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St Dominic’s Parent Council

Minutes of Meeting
held on
Monday 07 June 2010, 7-9pm

PRESENT: Mrs Hunter, Canon Drysdale, Mrs Niven, Mr Ayton, Miss Osborne, Mr
Mardon, Mr Oates, Miss McGregor.

APOLOGIES: Mrs MacKechnie, Mrs Clark, Mrs Chater, Mrs Leggat, Mr Mudie.

!. Welcome – Mrs Niven welcomed everyone to the last meeting of the council for the
2009-2010 session and thanked Mrs Hunter for providing the refreshments.

2. Prayer – Canon Drysdale led us in the opening prayer.

3. Minutes of Last Meeting – As the minutes from the last meeting were unavailable,
Mrs Niven gave a brief overview of what was discussed.

4. Correspondence – There was no correspondence.

5. Update on Parent Council Chair’s Meeting – Mr Oates attended this meeting on 24


March 2010 and found it a very positive and useful experience. The main points from the
meeting were:

 Parent Councils in Scotland (on average) meet 8 times per year (it should be
noted that St Dominic’s Parent Council have had 8 meetings this session: 22 Sep
2009, 01 Oct 2009, 03 Nov 2009, 09 Nov 2009, 08 Feb 2010, 02 Mar 2010, 27 Apr
2010, 07 June 2010).
 it is recommended that minutes of meetings should be released within a week of
the meeting and should be accompanied with the draft agenda for the next meeting
 Parent Council statutory duties / responsibilities are - to produce an annual
report (currently, this is done verbally at the Annual General Meeting), any funding is
to be spent on anything e.g. training. The Parent Council are not allowed to borrow
money, but they can receive gifts.
 making the Council more parent friendly – changing the name, having a parents’
directory which would list the skills of parents who may be able to help out in classes,
rota of parent helpers etc.
 developing partnerships with the local community e.g. round table, community
council, rotary, sports clubs
 communication – perhaps a column in the local press, have a press officer.
6. Curriculum for Excellence – Mrs Niven started off by giving some feedback from the
Curriculum for Excellence Information Session she attended at St John’s Academy. She
felt that primary schools were along the right path but that she could see where the
difficulties might arise in secondary schools.
Mrs Hunter showed the Council the pathways that staff at St Dominic’s staff have
developed so far and talked about the role that the Parent Council could play in taking the
new curriculum forward. One of these ways could be to look at the outcomes and see
which areas they would be able to assist the staff e.g. farming in the local area.
The topic of assessment was then discussed and Mrs Hunter said that the staff are
looking at the document Building the Curriculum 5 – A Framework for Assessment in
order to develop assessment in line with Scottish Government guidelines. Currently, all
schools in Perth and Kinross will report reading, writing and maths levels (P1-S2) using
the 5-14 levels (levels A, B, C, D etc.) for session 09-10 and it looks likely that this will
also be the case for session 10-11. All local authorities will be looking at developing their
own assessment procedures in line with the recommendations from Building the
Curriculum 5; Perth and Kinross Council will give a further steer on this in the next
session. All present discussed that perhaps the way forward for collecting evidence is to
have portfolios which are similar to those used in the nursery. The general feeling was
that St Dominic’s have many very good assessment procedures already in place (e.g.
writing jotters / portfolios, record of achievement etc.) Next session, school staff and
parents will further develop recording pupils’ wider achievements.

7. School Finance Update – Mrs Hunter gave a brief overview of the school budget for
2010-2011. There was an overspend in the cleaning materials budget for the year 2009-
2010, some of which was due to the increased hygiene procedures and hand-washing
(particularly throughout the Swine Flu period.) Mrs Hunter explained further that the
school is given a per capita budget which is for books, pencils etc and an outwith per
capita budget which is for things like ink cartridges. Perth and Kinross Council has control
over salaries, computer allocation (in general), property and some of the main aspects of
maintenance. We also have a school fund (the school current account) which is used for
paying buses for trips etc; the PSA are a very good support to the school in providing a
range of additional funding. The school has to buy mainly through PECOS (e-
procurement system); some members from the Parent Council were wondering if the
PSA or Parent Council could buy items and then gift them to the school. Mrs Hunter
indicated that Mrs McCulloch was very knowledgeable regarding school finance and that
she could prepare a more detailed finance update for a future meeting.

8. School Improvement Plan 2010-2013 – Mrs Hunter gave a brief overview of the
school improvement plan which will be issued to all parents in August. She highlighted to
the Council the areas in which the school would like them to take an active part in, such
as:
 expand the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment)enabling online learning to be
accessed where necessary to support children and their parents
 GLOW - looking into the possibility of developing an area on Glow where children’s
achievements outwith school can be recorded and updated by themselves or their
parents/carers
 work in partnership with the school and perhaps employers regarding Curriculum for
Excellence developments
 take forward new approaches to assessment in partnership with the school and local
authority

Annual Report 2009-2010– The Council were then issued with a draft of the annual
report for session 09-10 and then asked to add any additional comments and return to
Mrs MacKechnie / Mrs Hunter as soon as possible. The final draft, complete with
attainment results for this session, will be issued in August 2010 to all parents.

School Self Evaluation – The school uses the document How Good Is Our School 3?
as the main framework for self evaluation . As part of this process, the school asks for the
views of staff, parents, children, specialist professionals (e.g. Speech and Language
Therapist). This year, the focus for self evaluation (audit) has been:
5.1 The Curriculum
5.4 Assessment is for Learning
7.2 Staff Deployment and Teamwork
The results from these audits will help to take the school forward in these areas and will
feed into next session’s improvement plan.

9. AOCB – As discussed at a previous meeting, Mr Oates has looked into groupcall texts
as a means of further developing communication to parents – all we need is a twitter
account which Mr Oates will set up in the Parent Council name. It was suggested that this
be trialled by volunteers from the Parent Council first before being offered to the wider
parent body.

Canon Drysdale has said that he will pass on any information to the Parent Council about
the up-and-coming visit of the Pope to Scotland.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING / AGM

The AGM will take place on: Thursday 30th September 2010

 3.30-5.30pm - Open Evening


 5.30-6.00pm - School Improvement Overview (Head Teacher)
 6.00-7.00pm – Parent Council and PSA AGMs

Crèche facilities will be available in the Wraparound Care for children aged 3-12 years
old.

The meeting closed at 9.05pm.