Merrylee Primary School Parent Council
 
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Parent Council News Archive
Past items of discussion and projects from our Parent Council agenda can be read in more detail below:

November Enrolment Consultation
UPDATE 26/08/16:- Currently, families can register their child for school during the enrolment weeks in November and January, for children who are due to commence P1 in the following August. Glasgow City Council is proposing to ask families to register their child during the enrolment week in November only.

This change will allow families, who wish to make a placing request, more time to consider their choices.

It will also allow families to consider their options, if there has to be an over-subscription exercise and, give them more time to make use of placing requests legislation if the proposed alternative from Education Services does not meet their wishes.

GCC are now consulting with parents and interested parties on this proposal. The closing date for the consultation is Wednesday 31st August 2016.

The November Enrolment Consultation can be found by clicking on the following: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=17886

Governance Review of Education
UPDATE 26/09/16:- A governance review seeks the views of parents and the local community on how education in Scotland is run, including who should take decisions in relation to the education of chidlren and young people, and how funding can be made fairer. The review is looking for opinions from early years to secondary, to ensure that it deivers excellence and equity for all children and young people. Please refer to the following link for the online survey: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/empowering-schools/a-governance-review/consultation/intro/view

New noticeboard to be errected at side entrance
UPDATE 10/10/16:- Noticeboard now erected and in use.

Merrylee Parent Council has used funds from their budget to pay for a new noticeboard for the side entrance area of the school. This will be seen as a great benefit to parents, better informing them of events and issues within the school. Timeframe for erecting will hopefully be before the Summer holidays.

Administration Changes Affecting School Absence Reporting
Glasgow City Council is looking to save £5 million in administration costs within schools. £3 million has already been saved through a process of centralisation and by not replacing posts.

There is already a great demand of duties on administrative staff, and to help relieve some of the pressure it has been decided that some tasks will be centralised, one of which being absence reporting.

A new absence reporting system will be rolled out across schools in Glasgow on 8th June 2015. From this date, parent's reporting their child's absence from school will have to phone a central number rather than contacting their school directly. The call centre will be able to take calls from 08:00am till 11:00am.

This system has been piloted in 11 schools across Glasgow, with positive feedback in terms of call response. However, schools felt that there was loss of engagement with parents. A letter will be sent to parents from Glasgow City Council regarding the new system. They are also working to ensure the letter is translated for those families where their first language is not English.

Please see minutes from meeting on 11/05/15 for further information.

New path installed at front entrance to school playground
UPDATE 07/11/16:- Glasgow City Council awarded approx £6500 to have a double path and drainage installed leading from the front of the school into the side playground. There has been long standing issues with mud, lack of room to walk along the path and the safety of our children travelling along the path. The work has now been carried out and is already a huge benefit to all.

Additional Support for Learning Parent/Carer Conference
UPDATE 26/09/16:- Conference will be held on Thursday 29th September from 10am-2pm at New Gorbals Parish Church, 1 Errol Gardens, G5 0RA. Click the link for a flyer with further information: ASL Parent/Carer Conference

Breakfast Services Consultation
UPDATE 22/04/2016:- Breakast club prices will increase as of 18th April 2016. Guidance from Education Services has detailed that:

1. The charge for breakfast clubs will be £2 per day.
2. There will be a discounted charge of £1 for second and subsequent children - a sibling rate of £1 with the eldest paying £2.
3. Breakfasts will continue to be free for those entitled to free school meals.
4. Although there is universal free meal provision for P1-P3, this does not extend to breakfast clubs and children who do not meet free meals entitlement eligibility criteria must pay.
5. The weekly breakfast list has been amended to take account of free, £2 and £1 chanrge levels.
6. Schools should identify on the form those siblings eligible for he discounted charge £1 charge.
7. The new format will be used from 25 April to allow time for administrative arrangements to be put in place..

Please find a link to the final report from Glasgow City Council with the findings from the Breakfast Club consulation process - click here



UPDATE 24/08/15:- Please click below to view the findings of the consultation on Breakfast Club Services within the Glasgow City Council area.

Breakfast Club Update August 2015

UPDATE 10/06/15 FROM GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL PRESS OFFICE:- There has been a number of recent conflicting media reports regarding the future of the Breakfast Club service in Glasgow's schools. The consultation to gather views on the service is now closed with more than 1800 responses from across the city.

Any changes to this valuable service will be a decision for councillors and this will not be take place until after October 2015 at the earliest.

In the meantime parents and carers who use their school breaksfast club or intend to use the service from the start of the new term in August can be reassured that the service will run as normal.

We will continue to keep families informed of any changes or decisions as soon as they are taken in the future.

The Breakfast Club Consultation closed on Friday 8th May and the results from the Executive Committee will be published on 25th June, with changes in place for the 2015/2016 session. The response from Merrylee parents is an overwhelming wish to retain the breakfast club provision. The majority of feedback views in increase in costs as the most viable option. There are obvious concerns though as to what the cost increase will be. A collective response has been submitted by the PC on behalf of the school. Parents are also able to respond individually using the survey.

UPDATE 24/04/15:- The future of breakfast services is currently being reviewed within Glasgow City Council by Education Services. The purpose of the review is to consider ways to reduce the subsidy of £2m currently invested in breakfast club provision. The consultation process begins on Wednesday 22nd April until Friday 8th May with all feedback to Education Services to be received by 30th June.

After carrying out preliminary research and consultation with selected Primary School Head Teachers and Cordia (who operates the breakfast club services), a propsal has been drawn up with 4 possible options:

1. Discontinue breakfast provision
2. Retain breakfast provision but increase the cost for those eligible to pay
3. Clustering - breakfast clubs offered in one school for other local school children to attend
4. Discontinue breakfast clubs that do not meet certain criteria eg. number of children attending / cost to run breakfast club

Please refer to the attached documents below for a clearer understanding. All feedback/opinions should be sent to our Parent Council email contactus@merryleeprimarypc.org by Tuesday 5th May 2015.

LETTER - click here / BRIEFING - click here

New Parent Council Committee Elected
Our existing Chair - Elspeth McIntyre, Secretary - Mel Unkles, and Treasurer - Amparo Ruiz-Prado have stepped down as office bearers. A new committee was elected at the meeting on 11/05/15 with office bearers now as follows: Chair - Phil Goodlad, Vice Chair - Fiona Hunter, Secretary - Justin McNeil, and Treasurer - Claire House.

Merrylee Primary Health Committee Newsletter
Merrylee Primary has formed a Schools Nutrition Action Committee (SNAC) made up of pupils, teachers and Cordia catering staff who are working together to improve the choice and dining experience for all of our children. At their recent meeting, a member of our Parent Council was invited to attend. To find out what progress has been made and changes within our school, please find an update in their newsletter - click here

Consultation on amending catchment areas
UPDATE 11/05/15:- The catchment area consultation has now come to an end. The P1 intake for 2015/2016 has been capped at 75 for Merrylee Primary with there being 18 classes for the new session.

UPDATE 23/02/15:- Glasgow City Council has now published the Consultation Response Document following the conclusion of the consultation period. It can be read online in further detail by clicking on the following link - click here. You are also able to view a copy of this document at Merrylee Primary.

A summary of this document is as follows:

1) The existing shared catchment between Merrylee and Battlefield Primary Schools will become part of Battlefield catchment area.
2)The existing part of the Merrylee Primary School catchment area to the East of the White Cart River will become part of Croftfoot Primary School catchment area.
3)The shared catchment area between Merrylee and Mount Florida Primary Schools to the North of the railway line and bordered to the West by the White Cart River will become part of Mount Florida Primary School catchment area. The area South of the railway line will become part of the Merrylee Primary School catchment area.
4)The area to the North of the railway line and to the East of the White Cart River and in the North bordered by the shared King's Park/Hillpark Secondary Schools catchment area will all become part of the King's Park Secondary School catchment area.
5)The area immediately around King's Park Secondary School, currently zoned to Hillpark Secondary School, will become part of King's Park Secondary School catchment area.
6)The current shared catchment area between Shawlands Academy, King's Park and Hillpark Secondary Schools, to the South of the White Cart River will become part of Hillpark Secondary School catchment area.
7)The area to the South of the railway line and East of the White Cart River and bounded to the South by the current shared King's Park/Hillpark Secondary Schools catchment area will all become part of the Hillpark Secondary School catchment area.
8)The current shared catchment area between Shawlands Academy and Hillpark Secondary School, South of the White Cart River and North of the Railway line will become part of Shawlands Academy catchment area.

The full proposal is planned for submission to the Council's Executive Committee on Thursday 19th February 2015.

UPDATE 29/10/14:- Following the catchment consultation meeting, Merrylee Parent Council support deferring the implementation of the consultation till August 2016. It is felt that this would remove uncertainty for those in the shared catchment area preparing for P1 in Aug 2015 and for P7's moving onto secondary who may no longer fall into the Hillpark catchment. Recommendations will be submitted to the Department of Education.

On 25th September 2014, Glasgow City Council offically posted a report by the Executive Committee detailing proposals to amend the school catchment areas in the following Southside wards: Merrylee, Croftfoot, Battlefield, Mount Florida and for King's Park, Hill Park and Shawlands Academy secondary schools. The Consultation period begins on 20th October and runs until 1st December, with the public meeting for Merrylee scheduled for Monday 27th October from 6:30pm till 8:00pm at Merrylee Primary.

Please refer to the report published by Glasgow City Council for more information - click here

School extension - work commences 11th November
UPDATE 21/10/2013:- The new school extension work is to get under way on Monday 11th November '13. It will follow the natural curve of the school to the edge of the Urban Jungle. Plans will be available for parents to take a look at during Parent Consultation evenings, and children will be able to view them during classroom time. The extension consists of 4 classrooms, 2 toilet blocks, 2 disabled toilets, storage space, and a large teaching hall space. Mrs Haddock's office will move to the photocopy room. Limetree Nursery will also gain extra space to allow the children to have their lunch closer to their playrooms, and their outdoor play area will for the duration of the build (but potentially for the future) be the grassy area in OLA's playground/carpark. Ther outdoor classroom has been removed for the interim and will be rebuilt in the orchard area. The build is estimated to take 40 weeks and should be completed in time for the new August session.

UPDATE 27/03/2013:- The Parent Council have established a sub-committee made up of PC members, teaching representation and Glasgow City Council representation to focus on the 4 room extension that is now planned for Merrylee Primary. It is anticpiated that the extension will be complete by August 2014 to accomodate the growth in P1 intake numbers. For the next school session, modular pods will be installed at the front of the school to enable all catchment children to attend.

UPDATE 21/01/2013:- 81 children have been registered during the week of 14th January 2013 for catchment. The school is not currently aware of the figures for placing requests though we have placing request families in the school where siblings are due to start in August. Concerns were raised that the IT suite may be used to accommodate the number of children starting in August. Cllr Gillan expressed the opinion that she would not like to see this happen in light of the fact that OLA, our neighbouring school, has been awarded a grant to create an IT suite. She felt it was a great asset to the school and would challenge requests to take it away. Our Parent Council is still awaiting feedback from Maureen McKenna, though it has been said that all parents will be notified of places 6 months in advance of school starting in August.

At the last Parent Council meeting, the issue of all classrooms now being in use was heavily discussed in relation to how things stand for the P1 intake next session. Only one P7 class will be leaving our School and that creates a big question mark over the number of kids that can be offered a place for the 2013/2014 session. Elspeth McIntyre and Melanie Unkles are writing on behalf of the Parent Council to Maureen McKenna, Executive Director for Education within Glasgow City Council, to find out more information on how things stand. An update will be posted in due course.

Road Safety Competition

UPDATE 18/11/2013:-

P1-P3 winner - Dylan Devenney P1A / P1-P3 runner up - Alex Cuthill P2A

P4-P7 winner - Caoilfhinn Mackenzie P6 / P4-P7 runner up - Katie Coats P4B

Winning designs will be printed onto banners to be displayed outside the school.


Merrylee Parent Council would like all children from P1 to P7 to create a Road Safety Poster. It should be designed on A4 paper, be bold, eye-catching and the children can be as creative as they want using crayons, felt pens, or other materials. The winning design will be displayed in the school entrance hall during the parent consultation evenings on 12th and 14th November, ahead of the annual Road Safety Week (18th - 24th November). All entries should be handed back into school by Wednesday 6th November. Good luck to all the children!

School Gate
UPDATE 17/01/2013:- School gate and path is complete, and now in use.

UPDATE 04/01/2013:- A new gate has been installed next to the bin area at the front of the school. This had been carried during the last week before the Xmas holidays, with the path to finishing laying. We should be able to see the finished results when the school returns after the break.

UPDATE 29/10/12:- Merrylee Primary School have been awarded the sum of £2085 from the Newlands/Aulburn Area Committee following the most recent application by our Parent Council. This is a tremendous success and will be of huge benefit in the realisation of our plans to have a new gate installed next to the bin area at the front of the school to alleviate congestion down the lane. The next course of action is to discuss further health and safety aspects relating to gate entrance being close to carpark/modification of plans.

UPDATE 17/09/12:- Cllr Curran attended our Parent Council/Parents Association AGM on 17th Septmeber and spoke with our members regarding the school gate funding application to the Newlands/Aulburn Committee. As 6 months has now passed since the application was refused by the previous committee board, we can now submit a fresh application for funding. Elspeth MacIntyre has sent off the application and a decision will be reached on 4th October 2012.

Elspeth MacIntyre has put in a great deal of effort trying to find a avenue for funding to support the costs of a new gate to allow access to the school from Friarton Road.

Unfortunately, our recent application to the Newlands/Auldburn Area Committee for funding for this project has been refused. The Committee feel that it falls under a health and safety issue and that Glasgow City Council's Education Services should take up our request. Education Services have previously declined support for the new gate following our original application to the Area Committee in November.

Councillor Stephen Curran attended our most recent Parent Council meeting on 23rd April to explain the reason for the refusal of our application. He had been in full support of our application, as expressed at our Parent Council meeting on 30th January, but was out voted by Councillor Deans and Bailie James NcNally. It was suggested that we should resubmit our application after the elections on the 3rd May, as another meeting will take place within 6 weeks of the election.

Elspeth MacIntyre is to write to Maureen McKenna, Executive Director of Education Services, based on the fact that is has been refused on health and safety grounds, for feedback.

Dog Fouling/Lane
UPDATE 27/03/2013:- Two rubbish bins have been placed on lampposts on the access lane to the school to help tackle the litter issues in this area. Feedback has still to be received on the amount of dog fouling in the lane despite posters recently being put up as a deterrent.

UPDATE 27/01/2013:- Dog fouling posters have now been placed in the lane on lamp posts. Still waiting for an update as to bins being put in place.

UPDATE 17/01/2013:- The lane now falls under the ownership of the City Council and local officers have been asked to conduct a twice weekly sweep and de-litter of the lane. The email informed that "Bag and Bin it" signs would be put in place but no evidence of these yet. Jacqueline Clark has sent an email on 13/01 requesting again that bins be put in place down the lane due to the recurring litter problems and dog fouling. Focus is also on getting the muddy area covered at the side of the path.

UPDATE 25/10/12:- Tony Boyle, Neighbourhood Services Manager (North), has actioned a request for the lane to be de-littered and swept, and for the strimming and chemical treatment of the weed growth. All but the chemical treatment were completed on 28/09/12. Jacqueline Clark is currently awaiting an update on ownership of the lane to ensure maintenance is regularly carried out. Cllr's Gillan and Curran have also been contacted again regarding the amount of litter and broken glass left down the lane before and during the October break.

UPDATE 17/09/12:- At the start of the new school term, Jacqueline Clark emailed both Cllr Curran and Cllr Gillan regarding the up keep of the lane between Merrylee Primary School and Newlands Tennis Club. The lane is not being regularly maintained and is suffering from peristant issues of dog fouling, litter, and overgrown weeds and nettles. Cllr Gillan has contacted Paul McGrath at Land and Environmenal Services to discuss further. Jacqueline Clark also spoke with Cllr Curran at the Merrylee Parent Council/Parents Association AGM on 17th September regarding this issue and he will feedback in due course. It is also hoped that something can be done to finally level off the muddy section at the side of the lane.

Jacqueline Clark met with Councillor Stephen Curran and Paul McGrath from Land and Environmental Services to discuss the problem of persistant dog fouling around Merrylee Primary School, especially the lane separating our School and Newlands Tennis Club. This was following a lack of support and direction from Clean Glasgow, who required evidence of dogs, dog owners, dates and times before any action could be taken.

Paul had informed Jacqueline that Glasgow Community and Safety Services, which is jointly owned by Glasgow City Council and Strathclyde Police, had held an action fornight from 12th to 25th March in the Merrylee and Cathcart Area, identifying and taking action against irresponsible dog owners for the benefit of the local community. It has also been noted that more dog bins are present within the community as part of this initiative.

A request was made, on behalf of the Parent Council, for a dog bin and litter bin close to the lane. Not only is there a problem with dog fouling, but litter gravitates quite badly towards this area, and the extra bins would provide an opportunity to keep it tidier and cleaner. We have also made a request for better signage, as a lot of the signs are not very prominant on the lamp posts.

Another issue that was raised with Paul was maintenance of the lane. The area running directly beside the fence of Newlands Tennis Club often gets overrun with weeds and looks very unkempt. Paul will request that the maintenance team who look after the small play park at Muirskeith Road take on the upkeep of the lane. It was also mentioned that the weeds are chemically sprayed twice a year.

A further request was made to see if anything could be done to level off the lane, making it a safer access route. Beside the path is a muddy surface that looks unfinished and slopes considerably at one end. All children access our School from the lane and it can be difficult to manoeuvere on the path when it is so congested, leaving no option but to go onto the muddy surface. Paul will consider this proposal and feedback accordingly.

HMIe Report
Merrylee Primary School was inpected by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education during the last week in November. The School received extremely positive feedback and were awarded two excellents in Learners' Experiences and Improvements in Performance, as well as very good's for Meeting Learning Needs, The Curriculum and Improvement through Self-Evaluation.

The report recognises how proud the children are of their achievement; how supportive and caring the staff are; that the level of literacy and approach to outdoor learning is outstanding and that the partnership with parents is exceptional. The report also recognises how committed the staff are and how well they work together to ensure the needs of learners are met.

The inspection of our School found that the key strengths lie in the following areas:
  • Polite, highly-motivated children and their involvement in the life of the school.
  • Children's achievement in literacy and numeracy.
  • Children's learning experiences, including high-quality outdoor learning.
  • Highly effective teamwork among staff and partnership with parents and the wider community, which enhances children's learning.
  • Dynamic leadership of the Headteacher and promoted staff in improving the school.
Carol Copstick, Quality Improvement Officer within Education Services, has been very supportive throughout our inspection. She praised the School and its staff, and was very happy with the report, stating that Merrylee Primary School was setting a benchmark for all schools with its use of innovative teaching methods. Mrs Mahindru was also delighted to receive recognition for the wonderful learning experiences offered to our children, and for the support and dedication of the staff.

To read the full report, click here

Tuck Shop
There has been a long running battle to prevent Cordia and Glasgow City Council putting a tuck shop in our School. The main reasons for this are that we do not want our children eating foods that have added sugars, we do not want parents feeling the added pressure of giving money to their child/children to buy a snack, and we do not want our children queuing during their snack/play time.

Currently, we have a great healthy eating programme in place were children are encouraged to bring fruit to school and can enjoy this at their scheduled fruit break in the morning. We have also managed to bring Sainsbury's onboard and they provide our School with free fruit every Monday for the children.

Over the course of this school year, the Health Committee has been collecting information about pupils snacking habits and leaflets have been distributed by the Parent Council to parents and carers regarding our School's stance on healthy eating and suggestions for your child's snack.

All these great initiatives have been fed back to Glasgow City Coucil, along with a clear message that our School and its parents do not want a tuck shop, and we have heard nothing further back. Our School will continue with our healthy eating programme and appreciate all parental support.

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