Author: hilarysnaith

Update on recruitment of new Headteacher at JGHS

27 May 2022: The post of Headteacher at JGHS was advertised by the Council at the beginning of May, with the hope that a replacement for the school’s retiring Head, Donald Macdonald, could be put in post as close as possible to his departure date in August. 

That advert has now closed, and the Council have decided that the post should be re-advertised to allow more time for all prospective candidates to register an interest.  This will take place after the summer holidays at the beginning of the 2022/23 school session.

For the period up to Christmas, the Council are planning to designate an Acting Headteacher, and are hoping to recruit a suitable candidate from amongst the secondary Headteachers in Edinburgh.

Parent Council involvement

Parent representatives have been working with the Council to find the best way forward in this process. The Parent Council has emphasised the importance of a capable, committed and enthusiastic acting Headteacher being in place as soon as possible so they are able to work with Mr Macdonald in the run-up to his retirement and can take over smoothly after the summer. 

They have also stressed that the new recruitment process should be a dynamic and open one, which is advertised as widely as possible and will maximise the possibility of a competitive range of candidates being attracted to the role.

Please send any comments you have about this matter to the Parent Council.

Email the Parent Council

Recording of Parent Council meeting on 17 May now available

18 May 2022: Many thanks to those who attended the meeting of the Parent Council on 17 May. It was a momentous evening, as it marked the last time for our current headteacher, Donald MacDonald, to attend this meeting before he retires this summer.

We were also very grateful Nikki Graham, the new JGHS Mental Health Coordinator, who spoke about supporting pupils at the school with mental health challenges. You can access the slides from her presentation below.

Mental Health Matters at JGHS

If you were unable to join to the meeting, or would like listen again to any of the information presented, a recording is now available on YouTube.

James Gillespie’s High School Parent Council Meeting 17 May 2022

Results of survey on online parent consultations

18 May 2022: Many thanks to everyone who took part in the recent survey about online parent consultations at JGHS – over 160 people sent in their views – which was a fantastic response.

As was reported at the Parent Council meeting on Tuesday 17 May there was a broad overall split in views, between parents who preferred online meetings, in-person meetings, or a mixture of the two.

Many parents felt that it was more convenient to attend the meetings online, with no need to travel, or navigate their way around a busy school. Equally, many also missed the opportunity to see the environment in which our children spend so much time, and to engage with teachers face-to-face.

The survey results have been passed to the school to help inform their planning for the upcoming academic session.

A summary is presented below.

Next Parent Council meeting is on Tuesday 17 May

Updated 13 May 2022: A quick heads up that the next meeting of the JGHS Parent Council (and the last of this academic year) will be next Tuesday 17 May at 7 pm on MS Teams.

The joining link will be forwarded by the School the day before the meeting.


  • School update – Donald McDonald, Headteacher,
  • Mental health support at JGHS – Nikki Graham, JGHS Mental Health Coordinator
  • Q&A

If there are any questions you would like to see addressed at the meeting, please email the Parent Council by noon on Monday 16 May.

Email the Parent Council

Edinburgh EIS Local Elections Hustings

27 April 2022: In the run up to the local council elections, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) will be hosting an opportunity to ask representatives from the main political parties about their priorities for education in Edinburgh. 

Online Any Education Questions next Tuesday 3 May 2022 at 6.30 pm (via Zoom)

Please come along to show our politicians that schools and children matter!

Click here to register
Please Note:

  • All attendees will be given the opportunity to submit questions in advance, so that we can try to ensure that we cover the full range of concerns.  The EIS will email those who register with more information about this, as well as sending them the zoom link etc
  • EIS are trying to secure BSL interpreters, but cannot guarantee that they will be able to have this in place.  They aim to set up captioning.  If there are other things they can do to make the meeting more accessible, please get in touch with then directly (via
  • *They have invited spokespersons from each of the parties represented at Holyrood/who are part of COSLA.

Online Parents’ Evenings – what do you think?

2 April 2022: The Parent Council would like to hear from parents about how online parent consultations with teachers have been working, and your views on whether we keep this format or go back to in-person meetings. 

What has worked for you and what has not?

In the future, what sorts of school events are best held in the school and what can be done online?

Our survey will be running over Easter and can be completed at the link below: 

Parents’ Evenings Survey 

It will only take 5 minutes and we hope to hear from as many parents as possible.

We will feed the results back to the School to help inform future planning.

Thank you!

Recording of JGHS Parent Council 22 March 2022 meeting now available

24 March 2022: Many thanks to those who were able to attend the meeting of the Parent Council on Tuesday 22 March.

The main issues discussed were:

  • Report on Parent Council activities by Sarah Scott, chair JGHS PC
  • Report of Active Schools clubs at JGHS by Eliot Ambrose
  • Presentation on the Maths curriculum by Ashling Dolan, Acting Curriculum Lead
  • Headteacher’s report by Donald McDonald
  • Q&A

Active Schools presentation

Maths Curriculum presentation

The recording of the meeting is now available to watch again on YouTube

JGHS Parent Council meeting 22 March 2022

Next Parent Council meeting on Tuesday 22 March 2022

22 March 2022 update: The next Parent Council meeting is tonight, Tuesday 22 March at 7 pm and will include a presentation by Faculty Head, Ashling Dolan, on the Maths curriculum


  • Update on PC activities – Sarah Scott, PC Chair
  • Mathematics Curriculum – Ashling Dolan, Acting Curriculum Leader for Maths
  • Update on Active Schools – Eliot Ambrose, Active Schools Co-ordinator
  • Head Teacher’s Report – Donald Macdonald
  • Questions – via Q&A chat

The joining link has been sent out by email by the School.

Please email the PC with any questions or issues you would like included in the Head Teacher’s update.

Email the Parent Council

Details of last meeting

The recording of our last meeting on 26 January 2022, and a copy of the Q&A, are available on the PC website:

PC meeting 26 January 2022

CCwP meeting held 24 February 2022

22 March 2022: The Council’s Consultative Committee with Parents (CCwP) met on 24 February 2022 to discuss the issues which would be considered at the Education, Children and Families Committee the following week.

This included:

  • The Council’s strategy on school attendance
  • An update on SQA plans for exams this year
  • An update on Council figures on school leaver destinations

Shared documents from meeting

CCwP ECF report

Attendance in Edinburgh

SQA Update, February 2022

Edinburgh Learns Pathways report

A recording of the meeting can be viewed at the link below.

CCwP meeting 24 February 2022

New projects supported by the JGHS Small Sums Fund

20 March 2022: Applications to the JGHS Parent Council Small Sums Fund were submitted in September 2021. In conjunction with the JGHS Trust, we were able to fund all the bids made.

After this process, for the first time ever, we had not spent all the surplus funds from the school year 2020-21, and had £1600 remaining. We have therefore run a second supplementary round of applications to allocate the remaining funds.

Projects funded in the new round include new textbooks for the maths department, basket ball strips for PE, and materials for the knitting club. The documents linked below give details of all the applications received and the allocation decisions made.

Applications to the Small Sums Fund February 2022

Funds allocated by the Small Suns Fund February 2022

About the Small Sums Fund

Next round of applications in May 2022

Applications to the Small Sums Fund for the school year 2022-23 will be invited in May 2022, earlier than in previous years, so that staff can plan their activities further in advance.

However, we are unable to allocate the funds until we know how much money we have available at the end of the school year on 31 July 2022, so the applications will be reviewed and allocated after that date.

Input into the  process is welcome from any parent/carer – if you would like to help, please contact the PC via its email address.

Email the Parent Council

The more funds we raise this school year, the more we will have available to allocate for staff projects such as those described in the applications document, so please consider donating to the PC via ParentPay if you are able and have not already done so.

Donate to the Small Sums Fund on Parent Pay