Minutes (Archive)

All members of the Inverurie Academy Parent Forum are welcome to attend Parent Council Meetings.

Minutes and notes from previous meetings are posted below.  Please note that the latest minutes will not have been approved, and are therefore not the final version.

Inverurie Academy Parent Council – Minute of Meeting – 22 02 16

IAPC Agenda 22 February 2016

Inverurie Academy Parent Council – Minute of Meeting -19 11 15

Inverurie Academy Parent Council – Minute of Meeting – 02 09 15

2015-08-27 IAPC Audited Accounts

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Inverurie Academy Parent Council
Minute of meeting held 02 March 2015

Present:
Jim Macgregor (Chair)
Linda Evans (Rector)
Paul Schlicke (Secretary)
Howie Stewart (Treasurer)
Dawn Lynch (Depute Head)
Beth Aitken (School captain)
Chris Hoyle (School captain)
Sam Grant
Cllr. Martin Kitts-Hayes
Janet Hoper
Linda Moggach
Alex Rae
Shona Strachan
Neil Skene
Tracy Skene
Elizabeth Watt (arrived 8.15)

Apologies:

Elaine Ball
Fergus Boyle
Maureen Stansfield
Elizabeth Watt for late arrival

2015/1 Jim Macgregor, in the chair called the meeting to order at 7pm and introduced members around the table.
2015/2 The minute of the meeting held 10 November 2014 was approved pending addition noting matters raised by Elizabeth Watt and Neil Skene.
Update on matters arising from previous meetings:
2014/16 update on meeting held jointly with Kemnay Academy reps and Aberdeenshire Council officer on 22 January 2015 to consider future school infrastructure in the Inverurie-Kemnay-Kintore area:

The meeting was attended by Jim Macgregor (Chair) and Neil Skene who had taken over from Janet Hoper as the IAPC representative at the A96 Corridor Secondary School Development meetings.

•             Craig Clement, from Aberdeenshire Council explained that the meeting was being held to provide first-hand information about plans and funding
•             The preferred option, subject to Scottish Futures Trust funding of £25M , makes the following developments possible
o             New build Inverurie Academy for 1500-1600 pupils, including community facilities, on existing campus for 2018,
o             Retain recently refurbished Kemnay Academy
o             New Kintore primary 2016
o             Future Kintore Academy possible if tolls continue to rise
•             Some reasons for new Inverurie Academy
o             Level of approved housing developments
o             Condition of current building has dropped from B to C (D is lowest rating)
•             A consultation process will occur with Parents, teachers and pupils, giving opportunity to shape the school. The process will include the preferred bidder and will occur between now and summer
•             There will be various council committee stages
o             Report to Garioch Committee
o             Education committee
o             Policy and resources commit
o             Full council
Commenting on the update, Cllr Kitts-Hayes assured IAPC that the new building will not be held up even if the government doesn’t authorise a grant; capital funds are available, as are other routes. A central concern is how the School fits into the community, with issues such as traffic, a replacement swimming pool, a replacement youth club facility. He suggested that IAPC members visit other new academies to see what can be done.

2014/24 AGM update: the AGM is further postponed until after Easter, when Aberdeenshire Council Office Craig Clement will report on developments regarding the replacement school.

2014/15 PC Chairs meeting held December 2014.  Janet Hoper attended, Vice-Chair.  Report:
Teacher Recruitment remains a challenge. A number of initiatives are taking place to secure a better supply of teachers to the area. This includes discussion with Aberdeen University and Scottish Government. Issues such as affordable housing and the need to tackle isolation of young teachers were also discussed. Visits to Glasgow, Strathclyde and the University of West of Scotland have also been arranged to make student teachers aware of career opportunities within Aberdeenshire. In the meantime, head teachers have the flexibility to deploy all teaching staff within their school to ensure that classes are covered and that teachers have their agreed preparation time.

School Estate – an annual survey of schools has prompted some debate in the media.  The tension between the need to keep existing schools fit for purpose and to build new schools in areas of increased population was discussed. The expenditure on schools and where funding comes from was a topic in both meetings. Some Parent Councils had expressed concern about building issues in their particular schools and had sought support for change and development from community councils.  As this is a complex mater and each school situation is different, the Education Directorate team asked that matters of concern are instead pursued with the head teacher and then, if necessary, contact should be made with Craig Clement, Head of Service.

Curricular Developments – the new qualifications at National 4 and 5 have been successfully embedded.  This year young people will be sitting a mixture of “old” and “new” format Highers. However, it was stressed that these were of equal value. The Service is concentrating much of its support to schools – both in the primary and secondary sector- to ensure that teachers are supported in developing learning and teaching within the classroom. Support to individual schools by education officers is becoming more targeted.  However, the broad areas of developing leadership skills and self-evaluation practice remain the priorities for support to head teachers.

Specific Issues – other issues raised relating to individual schools were also discussed. These included

•             Crossing patrollers- recruitment and training
•             School meals – the quality in some schools
•             Staffing models and any potential changes as budgets shrink
Playground games and support

These will be dealt with by Aberdeenshire Council on an individual basis.

2015/3 Rector’s Report

•             Depute Head Ian Hamilton has been seconded to Banff Academy; recruitment for replacement is underway, with interviews to be held 13 March.
•             New staff: Olefine Richardson (Art), Jim Lodge (physics), Denise Burns (technical)
•             Selbie House guidance: Debbie May on maternity leave. Christine Lloyd, covering, is leaving to take up  appointment at Portlethen. Sian Phillips will be acting PT Guidance this term, On her return Debbie May will job share with Phil Littler, who joins from Ellon.
•             Dr Kathy Myer (biology) has left to take up a post in Aboyne.
•             Janis Taylor in office retires at Easter; her post to be filled.
•             6 pupils have been shortlisted for awards in a national competition run by the University of Birmingham on the theme of Thank You letters and will be attending the ceremony.
•             Rotary in recognition of achievements of Linda Moggach .has invited her to their Garden Party.
•             P7 parents’ night was well attended and very positive.
•             Continuous Professional Development sessions have involved our Educational Psychologist and have dealt with attachment disorder, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) while in -house sessions have included smart boards and relaxation.
•             Learning and Teaching group ran a whole staff session on the latest pedogy and sharing good practice.
•             In-service day focussed of materials from, Education Scotland to promote achievement in S1-3. The tracking, monitoring , reporting and intervention group will take this forward.
•             Restorative Practice is being embedded in Behaviour and Relationship management work in the School
•             Literacy, Numeracy and Health and Well-being groups are working to embed these principles across the curriculum
•             The School is exploring “twinning” possibilities for Inverurie along with the community group.

2015/4 Youth and Philanthropy Initiative: IAPC has funded £250 towards the £500 entry fee, at the suggestion of the School captains. Neil Skene volunteered to represent IAPC as a judge in the competition.

2015/5 Treasurer’s report: IAPC has received £489 from the Council, bringing present funds to £1440.74 plus cash in hand. A cheque for £250 was presented to the School for YPI.

2015/6 Secretary’s report:
•             Secretary filled in and returned the membership survey from SPTC.
•             Incoming post from SPTC now comes in e-mail attachments which the Secretary forwards to IAPC members.

2015/7 AOCB
•             Janet Hoper had notified the Chairman of her intention to stand down prior to the AGM due to other commitments.  The Chairman thanked Janet for her support over the last 4 years.  Tracey Skene volunteered to take over the Facebook Page, and it was suggested that the secretary should have responsibility for entering agendas and minutes on the academy website.
•             Jim Macgregor and Paul Schlicke would also be retiring from IAPC at the end of the current session.  Despite continuous efforts to fill these posts, there had been no volunteers.
•             There was lengthy discussion of the need for recruitment to IAPC, including debate on the suitability of holding meetings on different days of the week. New members urged a move away from Monday meetings; retiring members noted that attendance improved when meetings moved from variable days to Mondays.

2015/8 Date of next meeting
•             AGM to be arranged for a date soon after Easter
•             IAPC will meet Monday 8 June 2015.
The chairman adjourned the meeting at 8.20.

POST MEETING NOTE
At the meeting in November 2014, a parent had raised a number of questions during AOB but, as there had not been enough time to deal with them, the Chairman had requested that the questions be submitted in writing and he would reply to them personally.  These questions were not submitted in writing until 5.00 pm on 2 Mar, so they had not been presented in time either  to be added to the agenda or to research the answers in time to reply to them at the meeting, nor did the person submitting the questions request that they be answered at the meeting.  The draft minutes have therefore been amended as requested.

 

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Inverurie Academy Parent Council

Minutes of meeting 10 November 2014

Present:

Jim Macgregor (chair)
Linda Evans (Rector)
Paul Schlicke (Secretary; arrived 7.05))
Howie Stewart (Treasurer)
Pauline Fraser (Depute Head Teacher)
Dawn Lynch (Depute Head Teacher)
Lee Menzies (Depute Head Teacher)
Beth Aitken (School captain)
Chris Hoyle (School captain)
Elaine Ball
Fergus Boyle
Cllr Martin Kitts-Hayes
Linda Moggach
Alex Rae
Neil Skene
Maureen Stansfield
Elizabeth Watt (arrived 8.20)

 

Apologies:

Sam Grant
Janet Hoper
2014 (28) Jim Macgregor, in the chair, called the meeting to order and introduced members around the table,

 

2014 (29) Rector’s report

  • Staffing: Business and IT faculty is now fully staffed again; Art and Physics appointments due to start in January; new addition to office administration team.
  • Ongoing work:
    • Course and results have been reviewed by faculties and for whole school (see 2014 (30) below
    • Course development in progress
    • Structures for identifying pupils with special needs are being streamlined by the Guidance Team and by the Support for Learners team.
    • A more robust method for capturing information to celebrate achievement is being implemented
    • Pupil leadership is promoted in assemblies with School captains and prefects
    • Sports captains: assemblies have stressed teamwork; S1 has a dodgeball tournament
    • Rwanda link continues to develop, with plans to sponsor a pupil for each House
    • Activities are planned to support Children in Need
    • Rock challenge is ongoing
    • Duke of Edinburgh Award now involves twenty pupils in the School
    • Respect for all Ambassadors: a group of S1-S3 pupils undertook training and are developing an action plan

 

2014 (30) Depute Head Teacher’s Report on SQA results (Lee Menzies): Analysis of achievement has been carried out at faculty level and whole School level.

  • Tools include
    • Faculty discussions
    • Statistics analysis
    • “Insight,” a new national benchmark toolkit
    • Whole School analysis
      • Continuing trend of improvement over recent years
      • N5 Awards (new): 42% achieved 5+ National 5 awards
      • Level 5 literacy and numeracy: achieved by 48% of S4 pupils, above Aberdeenshire level of 43%
      • 3+ Highers achieved by 33% of candidates, up 2% on previous session
      • 5+ Highers achieved by 17% of candidates by the end of S5 in 2014, second highest since 2007 (Aberdeenshire average 14%)
      • 5+ Highers achieved by 29% of candidates by the end of S6 in 2014 (Aberdeenshire average 27%)
      • Notable achievements
        • Higher History
        • Higher Business Management
        • Higher Accounting
        • Higher Administration
        • Higher Philosophy
        • Higher Information Systems
        • What has been done and what happens next
          • S1 – S3 continue to develop Broad General Education and promote the importance of skills development in terms of literacy and numeracy
          • Build on partnerships with parents with early intervention procedures
          • Continue to develop effective monitoring and tacking systems to ensure focused and consistent dialogue with pupils and parents about progress and learning
          • Continue to develop monitoring programme
          • Continue to identify opportunities for learning in addition to the formal curriculum
          • Continue to develop  learning and teaching  and share good practice across faculties
          • Continue to develop appropriate courses to meet the needs of all
          • Celebrate wider achievements.

 

2014 (31) Minutes of the previous meeting held 29 September 2014 were approved

 

Matters arising:

2014/21 Newsletter: item required for issue due out last week before Christmas

Action: secretary to supply copy, inviting participation

            2014/21 Annual report

Action: secretary top prepare report for AGM

            2014/21 Communications committee: School website and Facebook page up and running; should be used to advertise date of next IAPC meeting. It was suggested that such notice could also be included in pupils’ homework books.

Action: Janet Hoper

            2014/24 AGM. Several possible ideas were discussed:

  • Inviting parents and teachers to give brief descriptions of the careers and invite questions
  • Discuss options for new school
  • Invite Craig Claremont, Head of Resources and Performance in Aberdeenshire Authority, to give a presentation This option was favoured

Action: Chairman to arrange a date when Mr Clemont can attend

NOTE: after negotiation subsequent to the meeting, the chairman has arranged that IAPC officers are invited to meet Mr Clement along with officers of Kemnay Academy on 22 January 2015 for a briefing, with AGM to be arranged as soon as possible thereafter.

 

2014/32 Treasurer’s report: IAPC funds continue to accumulate and appropriate ways of spending should be explored.

 

2014/33 Secretary’s report on correspondence received.

  • communications which come by e-mail such as information regarding Scottish Parent Teacher Association information and training session, are circulated to IAPC mailing list.
  • SPTC member survey received. Secretary invited members to participate in completing the form, but the task was delegated back to him to undertake on behalf of IAPC. It was pointed out that SPTC provides very useful backup to Parent Councils when needed and should be taken seriously.

Action: secretary to complete survey on behalf of IAPC

  • A packet describing the Programme of International Assessment (PISA 2015): Inverurie Academy has been selected to take part in the Spring

Action: Rector to report on the Programme

  • Report for Parents from the National Parent Forum of Scotland on Sharing Learning, Sharing Assessment received

 

2014/34 AOCB: Suggestion that Inverurie Academy participate in School challenges.

 

2014/35 Date of next meeting: 2 March 2015

 

The meeting adjourned at 8.30.

 

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      Final

      Inverurie Academy Parent Council

      Minutes of meeting 29 September 2014

      Present:
      Jim Macgregor (chair)
      Linda Evans (Rector)
      Dawn Lynch (Depute Rector)
      Pauline Fraser (Depute Rector)
      Paul Schlicke (secretary)
      Howie Stewart (treasurer)
      Beth Aitken (School captain)
      Chris Hoyle (School captain)
      Linda Moggach
      Fergus Boyle
      Neil Skene
      Maureen Stansfield

      Apologies:
      Elaine Ball
      Janet Hoper
      Cllr. Martin Kitts-Hayes
      Lee Menzies
      Alex Rae

      2014/17           Jim Macgregor, in the chair, called the meeting to order, introduced those present and welcomed new members.

      2014/18           Minutes of the meeting held 16 June 2014 were approved.

      Matters arising:

              • 2013/38 AGM –carried over to main agenda as 2014/24.
              • 2014/12 fundraising – Howie Stewart reported that he had met new parents, and some interest was expressed. Linda Evans recommended Dragon’s Den as a fundraising concept but warned that it would involve much work.
              • 2014/16 new Inverurie Academy option –Jim Macgregor reported that he had written to the Director of Education expressing IAPC preference for option of new School building and had a reply from the council officer newly in charge (Craig Clement – Head of Resources and Performance who expressed willingness to meet with IAPC for consultation.  Linda Evans clarified Craig is the project manager of the consultation process.
              • 2014/15 IAPC meeting dates: Jim Macgregor and Linda Evans to fix dates

      2014/19 Rector’s report

              • SQA results: measurable improvement in several common benchmarking levels at Higher; also good results in Nat 3/4/5 (in its first year), with many pupils showing improvement on estimated grades. Data analysis is ongoing, with meetings to review results and to consider steps to maintain and build on improvements.
              • Staffing: Ian Hamilton welcomed back from secondment to Kemnay Academy. Two new members of senior leadership team, Pauline Fraser (remit: teaching and learning) and Lee Menzies (remit: performance management). New Physics teacher and new Art teacher, but neither joining until January; vacancy in Business Studies, which is being re-advertised. Lee Menzies will attend next IAPC meeting and report on performance management.
              • Attendance policy: refreshed and going well.
              • Quad: open for pupils at last.
              • Huts removed: no longer required and in poor condition.
              • Maintenance: nothing major.
              • School uniform: New blazer has not proved popular. Cloth crests have been ordered which pupils can purchase and attach to blazers of their own choice.

      2014/20 Depute Rector’s report

              • The ‘Show My Homework’ web-link has been implemented in school and pupils have received information at assemblies regarding the use of this to support their homework and planning. Staff have received training and will attend a further session which will show them how to upload different types of resources and use tools available to them on the site. Parents/carers have been issued letters  to inform them of the system and ask for their support encouraging their child to use it at home, particularly on occasion of absence.  I hope this will prove to be a useful tool for all parties.
              • Our  new ‘Achievement Record Slip’  will be available for pupils and  staff to use as of 6th October, 2014. Parents/carers will also be able to download these (via the school website) and complete and return them to the school office. It is hoped that this will be a useful tool to capture and celebrate achievement with the young people in the school.

      2014/21 Update from Curriculum, Communication and Fundraising committees

              • GLOW, long dim, is about to be switched off, with a new model implemented. Optimism was expressed regarding its potential as it integrates with programmes already in use.
              • Newsletter: note to be written from IAPC to attract volunteers.       Action: Secretary
              • Annual Review: to be prepared.                                                         Action: Secretary

      2014/22 Treasurer’s report: funds unchanged: £951.74 plus £12.89 cash in hand. Accounts have been issued for auditing and annual input from Council due.

      2014/23 Secretary’s report: SPTC membership documents have been received. All communications which come via e-mail (as most now do) are routinely forwarded to IAPC members.

      2014/24 AGM: There was discussion how to attract attendance. The School captains proposed approaching the School Charities Committee to see if the finalists in the School talent show might perform at the AGM.               Action: School captains

      Post-meeting note: School Charities committee met and reviewed IAPC request to have the talent show in the evening to coincide with the IAPC AGM.  Feedback included an evening event could exclude some pupils from taking part and being part of the audience.
      Action: IAPC office bearers to discuss alternative options.

      2014/25 Review of IAPC officer bearers’ positions: Noted that vice chair and secretary would step down at end of session, when their children would be leaving School.  Accordingly, succession planning for 2015/2016 school year will require to be discussed at next meeting

      2014/26 Date of next meetings: Jim Macgregor and Linda Evans to consult and report. Date of next meeting will be 10 November.
      Post-meeting note: Following review of the school calendar, the dates below were agreed:
      IAPC AGM: Week commencing 3rd or 10th December – final date to be confirmed by 10th November meeting.

      IAPC Meeting – Monday 2nd March 2015

      IAPC Meeting – Monday 8th June 2015

      2014/27 There being no further business, the chairman adjourned the meeting at 8 pm.

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      IAPC minutes 17.6.14 DRAFT 2

      Inverurie Academy Parent Council

      Minutes of meeting 16 June 2014

      Present:

      Jim Macgregor (chair)
      Linda Evans (Rector)
      Dawn Lynch (Depute Rector)
      Paul Schlicke (secretary)
      Howie Stewart (treasurer)
      Elaine Ball
      Janet Hoper
      Cllr. Martin Kitts-Hayes
      Linda Moggach
      Alex Rae
      Maureen Stansfield
      Apologies:

      Sam Grant
      Graham Ritchie
      2014/9 Jim Macgregor, in the chair, called the meeting to order.

      2014/10 The minutes of the meeting held 20 January were approved, pending inclusion of the                Rector’s report.

      Matters: arising:

              • 2013/26 GLOW. The situation remains unresolved.
              • 2013/21 School transport: With new contracts about to be awarded, the alternative route to Chapel of Garioch will need to be decided by the newly appointed bus firm.
              • AGM planning: to be undertaken by Jim Macgregor, Janet Hoper, Howie Stewart and Paul Schlicke, in consultation with Linda Evans

      2014/11 Rector’s Report

              • The Rector thanked Jim Macgregor and Janet Hoper for taking part in the Depute Head Teacher appointments. The successful candidates are Pauline Fraser and Lee Menzies, both of whom will take up post in August.
              • Two new Principal Teachers have been appointed: Jill Merchant (English) and Craig Paterson (Humanities).
              • Other vacancies are currently being recruited and filled. Challenges remain with Computing and Physics, in which subjects there is a shortage of suitable candidates, but both School and Authority are seeking solutions.
              • SQA exams are now complete, and PTs express themselves happy that the new exams reflected expectations. A letter will be issued shortly regarding the post-results service which replaces the old appeals system.
              • SQA verification exercises, coordinated this term by Graham Hepburn, have all been passed, with Inverurie Academy doing particularly well.
              • The new timetable is bedding in successfully. S5/6 curriculum has been finalised, mainly preparing for new Highers and a small number of exceptions. S5/6 induction has taken place with revised pupil agreements. Pupils are being met individually to ensure an appropriate curriculum for everyone, including work experience, School community contribution, and so on.
              • Sports day took place successfully, for a change without having to be rescheduled on account of bad weather .
              • Pupil captains have been appointed: Christopher Hoyle and Beth Aitken. Vice captains are Michael Watson and Beth Strachan.
              • IA pupils have been invited to kick off the national YPI event in Glasgow
              • IA Young Enterprise pupils reached the national finals.
              • Crerar Hotels has donated £12K in sponsorship of the School music tour in Italy.
              • The School and Faculty planning cycles are a focus at present, following improved parental and pupil data last session. Focus areas for the School improvement plan are Curriculum, Learning and Teaching, Meeting Learners’ Needs and Self-evaluation.
              • The School calendar is being finalised, including at least one parental engagement evening to consider national qualifications, drug awareness, careers service, and a wide range of other topics.
              • Attendance policy has been reviewed, and a leaflet is being prepared. Volunteers are invited to help with this.
              • The School newsletter has been published on the website, with positive feedback. Paper copies remain available on request.

      2014/12 Committee reports:

              • Curriculum: nothing to report.
              • Communications: the Council has repeatedly failed to respond to our requests to update the Parent Council Page on the School website. Cllr. Kitts-Hayes undertook to pursue the matter.

      Secretary’s note: because of a new system introduced at the end of April, the school CSN Support Services Co-ordinator was able to update the page the day after the meeting.

              • Fundraising: No action this year; Howie Stewart will attend the meeting of parents of new pupils with a view to recruiting involvement. A “Dragon’s Den” competition was proposed for fundraising.

      Action: Linda Evans to pursue the idea of “Dragon’s Den.”.

      2014/13 Treasurer’s report: no activity since last report

      2014/14 Secretary’s report on correspondence received: this has all come via e-mail and distributed to IAPC members. It has mainly consisted of community activities.
      2014/15 Chair’s report on Aberdeenshire Council Education, Leisure and Learning Service meeting with Parent Council Chairs on 28 April 2014:

              • Meeting attended by Director of Education, QIOs and a few Head teachers
              • Update on recruitment
                • Challenges: national agreement on teaching salaries; housing; high level of teacher retirement; population growth in A96 corridor (600 more pupils in primary school this year than last)
                • Current initiatives: increase in probationers from 105 last year to 130 this year; earlier recruitment; seeking recruits from Canada and Ireland; accelerated route for graduates into teaching; relocation allowances; accommodation for young teachers; support groups for young teachers; reduced rate (2 days rather than 5) for supply staff; increased student places in Aberdeen to encourage retention
                • Secondment: recognition that this impacts on continuity and will be reviewed at Directorate level.
                • Qualifications: detailed process to assess markers’ performance; no appeals process; two schools reported high level of failure in Higher Maths prelims.
                • Financial challenges: population influx; Victorian school, estate; budget flat
                • Financial initiatives: explore shared services, review catchment areas; review learning estate (e.g. library into school)
                • New primary schools in Uryside and Blackburn; £15 million investment in Kemnay Academy; possible new schools in Kemnay, Kintore and Inverurie; re-zoning?
                • Chapel of Garioch declining pupil population

      2014/16 report by Cllr Kitts-Hayes on educational developments: He emphasised the huge population increase in the A96 corridor – 12% in the past year, the fastest growth area in the UK– with immense implications for schooling. A major review is ongoing, with zoning issues. New primary schools in prospect, and new secondary schools projected, with Inverurie the “jewel in the crown” for Aberdeenshire. It will cost £85k to build two new academies; that is, the entire annual budget. For Inverurie, three possibilities are renovation of the present building; a new school building on the current playing field, with the old building to be razed and turned into playing field (Kellands Park to be used for recreation and games meantime); a new school on a different site. It was unanimously and strongly agreed that an entirely new building on the present grounds was the best option.

      Action: Jim Macgregor to write to the Diretcor of Education

      (copy to Cllr Kitts-Hayes), supporting the option

      of a new building on the present grounds.

      2014/15 Date of meetings next session: Linda Evans and Jim Macgregor to consult and report.

      2014/16 There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8.15pm.

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      The meeting of 6 May 2014 was cancelled

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      DRAFT 3

      Inverurie Academy Parent Council

      Minutes of meeting 20 January 2014

      Present: Jim Macgregor (chair)

      Linda Evans (Rector)

      Dawn Lynch (Depute Rector)

      Graham Ritchie (Depute Rector)

      Shona Sellers (Depute Rector)

      Paul Schlicke (secretary)

      Howie Stewart (treasurer)

      Elaine Ball

      Barry Hoper

      Janet Hoper

      Linda Moggach

      Alex Rae

      Maureen Stansfield

       

      Apologies: Louise O’Rourke (School Captain)

      Scott Strachan (School Captain)

      Sam Grant

       

      2014/1 Jim Macgregor, in the chair, called the meeting to order.

       

      2014/2 The minute of the meeting held 26/11/13 was approved, with a typographical error corrected.

       

      Matters arising:

              • 2013/26 GLOW: Graham Ritchie reported that testing of GLOW was ongoing and the School is awaiting implementation, which is being carried out centrally.
              • 2013/21 School transport: Graham Ritchie reported that on account of change of staff in the Transport Unit there had been some delay in responding to the School’s concern regarding an alternate route in severe weather round Chapel of Garioch.  An alternate route is now in place; alternate pickup/dropoff points are still to be determined.
              • 2013/38 AGM planning. Noted, to be carried forward.

       

      2014/3 Rector’s Report

              • Staffing: long-term absences and vacancies have been a challenge, not only for the School but throughout the region. Measures are being looked into at Council level. Within the School priority is being given to supporting certificate classes and keeping specialist contact with junior classes, although this means some classes have to change teacher on a fairly regular basis. Specialist supply staff are low in numbers, which compounds the issue. The School remains committed to ensure quality learning experiences for all pupils and to ensure that senior pupils are fully supported for the SQA assessments.
              • A96 corridor: stakeholder discussions have been taking place. A report from the Authority is due out in February.
              • Update on Parent Council Chairs meeting with Aberdeenshire ELL and CfE roll-out into S5. Head teachers met recently with Parent Council chairs at Meldrum Academy to discuss the roll out of Highers in CfE. 2014-15 has been planned from the start as a transition year. Last year Standard Grades disappeared and the new National 3/4/5 was implemented. Next session will see the first cohort to take the new Higher, with pupils taking the old Higher in some subjects. The Authority’s position is that the new Higher would be the normal progression route from national courses, but there have been some national concerns about the readiness of some of the new Highers, especially in the sciences. Whether pupils sit the new or old exam will be determined locally. Parents at the meeting supported this view very strongly and opposed having an Aberdeenshire-wide approach. Schools will work together in pairs to moderate and ratify the decision-making process; Inverurie Academy, paired with Ellon Academy, has determined that our pupils will sit the old Higher in sciences. All schools will submit final plans and rationales to ELL offices for final approval. The final position will be confirmed with parents, hopefully by Easter.

       

      2014/4 Committee reports.

              • None of the committees having met recently, the only news was from Janet Hoper, reporting on behalf of the Communications Committee, that the Aberdeenshire schools website is now up with a parents’ page on which she has placed IAPC agendas and minutes.  The site is not user-friendly, with new material jumbled with old. As an alternative interactive site, Janet has set up an IAPC Facebook page, which should be advertised in the next School newsletter. The Communications Committee continues to seek a computer expert to assist with issues and implementation.
              • Howie Stewart will contact those who volunteered last session to help with fund-raising, for ideas about the way forward.

      Action: Howie Stewart

              • Given the drop in membership of IAPC in the present session, it was agreed to abandon the committee structure meantime and to revert to routine discussion of topics at meetings of full Council.

       

      2014/5 Treasurer’s report: funds unchanged since last meeting, with £951.74 in the account.

       

      2014/6 Secretary’s report on correspondence received: all e-mail correspondence of general interest has been forwarded by e-mail to everyone on the IAPC mailing list. A copy of Backchat, the national Scottish Parent Teacher Council newsletter, has been received. Shona Sellers undertook to put it on the web page.

      Action: Shona Sellers

       

      2014/7 AOCB: parents reported that the National 5 exams which started this week are proving challenging to pupils. These exams are both set and marked internally, so there should be no problem of material on the exams which has not been covered in class.

       

      2014/8 There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7.45. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 6 May.

       

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