The Burgh Council Constitution

Musselburgh Burgh Primary School, Parent Council Constitution   DEFINITIONS “The Parent Forum” – this means all the parents and carers of children at the school. ‘The Burgh School Council’ – the name given to the group responsible for ensuring all parents and carers views are involved in the life of the school. ‘Quorum’ – the number of people needed to make a vote legitimate‘Independent financial inspector’  – a suitably qualified person who checks the accounts 

1.     This is the constitution for the Burgh School Council. 

WHAT THE COUNCIL IS FOR?    

2.     The objectives of the Burgh School Council are:

  • To work in partnership with the school to create a welcoming environment which is inclusive for all parents and carers.
  • To promote partnership between the school, its pupils, parents, carers and the wider community.
  • To initiate, develop and engage in activities which support the education and welfare of the pupils.
  • To identify and represent the views of parents and carers on the education provided by the school and other matters affecting the education and welfare of the pupils.
The Council is not the appropriate body in which to raise concerns about a particular child. These should be raised with the class teacher and then if necessary with the Head or Depute Head Teacher. However if you feel that your problem/query is one that is shared by parents more widely, then it can be brought to the Council.

  

    HOW WILL IT BE MADE UP?

3.         The membership will be a maximum of two named representative parents/carers from each class including two named parents/carers from the nursery and two from the Communication Provision. The Burgh School Council will be selected for a minimum period of one year, with a maximum period of three years after which the members may put themselves forward for re-selection if they wish.

4.         Any parent/carer of children at the school can volunteer to be a member of the Burgh School Council. In the event that the number of volunteers exceeds the number of places set out in the constitution, named representatives for each class will be drawn out of a hat. Anyone not selected to be a named class representative on the Burgh School Council will still be welcome to participate in all meetings and to be part of any sub-groups set up by the Council.    

WHO ELSE MAY BE INVOLVED?

5.         The Burgh School Council may co-opt local councillors and other community members to strengthen partnerships and assist with carrying out its functions. Co-opted members will be invited to serve for a minimum of one and maximum of three years after which time the Burgh School Council will review and reconsider requirement for co-opted membership. The number of parent members must always be greater than co-opted members.

6.         The head teacher of the school has a right and a duty to attend meetings of the Burgh School Council, or to be represented.Two members of school staff will be invited to attend each meeting representing the following groups: Teachers P1-3, Teachers P4-7, Nursery Teachers and Nursery nurses, Communication Provision and Support Staff.            Members of the Burgh School Council will maintain links with the Pupil Council, attending their meetings where appropriate. 

OFFICE BEARERS

7.         A Chair, Vice-Chair and Treasurer should be appointed from the parent members of the Burgh School Council immediately following its formation. Office bearers will be able to serve for a minimum of one and maximum of three years. The method of appointment will be decided by the council members. If a child of an office bearer ceases to be a pupil, a new appointment should be made at the next meeting. Office bearers should give the maximum possible period of notice and a minimum of one month before leaving their position in order to allow for transitional training for new appointees.A paid Clerk will be appointed to provide administrative support. 

COMMUNICATION WITH THE PARENT FORUM

8.         The Burgh School Council is accountable to the Parent Forum for Musselburgh Burgh Primary School and will make a report to it at least once a year on its activities on behalf of all the parents.            If 40 members of the Parent Forum request a special general Meeting to discuss issues falling within the Burgh School Council’s remit, the Council shall arrange this. The Burgh School Council shall give all members of the Forum at least 2 weeks notice of the meeting and, at the same time, circulate notice of the matter, or matters to be discussed at the meeting.

9.         The Annual Meeting of the Parent Forum will be held in September of each year. A notice of the meeting including date, time, and place will be sent to all members of the Parent Forum at least two weeks in advance. The meeting will include:

  • A report on the work of the Burgh School Council and its sub-groups
  • Presentation of the named members of the Burgh School Council
  • Discussion of issues that members of the Parent Forum may wish to raise
  • Approval of the accounts and appointment of an independent financial inspector.

 HOW OFTEN WILL THE COUNCIL MEET?

10.       The Burgh School Council will meet at least once every school term.            Should a vote be necessary to make a decision every parent/carer attending the meeting will have one vote, with the Chair having the casting vote in the event of a tie.            Any four members of the Burgh School Council can request than an additional meeting be held, and all parents/carers will be given at least one week’s notice of the date, time and place of the meeting. 

WHAT IF THINGS GO WRONG?

11.        If a Burgh School Council member acts in a way that is considered by other members to undermine the objectives of the Council, their membership shall be terminated if the majority of members agree. Termination of membership would be confirmed in writing to the member. 

BEING OPEN WITH INFORMATION

12.       Copies of the minutes of all meetings will be available to all parents/carers of children at Musselburgh Burgh Primary School and to all school staff. Copies will be available at school reception and should be posted on the school website. 

ISSUES OF CONFIDENTIALITY

13.       Meetings of the Burgh School Council shall be open to all parents/carers, unless the School Council is discussing an issue which it considers should be dealt with confidentially in which case an additional closed meeting may be held.  

14.       The Burgh School Council will set up a policy sub-group to deal with most issues of confidentiality. The Policy Group should consist of the head teacher, or his or her representative and up to six parents. There may also be one co-opted community member. It should be chaired by the Burgh School Council Chair or Vice-Chair. Where the policy group feels they should not take a decision on the Council’s behalf the matter will be referred to a closed meeting of the Burgh School Council. 

FINANCES

15.       The Treasurer will open a bank or building society account in the name of the Burgh School Council. Withdrawals will require the signature of the Treasurer and one of two other named Burgh School Council members.            The Treasurer will keep an accurate record of all income and expenditure, and will provide a summary of this for each Burgh School Council meeting and a full account for the Annual Meeting of the Parent Forum. The Burgh School Council accounts will be inspected by an independent financial inspector appointed at the previous Annual Meeting.            The Burgh School Council will be responsible for ensuring that all monies are used in accordance with the objectives of the Burgh School Council. 

QUORUM (HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU NEED TO MAKE A DECISION)

16.       A quorum for decision making shall consist of the head teacher, or their named representative, 5 named (class representative) parents/carers and the Chair or Vice-Chair. 

DEALING WITH CHANGE

17.       The Burgh School Council may change its constitution after obtaining consent from members of the Parent Forum.  Members of the Parent Forum will be sent a copy of any proposed amendment and given reasonable time to respond to the proposal.

18.       Should the Burgh School Council cease to exist, any remaining funds will be passed to the education authority to be used for the benefit of the school (or schools), where this continues.

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