Parent Council did not know cost of mediation

SIR, - May we through your column reply to Mr Niall Whyte’s letter in Berwickshire News (November 10).

Last year the Berwickshire High School Parent Council was asked to take part in mediation by Scottish Borders Council and in good faith agreed to do so. At no point however, was the Parent Council involved in any decision or given any indication as to what this process might cost. That was the business of SBC.

However, because of what seemed to be an increasingly protracted mediation process and because mediation had not proceeded as the Parent Council expected, the Parent Council made a Freedom of Information request to establish the cost of these services. This information was presented at the October meeting and there was unanimous agreement to withdraw from the process.

The cost of the exercise, which we agree is very concerning, is borne by Scottish Borders Council and we are assured does not come from the Berwickshire High School budget. At no point has the Parent Council ceased operating.

It is there to represent the views of all parents with children at Berwickshire High School and through the school website, meetings and posting of minutes of meetings, it endeavours to do so.

The membership of the Parent Council is voted on at the AGM but any parent is very welcome and indeed encouraged to attend meetings, dates of which are again available on school website.

This term for example the Parent Council has been involved in discussions about the follow up to the HMIe (school inspection) report and in how to fundraise for the school this academic year.

It recently sponsored prizewinners at the Senior Awards Ceremony and this year plans to help finance extra curricular activities for 2nd and 3rd years. In recent years it has helped various school departments and the library to buy books and equipment.

AGNES OWTRAM-TEMPER,

Vice Chair, BHS Parent Council.