Welcome back!

JGHS Parent Council would like to welcome you back to – and for those who are new, welcome you into – James Gillespie’s High School for the 2021/22 session.

The Parent Council is here to represent all parents and carers at the school, including by: 

  • putting forward parents’ views
  • consulting and providing feedback to the school
  • providing refreshments at school events
  • fundraising for school projects, equipment, books and trips
  • co-ordinating with other Parent Councils
  • making representations to the City Council

The Parent Council meets several times a year and we encourage everyone to get involved in whatever way they feel able. 

We will shortly be publishing our calendar of PC meeting dates for the session and reporting on the survey of parents which we carried out before the summer holidays.  

In the meantime, there is more information on the PC’s work on the website and we can be contacted at for any questions or to raise any issues.

Next Parent Council meeting on Tuesday 8 June 2021

1 June 2021: Our next Parent Council meeting will be on Tuesday 8 June at 7 pm.

We are hoping to hear about the following issues:

  • Donald McDonald (Headteacher) – School update
  • Bob Shankland (Deputy Headteacher) – SQA Alternative Certification Model
  • Jeff Warden (Deputy Headteacher) – New timetable
  • Eliot Ambrose (Active School Coordinator, City of Edinburgh Council) – Active Schools planning for 2021/22

If parents have questions or issues they would like to raise in advance of the meeting, please let us know via the Parent Council email address.

Email the Parent Council

The link to join this meeting on MS Teams has been shared via the School email account.

You can catch up with the recording of our last meeting on 12 May, and view the presentations by DHTs Laura Stewart on school capacity and Ben Lewis on reorganising the school communities.

Recording of Parent Council meeting 12 May 2021

Details of the Question and Answer session 12 May 2021 (opens as pdf)

Note of Parent Council meeting 12 May 2021 (opens as pdf)

Capacity Update 2021/22 – Laura Stewart (opens as pdf)

Pupil Support Restructuring – Ben Lewis (opens as pdf)

Sports activities for S1-S3s in the run up to summer

Active School clubs running for S1-S3 until the summer

22 May 2021: Active Schools is offering a range of sporting opportunities for S1-3 running up to the summer holidays. 

Places are limited and must be booked by Monday 24 May.

More information and booking details

New rugby sessions for S1 girls

Boroughmuir Rugby club are going to be running some excellent new sessions for NEW S1 Girls’ Rugby, beginning on Wednesday 2 June.

The sessions are run by Boroughmuir RFC rugby coaches and are open to players just starting out or players who have experience of rugby.

Sessions will involve lots of fun, games, skills, positional skills and teamwork.

Each session will start at 4.30 pm on Wednesdays at the Meggetland rugby pitches, Meggetland Wynd, EH14 1XN.

If you are interested in attending please contact Justin Loveridge, Rugby Academy Manager.

Email Justin Loveridge

S1 girls rugby poster

Coming up at the Parent Council meeting on 23 March 2021

19 March 2021: The next Parent Council meeting will be held online on Tuesday 23 March 2021 at 7 pm.  A link to join the meeting will be sent out next week through the school email system. 

We will hear from: 

  • Donald J. Macdonald – Head Teacher’s report 
  • Deirdre O’Brien (DHT) and Ashling Dolan (CL Maths) – report on the survey on remote learning
  • Bob Shankland (DHT) – SQA assessments

There will be the opportunity on the night to ask questions via the Q&A typed chat facility, but if you want to raise a question in advance it should be sent by Monday at 2pm to the Parent Council email and we will try to include it in the updates. 

Email the Parent Council

We know that not all parents will be free to join at the time of the meeting and we will be recording the presentations so that they can be viewed later. We are using MS Teams because it is the system approved by Edinburgh Council, but it doesn’t allow us to be as interactive as some other systems. The only people who will be seen and heard are the presenters, everyone else attending can interact by writing questions via the Q&A panel.

Parent Council Meeting 23 February 20201

You can catch up on the last PC meeting on 23 February via the minutes and recording of the meeting, and through the written responses for the Q&A.

Minutes of Parent Council meeting 23 February 2021

Recording of Parent Council Meeting 23 February 2021

Q&A for the Parent Countil meeting 23 February 2021

City of Edinburgh Council response to JGHS deputation concerning capacity issues

19 March 2021: The Parent Council has received a response to the deputation it made to the meeting of the Education, Children and Families Committee on 2 March 2021, which raised concerns about the lack of provision of additional classroom accommodation for 2021/22.  

Parent Council Deputation (2 March 2021)

City of Edinburgh Council response (18 March 2021)

At the Council Committee meeting it was agreed that further investigation would be carried out to ascertain whether additional accommodation for August 2021 would still be a possibility, even at this point in the school year. 

It was also agreed that consortia arrangements to share senior level courses between schools would also be looked at.

The response deals in part with these issues, but the Parent Council will be considering whether further steps should be taken to pursue the points raised in the deputation.

All Parent Council documents relating to the S6 capacity issue and plans for flexible digital learning in 2021/22 can be found on the Useful Files page

Useful Files

FutureScot EduTech Webinar

10 March 2021: FutureScot is hosting an EduTech Webinar on Wednesday 17 March at 12.30 pm – The Power of Video in BGE and Senior Phase Education.

Register to attend the webinar here

Remote or ‘blended’ forms of digital teaching and learning are fast embedding themselves across the curriculum. Through this webinar FutureScot will explore the balance of provision, in terms of what constitutes digital teaching and learning pedadogy, and to move the conversation on from being solely about live delivery of timetabled activities: in practice, that means a focus on how traditional classroom learning can be ‘repackaged’ into consumable and highly engaging content media, ‘on demand’ at any time.


  • David McKee, Quality Improvement Education Officer (Digital Learning), The City of Edinburgh
  • Michael Wilkinson, Managing Director UK, ClickView
  • Amy Hollier, Director of Blended & Online Learning, Heart of Worcestershire College
  • Joan MacKay, Head of Curriculum Innovation, Education Scotland
  • John Stuart, Lead Officer, East Renfrewshire Council

Much progress has undoubtedly been made in the last 12 months, in response to a public health emergency, but we need to better understand what is working locally in schools – at primary and secondary level – if we are to make to learn the lessons of the pandemic and effect longer-term change in education. This free to attend webinar will help inform the national policy context in the run up to and during FutureScot’s EduTech Conference, on 13 May 2021.


Deputation to City of Edinburgh Council about capacity at JGHS

26 February 2021: The Parent Council has submitted a deputation to the meeting of the Education, Children and Families Committee on 2 March 2021, raising concerns about the lack of provision of additional classroom accommodation for 2021/22 for consideration by Councillors.

JGHS parent Council Deputation to Education, Children and Families Committee

If you would like to support the deputation, please contact members of the Committee to let them know:

Contact Education, Children and Families Committee members

Since submitting the deputation, we have also received a reply to our letter to the school (below) which restates the Council’s position that additional accommodation will not be made available in 2021/22 and provides further details on how the school thinks FDL will work. 

Headteacher response to Parent Council letter of 5 February 2021

The Parent Council will continue to pursue the points raised in the deputation next week to underline the parents’ preference for ensuring accommodation is in place for next year.

Capacity issues at JGHS

5 February 2021: Thank you to everyone who attended the meeting hosted by the Parent Council on Tuesday 2 February 2021 on capacity contingency proposals and to all those who put forward comments and questions before, during and after the meeting.

Link to recording of meeting on YouTube

It is clear that there are significant concerns about the plans and in particular about the fact that the Council has ruled out additional classroom accommodation, on the lack of specific communication on the proposals to S5 pupils and their parents, and on the potential effect on next year’s S6 pupils, both from a social and an educational point of view.

The Parent Council has written to the school, Council officers and councillors to highlight these concerns and asked for an early response – see below. Any replies will be posted here when received.

JGHS PC comments on capacity contingency proposals 5 February 2021

Parents submitted a number of comments and questions, prior to the meeting on 2 February 2021, a summary of which can be found below:

Capacity Contingency Plans – Parental feedback and questions 25 January 2021

Parent Council meeting to consider S6 capacity issues

29 January 2021:  On Tuesday 2 February 2021 the parent council will host a meeting considering proposals to deal with school capacity problems in 2021/22. 

The meeting will be held online at 7pm; the link for the meeting will circulated via school email next week.

Parents have already submitted a number of comments and questions, a summary of which can be found below:

Capacity Contingency Plans – Parental feedback and questions (25 January 2021)

Further details and links to other documents can be found at the 18 January entry below.

This meeting will be of particular interest to those parents with students in S5 as the proposals will particularly affect those going into S6 next year.