Minute of Comann nam Pàrant (Nàiseanta) meeting
Comann nam Pàrant (Nàiseanta) (CnP(N))
Saturday 22nd May 2010 at 10am in Comunn na Gàidhlig office, 5 Mitchell's Lane, Inverness
Dawn Morgan (DM) Inbhir Nis
Bob McGowan (BM) Dùn Èideann agus Lodainn
Marsaili Dow (MD) Siorrachd Air
Lorna NicDhiarmaid (LN) An t-Eilean Sgitheanach
Fiona Byrne (FB) Lochaber
Magaidh Wentworth (MW) Oifigear Phàrant
Sharon Methven (SM) Obar Dheathain
Fiona NicLeòid (FN) Ros an Ear
2. Election of Office bearers
The meeting began with the Parental Officer taking the chair. MW welcomed those present and explained the reason she was in the chair was in order to elect the new office bearers.
Convener : Dawn Morgan was proposed by Bob McGowan
Seconded by Fiona Byrne
Dawn was elected unopposed.
Vice-Convener : Bob McGowan was proposed by Marsaili Dow
Seconded by Dawn Morgan
Bob was elected unopposed
Secretary : Fiona Byrne was proposed by Marsaili Dow
Seconded by Bob McGowan
Fiona was elected unopposed.
Treasurer : Marsaili Dow was proposed by Dawn Morgan
Seconded by Bob McGowan
Marsaili was elected unopposed.
3. Minutes of previous meeting
The minutes of the meeting on 21st November were accepted and the minute from meeting on March 6 th noted.
Proposed: Dawn Morgan
Seconded: Marsaili Dow
4. Matters arising not on the agenda
From §3 Operational Plan ‘Letter to chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig regarding additional staffing for CnP sent and reply received from the Chair which was supportive and suggested a meeting with BnaG management team, to be arranged in December.
The meeting with BnaG management team has not taken place but along with all other Gaelic organisations Comann nam Pàrant has received a request from BnaG to make a presentation to a panel from the Board on the 18 th June. In the 15 minute presentation we have been asked to explain the work that CnP(N) are currently undertaking, how our organisation could contribute towards implementing the Action Plan for Gaelic, how we will work with other organisations, an estimate of costs of projects and if we can access additional funding. After the presentation there will be 45 minutes for discussion.
Members agreed that the CnP presentation should be ambitious.
There was concern expressed about lack of out of school provision at secondary level and worry about children’s Gaelic regressing at this stage, there is especially a lack of social language development for children from non-Gaelic speaking homes. Also at primary level at the same time that CnP are promoting GME other services such as Homework clubs and Sradagan are being withdrawn and this needs to be addressed.
Action: DM and MW to work on presentation with input from other members through e-mail
5. Comann nam Pàrant (Nàiseanta) – The way ahead
DM said that this was on the agenda because of recent poor attendance at national meetings and referred to our meeting in March which had not been quorate. At that meeting there had been some discussion on actions that could be taken to improve the situation.
Members felt that Saturday mornings remained the best time for meetings. We should continue to strengthen links with local groups and encourage participation at national level. MW said that there was a seminar on the ‘Benefits of Bilingualism’ planned for the Western Isles that was hoped would encourage parents there to be more active. It was felt that provision of childcare would probably not make a huge difference but that we should investigate helping with childcare costs to enable parents to attend. We could also look at video or telephone conferencing but this could involve a lot of organisation without much benefit.
6. Parental Advisory Scheme
MW reported that since our last meeting there had been training sessions for the scheme in Aberdeen and Glasgow. A questionnaire has just been issued to parents who have attended training asking for feedback on their activities, use and development of resources and future training needs.
As we had heard the previous meeting at our AGM it is being suggested that the scheme should be extended to provide advice to parents when children are starting secondary provision. Members agreed that more information and support was needed for parents of secondary children but that advisors at this stage would have a different role, involving more co-operation with teachers and we would require parents with experience at secondary.
Members asked if contact details for advisors in each area could be made available on CnP website.
Action: MW to progress
MW said that she had still to purchase publicity materials for Comann nam Pàrant. There has been discussion with Rosemary (BnaG) and Iona (GME Promotion Officer, Western Isles) on the need for a DVD which would promote GME to parents.
There was discussion from members on the importance of visibility of Gaelic in signage and literature. BM said that as the National Museum was currently undergoing a major refurbishment that now would be an ideal opportunity to raise the profile of Gaelic. Possibly background teaching material might also be made available in Gaelic which would be another resource for children in GME in Edinburgh as well as visiting children through projects such as the CnP Gaelic week in Edinburgh.
Action : MW to ask BnaG if the National Museum has been contacted re: Gaelic Language Plan 8. Comann nam Pàrant Area Meetings
The Highland Regional meeting on 17th April had been well attended (minute of meeting attached).
The main issue discussed had been the proposed changes to teacher / pupil ratio in Highland. Members expressed concern that there appeared to be a discrepancy between the current drive from BnaG to increase numbers in GME whilst at the same time there were to be cuts in teachers and out of school activities such as Sradagan. It was also felt that the additional stress on teachers would make it more difficult to attract people to the profession. Members felt that this made a mockery of Highland Council’s Gaelic Language Plan and that we should contact BnaG regarding the failure of the council to implement their plan
Action: Letter to BnaG re: HC Plan
9. Annual General Meeting
There had been a reasonable attendance at the AGM and CnP were grateful to both speakers for giving up their Friday evening to attend. The paper on secondary curriculum is very important and members felt that they would like an opportunity to comment.
Action : Letters to Rosemary and Catriona thanking them for their contribution to the AGM
Action : MW to contact Rosemary asking if CNP can respond to consultation on secondary curriculum
FB said that Fort William nursery has reached capacity and parents had written to Highland Council asking that there be provision in Banavie and were currently awaiting a response.
There are feasibility studies being undertaken in Fort William and Portree by the council but there is no timeframe.
Comann nam Pàrant groups in both areas think it would be beneficial to meet up and co-ordinate activities.
BM said that the P1 intake this year in Tollcross would be 43.
11. Meetings 2010-11
Meeting dates were set as follows:
Sat. 4th Sept in Inverness
Sat. 20th Nov. in Glasgow
Sat. 5th March in Inverness
Friday 20th May AGM in Glasgow
Sat. 21st May in Glasgow