Committee meeting: 3rd November 2014


Thursday 3 November, 2014, in Liberton High School, Edinburgh


Present: J Robertson (in the chair), N Craik-Collins, V Donaldson, S Gibson, G Hunt, S Kelly, H Kinnear, C Oates, R Shanks,  P Sharp, G Thomson, D Torrance, A Wood.

    1. Apologies:               M Alcorn, S Beattie, J Horsburgh, D McCallum, J Polglase, T Wallace, K Westacott , I White
  • Minutes and matters arising: the minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as an accurate record.
  • SCEL Event: it was agreed to send two committee members, Neil Craik-Collins and Hazel Kinnear, to the SCEL event on Tuesday 25 November.
  • BELMAS twitter chat: every month BELMAS organises a chat on twitter and Rehana has been asked to host this month’s chat. Social justice and engagement with the community were seen as a possible theme as was ‘Who really holds the power in schools?’
  • SELMAS Conference:
  • AW reported that a total of 69 delegates had attended on the day from a final (approximate) total of 76 bookings. There had been a considerable number of last minute cancellations, primarily because of lack of available cover for schools. It had also been made clear in various informal conversations that tight budgets, in schools and other organisations, had had a major impact on bookings.
  • It was agreed that all three speakers had been informative and stimulating, Lesley Riddoch and Sheila Laing being particularly inspiring.
  • The website has a wide range of blogs and posts indicating the values identified as priorities by the conference and highly positive responses from participants.
  • We require however to consider venue and costs and attendance for next year. The possibility of moving to a Friday (or a Saturday) and lower costs were considered.
  • It was agreed that AW would ask for feedback from Committee members re theme and speakers for next year.
  • It was agreed to invite a focus group from those who had attended to meet, evaluate and consider how to improve the event: AW and GH would organise this.
  • After considerable discussion and debate, it was agreed to continue the matter of next year’s conference to a future committee meeting.
  • Character Scotland: the event on 27 January in Strathclyde University, to be addressed by Joan Mowatt and Judith McClure, will be badged as a joint-SELMAS/ Character Scotland event . GH also reported on a Character Scotland Conference on 15/16 June. It was agreed to invite Gary Welch of Character Scotland to the next committee meeting.
  • SELMAS Forum: it was agreed to proceed with St George’s as the venue on Thursday evening, 14 May 2015. It was agreed that the broad theme of Social justice: who holds educational power? How is it used? could be continued by examining issues such as vocational education, raising ambition, positive destinations, school starting ages, health and welfare. The question was posed as to whether we can we run the forum as a debate or two debates? It was agreed, in the aftermath of the excellent organisation of last year’s programme that GT, supported by NC-C, SK, RS, VD would coordinate the programme for the Forum. GH and HK to coordinate flowers, tables etc.
  • AOCB: it was agreed to purchase a stand-up banner for SELMAS. JR would pass material held to CO who would report back to the next committee meeting.

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