Netherlee Primary School

Netherlee Primary School

Monday, 8 January 2018

Minutes of Netherlee Parent Council Meeting, 8th November 2017

Minutes of the Netherlee Parent Council Meeting – 8th November 2017

Simon Cunningham (Chair)
Debby Biddles (Vice Chair)
Beverly Eades
Fiona Leathem
Alison McCosh
Angie McHendry
Fiona Dempsey
Lisa Gold
Fiona Needleman




Tennant Stevenson
Carole Chalmers
Margaret Robertson
Lesley Cook
Joanna Teuton
Ellie Murphy
Joanne Scott
Julie Roberts
Cllr Annette Ireland


Apologies:              Cllr Stewart Miller, Cllr Alan Lafferty, Cllr David McDonald, Jane Thomson

Non-Attendees:     David McLeish, Ruth Alexander, Brian McLauchlan

Observers:              Adam Capek, Trisha Hamilton, Kaneez Fizza


Debby BIddles (DB) welcomed everyone to this meeting of the Parent Council (PC) and welcomed back Simon Cunningham (SC) back as Chair to the PC. 

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

Minutes from AGM – Wednesday 27th September 2017
SC indicated that his apologies had not been noted on the minutes from the last meeting.  DB apologised and this would be rectified.

Proposed by: AM                                                           
Seconded by: TS

School Matters
Standardised Tests and Evaluation Report
Joanne Scott (JS) said that a Standard and Quality Report has been issued to parents’ week commencing Monday 6th November 2017.  Spare copies are available in the school office and can also be viewed online on the school website.  The full report is also available on the website, whereas the report issued to parents gives a wider view of the children’s achievements in school.

JS requested feedback regarding the report.  SC said it was very clear and informative.  Angie McHendry (AM) said that the report was personal to the school and highlighted pupil achievements.  DB liked that the report highlighted the HMI Inspection and showing the areas which have been worked on for improvement in the last twelve months.  Carole Chalmers (CC) commented that it was good and concise for parents to read. 

DB also commented that it was nice to show the comparison of previous scores from the different children’s stages.  JS said that this was included to show parents how the school compares to other years.  The expectation from the Director of Education for Netherlee was to achieve 105 in maths and this had been exceeded and that the school were keen to attain and sustain this figure and ensure that all children are improving. 

JS also said that the P1’s do not undertake a standardised test but do have baseline testing.  During the course of this school year national standardised assessments will be undertaken in primaries 1, 4, 7 and S3.  East Renfrewshire Council’s standardised testing will continue to be undertaken alongside the new standardised testing in order to gather historical data. 

JS said that Netherlee Primary were finalists in the Scottish Attainment Challenge and had also been invited to speak at the National Numeracy Hub and a team of children and teachers would be going to speak at this in the next couple of weeks.

JS said that the Social Deprivation Index website shows how the deprivation classification is worked out.  This has a big impact on how schools are funded. 

Care Inspectorate to Nursery
JS said that the Care Inspectorate visited the Nursery recently and looked at the areas of:

·         Care and Support
·         Leadership and Management

The verbal feedback from the Care Inspectorate was very good and a high response rate and superb feedback was received from parents.

Road Safety Update

DB said that she had met with Miss Jodie Osborne who has taken on the role of managing the Junior Road Safety Officers and their meetings.  The JRSOs meet every Monday and the children are starting to develop slides to present at a school assembly at the start of Road Safety week which will run from 20th November to 26th November 2017. 

DB said that at the launch of the week the winning road safety posters and banners would be displayed around the school and in the car parks. 

A road safety event will be run by the children on Friday 24th November 2017 which is driven by the JRSOs with posters and red letters to hand out regarding parking responsibly. 

AM said she would attend the event.
DB said that Councillors would be invited to this event as well.  SC will contact Community Wardens to attend the day.  DB also said she would invite John Marley from the Roads Department, East Renfrewshire Council to attend in order to see the issues faced in the car park.

DB to contact local Councillors
DB to contact John Marley
SC to contact Community Wardens to attend the event

Joanna Teuton (JT) said that the last letter indicating alternative parking could also cause congestion elsewhere.  DB proposed to keep the text of the red letter and remove the map.  It was agreed that people should be encouraged to walk to school.

ACTION: Map to be removed from parking red letters.

Jodie Osborne wanted to have a news film crew at the event, however, there had not been much interest in this.  Ellie Murphy (EM) and Lesley Cook (LC) suggested that a parent may be able to film the event or a Williamwood High School student.

Car Park Proposal

DB informed attendees that the £10,000 secured by Mary Montague was still available to make changes to Netherlee Pavilion Car Park.   AI and DB have met with John Marley of the Roads Department, East Renfrewshire Council (ERC) regarding changes to the car park and DB handed round a proposal from John Marley showing proposed changes to the car park.  This showed the following:

·         Spreading out the disabled spaces across the car park
·         Raising the curbs to deter parking out with designated space
·         Building a footpath on the pavilion side of the car park

John Marley has confirmed that ERC Roads Department can undertake the work, so DB is hopeful the work will start soon.  DB said that John Marley has also found extra funding for the car park. AI is still to confirm with him what the amount will be.

DB asked for suggestions on how the extra money could be utilised in car park. 

SC asked if the spaces could be made longer creating a smaller channel for cars to drive through and add double yellow lines.  Fiona Dempsey (FD) said that a 6m clearing space is required which is shown on the proposed plan so this wouldn’t be possible to lengthen the spaces.

DB said that the council needed to confirm if the car park is owned by the council so that tickets for double yellow line parking could be issued. 

DB asked if the curb height at the entrance be raised.

TS suggested that during school hours try to enforce reverse parking into spaces and have walkways in the car park itself.  SC said that as this is a local authority car park and not school grounds, therefore this cannot be enforced if people are not adhering to the rule.  AMc said that TS point is good but would not like children to be walking down the middle of the car park.

DB would discuss the reverse parking option with John Marley. 

DB said there were still issues with people parking on zig zag lines and although parents have been approached there was still resistance from the parents/carers parking on the zig zags.  Other members have witnessed this parking as well.  AM said this had been highlighted to John McQuirter to have wardens and police aware of this issue as if caught parking in these areas would result in a fine and points on a licence.

It was agreed that the first phase for the car park, as per the plans, would go ahead.  JS asked that thought be given to coaches who use the car park when collecting and dropping children off when DB and AI next meet with John Marley.  Discussion was held when the works would take place and if this would be done in a school holiday. 

Any Other Business

Lost Property Process

EM asked what the current lost property process is.  JS said that if items are found they are placed in the lost property bin.  From time to time the children have a tidy team where the bin is emptied and they try to return items.  At the end of each session parents are invited in to pick up any lost property.  Unclaimed items are then given to charity.

JS also said that parents are allowed to come in and check the bin and this would be put in the next newsletter to inform them of this and the location of the lost property bins in the school. 

EM said that the process doesn’t seem to work as the bins are so large it is hard for children to search through and could this be a focus in a way that the JRSOs work.

DB asked if this was a parent’s responsibility to get back lost property.  JS said that she was happy if parents wanted to help out and sort through lost property once a month.  JS also said that the Pupil Council had been asked to look at lost property and come up with ideas for a child led tidy team for lost property.

ACTION:  JS - Lost property location and access to bins to be included in newsletter.

Tidy Friday Gardens

Mr Duncan is working with the children in gardening groups around the school.  They are currently working on the courtyard.  LC said that the mural garden at the Clarkston Road entrance needs tidying up.  JS said that the Janitor has said he will wheel a bin around to that area when a parent team is going to do the tidy up.  LC said that she will arrange a date, most probably a Friday, to tidy up the mural garden.

ACTION:  LC arrange a garden tidy date for the mural garden and inform the Janitor of the date.

Website Feedback

At the last meeting DB had invited feedback on the school website.

Carole Chalmers (CC) said that she had looked at other school websites and they were all a similar format and style to Netherlee. 

It was noted that there was some difficulty viewing the website on different devices other than a desktop and the calendar was hard to find when viewing on a mobile phone.  Julie Roberts (JR) said that the website is created via WordPress and there were some limitations rendering the website on mobile devices.  JR agreed to add an extra link at the top when viewing the mobile website to view in desktop style. 

It was also noted that letters which could be viewed on the website were intermittent and that not all letters issued were available on the website.

ACTION: JR to add link to view website in desktop mode from mobile devices.


JS said there had been no significant vandalism until the previous weekend when a fire was started next the kitchen and bin area using a blue bin which had been wheeled down to the school and set on fire.  The fire brigade was in attendance at the incident.

DB said that she had witnessed children climbing over the gate and climbing on the roof and jumping.  The police were called but the children had left when the police arrived.  There is concern that children may get hurt climbing on the roof. 

SC said that by dialling 101 you can be put through to the community wardens to inform them of any anti-social behaviour seen at the school out of hours.  It was agreed that this be added to the newsletter with the police 101 number and the number for community wardens 0800 013 0076.

ACTION: JS to include vandalism awareness and numbers to call in school newsletter.

Consultation on Education Bill

A consultation on the Scottish Education Bill has been announced.  JS said that there was nothing to share yet but would encourage people read up on this.  JS said she would send out links to documentation for parents to read. 

AI said talks were underway at ERC.

DB said there was concern that Netherlee Primary School would lose out with the new reforms and fair funding.  JS said that fair funding is currently used to raise attainment and pupil equity funding is minimal in East Renfrewshire in comparison to Glasgow. 

JS to send a link to the Education Bill to parents.
SC to confirm when the consultation period ends.

Proposals will be agreed upon after the consultation and it will be important to gather feedback from the Parent Council and parents before the consultation ends. 

AI said as it is a consultation, figures will not be known until December so feedback should be given once these figures are available. 

DB said that this would be added as a main agenda point at the next Parent Council Meeting.

ACTION: SC Consultation of Education Bill be added to next meeting agenda.

All Weather Pitch

TS asked that a feasibility study for a multi weather pitch be added to the next agenda.

ACTION: SC to add multi weather pitch to next agenda.

JS thanked DB for doing a wonderful job as Chair of the Parent Council while standing in for SC.

Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 24th January 2017

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