PCC Jan 2017 News

Happy New Year

We hope you and your family had a very good festive season, and we wish you a very Happy New Year.

Next Parent Council Meeting

The next Parent Council meeting will be held on Tuesday 24th January, in the school staff room, at 7 pm.  Please come along if you want to find out what’s happening, or get in touch via this website, or a Parent Council member (listed here, on the “About Us” page and in the school foyer), if you’ve any issue you’d like raised.

School Inspection

We understand that the HM Schools inspectorate letter (i.e., summary of findings) will be published, as it happens, on the 24th.  This will doubtless be a topic for discussion at the upcoming PC meeting.  This letter will be released to the media on that day, and posted at www.education.gov.scot. More detailed reports will be released subsequently.  As mentioned in the November post, the school was last inspected 10 years ago.  In conversation with one of the inspecting team I learned that Oxgangs was due for inspection last year, but this was postponed subsequent to the wall failure.  I also learned both that this is a new inspecting regime, and, that in the intervening 10 years, the criteria for assessment has been revised (i.e., been made more demanding) eight times subsequent to the introduction of the Curriculum for Excellence in 2010 (I have been informed that “Satisfactory” should be viewed as the new “Good”). Finally, as the first school in Edinburgh to be subject to this inspecting regime, Oxgangs is leading the way for other schools in city as to what to expect. Being inspected after, effectively, about a term of school time subsequent to the building reopening seems a little harsh, but we await the findings.

Cole Inquiry

It was our understanding that the Cole Inquiry into the safety of PPPI buildings within Edinburgh subsequent to the collapse of the Oxgangs wall would report in December, however, we have learned that this has now been postponed till February to afford those who have been criticised a chance to reply. While it is tentatively reassuring to learn that the inquiry has found cause for criticism in the delivery and maintenance of PPPI buildings, we will have to wait another few weeks to learn the full findings.

Traffic problems

Car movements around the school continue to be a problem for us, especially at drop off time in the morning.  Within the last week there was a small collision between two vehicles on the school perimeter: a consequence of the congested and fraught nature of morning traffic around the school.  As well as traffic ban areas around various city schools, the Police are now fining drivers who flout the rules around, currently, three schools in Edinburgh, as reported in the Evening News. We don’t want to see any of these measures enforced around Oxgangs – please drive and park lawfully and be considerate of other road users.

Surveys

If you haven’t already, please have a look at the Survey page to add your say as to what out-of school activity you’d like to see at Oxgangs.

School Photographer

During last term’s parent consultation meetings, the majority of parents voted for a change in school photographer.  Consequently, school pictures will now be taken by Tempest.

And finally…

This time of year always gives pause for reflection, but, as we approach it, I couldn’t let the anniversary of the wall failure go without mention.

Last year was unprecedented in the demands put upon the school community and those associated with it.  We are in the last stages of learning the material facts related to the school building failures, which I think all parents will be keen to understand.  Personally, over and above the understandable passionate concern of parents, during that time I witnessed acts of nobility, and countless acts of quiet compassion and genuine care amongst and between parents and staff, that often got overlooked in the hurly burly.  I would say these are important lessons for children, but the children seemed to exemplify these character traits the most.  Our hope for the future, I think, can can be founded in this.