Dear Parents and Carers

We have reached the end of Session 2019/20. Phew. This last term has not what we would have wished for, but we are out the other side and may look back on this time more fondly than we are right now. We should all be proud of our children who have coped so well with these challenging times.

To our P7s, I am especially proud of the amazing cohort you have been and wish you all the very best in High School and welcome to all our new families joining Bruntsfield.

As you know, I have been very involved in many forums which as a Parent Council we have never been before. From the Consultative Committee with Parents to the Parent Councils Network and our new local cluster network, I think parents in Edinburgh have communicated more in the last 12 weeks than ever before. Bruntsfield have been part of this and have, in my opinion, contributed constructively during this time. We have been asked our views on roads, on licensing and and on a range of other issues that affect the environment in which our children live and although you may not always have agreed with me, I have done my best to represent our community objectively and without my personal bias. My office bearers have been with me to hold me to account and ensure that I do this with all our interests at heart.

It has been stressful for all of us in many ways. The recent announcement by the Deputy First Minster will have filled as many of you with worry and concern has with joy. We need to respect these views, ensuring we focus on the needs of the vulnerable within our community and do our best to maintain social distancing over the summer. COVID has not gone and we must not forget that.

Of the recent meetings, the most relevant right now has to be the CCwP n- the consultative committee with parents. The two and a half hours – available to view on the Council website – covered much ground last night. Highlights which I think are relevant for you all to note are:

– the Council will focus on building confidence in parents and staff that children will be returning to a safe environment.

– there is an acknowledgement that the Council may be required to move quickly to implement the contingency plan should the need arise;

– within all of this communication with parents and staff is key. The Council website and FAQs will be regularly updated and the text alert service will advice parents of urgent changes that they need to be aware of;

– whilst the Council hope to provide you with regular updates across the summer, there may be issues that remain unanswered. You should expect a full update on the plans at the end of July;

– return to full attendance is totally contingent on the continual suppression of the virus and low levels of transmission;

– the Council have shared some documents with me on the school operation toolkits, cleaning and infection control protocols and the local delivery plan. These are weighty and some still awaiting approval. I will endeavour to share these when I have time but if you feel the need you can search for them on the Council website.

– the anticipation is that there will be another parental meeting during the first week in August and I have already registered to attend on your behalf.

I realise that there is a lot to take in and it’s certainly been a learning curve for me. I will try to answer your worries or concerns but please realise that this has been a fast moving situation and I really don’t have all the answers.

As I have said in my previous emails, I am really keen to ensure that in order for the parent council to continue to function into 2020/21, we need to fill some office bearer and coopted roles which where the current holders will cycle off at the end of their tenure. If you think you have any interest in getting involved, now is the time. We are through some major crisis points and with luck and compliance we are out of the worst of it.

This gives us the opportunity to #buildbackbetter and make sure that our operations (clubs, events, social activities) are truly fit for purpose and the next ten years. I can’t do this alone and with my older daughter off to secondary school and my younger daughter soon to be P6, my tenure cannot last indefinitely. I need you to get involved. I need you to help me shape this for the future.

Please think if you can contribute, can share a role, have some enthusiasm and energy you want to bring to our community, we would love to have you on board.

Now I will sign off for a couple of weeks. As you know, I will always do my best to respond to your concerns and complaints but please bear with me as I take a little time to re-charge some empty battery cells.

Much love to you and your families and to our key workers, our eternal thanks.

With my very best wishes.

Karen Galloway
Bruntsfield Parent Council