Education & Cultural Services
Education & Cultural Services, 28/04/2009

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Agenda - Education & Cultural Services 28/04/09 (Eileen Lynch)
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Report - Education & Cultural Services, 28/04/2009 (Eileen Lynch)


Minute of meeting of the Education and Cultural Services Committee of East Dunbartonshire Council held within the Council Chambers, Tom Johnston House, Civic Way, Kirkintilloch on Tuesday, 28 April 2009.
    Present: Councillors GEEKIE, GIBBONS, GOTTS, HUTCHISON, JAMIESON, JARVIS, LOW, McNAIR, MOODY and WALKER

    Also Present
    Church Representatives: Dr. G. Boyd

Assessors: K. Brown Teacher Representative
C. McConnell Head Teacher Representative

In Attendance: G. Irvine Commercial Manager – Facilities Management
C. Kelly Acting Head of Roads, Greenspace and Waste
Management
E. Lynch Committee Administration Officer
C. MacNeill Acting Education Officer
W. Mackie Policy and Public Affairs Assistant
S. McGarvey Head of Resources, Planning and Improvement for
Children
J. Riddell Community Support Manager
J. Simmons Corporate Director (Community)
M. Smith Contracts and Conveyancing Manager
J. Urquhart Finance Manager

Councillor Walker (Convener) presiding

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were intimated on behalf of Councillor Young and Monsignor H. Bradley, Church Representative, B. Jarvie, Church Representative and N. Semple, Parent Representative.

CONVENER’S REMARKS

The Convener paid tribute to the late Provost Hannah who had been a member of the Education and Cultural Services Committee since becoming a Councillor in 1995. She commented that he always had a keen interest in the schools in his area and regularly contributed to the discussion and debate of the Committee. She advised that she would convey the sincere condolences of the Committee to his wife and family.

Furthermore, the Convener advised the Committee that Don Martin, Assistant Manager, Information and Archives was retiring from the Council after 50 years of service to Local Government. She commented that Don had won many awards in different areas of cultural and historical topics. Councillor Gotts echoed the Convener’s remarks and added that his work and interest in the area was renowned. Councillor Geekie also commented that she had received numerous letters both within and outwith East Dunbartonshire regarding his tremendous work.

Councillor Jarvis commented on his sound knowledge and dedication and advised that he had assisted with the Listing of the Queens Building in Lenzie. The Convener advised that she would pass on the best wishes of the Committee to Don.

1. MINUTE OF MEETING OF EAST DUNBARTONSHIRE PARENT COUNCIL FORUM OF 19 JANUARY 2009

There was submitted and noted, subject to the undernoted amendment, Minute of meeting of the East Dunbartonshire Parent Council Forum of 19 January 2009, copies of which had previously been circulated.

Sederunt – Delete Councillor Low from the list of “Also Present” - Add to list of those “Also in Attendance”

With regard to Item 5, Insurance for School Trips and in response to a question from Councillor Low regarding the information issued to the Parent Council Forum, the Corporate Director (Community) undertook to issue a Technical Note to all members of the Committee detailing the information.

With regard to Item 6, Biometric Fingerprinting – Cashless Catering System and in response to comments from Councillor McNair on the need for more clarity on the proposals, the Corporate Director (Community) advised that 3 options would be available to pupils and that this was highlighted at each of the consultation meetings and to the Review Group. Information on the options would be issued to all parents who would require to indicate their preference on which option they wished.

With regard to the aforementioned amendment to the Sederunt intimated by Councillor Low, the Convener and Councillor Gotts suggested that, in order to avoid confusion to Parent Council Chairs, in future, Councillors who were not members of the forum should sit in the Public Gallery. The Convener further advised that when the Forum was established the political representation was one Councillor per political group.

2. ACHIEVEMENTS BY EAST DUNBARTONSHIRE COUNCIL AT THE KEEP SCOTLAND BEAUTIFUL – PEOPLE AND PLACES AWARDS 2009

Reference having been made to the Connect Services Committee of 12 March 2009, there was submitted Report DCS-045/09 by the Acting Corporate Director (Environment), copies of which had previously been circulated, informing the Committee on the recent success of the organisation at the Keep Scotland Beautiful – People and Places Awards Ceremony 2009.

The Committee noted that the Council had been awarded the “Best Local Environmental Quality Innovation Award” which rewarded local authorities that had developed new ideas and initiatives to tackle a local environmental quality issue such as littering, graffiti or dog fouling, to improve and enhance an area as part of the People and Places Programme run by Keep Scotland Beautiful. Full details were contained in the Report.

In response to a question from the Convener regarding the roll out of the LEAMS Programme, the Acting Head of Roads, Greenspace and Waste Management advised that the programme was being rolled out to all primary schools and Officers were working on extending it to the secondary schools.

In response to comments from Councillor Gotts regarding what measures could be taken to encourage all schools to participate, the Acting Head of Roads, Greenspace and Waste Management advised that Waste Management Officers were working closely with Head Teachers regarding the process. He undertook to provide members with a Technical Note regarding progress.

Following further discussion, during the course of which the Acting Head of Roads, Greenspace and Waste Management was heard in further explanation of the Litter Programme in Town Centres, in particular, Bishopbriggs Town Centre, the Committee noted the success of the Council in securing the “Best Local Environmental Quality Innovation Award”.

3. REBRANDING OF SECONDARY SCHOOL CATERING SERVICE

Reference having been made to the Connect Services Committee of 22 April 2009, the Committee noted the contents of Report DCS051-09 by the Acting Corporate Director (Environment), copies of which had previously been circulated, advising of the process being adopted to rebrand the catering service in all secondary schools.

The Report detailed that the current catering service in secondary schools was branded “Eds” over ten years ago and was now in need of refreshing. This would also tie in with the opening of the six new PPP schools complimenting the new modern eating environment with a fresh image. Members noted that secondary school pupils had been invited to enter a competition to design a new brand for the catering service which had to include a new logo, market research and ideas for menus and service areas. Kirkintilloch High School had been selected as winner from the four schools who had entered the competition and would be working with the Council Design Team to finalise the branding.

A launch event would take place in the first of new PPP schools during the first term and the winning pupils from Kirkintilloch High School would be invited to the launch. The new branding would be introduced into all eight secondary schools over the course of the next year.

In response to a question from Councillor McNair regarding the launch of the new logo in Kirkintilloch High School in view of the delay in the opening of the new school and whether it would be held in the existing or new school, the Acting Head of Leisure, Property Maintenance and Facilities Management advised that it would be launched in the new schools and commented that he was hopeful that the launch in Kirkintilloch High School would not be too far behind the other PPP schools.

The Convener was heard in further explanation of the new logo (POD), advising that it stood for “Power of Dining” and congratulated Kirkintilloch High School, the Commercial Manager – Facilities Management and her team for all their hard work,

Following further discussion, the Committee noted the contents of the Report.

4. A REPORT BY HM INSPECTORATE OF EDUCATION ON THE INSPECTION OF BOCLAIR ACADEMY, BEARSDEN: MARCH 2009

There was submitted Report CTY/072/09/CM by the Corporate Director (Community), copies of which had previously been circulated, advising the Committee of the Report received from HM Inspectorate of Education regarding the inspection of Boclair Academy, Bearsden. A copy of the Inspection Report was appended to the Report.

The Committee noted that Boclair Academy was inspected in January 2009, as part of a national sample of secondary education. The Report highlighted a number of particular strengths of the school, namely: positive relationships between staff and young people; the enthusiastic well motivated and friendly young people; high quality learning and teaching in some departments; consistently high attainment in national examinations; effective partnership working to support young people with additional support needs; and effective pastoral support for young people moving from primary into S1 particularly for those most likely to find the move difficult. In addition the Inspectors highlighted the following areas as examples of good practice: Art and Design and Curriculum for Excellence and agreed the following areas for improvement with the school and the education authority: continue to improve learning and teaching by better sharing of good practice and through more effective self evaluation; and continue to improve achievement by building more effectively on young people’s learning at primary school and through better links with community partners.

As a result of the good quality of the education provided by the school, HM Inspectors would make no further visits following the inspection. Within two years of the publication of the Report, the Education authority would inform parents and carers about the progress in improving the quality of education.

With regard to Page 24, Item 3, Bullit Point, and in response to comments from Councillor McNair that Curriculum for Excellence should be separate from Art and Design, the Acting Education Officer advised that from the notes of the oral feedback from the Inspectors it was her recollection that this was the case.

Following discussion, during the course of which the Acting Education Officer was heard in further explanation of the Report including the Indicators of Quality and the areas for development, and Councillors Moody and Hutchison congratulated the Head Teacher and staff for an excellent Report and requested that the Convener writes to the Head Teacher, staff and pupils on behalf of the Committee acknowledging their good work and progress made, the Committee agreed as follows:-

a) to note the publication of the HM Inspectorate Report on Boclair Academy; and

b) acknowledge the key strengths within the school and the recommendations for improvement outlined within the HMIE Report

5. A REPORT BY HM INSPECTORATE OF EDUCATION: BEARSDEN ACADEMY – FOLLOW-THROUGH INSPECTION – MARCH 2009

There was submitted Report CTY/071/09/CM by the Corporate Director (Community), copies of which had previously been circulated, advising the Committee of the publication of the Follow-Through Report for Bearsden Academy. A copy of the Inspection Report was appended to the Report.

The Committee noted that Bearsden Academy’s HMIE Report was published in March 2007 and that the Report set out the key strengths of the school and the main points for action. In December 2008 HM Inspectorate of Education carried out a Follow-Through Inspection of the school and published the report in March 2009. The Report highlighted the following particular strengths: the consistently high levels of young people’s attainment in Scottish Qualifications Authority Examinations; continuing commitment of staff to young people’s learning and to their wider achievements in aspects such as citizenship; and the positive climate for learning in the school supported by clear leadership and well managed development in teachers’ professional skills. In addition the Report also indicated an example of good practice: the increasing impact of the Learning and Teaching Committee.

Since the school had achieved important improvements over the last two years, HM Inspectors as a result would make no further visits in connection with the Inspection Report of March 2007.

In respect to a question from K. Brown, regarding Paragraph 2.4 of the Report and whether the Learning and Teaching Committee related to the Teacher Learning Communities in Schools, the Acting Education Officer advised that it was her understanding that it did, however, she undertook to investigate the matter and provide a Technical Note for members.

Following discussion, during the course of which Councillor Hutchison congratulated the Head Teacher on a very positive Report, the Committee agreed as follows:-

a) to note the publication of the Follow-Through Report for Bearsden Academy; and

b) to congratulate the Head Teacher and his staff for the progress made in taking the school forward.

6. ADDITIONAL IN-SERVICE DAY TO SUPPORT IMPLEMENTATION OF CURRICULUM FOR EXCELLENCE – 29 SEPTEMBER 2009

Reference having been made to the Education and Cultural Services Committee of 18 March 2009 (Minutes Page 338, Paragraph 6, refers), there was submitted Report CTY/059/09/GC by the Corporate Director (Community), copies of which had previously been circulated, seeking approval to approach the Scottish Ministers for permission to close schools and nurseries for an additional day next session to support the development of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).

The Report detailed that following consultation with Head Teachers it was proposed that Tuesday, 29 September 2009 should be identified as the in-service day in session 2009-10. The additional in-service day allocated to session 2010-11 would be subject to future reports to this Committee. These reports would be informed by the development of the Curriculum for Excellence Initiative and would be subject to consultation with schools and nurseries. Members noted that 29 September 2009 had been selected to remove any disruption to any other full week of education in the session 2009-10. The additional day would be added to the September weekend holiday.

Following discussion, the Committee:-

a) approved Tuesday, 29 September 2009 as an additional in-service day to support CfE development in session 2009-10;

b) that approval be sought from the Scottish Ministers to close schools and nurseries for pupils on Tuesday, 29 September 2009; and

c) to note that a further report would be brought to the Committee to seek approval for the identification of an additional in-service day in session 2010-11.

7. HMIE REPORT FOLLOWING INSPECTION OF BOCLAIR LEARNING COMMUNITY

There was submitted Report CTY/079/09/GS by the Corporate Director (Community), copies of which had previously been circulated, advising the Committee of the report received from HM Inspectorate of Education regarding the inspection of Boclair Learning Community. A copy of the Inspection Report was appended to the Report.

The Committee was advised that the Learning Community Inspections formed part of the HMIE’s new inspection regime. From September 2008 when each non denominational secondary school was inspected, Community Learning and Development Services were subject to an inspection of provision in the school’s catchment area. This Learning Community Inspection runs concurrently with the School Inspection and took place from 12 to 16 January 2009.

The Report detailed that the Inspectors identified a number of strengths highlighting in particular a strong partnership working ethos and the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of staff and volunteers. In the sprit of the new inspection process, four areas of improvement were agreed. The Grants Advisory Committee and Bearsden Local History Group had been identified as areas of good practice and project summaries would be published nationally on the Inspectorate website. As a result of strong performance of the team and partners, the inspection process had ended with no further visits or reports expected in connection with this inspection. Progress will be monitored through the regular contact that currently exists between the HMIE and the Council.

Following discussion, during the course of which the Community Support Manager was heard in further explanation of the Report and in answer to members’ questions regarding the areas for improvement in relation to young people, the Committee agreed as follows:-

a) to note the publication of the HM Inspectorate report on the Boclair Learning Community;

b) to acknowledge the key strengths attributed to the Community Learning and Development Service and its partners; and

c) to note that areas for improvement as outlined in the HMIE Report would be taken forward in action plans as part of the service planning process.


Links to Related Documents
Agenda - Education & Cultural Services 28/04/09 (Eileen Lynch)
;
Report - Education & Cultural Services, 28/04/2009 (Eileen Lynch)