Parent Council Minutes – Sept 2017


Thursday 7th September 2017

 Present: Jennifer Allison (HT), Caroline Findlay (DHT), Sarah Stark (DHT), Louise Ferguson (PT), Colin Wilkinson (chair), Susan Henderson, Justine Jones, Lesley Burrell, Fiona Gardner, Cat McDermid, Carole Sneddon, Chiraz Sellami, Linsey Dagger, Sarah Wright, Rustem Yagudin


Colin welcomed everyone and introduced Louise Ferguson, our new Principal teacher who is in P2 this year.

Re-cap / update

No outstanding actions.

Parent Pay 

Marco and Leanne from the IT Department at Midlothian Council joined us to give a demonstration of the new Parent Pay system.  It is an online system that allows parents to make payment into their child’s account for various expenses throughout the year such as milk, school meals, trips etc.

Parents can receive an email when balance on the account becomes low. There is also a mobile app available.  No more need to send money or cheques in and will free up a lot of time in the school office. Bonnyrigg is one of 3 schools to pilot the scheme in Midlothian – it is targeted to start in November.  It will then be rolled out across the remaining Midlothian schools from January 2018.

School Improvement Plan

Jennifer Allison gave a brief overview of the school improvement plan – it will be published on the website shortly. The focus is the curriculum structure – particularly science, social subjects and technologies. Miss Ferguson is heading this up.

Results of Stakeholder Survey

Only 43 parents returned the survey. From the results it was identified parents feel that their children need to be stretched more. The results of the pupil survey picked up that children disagree with the statement that the pupil council is good at getting improvements made in school. Jennifer Allison discussed ways of communicating the results of the survey to parents. Some parents raised the issue that the link didn’t work for them. Jennifer will pass this on to the team responsible for the survey.

Life Long Learning and Employability

They are offering lots of new classes.  Jennifer Allison would like to look at what classes parents would be interested in as these could be held in Bonnyrigg and would help encourage parents into the school. The list of classes was made available to the group to look through and will be posted on the Facebook page for everyone to see.

School Photographer

Jennifer Allison introduced Dawn Porteous who came along to the group to tell us a bit about her photography business in the hope that we may consider booking her as our new school photographer. Dawn is local and used to work with Coldwells and Tempest. She brought samples to show and her order pack (which would come out with the proofs). She usually provides proofs on the day but Bonnyrigg would be the following day as it’s a larger school. Each child would have two poses taken. Dawn specialises in sports photography and would provide a free staff board which is updated yearly. She would increase the commission that the school has at the moment. Pricing seemed cheaper than Coldwells who are booked for this year. AP – we are looking for volunteers to take part in a sub-group to assess each of the photographers and select which should be asked into the school.  Please contact if you’d like to be involved in this group.

Christmas Fair

Carole Sneddon gave an update on behalf of the fundraising group. The fundraising group met the previous week to begin planning the Christmas Fair and brought some points to be discussed further.

  • Friday morning was the preferred time. Discussion about what time the fair would be held at 10-12 or 12-2. A Parent commented that 12-2 would mean she (and others) would have to take a full day off work to attend. Nursery children can only attend if a parent brings them – this includes the children who attend nursery in the afternoon. All school children can attend if it is 10-12 as they are at school.  It was agreed it would be held at 10-12 on Friday the 1st of December.
  • Sarah Beck will meet with Jennifer Allison to run through the arrangements for the day and work out the number of parent helpers that will be required. Survey monkey will then be sent out via email to organise parent helpers.
  • It was discussed whether the games could be held the day before and children could attend in their classes as some feedback from last year’s event was that it was too busy in the hall during the fair. Parents felt children would lose interest in the fair if the games weren’t there but we agreed it needs to be looked at.
  • Christmas cards will be going ahead again this year. There was an idea to approach Dawn Porteous and see if she could offer to do Christmas photos that could go on cards. Justine Jones offered to get in touch with Dawn to get costs etc.
  • The fundraising group would like to make tea towels of the year groups to sell. Jennifer Allison was open to this but said it would need to start soon as it is time consuming. Lesley Burrell raised the issue that in her experience they needed to be bought upfront and therefore we could be left with excess. The fundraising group will need to look into this.
  • Halloween disco is on the 1st of November. DJ booked. Closing date for helpers is 13th There will be another email sent recruiting helpers and then the decision will be made whether we have enough people to allow it to go ahead. Post meeting note – enough parents volunteered which means the discos will go ahead.

Sports and competitions

Justine Jones wanted to discuss sports events and competitions that can be entered only as part of the school.  She said she had been made aware that our schools uptake is not as great as other schools. Justine asked if there was a reason for this.

Jennifer Allison explained staff cover is the issue as last year all senior staff were covering classes. They tried to make sure the events the school does enter are varied and include most year groups so it is as fair as possible. She explained the school have enough money for the bus to take children to events but they need cover for staff to go and support staff cannot leave as we have high tariff children who need the assistants. It was discussed if parents could volunteer to take children to events as long as they are PVG checked and also had a first aider there too.

Justine asked if a survey monkey could go out so we find out which children do which sports which would enable us to find more sports competitions and events that children can participate in. The school is already booked to go to cross country P6 and P7s.  AP – Jennifer Allison will investigate what the procedure is to allow parents to take children to sports events and competitions. Claire Henderson in charge of sports throughout the school this year.

Playground equipment

It was discussed at a previous meeting that some money would be given from the fundraising account to top up and replace some playground equipment and games. Some equipment was ordered as part of the fun day last term. The additional items will now be purchased.


Colin closed the meeting. The next meeting will be on Thursday 12th October at 6.45pm.  The dates for the remainder of the school year will be published on the website and on Facebook shortly.