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1. Welcome and introductions
Colin welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced himself as the new Chair and Nicole as the new Secretary, thanking Stephen and Carolyn for their great work as previous Chair and Secretary, respectively.
2. Approval of 12 September 2022 minutes
Regarding Item 6 on the minutes of the previous meeting, Rubina noted that the PC accounts were seconded by Cara.
The minutes of the previous meeting were proposed by Laura and seconded by Yla.
3. Actions from 12 September 2022
Nicole noted that Glasgow City Council has confirmed that a new crossing guard will be starting at Langside Drive/Quadrant Road on 28 November and is training at an adjacent crossing until then.
Other actions are covered elsewhere on the agenda.
4. Headteacher’s Report
Colette provided a brief update, noting that a newsletter was recently sent around with further information.
The school’s funding is based on the number of children enrolled, which has dropped due to the drop in placement requests by over 50% in the last two to three years. Those who knew of carers who have received a letter regarding an unsuccessful placement request were asked to urge them to appeal. In January, enrollment and class sizes will be predicted for staffing to be allocated based on those projections.
Collette noted that Mrs Yacomine is going on maternity leave in December. Mrs Whyte will be returning to the school part-time, and it is not yet known what will happen with the other part of the vacancy.
5. Report on the work of the PC
Car-free zone enforcement
Following the 12 September meeting, Stephen had sent an enquiry to Councillor Ferguson regarding problems with car-free zones around the school being disregarded. The Councillor responded, reiterating that enforcement of the car-free zones must be done by the police. Since then, there has been police presence outside of the school, but not regularly or often.
Colette noted she had received another email from a resident complaining about people parking in front of his drive. While it can’t be confirmed this is done by carers of a Merrylee student, the issue regarding car-free zones in general at Merrylee has been ongoing for several years. While it is illegal to drive within the zones during the restricted times, it is not something that can be enforced by school staff.
Yla noted that Carolyn now Chairs the Cathcart Community Council (CCC) and asked if Merrylee would consider putting posters regarding the restrictions up for the upcoming Christmas Fair as a reminder for local residents that come along. It was agreed that it would also be helpful for one of the PC office bearers to attend a CCC meeting to raise the car-free zones as an area of community concern.
Laura provided an update on the PC finances.
Yla noted that the Zoom subscription was about to end. Colin proposed renewing the subscription to Zoom, and Laura seconded.
6. Report on the work of the PA
Yla gave an update on the Parent Association, which undertakes fundraising and activities for the school. Key points were:
- The PA currently has 17 members, with 16 active and one paused, which is a good number that allows for actions to be taken forward effectively from meetings.
- There is just over £7k in the PA bank account, of which £2.5k will come off for the seasonal products. An additional £900 is expected to be used for the Christmas Fair, of which £500 has already been committed.
- There has been an increase in let costs for activities, an additional £70 to let the rooms needed for the Christmas Fair.
- The PA has been working hard with Collette’s instruction to reduce requests for support for activities from the school community and instead look for donations etc. from the wider local community.
- Costs have also been reduced by making choices like replacing bouncy castles and inflatables with more traditional games that can be made in school, which also supports the eco initiative and encourages more participation.
- The upcoming Christmas Fair includes a reduced entry fee for adults and no charge for children in the hopes that this will make the event accessible to everybody. Once inside there are also five free activities that children can choose from.
- Yla noted that some large employers match community fundraising of their own employees annually, and that it would be beneficial for the PC to research if there are any local employers who do this with the help of parents and guardians in the school community.
- Merrylee Bike Bus
The Merrylee Bike Bus is up and running following the hard work of Clara, running from Newlands Park to the school on Friday mornings. Merrylee has also been successful in the bid for an Active Travel grant of £2k.
- The pitch
An update was requested regarding the pitch and as to whether it will be replaced or removed. Collette confirmed that the decision was still under review, but that any action will not happen any earlier than the summer. She agreed to keep people updated.
- Ice-cream van
The ice-cream van has reappeared at the end of the school. There are safety concerns regarding the parking space it takes at the corner with students needing to cross the street. It was agreed that this would also be taken to the CCC.
8. Date of next meeting: Monday 6th February 6:30pm – 8:00pm via ZOOM