Parents’ Forum

Parents’ Forum Beech Hill School
14/04/2016 2-3pm

Agenda:

1.      Welcome and register check
2.      Introduction
3.      Ground rules and group meeting rules
4.      Parent forum discussion topics

– Home –  school communication
– Behaviour policy
– Uniform
– Reports/ parents evenings
– Curriculum
– Assessment

5.      Any other business
6.      Date of next meeting

Attendees:
3 members of staff:

Mrs Fiona  Pether (FP)
Mrs Marie Lee (ML)
Miss Aneta (translator)
16 parents

Minutes:

1.      FP welcomed the attendees, and advised parents to enjoy the refreshments and sign the register.  The attendees advised FP that some more parents were delayed and would be joining us shortly.

2.      FB advised that this was the first head teacher’s forum for some time. She advised that since her return from maternity leave it has become one of her roles.  FP advised that learning mentors and translators would be present during these meetings. ML had volunteered for this first meeting. She thanked parents for their attendance and great turnout today.

3.      FP and the parents agreed meeting and group ground rules including:

– Confidentiality of the group.
– Allowing others to speak in turn.
– Non-disclosure of specific children or families.
– The use of mobile phones (silent or vibrate, unless otherwise agreed)
– Looking for solutions to issues raised rather than simply airing complaints
– Maintaining positivity within the meeting
– The rotation of days and times of the meetings in order to offer inclusion to all parents within the school.

The parents agreed with FP comments and advised that they had a lot of positive feedback and suggestions to offer at the meeting.

4.      FP opened up the forum inviting the discussion of topics. LST asked to start as she had a large list of positive suggestion. LST advised Beech Hill of a community opportunity that she had been offered, in the form of community engagement champion. Liaising with the NHS and CCG as a voice from the community to the CCG, to gain health based funding and services for the area and the community. LST advised that this had massive implications. This could range from fitness classes to improving health facility access to all. LST has applied for the position and should hopefully begin training mid-May at which time more information can be communicated to the forum.

Suggestions that were to be explored as a community engagement champion include:

– Tackling obesity
– Diabetes prevention
– Mental health
– Health service improvement
– Getting families fit together
– Nutrition/ allergies education and classes
– Friday afternoon classes/ sports sessions
– Ladies self-defence classes
– Kids martial arts
– Family fitness classes,
– Kids yoga

LST advised she would want to promote one area of funding that wold improve health and lives of children within Beech Hill. Funding to give every Beech Hill family a free Nitty Gritty comb and free nit and worm education and prevention, including easy access to treatment as these parasites effect communities and are highly contagious. An open communication network regarding parasitic infection is important to prevent a larger scale outbreak in the community.

LST advised that she is due to work with council regarding road safety training. LST advised she was aware Beech Hill had partaken in the pedestrian training. She felt that the training should be extended into nursery and reception but that at present that training didn’t exist. Many road safety incidents (near misses) had been witnessed and could have been prevented by parents supervising their children properly. LST advised Calderdale council is thinking about adult training which may be useful for the school. LST advised she would send through contact details for the council to FP regarding this training for parents at the school. Everyone agreed road safety and traffic was an issue around Beech Hill School. FP to communicate with contact the various road safety issues of concern.

LST advised that parents who attended the coffee morning and also those who had attended recent training had asked for a sessional drop in be that weekly/ monthly quarterly.  These sessions would allow parents to ask for help, support and signposting in different areas. This could include behaviour issues, family issues, supporting learning etc. LST advised her specialism was community training including food and nutrition, allergies and specialist diets, cooking, money management, food hygiene. The sessions could be used to signpost people to different services within the community promoting an integrative referral community of organisations supporting each other.

LST lastly voiced her concerns of the catering staff and their management of specialist diets within the school. LST advised she had contacted Mrs Hussain regarding this and had a positive response, but was still waiting to talk with the catering manager. LST advised that if they needed any further information in this area to contact her and that all the staff, (including catering and lunch time staff), were excellent but perhaps needed a little more information. LST advised of the free FSA training available online for staff. Additional parents and FP advised they were aware of some issues when dealing with specialist diets and allergies.

Parent A- requested newsletters for the nursery children. Although available online parent A advised she would much prefer a newsletter in paper form so she was able to see what events and activities were at Beech Hill that week.

Litter in the area was discussed. LST enquired about the responsibility of duties for the grassy area on pavement near to the pedestrian crossing. ML and FP advised this was council property. LST advised that she had informed a ward link worker of a bushy overgrowth in the area and it had been cut back. LST advised that litter in this area is unacceptable, as is dog excrement. The parents all agreed that dog excrement and litter in the area and on Pellon Lane presented a problem. A petition or request to council to rectify this situation is needed by parents and teachers. ML and FP agreed that Beech Hill is an outstanding school and that should be reflected in its appearance roadside.

Road safety including that of traffic driving up mount and down Mount Pleasant is an ongoing concern. The parents praised Beech Hill staff for their use of cones at Beech Hill car park entrance. All parents felt more could be done to improve the traffic problems and dangerous driving in the area. ML has been verbally abused when improving the road safety and advising drivers in the mornings and afternoons. This is not acceptable. The parents agreed that further action needs to be taken including more police/ traffic warden presence on a regular basis. FP indicated the difficulties faced by staff when attempting to engage civic presence in the area on a regular basis.  It was agreed by the parents that proactive parent led approach may be more successful in improving driving behaviours and awareness around the school. A road safety awareness week that involved the children and parents may be the opportunity to promote the message within the community that dangerous traffic behaviours and staff abuse are not tolerated and are not acceptable. Many parents agreed to participate in a demonstration in the area to raise attention to this problem.

FP and ML advised that a road safety petition has currently been applied for by residents and is progressing through the council’s application process. This is to enable road safety measures such as road signs to applied to the street.

Parent c advised that different end of day times for nursery and for the rest of the school on the last day of term posed difficulties. These different class end times resulted in repeated returns to school. Parent c polite fully requests extension of the nursery time by 1 hour or a club to allow for ease of parent pick up.
Norreen polite fully requested that the learning logs be changed to include printed lines to help the children improve composition and writing. FP advised this could be implemented.

LST felt that Eastern European groups were under represented at the forum meeting. LST asked if a meet and greet, a befriending service with other parents or a general get together with those new to Britain or those unable to speak English was possible. FP advised that this is something Beech Hill are aware of and that the translator and two Eastern European parents attending today were working to improve communication lines between those communities and other families/ the school.

All of parents agreed that the school provided exceptional teaching and affiliated services. All were very happy with the direction the school was taking. The school is widely recognised as vastly improved. all parents attending were very happy with the schools policies, congratulating the staff on what they have achieved.

5.      AOB none

6.      Next date:  Not yet specified but as previously discussed with FP a rotating schedule every term to ensure full and representative attendance.