Category Archives: Parent School Council

Recruitment Observations -Parent Observers required

Recruitment Observations

The Parent Council is often asked to provide Parent Observers to assist in staff interviews, the role usually includes:


Lesson Observation

The parent observer will sit in a classroom watching the candidate teach a class and taking notes on various aspects of the lesson.  There is a checklist of what to look for.   The class is normally an S1 or S2 class.  Often we have two classroom observations running at the same time so the parent will swap with the other observer half way through the lesson so they can observe both candidates.  There is a feedback meeting at the end of the interview process.



The parent observer will sit on the interview panel, asking questions and taking notes, normally with the Head Teacher and a Depute/Faculty Head.  There will be a sheet of prepared questions, which the Head Teacher will go over with the parent before the interviews commence.  There is a feedback meeting at the end of the interview process.

This is a great opportunity for you to play an important part of the life of the school and see what happens in a classroom!

No experience is required.  If you’d like to be involved in interviews and are able to commit a half day or in some case a whole day to the process (it’s good to have continuity of the same observer for all applicants), then please contact the Parent Council and you’ll be put on a list of interested parents.  When we’re approached by the school office for volunteers, you’ll receive an email seeking your assistance, with dates etc.  then it’s first come first served.  We hope that this can extend the reach of parental involvement within the school.   You don’t need to be a member of the Parent Council to take part in this, but you do need to have a strong desire to play an important part in the ongoing development of the school.


John Wrinn

Chair of the Knox Parent Council


Here are comments from other parents who’ve helped out recently:


“When I saw an email asking for parent helper I ignored it.  After all I had been out the work place for many years and I thought I would be of no help at all.  Another few emails came out and as no one stepped forward I decided to offer my help.  I admit I was apprehensive the first time I was involved with an interview.  That was about a year ago and I have now been involved with quite a few.  The role is fairly informal.  You sit in a classroom and observe the interviewee.  You are given a sheet of paper with guidelines.  As a parent you observe the interview in a different way from a teacher.  I really think this helps the interview panel to acquire a better overall impression of the candidate.  I also benefitted from the process.  I know more of the staff and they in turn know who I am, I have a better understanding of how the school functions and I have an active role in my children’s school.  I would highly recommend being involved.”   KB


“Being a parent observer was a great experience.  It gives both a great insight into classroom learning at the school and ensures that parental views are taken into account during the recruitment process.  It’s well worth a morning of your time.”  SS

Employability Skills and Vocational Training

Employability skills were discussed as a recent PSP meeting- mainly in relation to preparing pupils for the interviews/tests that they have to undergo to secure places on training courses with major employers such as EDF and RBS

A couple of web sites were noted as being particularly useful when helping pupils prepare

The school’s employability skills training is open to all senior pupils that want to take part.  Knox recently won the Community Partners Team award at the recent East Lothian Council Star Awards  for their Employability Skills Programme

A couple of additional web sites that may be useful for vocational training are







The PSP AAA Award

This year, for the first time, the PSP will be presenting an award to acknowledge a pupil, an unsung hero, who goes the extra mile for an extraordinary achievement. It is not for academic or sporting success, but for someone who, possibly out of school, has persevered and committed their time and energies in pursuit of an extraordinary goal. The award will be called the AAA award (Attitude, not Aptitude determines your Altitude).

If you know of a pupil who should be considered for this award, please let us know, either by email or through the school, as soon as possible.

PSP October Meeting

The PSP met on the 5th October. The minutes will be available in November, but there are some issues that we should share with you now.

  • Adverse Weather. The school is making preparations for the inevitable disruption that will occur. The school will stay open whenever possible but, in the event of closure, there will be work available on the school website, especially for exam classes. The teachers will be speaking to the pupils about what is expected of them and they will be well aware of the procedure should they have to study at home. So, if your child tells you they have nothing to do, ask them to check again. If all else fails, they can read a book! We, as parents, need to be prepared too. Can you please make sure that you have emergency cover in place in case your children need to go home early, and ensure that the school can contact you if necessary.
  • Mobile Phones. Can we remind you of the school’s policy regarding phones? Strictly speaking, phones shouldn’t be taken into school at all, but those of us whose children do after-school activities like them to have a phone for safety reasons. If this is the case, then your child can hand their phone into the school office first thing in the morning. They should collect it at the end of the school day and then hand it to whoever is running the after-school club for safe keeping. They should not leave it in the changing rooms.

If you have any suggestions or concerns about the school, you can contact us via the website and we will do what we can to help you. Remember that if you have a specific concern that affects your child, you should contact your child’s guidance teacher directly.