thomson and Margaret Robertson.

SC wished to minute his thanks to Susan Miller who was leaving after several years on the Parent Council.

End of AGM

Minutes and Matters Arising from Meeting on 15th March 2017

Proposed by: DB                                           Seconded by: BE

School Matters

Staffing Update
JS reported that Mrs Sweeney was successful at interview and has been appointed to the post of Deputy Head teacher. A Principal Teacher post is now vacant. There were 17 applicants and 5 interviews will be held on 19th May. There are 3 new teaching posts required for next session. Many applications were received and it was a challenging task to whittle these down for the interview stage. Three of our newly qualified teachers have been appointed following interview: Mrs McLeish, Miss Weldon and Miss Faulkner. Each one brings something different and special to our school.

Standardised Testing Update 
JS reminded the PC that Standardised Testing is only a snapshot of each child’s performance on that day with that test. It is important that results are taken in the context of each child’s progress through the year. This year’s results are now being received by the school, though the data has not yet been fully analysed. As previously agreed, the results will go out, at the beginning of June, to the parents/carers of P3,5 and 7 children accompanied by a letter.
The whole school result (P3, 5 and 7 combined) for 2016-17 was discussed. Compared to the East Renfrewshire (ER) Maths average of 100, Netherlee pupils achieved 110 compared to 105 last year which was a statistically significant increase of 5 points. In Reading, compared to ER average of 100, Netherlee pupils achieved 107 compared to 102 last year, again an increase of 5 points. JS and her staff are thrilled with these results and the steady improvement over the last 5 years. 
SC added his congratulations and those of the PC to all staff and children for these great results.

NA asked if all schools were improving at this rate?
JS thought that, from initial results, all schools were making progress, though she had not yet had the chance to review results from our comparator schools and gauge Netherlee pupils’ progress in relation to that. ER Education department analyses all results and will share this with Headteachers. At school level, JS will analyse the results down to individual classes to ensure there is an even result across a year group.
JS shared that ‘Numeracy and Maths’ was one of the school’s key priorities on the Improvement Plan, to improve attainment of all children in both Standardised Tests and Curriculum for Excellence levels. This progress is monitored and tracked on a regular basis for every child and a plan made for what he/she is expected to have achieved by the next review stage.

JS informed the meeting that Netherlee Primary has been nominated for and selected as one of the three finalists for ‘Raising Attainment in Numeracy’ Scottish Education Award. Two teachers and three children will attend the Awards event on 7th June where the winner will be announced.

Maths Consultation

This session staff have been consulting with the PC and the wider parent forum in an attempt to help parents/carers better support their children with numeracy homework and applying numeracy skills. This has included use of a questionnaire and subsequent discussion meeting to further explore topics raised by the questionnaire. Ideas suggested to support learning included having an awareness of the core numeracy skills and the key learning points required for each stage. PC members were asked to comment on a draft document which will be provided to all parents/carers at the start of the new school session. The general consensus was that the document looked clear and concise and examples given looked very useful.

ACTION:  PC members to send comments about the Maths document to DB or SC. DB will co-ordinate feedback to JS and LS.

ACTION:  DB will send out email reminder to everyone requesting above feedback.

 Road Safety 

SC reported that ‘car idling’ and the absence of a lollipop crossing at Stamperland Gardens had been flagged to the PC as ongoing concerns.
SC had managed to ascertain that the lollipop man from Stamperland had been pulled on numerous occasions to operate the Linn Park Avenue crossing. There is limited resource which cannot be replaced when there is illness or a vacancy exists. SC asked if the Local Councillors or Police (via AM) could have any influence here?

ACTION:  As the lack of lollipop crossing is fundamentally a Road Safety issue the Local Councillors agreed to raise it at their next meeting. AM is due to attend a meeting on Friday with the Community Policing Officer and Wardens at which she will discuss this.

AI informed the meeting that more and more people are now using Stamperland Hill, Leebank Drive, Netherburn Avenue and Monteith Drive as a ‘rat run’ in the morning to avoid traffic queues on Clarkston Road.

ACTION:  AM will discuss this with her Police Scotland traffic colleagues and make them aware of this new concern. She urged everyone to use the RING and REPORT line 0800 013 0076 to report any incidences of dangerous driving.

AI informed the PC that there is a large amount of council funding that she is aware of (c £600k) which has been allocated (in addition to the current repair plan funds) for local areas. AI and DM can pursue this.

Car Idling – AM stated that she and the Community Wardens were aware of the ‘idling’ issue and will monitor this.

SC and DB emailed a letter to parents/carers recently asking for suggestions to improve ‘Road Safety’ around the school in order to bolster the current activities of the PC/JRSOs. There was one response from a parent detailing a variety of activities which had been carried out at a school in Glasgow.

ACTION:  SC will make contact with this parent to discuss her ideas and to see if she can come to the next PC meeting to share her experiences.

Walking Bus
There is interest again from Stamperland and AI is still keen to facilitate from ‘the Ormondes’ area. SC re-iterated that it should be the whole parent body, not just the PC, who are responsible for ensuring children walk safely to school. The PC may be able to start co-ordination of a rota; however, it will require parent helpers on a rotational basis to ensure its continuity.

Netherlee Pavillion Car Park

FN stated that she felt that the setup of this car park is exacerbating the parent/carer irresponsible waiting/parking issues. She proposed that JS and the PC invite the repeated offenders in to a meeting to discuss why they feel the need to park in this way. This would allow their issues to be taken into account when considering how to adapt the car park (using the funds previously secured by Mary Montague) to better serve the needs of its users.

DM asked if the morning is as problematic?
SC confirmed no, that morning drop off runs much more smoothly.
DM commented that individuals can become aggressive when in their vehicles and perhaps have a false sense of entitlement. The key to tackling this issue must include education.

SC agreed and stated that once the car park is adopted by the Council, the PC will communicate with the Roads Department about how best to spend the funds we have to re-configure it.

AM informed the PC that she was convinced that the only real sustainable solution would be to instigate an ‘Exclusion Zone’ within and around the car park/Linn Park Avenue area. There would never be a consistent presence of wardens sufficient to issue penalty tickets to deter persistent offenders, so without an exclusion zone these individuals, who are not even bothered by a police officer in uniform, would continue to offend. She suggested 45 minutes e.g. 08.30-09.15 and 14.45-15.30 Monday to Friday and Pavillion staff to be issued with a staff pass to allow parking.

ACTION: SC asked DM and AI if they could establish if the PC may be able to secure the Council’s mobile CCTV cameras to identify the repeat offenders?

ACTION: JS, together with SC and AM, to identify persistent offenders and invite them into school to discuss irresponsible parking and potential solutions.

LG commented that she felt uncomfortable with the idea of an exclusion zone. This is the minority spoiling for the majority. Grandparents who drop children off at nursery may not be able to walk particularly far.

JT asked if parents/carers knew that there was a risk of losing the Pavillion car park facility would this perhaps be a sufficient threat to change behaviour?

DM asked if the PC thought that more safety rails along pavements in the vicinity of the school may encourage parents with young children to walk rather than come to school/nursery by car?

ACTION: DM and AI to meet with SC and DB as early as possible in the new term to review traffic and pedestrian flow from 2.30pm and understand more fully how to improve Road Safety at the end of the school day.
Vandalism and CCTV Usage

Over the beginning of May Bank Holiday weekend, a bin at the school gate was set on fire and once again damage was caused to the Nursery Building. The current CCTV provision in the playground cannot provide particularly clear images. Everyone is encouraged to continue to report individuals in the playground causing any type of damage or displaying inappropriate behaviour to Police Scotland on 101 or Ring and Report on 0800 013 0076.

FN suggested that this may be symptomatic of similar behaviour being displayed by groups of teenagers loitering around the play park/school pitch/ towards the White Cart river area on midweek and weekend afternoons/evenings. Some of the local teenagers are now actively avoiding these areas.
AM expressed concern about the low fencing and ease of access into school grounds through the staff car park. LC felt that it really was impossible to prohibit access to the school grounds due the numerous easy access points and historical use of the grounds as a thoroughfare, however again to ask local residents and businesses to report (via 101 or Ring and Report) any vandalism/damage to school/nursery buildings/children climbing onto school/nursery buildings.

ACTION: AM to request additional Police patrols/attention to school buildings over the summer afternoons/evenings and over the summer holidays.

ACTION: AM to contact Community Policing to alert them to the issue raised by FN above and potential anti-social behaviour.

ACTION: SC and JS to compose and issue a letter to parents and houses/flats/businesses neighbouring the school to ask them to report any vandalism in school/nursery grounds particularly over the summer break.

ACTION: AI and DM to pursue new signage for the playground and teachers’ car park warning of playground surveillance and no tolerance of vandalism.

Date of Next Meeting

SC thanked all members of the Parent Council (PC) for their commitment throughout the year and DB and LC for their support. He also thanked JS, the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and JRSOs for their particular help and support.

He also wished to extend thanks to Mary Montague and Ralph Robertson, our two previous Local Councillors, for their support and involvement over the last several years.

The first meeting of next session will take place on Wednesday 13th September 2017 at 6.30pm in the Staffroom.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Minute of Parent Council Meeting – 15th March 2017

Present:          Simon Cunningham (Chair)   SC            Debby Biddles (Vice Chair)     DB
                       Lesley Cook (Secretary)        LC            Cllr R Robertson                      RR
                       Joanne Scott                           JS             Cllr Mary Montague           MM                              Julie Roberts                        JR              Susan Millar                        SM         
                       Ellie Murphy                        EM           Fiona Leathem                           FL
                       Debbie O’Shea                     DO            Ruth Alexander                 RA          
Observers:      Angie McHendry                   AMc         Brian Maclachlan                      BM
                        Lynn Sweeney                        LS             Beverly Eades                         BE
                        Tennant Stevenson                   TS

Apologies:       Lisa Gold (Treasurer), Fiona Dempsey, Fiona Needleman, Joanna Teuton, David McLeish, Alison McCosh, Annette Ireland, Nick  Addington                                                                                                                                                                                         
Minutes and Matters Arising    

Proposed by: DB                                           Seconded by: TS

Update from the Chair

SC welcomed everyone to the meeting. He introduced Mrs Lynn Sweeney, Acting Depute Head Teacher, who was attending as an observer and Beverly Eades who was attending for the first time.  

He thanked everyone involved in the 2nd successful Netherlee Primary ‘Road Safety’ event which took place on Friday 24th February. He praised the Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs) enthusiasm, exemplary behaviour and excellent manner when approaching parents/carers who were found to be waiting/parking inappropriately/dangerously around the school. He had noted that the Community Wardens were now patrolling the Pavillion car park more frequently and moving ‘overspill’ cars.

SC informed the meeting that he had been at the National Parent Forum meeting in Edinburgh on Saturday 11th March. One of the topics discussed was the new ‘National Standardised Test’ and he learned that the Scottish Government had been impressed with the current East Renfrewshire model. SC has been co-opted onto their working group for the new ‘National Standardised Test’.

Road Safety

MM agreed wholeheartedly with SC’s comments that it had been a very successful ‘Road Safety’ event. She concurred that we must keep trying to send these crucial messages to the minority of parents/carers who continue to disregard the importance of safety around the school. She was delighted that ‘The Extra’ had carried the event and that the JRSOs were suggesting alternative places to park/wait when talking to parents/carers and on the literature handed which they were handing out.

MM informed the meeting that she had spoken with ERC and that, barring any objections to the proposal, new ‘Controlling Orders’ to regulate parking and waiting in the Pavillion car park would come into force. This would result in the Community Wardens being able to issue penalty fines to anyone not parked within the marked bays. She had also bid for and been successful at securing £10,000 to augment the already high profile JRSO/Parent Council (PC) campaign specifically to make one or two paths around the Pavillion car park to remove the need to walk across the middle of the car park. Together with the ‘Controlling Orders’ for which signage will be provided by ERC it was felt that this was another great step towards improving safety.

In addition to this, MM had spoken to the head of ‘ERC Roads Department’ and had bid for and secured £20,000 for Road Safety measures around all East Renfrewshire Schools. She explained that this could, for example, be used by PCs to work in partnership and bulk buy banners for displaying messages. She reported that St Marks Primary in Barrhead have an excellent ‘Road Safety’ campaign and it might be beneficial to contact them. The organisation ‘Road Safety Scotland’ has agreed to support PCs and the Evening Times newspaper is intermittently raising the profile of ‘Road Safety’ which we could also utilise to maintain the profile of our campaign.

SC wished to Minute our sincere thanks to both MM and RR for their continued support with the ‘Road Safety’ campaign and especially to MM for her work in securing the above funding and (hopefully) successful ‘ERC adoption’ of the Pavillion car park. 

ACTION: SC will raise the ‘Road Safety’ issue at the next ERC PC Chairpersons meeting.

SC thanked everyone involved in the 2nd successful Netherlee Primary ‘Road Safety’ event which took place on Friday 24th February. He will feedback to the JRSOs on Tuesday 21st March and listen to their feedback. There will be another ‘Road Safety’ event after Easter before the end of the session. It is the plan to continue the focus on ‘Road Safety’ and repeat the events next session to maintain the high profile.

A few days before this PC meeting, at the end of the school day, SC noticed a Fire Appliance which was unable to access Linn Park Court due to traffic congestion. The appliance had to park up on the grass. SC spoke to the crew and Appliance driver who acknowledged the access difficulties on school days between 3.00 and 3.30pm and offered the assistance of the Fire Service with any future events. SC invited anyone else (children, parents, staff) with any good ideas to help with the Road Safety campaign or wording for the banners to communicate these to him or to the JRSOs.

Walking Bus
SC has spoken with Annette Ireland who is keen to set up a ‘Walking Bus’ from the Ormondes. There is also a list of 20-25 children who wish to be part of a ‘Walking Bus’ from the Stamperland area, however parents/carers are required to organise a rota and supervise this and, as yet, no parents/carers willing to share this commitment have come forward.

ACTION: SC will liaise with Giffnock Primary who have a ‘Walking Bus’ scheme and will discuss this at the next PC Chairs meeting. This is to gain an understanding of how it is managed and operates.

ACTION: Once there is an understanding of how this operates, SC will send an email to all parents/carers to explain the ‘Walking Bus’ scheme and its operation. This will request coordinators and explain that a just a little commitment from all parents/carers wishing their children to be involved would enable ‘Buses’ to operate perhaps two to three days a week at the outset with a minimal commitment from parents/carers.

RR suggested that it may be worth making contact with Shona Frazer, ERC ‘Head of Road Safety’ and set up a meeting with her, other PC members, a JRSO, LS and a representative from Whitelees Wind Farm. The Wind Farm has a significant sum of money annually from which it will make donations to certain local causes. This could be put to good use to help with ‘Walking Buses’ or perhaps for a barrier at the staff car park. 

AMc agreed that the Windfarm may like the idea of supporting ‘Greener’ projects such as the ‘Walking Buses’ and that its new budget of around £200,000 would likely be released in August.

ACTION: SC to arrange to meet with Shona Frazer or another representative from ERC Roads Department, DB, LS, RR, AMc and Ryan Moffat before local council elections on 4th May 2017 to discuss ideas and costings to support Netherlee Primary’s Road Safety campaign.

SC asked if members of staff using the staff car park could have an identifiable notice on the dashboard so it was clear who should be approached for inappropriate parking?
ACTION: JS agreed to action this.

School Matters

JS reported that pupils had performed extremely well at the Glasgow Music Festival this year: the Senior Performance Choir achieved 2nd place in their Class whilst the Orchestra and Lunch Bunch (Woodwind Band) both won their Class. Congratulations to all involved in these great achievements. She added that there were also some musically talented children who had entered individually but as yet she had not been made aware of any progress. She reflected on the wide variety of musical opportunity now available to all pupils at school having recently passed a classroom where P7s were creating music, singing and having a great time.
Rehearsals for ‘The Lion King’ are well underway. There are many P6s and P7s involved both on stage and back stage.

SM asked if Mr Watson is now the school’s full-time music teacher?

JS explained that he was recruited by Netherlee last summer as a full-time teacher. He teaches music 3 days each week and 2 days each week has additional responsibilities. The school also has Mrs Becky Roberts and Mr Stephen West who teach woodwind instruments and lead the Orchestra and Lunch Bunch. Mr Watson has started a Samba Band, a Ukelele Band and Ceilidh Band, some of which will feature at the upcoming Spring Concert.

The vacant Deputy Head teacher post has now been advertised and a date set for interviews.

Next session (2017/18) it is likely that Netherlee will again have four Primary 1 classes. Given that only three Primary 7 classes are leaving, that will take the school to 26 classes, the maximum capacity for classrooms. There are no stages at which current pupil numbers allow a reduction in the number of classes.

RR asked if there had been any placing requests. JS was not aware of any at present but added that some may be made before the start of next session.

JS informed the meeting that she had advertised for 3 new class teachers. One for the new class, another as 2 teachers had requested to go part time and the third with monies from the ‘Pupil Equity Fund’.  

Pupil Equity Fund
The Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge has allocated funds directly to Head teachers to close the poverty-related attainment gap. Guidelines are available to help direct its use. Funding has been based on the number of free school meals across the school using historical data for P1-3 and current data for P4-7. Netherlee Primary’s allocation is £31000 per year for at least 4 years. It is not solely for the use of the small group of children within the poverty gap, but for the benefit of all children. The additional teaching resource will be able to focus both on the small group of children and on ‘raising the bar’ for all children. There will need to be accountability for the monies spent and evidence of the benefit it provides.

RR added that the Scottish Government will be looking for evidence and feedback that it does make a difference. JS agreed that results will be scrutinised.

Parental Involvement in Maths Homework
SC and LS thanked those parents and carers who had attended the successful and very useful Maths Consultation event. LS explained that the views of parents/carers and staff had been considered under 3 topic headings: What currently works well, what doesn’t work well and what could be done differently. There was general agreement that parents/carers want to be aware of the ‘core strategies’ for each stage, P1-P7, and the outcomes which are expected.  

JS added that she also spoke with some groups of children. Several of their issues mirrored those expressed by parents/carers. These included:
i) positive feedback about the flexibility of being able to do homework on evenings to suit and to be handed in on Fridays
ii) they liked ‘Sumdog’ but would also like other types of Maths homework
iii) a clear understanding of the importance of numeracy in wider life
iv) some concern that parents/carers were causing confusion by showing different ways to solve Maths problems
v) would like more time to revise concepts
vi) all stages would like to work alongside older/younger classes on Maths topics in addition to that already done with Literacy. JS said that teachers would explore this possibility.

Mobile Phone Policy
The Netherlee Primary School handbook states that children should not have mobile phones in school. JS recognises that times have changed and that some parents/carers require that their children have phones for before/after school arrangements. She wished to canvas the views of PC members as to whether it was acceptable to allow pupils to have mobile phones so long as they are switched off and in the school bag before entering the playground and not switched on again until after 3.15pm and pupils are out with the playground. Under no circumstances should a mobile phone be switched on and accessed during the school day. Mobile phone use can and has already led to problems and children must be taught to use them responsibly. The school will play its part with that.

EM stated that she felt it important that clear guidelines are issued as many children now own phones and bring them to school. It would be helpful if parents know and can reinforce school rules.

LC asked if these rules would also stand for events out with school hours but within the school building e.g. PTA discos? It was generally felt that this should be the case.

AMc added that all opportunities to remove risk to our children must be taken and that she could not imagine anyone objecting to phones being switched off during the day whilst on school premises, e.g. removing the risk of inappropriate photos being taken whether during the day, at social events after school or in the evening.

JS was grateful for the general consensus that mobile phones, if brought to school, should be switched off whilst inside the school grounds/building during the school day and should not be switched on until after school and out with the playground after school. Neither should they be used in the evening when at school at sports or social events.

 Social Media Policy   
SC reported that at the ‘Parent Council Chairpersons’ meeting in February he learned that any School Parent group with a Twitter or Facebook account MUST have and abide by a Social Media Policy. Both Netherlee PTA and PC have Facebook accounts.

ACTION: SC will meet with Chairperson & members of Netherlee PTA, EM, DO and will liaise with Janice Collins, Head of Service for Education at ERC to understand current ERC policy and use as a template for Netherlee.

AMc asked if advice was given to children about safe use of Social Media as part of the curriculum?
JR confirmed that it was.
LS added that basic information about Social Media was shared at a recent assembly and that Ryan Moffat, the Campus Police Officer, had covered it with some of the older children’s year groups.
RA asked that if bullying happens out with school due to Social Media, and it filters into school, can school help to deal with it?
JR replied that yes, school can and previously has had to become involved in such an issue.
AMc added that Police Scotland is currently giving a lot of focus to this. It is hugely resource intensive but necessary as ‘Cybercrime’ is increasing. It is great that the Campus Officer is supporting the school with this.
Change of date of May Meeting

The last PC meeting of the session was originally scheduled for 24th May. Unfortunately JS and JR are no longer able to make this date so the proposed alternatives are Wed 17th or Wed 31st May.

ACTION: SC to email all PC members to agree most suitable date and will communicate this to all.


RR wished to praise the enthusiasm of all the P7 children and the quality of discussion following the final P7 debate at the Council Chambers. As in previous years the children were a real credit to the school.
JS thanked RR for his kind words.