Deanbank Update 16 Jan 2020

We wanted to keep the parent community updated with information about progress relating to the ongoing Deanbank issues. 

There was an incident yesterday witnessed by several parents around pick-up time, where there were a number of tipper trucks at the Woodburn Terrace junction, and one reversed hitting the pole on the island at the zebra crossing as parents and kids were crossing the road. The PC sent an urgent communication to the council and our councillors to raise awareness of the issue. The senior manager in charge at the council has been very responsive and helpful, and has updated us as follows:  


I wanted to let you know that I will be on site tomorrow morning from about 0845 along with other colleagues from the Council. 
 
The Managing Director of Morgan Sindall has tonight instructed his team to communicate with all their subcontractors that as well as restrictions on deliveries and access / egress they are not to have any vehicles sitting stationary in the vicinity within these times. Furthermore Morgan Sindall will prohibit any deliveries to the site before 0915. This communication may not have been received by all subcontractors before tomorrow morning so we can’t guarantee 100% that there won’t be any deliveries to the site tomorrow morning before the restricted times. 
 
The Managing Director has also re-iterated that there is no greater priority to Morgan Sindall, and indeed himself personally, than the health, safety and welfare of everyone in and around their sites – particularly children. They are always happy to listen to concerns, take on board any feedback and act accordingly.
In relation to the photographs which have come through, I have had some information back from the Managing Director. The first image isn’t a vehicle that would be going to our site. The site team did notice increased traffic running along Canaan Lane today that was not related to our works. All large vehicles servicing our site today were  branded from one specific company. Some of the vehicles in the photograph are not from this company. 
 
It has been re-iterated to all subcontractors with vehicles visiting our site that sitting stationary with hazard lights on, as shown in one of the photographs is not acceptable.
 
All the Heras fencing has been subject to a temporary works design and has been installed and inspected in line with that design and is not unsafe. In addition, the Morgan Sindall Safety Director will attend site tomorrow and carry out a comprehensive inspection of the Heras fencing in order to provide reassurance to the parents and school.


In addition, our councillors continue to support us and you will likely see them at drop-off this morning. Please take this time and opportunity to share your concerns directly with all of these representatives.

The Parent Council will continue to communicate with the school and Edinburgh Council to make sure that parent voices are heard, so please do keep your feedback coming and we will do our best to help influence matters as much as we can. 

January 2020 Update

Hello and Happy New Year!

We had a bumper of a Parent Council meeting on Monday night! It was great to welcome so many parents from our school community. The hot topic was obviously the impact of the new school on Deanbank and it was good to hear from our accommodation group on what has been happening, and from Mrs Richmond and Mr Urquhart. We are hoping to be able to give you regular updates via this mailing list from our Accommodation subgroup and co-chairs as the situation progresses.

🏫 Deanbank

Last year the Parent Council asked parents to write to the council with our suggested concerns over the planning application of the new school. The concerns mainly centred around safety of the site (access roads, fencing etc), consideration (or lack of) that P1 and P2 children will be next to the site, traffic management, and the installation of a new substation and air source heat pumps in the existing Deanbank playground and the effect of this on the children. There was no reply to this letter to the Parent Council  and planning was subsequently granted in November 2019. 

The main concerns of the many parents who have emailed the Parent Council, and from Mrs Richmond, is obviously the safety of the children being so close to a construction site with only Heras (temporary metal) fencing separating them from HGVs, demolition etc! Pick up and drop off access is very limited. The children have very little space now because of the grass being too slippy in the winter to be used. The poor communication from the contractors and the council is causing much frustration. 

As a result, the Parent Council have now requested four-way, on-site meetings each month with the council, the contractor and the school leadership team in order to improve communications between everyone. Over the last week since the Parent Council and many parents have been emailing the relevant people at the council, as well as our councillors, we have already started to see action being taken such as:

  • Confirmation that the temporary access road is now available for use by parents until 9.15 am each day, and will be available until the end of the “Phase 1” works (which we believe is March)
  • The council have asked the contractor today to find a solution to the issues with the Heras fencing
  • We have had assurance that the lighting on the path is going to be improved
  • The council have asked the contractor to provide appropriate extracts from the Risk Assessment and will make these available to the school management team
  • The council are looking at different options for making the grassed area of Deanbank available. They have said they will discuss this further with the school

The situation is obviously changing daily so we will try and keep you updated. Please email any personal concerns to chair@sm-pc.org and we will field these accordingly.
 

🚙 Parking Issue!

One thing that we all can do to improve the safety of our children at Deanbank is to not double-park or park on yellow lines on Canaan Lane! This obstructs emergency access, reduces visibility at a very congested site and puts all our children at risk. PLEASE do not double park or park on yellow lines near the school.

Our Transport and Accommodation subgroups are understandably trying their best at this time to help support the school and our children. If you are able to spare some of your time to volunteer and help, please get in touch via accommodation@sm-pc.org or transport@sm-pc.org


🦺 After School Care Club proposal

Following from the last meeting, when the After School Care Club asked for access to the main hall at Comiston Road midweek, potentially displacing clubs and active schools, the clubs and ASCC teams are trying to work out a solution. Active Schools unfortunately hadn’t been involved, so a new meeting to discuss the impact on Active School clubs is happening soon. We’re hopeful a reasonable solution can be found although it is likely to mean some compromise!

🌻 Pupil Equity Fund

Thank you to SMPS teacher Mrs Agnes Campbell who spoke to us about the Pupil Equity Fund and the poverty related gap in our cluster. She has been taking a whole school approach to educate the staff and pupils about identifying poverty, reducing the stigma, what it means and what the PEF can do to help. In South Morningside, 30 families are supported to ease the financial burden and reduce inequality. Funds from the Parent Council have been very important as South Morningside doesn’t receive as much money to help as it needs from the council’s budget. School clubs and Active Schools make places available either at a reduced cost or for free. Every little helps, from the rag bag to Christmas jumper recycling. It’s great that we can support families when they need a little extra help.

🗓 Next SMPC Meeting

Our next meeting is Monday 2nd March, 18:45 – 20:20.

As always we welcome as many parents as possible to attend! Our Parent Council is run by volunteer parents who do their best to try and help enrich our children’s lives. If you think you could help at all, or would like to know more about our subgroups, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch, via email (chair@sm-pc.org), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/southmorningsidepc), or via our website at https://sm-pc.org

Minor Amendment to PC Constitution

We are looking to move to a more modern banking service, which will allow us to make payments electronically. In order to do this, we need to make a minor change to our constitution, which says that payments must be approved by two signatures:

11. Finances

· Parent Council funds shall be lodged in a bank account in the name of the Parent Council. Money shall be drawn from the account on the signature approval of any two office bearers, or other individuals as agreed in a minuted decision of the Parent Council.

A full copy of the current and proposed constitution can be found at the bottom of this page: https://sm-pc.org/more/about/

We need to publish this change ahead of our AGM on the 12th. If you are free, why not come along, enjoy a glass of wine and learn more about the PC? There will be far more interesting things being talked about than this. We promise!

Comiston Road – major gas works start Monday 23rd May 2016

SGN will be commencing major gas works on Comiston Road on Monday 23rd May 2016. They’re replacing 800m of ageing gas pipes and a one-way traffic system will be put in place for a number of weeks to prevent the need for temporary traffic lights.

SGN have supplied a document which lists all the details and you can see the new traffic flow below. A representative spoke to the Parent Council at our meeting last Monday and assured us that disruption to the school day will be minimised – he confirm there would be no drilling outside the school until after the end of the summer term.

Apparently, some of their workforce will be able to invest a bit of time helping out with school playground projects – sorting out the flower beds was specifically mentioned. We’d be happy to pass on ideas from parents for how else they might help!

comiston-road-traffic-changes.png

Information from our Head about the National Improvement Framework

nifOur acting Head Teacher, Mrs Morgan, has asked us to share some of the main points of the National Improvement Framework (NIF) with you.

The NIF comes from the Scottish Government and builds on the frameworks that are already firmly established in Scottish schools, Curriculum for Excellence and GIRFEC. The vision of the NIF is Excellence through raising attainment: ensuring that every child achieves the highest standards in literacy and numeracy and the right range of skills, qualifications and achievements to allow them to succeed; and Achieving equity: ensuring every child has the same opportunity to succeed. The Scottish Attainment Challenge will help to focus our efforts and deliver this ambition.

Gathering evidence is a key part of the NIF. There are six key drivers of improvement: school leadership, teacher professionalism, parental engagement, assessment of children’s progress, school improvement and performance information.

These six key drivers for improvement will be instrumental in achieving the key priorities which are:

  • Improvement in attainment, particularly in literacy and numeracy;
  • Closing the attainment gap between the most and least disadvantaged children;
  • Improvement in children and young people’s health and wellbeing; and
  • Improvement in employability skills and sustained, positive school leaver destinations for all young people;

You can read more about the NIF in this detailed presentation.

P7 Code Club – last chance!

P7 Code Club is coming soon to South Morningside Primary! Parents of current P7 pupils only have until Wednesday 23 March to note their interest for an expected summer term start.

If you’d like to get your child on the list please email code-club@sm-pc.org with your child’s name and class. If the club is over-subscribed, selection will be made via a ballot.

Code club is on the lookout for more parent volunteers to help run the club and is also looking for donations of old flat screen monitors, keyboards and mice. If you can help, please email code-club@sm-pc.org.

Bruntsfield/Morningside Town Centre consultation

This isn’t specifically related to any school matters, but we thought it might be of general interest to the parent community.

The council are consulting about the possible redevelopment of several sites in the Morningside/Bruntsfield area, one of which is the Deanbank/Oakland Care Home area.

https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/bruntsfield-morningside-town-centre/consult_view

The council are looking for feedback. You can email Emma Fitzgerald, the Planning Officer, or you can attend a public consultation event on Tuesday 19 Jan 2016 (14:00 – 17:00) and Saturday 23 Jan 2016 (11:00 – 14:00).