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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.