Investment in the school: We need to act now

The Parent Council has been arguing for many years that the school is in need of significant investment. Last year, in response to our survey of parents’ views many of you agreed with this and raised it as a priority issue. Putting this in context, Trinity Academy last benefitted from major refurbishment in 1995 while we have seen many other schools refurbished or rebuilt in the last few years.

We believe the school’s 125th anniversary represents a unique opportunity to turn-around an approach of piecemeal repairs to one that prioritises sustainable development of the school. The whole community would greatly benefit, for decades, from proper far-sighted investment to refurbish or rebuild the school.

We want as many of you as possible to contact local Councillors because we need to urge the council to commit now to invest in Trinity Academy. Please email them before mid-February (the Council’s budget meeting is 22-February). Below we’ll explain why we need you to do this and some of the main issues.

We must separate the school as a building from the idea of school as a place where our children are educated. We know that Trinity Academy is a successful school, a popular school that people are proud to have in their community.

On the other hand, the school buildings need significant investment. In December 2017 Trinity Academy’s condition and suitability assessment meant it was the secondary school most in need of investment within Edinburgh. The swimming pool has remained unused for many years, with the Council unwilling to repair or replace it while the future plan for development of the school is uncertain. As a result, the school lacks some of the facilities that are taken for granted in other schools.

At the moment the 2018/2019 budget describes work to rebuild or refurbish Trinity Academy as a priority but one that is unfunded. We want the Council to turn Trinity Academy into a funded priority now. There is a proposal that, as a first step, the Council could commit to release funds to develop designs for a rebuilt or refurbished school at the site and develop the Bangholm site to provide a new sports campus.

Both of these could be an important first step. Development of a new sports campus at Bangholm (one that meets the school’s and community’s needs) is an important first step to improve the school and would make it easier to develop the main site. We think that developing a design solution for the school site demonstrates a commitment to improving the school and would be a first step in obtaining any future funding from the Scottish Government.

Despite the many good reasons why funding for improvements at Trinity Academy should be in the 2018/2019 budget, other competing priorities will also be included. It’s important we apply pressure to those making the decision on Edinburgh’s budget to ensure the importance of investment in our community and its future are recognised.

What can we do to help?

The most important thing we can do to help is to write to our local councillors and the Director of Communities and Families, Alistair Gaw. The full council will meet on the 22nd February and determine the final decision on the 2018/2019 budget. It’s therefore very important that we put pressure on our councillors to ensure that investment in Trinity Academy is included in the budget for this coming year.

Please email or write to your local Councillors and everyone listed in our ‘who’s who’ document. Please also include neighbouring Councillors and members of the Education, Children and Families committee plus our MP and MSP, Both of whom are supporting this campaign. Send a copy to too.

To start an email with everyone included just click here.

Please don’t worry this if you are busy or feel you are not good at writing letters, hopefully the points below help, and it is much more important that we show our Councillors just how much support there is among their constituents for investment in our school. The best letter is one that uses your own words, reflecting your own experiences and guided by some of the points below.

  • Trinity Academy has missed-out on much-needed investment while other schools have been redeveloped in the city.
  • This is unfair on students at Trinity Academy who do not have the same resources and opportunities as are available elsewhere in the city.
  • The uncertainty over future redevelopment has reduced maintenance and repair at the school to the essential minimum.
  • Recent work that has been carried out at the school is to keep it wind and water tight; it does not enhance the education of my child.
  • Due to rising rolls, the school will breach capacity in 2024 and pressure on the school will increase before then as the ‘rising roll’ generation of primary school students move to secondary school.
  • In some areas such as PE and general-purpose space the school is already unable to cope with its current roll.
  • The needs of Trinity Academy can not wait for another budgetary cycle.
  • 2018 marks the 125th anniversary of Trinity Academy. Trinity is a school with a long history which needs investment to continue to provide a first-class education to the young people of our community.
  • Trinity Academy must remain a top-priority for investment.

Thank you for anything you can do to help to prioritise investment in Trinity Academy in this year’s budget. If you have any questions about this please contact us.

Burns Night

Haggis at a Burns Supper

Our next fundraising event is a Burns Supper which is a joint event with Trinity Academicals Rugby Club and takes place Saturday 20th January from 7:00pm.

There will be a traditional meal of haggis followed by speeches, entertainment and, of course, a ceilidh. Tickets are £15 and are available by either emailing Suz Edwards or from Mrs Quayle in the English department. Tickets are limited to 120 and are anticipated to sell out quickly, so reserve yours early!

We will also need help and volunteers in the following ways:

  • Help to set up on Friday 19th 1.30pm to 4:00pm.
  • Help from 5pm with last minute preparation.
  • Volunteers on Sunday 21st from 10:00am to help clear up.
  • People to help with the bar for an hour on the night.
  • We also require 12 trifles that are big enough to serve 10 people.

If you can help with any of these please email Suz.

Parents Survey Report

Thumbnails of pages from the report

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the survey of parents’ views we carried out in October and November. We received over 200 responses and that’s fantastic rate for a survey of this type.

We have prepared a report looking at what parents have to say about the parent council and the school. The responses have been overwhelmingly positive and supportive of the school and the parent council. We will follow-up on potential areas for improvement in two ways:

  • For areas related to the Parent Council, we will look at how we can change the way we work to address any issues raised.
  • For areas related to the school, we will identify the themes that have emerged and provide supporting to the senior leadership team.

The report is available in our documents area.

University Open Days

We have updated our events listings to include all the university open days at Scottish universities up to June 2018.

Opendays logo

The website is also a useful reference to *all* the university open days and has lots of advice on what to do at open days, how to apply to university and college, revision tips, what to do on gap years (and whether they are worth it!), and university subject/course advice.

Sporting successes

Congratulations to the Under-18 rugby team who made it though to the semi final of the Scottish Plate this week. Although the boys lost 5:7, to Marr College from Troon, it was a great achievement to make it so far through the tournament.

In hockey, the first XI team also competed in the semi final of the Aspire Cup on Monday against Dunfermline and won 1:0. They are now through to the final at Glasgow green for the second consecutive year.

Well done to all concerned — players, staff and coaches.

Universal Children’s Day

Today, 20th November, is Universal Children’s Day established in 1954 and celebrated on this day each year. It is also the date in 1959 when the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and in 1989 the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

To mark this day on which children’s rights are advocated and promoted, we share a part of a wonderful poem written by George The Poet, aka George Mpanga.

A child is not a portion of an adult.
It’s not a partial being.
A child is an absolute person,
An entire life.

The fact that the child is developing,
Doesn’t mean it’s incomplete.
This just makes it especially important for the Child to drink and eat,
and get a decent wink of sleep.