Consultation on Local Police Plan

21 September 2022: Edinburgh Police Division are developing local policing priorities for 2023 to 2026.  A forward looking Local Police Plan will be published in April 2023.

The views of the local community are fundamental to ensure their priorities align with local needs.

They are inviting the community to contribute to development of the Local Police Plan by completing the “Your Police 2022-2023” survey.  They are keen to get as many opinions as possible, so please consider adding your input.

Your Police 2022-2023 – Police Scotland – Citizen Space

If you have further questions you can contact the South East Community Policing Team by email or visit their website:

Email Community Policing Team

South East Community Policing Team

Latest newsletter from Connect now out

11 September 2022: Connect, the body supporting Parent/School interactions, has just published its September newsletter. This edition includes a wide variety of issues including:

  • Connect’s Parent/Carer Survey on School Uniforms
  • Booking details for the lively autumn schedule of  Connect’s online Information Sessions for Members
  • Connect’s consultation submission on the next Mental Health Strategy
  • A head’s-up about Connect’s AGM plus information on becoming a volunteer Director
  • Scottish Qualifications – the Hayward Review
  • The latest education updates

Read Connect’s September 2022 newsletter here

More about Connect on their website

Recording of Parent Council meeting on 6 September now available

Updated 15 September 2022: Many thanks to those who were able to attend the meeting of the Parent Council on Tuesday 6 September 2022. It was a packed agenda and a wide range of issues were addressed:

  • PC report and update on Head Teacher recruitment – Sarah Scott, Chair JGHS Parent Council
  • Head Teacher report – Neil McCallum, Acting Head Teacher
  • Christmas Concert 2022 – Mairi McLennan, Curriculum Lead for Performing Arts
  • Active Schools – Eliot Ambrose, Active Schools Coordinator for JGHS
  • Darroch Refurbishment – Laura Stewart, Deputy Head Teacher
  • Q&A

Listen again

If you would like to listen back to any sections of the meeting, the recording of the meeting is now available on YouTube:

Listen to the JGHS Parent Council meeting 6 September 2022

Darroch refurbishment

The slides from Laura Stewart’s presentation about the refurbishment of the Darroch Annex and use of the space planned can be accessed below:

Darroch Refurbishment

If you have any questions that were not answered during the meeting, please contact the Parent Council and we will follow them up:

Email the Parent Council

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Parent Council will be on Wednesday 12 October.

This meeting will be our AGM, and will be held in-person in the School for the first time in over 2 and a half years. We very much hope that you will be able to join us.

Agenda for Parent Council meeting on 6 September

2 September 2022: The first Parent Council meeting of this session will be held on Tuesday 6 September at 7 pm, and all parents and carers are most warmly invited to attend. This meeting will be held online using MS Teams, and the joining link will be circulated by email by the School next week.

The provisional agenda for the meeting is:

  • PC report and update on Head Teacher recruitment – Sarah Scott, Chair JGHS Parent Council
  • Head Teacher report – Neil McCallum, Acting Head Teacher
  • Christmas Concert 2022 – Mairi McLennan, Curriculum Lead for Performing Arts
  • Active Schools – Eliot Ambrose, Active Schools Coordinator for JGHS
  • Darroch Refurbishment – Laura Stewart, Deputy Head Teacher
  • Q&A

If there are particular issues or queries that you would like raised during the meeting, please send these to us by email:

Email the Parent Council

Please note that there will no written Q&A after the meeting. Please emphasise any question you are interested in by using the “like” function in the Q&A panel to help us get through all business during the meeting.

Dates for upcoming Parent Council meetings

21 August 2022: The JGHS Parent Council meeting will be holding regular meetings throughout the year. All parents and carers are very warmly invited to join us at these meetings, and to bring any questions or areas of concern to our discussions.

This year’s meetings will be held in a mixture of online and in-person formats.

Dates of meetings

Meetings will be held at 7 pm on the following dates:

  • Tuesday 6 September 2022
  • Wednesday 12 October 2022 (AGM)
  • Tuesday 29 November 2022
  • Wednesday 1 February 2023
  • Tuesday 21 March 2023
  • Wednesday 31 May 2023

Contact us

f there are any issues you would like to raise with the Parent Council, please contact us by email:

Email the Parent Council

Welcome back to the Parent Council

19 August 2022: The first Parent Council meeting for 2022/23 will be on Tuesday 6 September at 7pm. 

This will be an online meeting and will be an opportunity to find out about the work of the PC, meet our new Headteacher, Neil McCallum, and hear about what is happening at the school at the start of the new term.

Questions for the meeting can be raised in advance by emailing the Parent Council and we will try to include them in the updates. There will also be the opportunity to raise questions via the Q&A typed chat facility on the night.  

Email the Parent Council

Please look out for the joining link for the meeting, which will be sent by the School in the week of the meeting.

This year, the PC plans to have a mixture of online and in-person meetings – dates for all the meetings are given below:

  • Tuesday 6 September 2022
  • Wednesday 12 October 2022 (AGM)
  • Tuesday 29 November 2022
  • Wednesday 1 February 2023
  • Tuesday 21 March 2023
  • Wednesday 31 May 2023

Goodbye to Mr Macdonald

Wonderful send off from parents and carers

When the Parent Council made an appeal to families to contribute to a fund to mark Donald Macdonald’s retirement from teaching, and from JGHS, we were confident that it would be well supported, reflecting the high regard in which our departing Head teacher is held, and the affection which the school community has for him.

We are therefore delighted to announce that this appeal raised the sum of £2,212.86.

We were delighted, on behalf of parents and families at the school, to present Donald with a beautiful bowl from a local pottery, and also with his very own Leavers 2022 hoodie. The lovely farewell messages from JGHS families have been compiled and are being passed on to Donald as a further souvenir of his time at Gillespie’s.

Gifts presented to Mr Macdonald by the Parent Council

Donald J Macdonald Award

The generosity of families means that we are able now to set up an award which will be an enduring legacy of Donald’s time at the school. This will be named the Donald J Macdonald Award and will aim to recognise the achievements of pupils, reflecting the values of the school of respect, kindness, integrity, inclusion and high expectations, which Donald himself values so much and promoted throughout his time here.

Further details of the award will be announced in the new school year, to allow consultation with the school and – most importantly – Donald himself.

Thank you!

Over the last ten years at Gillespie’s Donald has seen thousands of children through their schooling and on to life in the outside world. We would like to thank him for for his commitment to Gillespie’s over that period, through good times, and great times, but also – and particularly over the last two years – in times which have been challenging and stressful. 

His support of children and families throughout, and also his willingness to take unpopular stances on our behalf, knowing that it was in the best interests of the school and its pupils, has been very much appreciated.

Goodbye, Donald, and our very best wishes for a long, healthy and happy retirement. Or, as they might say in North Uist: Gur math a thèid leibh, a Dhòmhnuill – bidh sinn gur n-ionndrainn!

JGHS Parent Council

Backchat termly newsletter is now available

24 June 2022: The Summer edition of the Backchat newsletter from Connect (formerly the Scottish Parent Teacher Council) is now available.

Read the newsletter here

This edition includes an introduction to Connect’s new Executive Director, Patrick McGlinchey, who takes up his role on 1 August 2022.

You can also read a summary of Connect’s Health and Wellbeing in Schools survey report. Booking links for the live online Information Sessions for August and September are available too.

Mr Neil McCallum to be Acting Head Teacher at JGHS

10 June 2022: Today parents and carers at JGHS received a letter from Jackie Reid, Acting Senior Education Manager at the City of Edinburgh Council, to say that Mr Neil McCallum, currently Head Teacher at Balerno High School, has been appointed as Acting Head Teacher at JGHS from August to December, 2022.

The letter went on to say that “Mr McCallum has previously worked in James Gillespie’s, which provides him with a well-established knowledge of the school context. His extensive leadership skills and experience will augment the strength of the existing senior leadership team to provide the continuity and stability needed at this time”.

Mr Macdonald is leaving us

1 June 2022: As you will be aware, our Head Teacher, Mr Macdonald, is retiring at the end of this term. 

The Parent Council thought it would be nice to mark the occasion by setting up some awards in his name for pupils, to fit with the school values.  We would also like to get him some small personal gifts.  

We hope that many parents would like to contribute to this, so if you wish to do so, please use the following link to CollectionPot: 

Mr Macdonald’s retirement collection

Once we have arranged the gifts, we will post the details on the PC website. please note that the Pot will close on 24 June.

We have also set up a ‘virtual’ leaving card which you may also wish to sign – this may be found here: 

Mr Macdonald’s leaving card

**PLEASE USE THE CARD AND NOT THE DONATIONS PAGE FOR ANY MESSAGES, as Mr Macdonald will not see the donations page**

Many thanks!