Committee meetings log

Date: 27.01.16                    Time: 12:00             Location: 18&U

Annual General Meeting


Marley Hunter, Jane Christie, Jane Gordon-Chauvet, Cathy Rosa, Laurie Matthew, Nicole Matthew, Ronnie Somerville.


Andi Neilson, Rhiannon Moore, Sally Day

Matters Arising: No matters arising

1: Minutes of 2014 Annual General Meeting Proposed as true record by Laurie Matthew, seconded by Marley Hunter.

2: Annual Accounts Proposed by Laurie Matthew, seconded by Jane Gordon-Chauvet.

2.1: Annual Report Marley’s report was read and approved. Proposed by Cathy Rosa, seconded by Jane Gordon-Chauvet.

3: Election of Committee Members In 2015 Eula Wilkin, David Grant, Rhiannon Moore, Elaine Kirk, Janet Britten and Dawn York resigned. Andi Neilson was co-opted onto committee in March 2015, Jane Christie and Jane Gordon-Chauvet were co-opted in January 2016. Andi Neilson, Jane Christie, Jane Gordon-Chauvet and Ronnie Somerville were proposed by Marley Hunter, seconded by Laurie Matthew. The committee consists of Marley Hunter, Laurie Matthew, Cathy Rosa, Andi Neilson, Jane Christie and Jane Gordon-Chauvet, Ronnie Somerville (Ronnie resigned from the committee a week later due to work commitments)

 3.1: Election of Office Bearers Convenor: Marley Hunter Treasurer: Cathy Rosa Secretary: Jane Gordon-Chauvet 7 Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) It was agreed that Schoolhouse will become a SCIO and the changeover will happen on 31st July 2016. The new constitution was approved subject to the agreed amendments. Was agreed that the Schoolhouse financial year will run to 31st March. 8 Consultation. It was agreed that we will consult the Schoolhouse membership and the wider home education community for feedback as to the future direction and role of Schoolhouse.

4: Schoolhouse name: It was agreed the Schoolhouse Home Education Association will now be known as Schoolhouse. The meeting closed at 1.30pm  

            Date: 19.02.17      Time: 1pm.      Location: 18&U

Annual General Meeting

Present: Marley H, Laurie M, Keiran W (left 2.30pm), Cathy R, Andi N, Margaret A.

Apologies: Jane C, Jane G, Marianne C, E. Lil, Mark K, Bev B.

1: Minutes of 2016 AGM

Proposed as a true record by Laurie M, seconded by Marley H.

2: Matters Arising

Schoolhouse is now a SCIO.

Schoolhouse Home Education Association is now known as Schoolhouse.

We consulted the Schoolhouse membership and got useful feedback.

3: Annual Accounts

Proposed by Laurie M, seconded by Andi N.

4: Election of Committee Members

Margaret Armour and Mark Kimber were proposed by Cathy Rosa, seconded by Marley Hunter.

Cathy Rosa will step down from the committee in April 2017.

The committee consists of Marley H, Cathy R (until April), Laurie

M, Andi N, Jane C, Jane G, Margaret A and Mark K.

5: Election of Office Bearers

Convenor: Marley Hunter

Secretary: Jane Gordon-Chauvet

Acting Treasurer: Marley Hunter

Press Officer: Andi Neilson


Laurie has agreed to work on updating the content of the new Schoolhouse website. We agreed we will offer examples of letters applying to remove children from school.

Andi has agreed to maintain ‘latest news’ section of our website.

We discussed methods to raise the profile of Schoolhouse and how to raise membership. Agreed to update the membership page of the website – do not need to ask for details about children, include low income free membership, provide monthly payment option, clarify gift aid section, include donation option. Marley to inform Ross.

Need to apply for backdated gift aid. Marley and Laurie to work on this.

Agreed we want to recruit Volunteers in all Local Authorities to provide peer support.

Scottish HE children cannot access Scottish qualifications because of the way they are structured. We agreed that Schoolhouse will campaign on this topic. Will consult with home educators via Facebook, will write to MSPs and have a press release. Margaret and Andi to work on this.

Agreed to start new Facebook committee group for this new committee.

Agreed to have Facebook committee meetings again. Margaret agreed to write up the minutes from these meetings.

Schoolhouse’s financial year ends 30th March. Suggested we could have another AGM quite soon and so bring finances/year’s activity more in line with AGM.

Date 22.04.17 Time: 1pm Location:

Present: Cathy, Marley, Laurie, Lil, Marianne, Keiran

Apol: Andi, Mark, Margaret


Matters arising: Writing to MSPs: Laurie did a letter about general awareness for MSP’s but nothing happened with it. Laurie will find letter change to ask MSP’s if they can check that their LA is following current guidelines on HE and get back to us. Letter will be sent  round everyone again for approval.                                                                                            Laurie

Sending out to all MSP’s?                                                               Mark Proposed

Developing child protection guidelines for home education groups. We have a policy we can share with others via website.                                                                  Marley to do

Website. Laurie rewrote the contents up Ross did not put up the new stuff, only the old stuff                                                                                                      Marley is updating

Forum: need to find out from Ross the next steps for it                   Marley to contact Ross

Training is offered by Ross in how to update the website. Agreed to take it up soon as possible.

Membership page needs urgently changed                                                   Marley & Ross

Marianne has bravely sorted the database of membership

Gift Aid we still need to be registered                                                            Marley & Laurie

Forum should help with blogging and getting information out once is up and running


Roles and responsibilities of Committee: Secretary co-ordinates minute taking, letters answered, co-ordinates meetings and generally chases things up. Chairperson chairs meeting. Treasurer sorts out the money and keeps the accounts.

Secretary                                                                                 Mark proposed and agreed

Vice chair proposed                                                                                        Laurie                                                             

Publicity materials: We will need money for this. Lil has an example of a leaflet which she will send round everyone. Try to get it ready for SSS in June. See below.      Keiran to source costs and design leaflet

Stall and presence at Mini HE festival @ Crombie on Friday 9th June. Lil is the only one at meeting who can go along and represent Schoolhouse but ask those who are not here at meeting if they can go and take membership forms along? Take banner along. Possibly run an activity? Lil suggested a Schoolhouse swap shop (SSS).                               Marley will ask

20 Year Anniversary. Picnic proposed 22nd August 11am.  We need publicity, marque, press release activities, a plan? Speak to Zoo for a special price?       Park rangers? Swap shop, programme.                                                                                             Marianne to email

Invite Alison to speak                                                                                      Laurie

Smart goals for summer: Training day on support. Picnic.

Support in Schoolhouse: There has been a lot of support going on behind the scenes in Schoolhouse for some time. Support is non-judgemental, objective, telling people the law, listening and directing people to other places for help. Support training day proposed for the summer. 17th June 1pm- 3pm. Anyone interested in supporting people should come along to the training day. Lil has volunteered. Anyone else interested? Marley is the initial contact for all support and we need to get volunteers who are trained in providing support to offer it further. Laurie will draft something for the website about support and pass round the committee.                       

Bank signatories are needed as Cathy is resigning:                           Marianne and Lil agreed

Public liability insurance: Quote in for it @ £121 We don’t need the management liability which is £50 0n it. Needs phoned to check out new price.                                  Marley to action.

Thank you to Jane Christie for all her hard word. We got her a card.

Accounts: For the first time in a long time Schoolhouse has not made a loss.!!!!!!

We need to remember to pay 18u for postage, photocopying, etc              Marley

Funding. Application submitted to Comic Relief for £1000

Date of next meeting             15th May 12 o’clock  @ 18u

Date: 15.05.17               Time: 12:00                Location: 18&U

Present: Mark Kimber (MK), Laurie Matthew (LM)

1 Apologies:  Andi Neilson (AN), Marianne Cranwell (MC), Marley Hunter (MH), Jane Gordon-Chauvet (JG), Margaret Armour (MA), Lil (L)

2 Adoption of minutes for Committee Meeting held:

Minutes had been in circulation for many weeks and no contests raised as to their accuracy from any of those present

3 Matters arising: Committee Members introductions and back ground

Brief Bio’s presented and summarised here:-

Mark – Senior Clinical nurse with team management experience in Emergency Medicine (A&E), performs part time work in Nottingham, otherwise carer to 3 kids (12/10/8yrs) all HE from outset. Also serves as committee member in sailing club but this is first titled position in committee.

Laurie – Worked in the charity sector for some 40 years – setting up and helping charity committees, set up 18U and other charities, experience in fund raising for charities. Home Educator to own kids and now for children fostered by her.

3.1: Letter to MSP’s

Mark has set out emails to all 127 of exiting MSP’s as of last night. Many automated responses have been received but 3 personal responses – 2 redirecting to constituency MSP and one acknowledging HE and issues and that she has worked with Alison P in the past.

Personal responses forwarded to Marley.

FB Discussion had been had for a more focused letter(s) to MSP(s) of council areas that have been consistently ‘overstepping the mark’ belief of those present this may have been taken on by MA – need her to confirm this.


3.2: Web site update

LM reported that MH had been working through web site and trying to remove outdated/inappropriate information though this is very time consuming. All committee members to forward links of information they think needs removing as they find it to MH please.


3.3: Publicity Materials

L had kindly shared a sample leaflet. MK & LA both raised concerns about simply editing and reproducing this due to copy right issues. Both agreed that would be more appropriate to take this as an example and develop our own. Due to time constraints of the HE festival both agreed that it would be better for this to be (at this stage) a black and white version that we can print ourselves. Both uncertain who was currently working on this – believed that was MC now handed over to MA.

** Motion to vote on electronic Pole **

MC/MA to confirm who is producing this document and to request if further support needed for this (deadline being 9/6/17)


3.4: Riofest – Home Ed Gathering 9/6/2017 13-1630

L has confirmed that she will be present at this.

MK confirmed that he plans to attend.

Need to ensure availability of membership forms – MC to get these to L or MK

Schoolhouse leaflets – Need writing and printing – see above minuted item.

Swap shop – MK & LM uncertain how this would work in practice L to clarify how she had seen this work previously

MK suggested that we have a simple questionnaire for all HE parents (and older kids) to ask them how SchoolHouse could evolve to assist them (members and non members).

** Motion to vote on electronic pole **


3.5: 20yr anniversary Picnic.

Not discussed at this meeting due to parsity of committee

Any ideas to be forwarded to MH.  To be returned to at a future meeting.

                                                                                                          Returned to agenda

3.6: Training – Support 17/6/17 31-1500

 Website TBC

Training and discussion session to consider and develop SchoolHouses role and limits in ‘support’. All committee members to try very hard to attend please.

MK will develop a basic session based on his Health care background. Discussion had at his session will form the backbone of a ‘Support/advice’ policy for SchoolHouse.


3.7: Insurance

MH to confirm this is now in place.


3.8: Comic Relief Funding

LM confirms application has been submitted – outcome of this awaited

4: AOB

4.1: Meeting Etiquette –

Discussion was had around the fact that in the last 18 hours before the meeting apologies had risen from 3 to 7 (out of a committee of 9). Both present acknowledge that we are all volunteers and that circumstances for any of us can change at last minute. Consideration had to be given that this date has been known of for many weeks and arranged for the convenience of the majority of those present at the last meeting. It was felt that the committee needed a system in place to allow the governance of the organisation to remain in place yet acknowledge that at times meetings may have to go-ahead with very few of the committee present (and thus not formally quorate) yet allow all committee members to vote on decision/motions of significance. As such it was proposed that MK develop a committee meeting policy/standard operating procedure (SOP) to allow for this eventuality in the future and to enable the organisation to evolve with the involvement of the committee.

It will be noted that in these minutes there are motions highlighted “** Motion to vote on electronic pole **” in these minutes. These are areas that have been discussed and decisions are needed as a committee. MK will produce an electronic pole with the motions and the option to pass/defer the motion and the request is that all committee members vote on these issues at the earliest opportunity on receipt of these poles.

Committee members are requested that apologies are made at the earliest opportunity of knowing that they will be unable to attend a meeting so consideration can (if necessary) be given to rescheduling the meeting.

There will be a ** Motion to vote on electronic pole **on this development too.


4.2: Resigning Committee member (Cathy Rosa (CR))

MK raised that during the organisation of this meeting he had become aware that CR was still within the Facebook committee discussion group. After a web based text discussion between MK & CR during which MK thanked her for her support to Schoolhouse over the years and acknowledged that should she wish to return to a more active role he was sure the committee would welcome her back she agreed that for her ‘Facebook cleanliness’ and Schoolhouse’s Information Governance she should be removed from this face book group, but that she would like to add a final post to the group (which she has subsequently done).

As such one of the group administrators now needs to remove CR from the SchoolHouse Committee 2017 Facebook Group.


5: Date of next meeting:

TBC after Facebook discussion in TBC

 MK closed the meeting at 1240

Date: 23rd July 2017       Time: Unknown     Location: 18&U

Present: LM, EL, MH, SD.

Apologies: None

This meeting is intended to explore the events of the training day. Discussion about the training meeting that occurred on 17.06.17. This meeting had been intended as a training day on supporting families and individuals, but this never happened, the meeting broke down and the result was several trustees resigning. It is difficult to unpick exactly what went wrong, but the main factors seemed to be lack of knowledge about the charity and the roles and responsibilities of trustees, no clear agenda, an imbalance of too many new trustees coming on the committee at the same time.

While there is a willingness to approach people who have resigned to try and find out their views this would have to be done sensitively so as not to cause unset.

Lessons have been learned from this event and we agreed several points including; getting to know prospective trustees prior to co-opting them, offering training, guidance and information to prospective trustees, offering volunteering opportunities as a means to bringing new people in and getting to know them. Further discussions are needed about the process and responsibilities of membership of Schoolhouse.

Agreed to further discussions about this at future meetings.

Date: 14.09.17           Time:        Location:

Present: Laurie, Marley, Lil

Apologies: None

1: Website

A request has been received from A G./Fife home educators to publish policies, mission statement etc. on the website.

Laurie will try to upload the documents to the website and send the files to Marley to add to the FB group. Marley will add Lil to admin.

2: Log

 It was decided that we need to do an audit of day to day running jobs so they can be shared more effectively and so we can have specific tasks that volunteers could choose to take on. We also need to look for new trustees, not necessarily from the home ed community but for their skills too. Laurie is going to approach Joseph, who works for another local charity and possibly Sarah, a recently retired doctor.

3: Information day

It was agreed that we would organize 2 information sharing days in October and use these to try to inspire people to volunteer. The events will be on 19th and 22nd October, at 1-2:30pm in the offices of 18 and Under, Dundee. The information sharing will be free, but we will ask for a returnable booking fee as places are limited. Once people are there in person, we can raise the need for volunteers and ask for specific tasks/roles.

Laurie and Lil will work separately on the information leaflet.

Date of next meeting? We will organize by email.

                      Date: 19.10.17            Time:          Location

Present: Laurie, Marley, Lil

Apologies: none

Marley to check if Schoolhouse wrote post our meeting with Tory MSP to thank and follow up on offer of information stall next year.

We are now on the list for the education sub committee so we will be informed of consultations and other events etc.

Laurie to arrange to meet Perth MSP.

Marley to provide useful links/organizations etc. for back of SH leaflet.

Need to iron out problems with website. Marley to contact Ross.                       Hopefully arrange to meet on 20.11.17

Laurie will invite Joseph Lumbasi to attend future meeting.

Next meeting, date 20.11.17  at 12pm.

                          Date: 20.11.17      Time:      Location:

Present: Laurie, Marley, Lil, Sean & Joseph Lumbasi

Apologies: None.

1: New members:

Sean and Joseph were invited to attend as prospective trustees to hear about the role/issues etc. Joseph confirmed that he is happy to join us.  

2: Website:

Various pages that are loaded onto the website do not appear in links or the drop-down menu so are effectively hidden. Ross will create a video to show us how to address any problems. Laurie and Lil will work on this together.

Laurie will find the FAQ section on website and then Lil and Laurie will adapt this to send to Enquire for their website.

Laurie will start working on more info for the website regarding named persons, information sharing and SARs.

Marley will send Lil details of how to log in to the Schoolhouse email account.

Lil will draft a response to the NI new guidelines.

The possibility of inviting home education officers from local councils to Schoolhouse for an ‘information day’ for them was discussed.

Laurie is considering doing research on the outcomes for home educated children and their socialization.

Joseph suggested various fund-raising options.

Date of next meeting: 8.01.18 at 12pm

Date: 29.01.18                 Time:                   Location:

Present: Laurie, Marley, Joseph & Lil

Apologies: None.

Matters Arising:

1: Laurie & Lil still need to meet regarding the website. Hopefully this will happen before the end of February 2018.

1.1: Information day – It was agreed that we should invite a few EHE officers at a time. Laurie will draft a letter. Initially we’ll invite Fife, Perth & Kinross, Dundee & Angus and suggest a date in the week beginning 19th March. Perth & Kinross have already adopted/enacted their new questionable/hostile policy.

1.3: Website/Forum:

We need to write a report for funder about how we’ve spent their money. Laurie & Marley will work on this.

1.4: Laurie has taken over the email supports and reported a steady number of enquiries from individuals and families. Most is straightforward but some families need a higher level of support and advocacy. This is currently being provided.

1.5: Training on how to manage the website was agreed. Several trustees to attend.

1.6: Fundraising was discussed and there are a few opportunities available. This will be looked into further over the coming months.

Finances are in good order.

Date of next meeting: Monday 12 March at 12pm

                      Date: 14.05.18            Time:               Location:

Present: Laurie, Joseph & Lil

Apologies: Marley

Matters arising:

We didn’t have the previous minutes to hand so didn’t have any ‘matters arising’.

1: Website Forum:

No hurry from funding perspective but Lil will ask E & friends to think/have a look how to set up forum. Important to make sure that we have the perspective of young people on this matter.

1.1: Leaflets:

These would be useful to send to LAs and also for the Home ed festival which is proposed for September at Glamis. We have enough money in funds to pay for printing and possibly graphic design of leaflets. Lil to look up costs…

1.2: Lil to finish PowerPoint for presentation.

2: EHE consultation in England:

It was agreed that Schoolhouse should respond to this. Lil to email link for English consultation to everyone and we’ll possibly meet again on 25/6 to come up with a joint schoolhouse response.

3: There has been a really high level of support recently with more families getting in touch with Schoolhouse. It could be a seasonal fluctuation with Summer approaching. Laurie to forward responses to Lil. Some LA’s are being deliberately unhelpful and misleading it seems while others are perhaps ill informed.

Discussion of how to take this forward.

Date:  01.09.2018 Time: 1pm Location: 18&U

Annual General Meeting.

Present: Marley H (Chair), Laurie M (Vice Chair), Joseph L. Committee members, Keiran W, Mark D, Sandra D, Anne S & Matty W.

Apologies: Rachel S, Ewan I & E Lil.

Annual Report: Marley spoke to the annual reporter. New website completed, families being supported via email, phone and Facebook, several meetings held with local authorities. Visit to parliament by trustees to meet with MSP

Secretary absent therefore Joseph took on to keep a minute of meeting.

1: Constitution changes: none proposed. Discussion about membership took place. Agreed that it needs a wider discussion at another time.

2: Financial report: was accepted and is to be submitted to OSCR. Deficit of £276 this year which is an improvement on last year.

3: Trustees: No new trustees are standing, and the current trustees will continue. Marley indicated that she would like to step down due to other commitments, but agreed to continue to support families, help with the website and the Facebook page.

4: Independent Examiner for coming year. This was discussed and it was proposed that we find a new independent examiner to reduce costs.

5: Volunteers: Agreed that we need to explore ways of getting new trustees and volunteers with a range of skills involved. Important to get people involved in volunteering firstly to check commitment and get to know them. Having learned from the mistake in 2017 of pulling in too many trustees at one time we will proceed with caution so as not to destabilise the organisation. Discussed importance of providing training to new trustees.

Current trustees are Laurie Matthew (Vice Chair); Joseph lumbasi (Treasurer); E Lil (Secretary); Jane Gordon.

Date: 20.11.18        Time:        Location:

Present: Laurie, Marley & Lil.

Apologies: Joseph.

Matters Arising: None.

Marley will continue to handle Facebook enquiries but wishes to resign as Trustee. She will check signatories for the bank account prior to this.

Items for discussion:

1: List of the tasks that must be done.

1.1: Ask for volunteers to take on specific tasks.

1.2: Laurie and Lil to meet regularly to tackle some tasks. Proposed fortnightly with messages and emails in between.

1.3: Explore options for new trustees discussion held. Important to get the right skills and experience and to make sure induction and training is provided.

1.4: Organize a picnic/info day.

2: Finances – are in good order.

3: Support – Number of people asking for support and information continues to increase.

Date of next meeting: Monday 21 January at 1pm

Date: 25.02.19 Time: Location: 1 Victoria Road

Present: Laurie M & E Lil

Apologies: Joseph L

Matters Arising:

Following from the recent resignations we are urgently in need of new trustees. Various ideas were discussed including asking previous trustees to stand again. Laurie suggested somepotential new trusteesand she will approach themto gaugeinterest.

Laurie has dealt with the usual rush of emails requesting support at the beginning of term.

Marley is continuing to deal with Facebook enquiries as a volunteer.

Lil is still canvassing view on the type of teen forum that would be useful and workable for the website.

No progress has been made on formatting the information leaflet.

Date of next meeting Monday 29th April 2019 at 11am

                       Date: 01.04.19    Time:       Location: 18&U

Present: Laurie M, Joseph L, E Lil and Marley H.

Apologies: None.


1: Marley was invited back onto the committee and accepted. Agreed that we need to look at finding trustees with a wide range of skills. Several people were proposed and are to be approached while bearing in mind the need to get the right people with the right skills.Accountancy and finance would be very useful as would IT skills.

2: Agreed that we need to discuss membership fees and other issues around membership in general.

3: Lil is working on the new information leaflet and presentation and this is now ready for trialling.

4: Laurie is responding to requests for support and information.

We held a discussion about some of the problems home educated families have been experiencing and how to best help them.

There seems to an increasing number of people getting in contact.

We continue to provide support and information to make sure that people are put in touch with other home educators, informed about Facebook groups and local groups.

Laurie has met with 3 families recently to provide further assistance and support at meetings.

5: Several funding applications have been submitted recently for a variety of things.

5.1: Finances are still in good shape and we are not looking at a deficit this financial year.

Date 13.05.19 Time: Location: 1 Victoria Road

Present: Laurie M, Marley H & E Lil.

Apologies:  Joseph L.

Matters arising:

We are still seeking new trustees, and this has become even more pressing following Joseph’s


He is still in the US and we will try to find out more details, but his condition is currently very serious.

Laurie has found someone who maybe be prepared to join the board.

Lil will try to arrange to meet her when she is next in the office.

1: Accounts

Following from Joseph’s incapacity, Lil and Marley will go through the accounting process and Lil will present a draft for OSCR at the next meeting.

2: Website

A few more glitches have been found on the website. Laurie will ask Ross to fix them.

Date of next meeting 12th July at 1pm.

Date: 12.07.19           Time:         Location: 18&U

Present: Laurie M, E Lil, Sandra D and Keiran W.    

Apologies: Joseph.

Matters arising:

1: Joseph’s situation is still very serious.        

2: Several people are currently under consideration as new trustees.Lil is still hoping to  set up a meeting with Ianthe.                                               There  was a discussion about the skills and  experiences  we are looking for  to complement our existing  skill set.                                                          It was  also agreed  that we need to provide  training and induction for new trustees so that they are   aware of their legal responsibilities to   the charity. The possibility of using existing funds to employ a  part time worker, bringing in volunteers, was  discussed.                                                  It was also noted that we ought to carefully screen volunteers in order to safeguard vulnerable people and children.                                                           It was felt that we needed to be more explicit about these considerations, not least to protect the reputation  of the charity.                                            Lil has produced a draft of the accounts.                                                              Before submission  they require independent scrutiny.                             For this role, Lil suggested approaching another home educating parent who runs a  charity in Fife – this was agreed.

2.1: PVG/Health & Safety: A number of potential home educators have come to the office to discuss their situations and this has created a few issues for our host charity. In future we need  to ensure that 18u are informed about visitors for child protection reasons. We must also ensure that people sign in at front door as per the fire safety policy.

3: Membership: The PayPal button on the website is no longer working.  This sparked  a lengthy debate about memberships – whether people should have to pay and how we protect the integrity of the charity.                 This is a complex issue and it was agreed that a decision would  require        more time to reflect and  discuss.

Date: 19.08.19 Time: Location: 1 Victoria Road

Present: Laurie M, Marley H & E Lil     

Apologies: Joseph L.                    

Matters arising:

1: Joseph’s recovery is very slow. It is unlikely that he will be well enough to return as trustee.

2: Ianthe seems willing to become a trustee. Hopefully we can co-opt her at the next meeting.      

3: The accounts have been looked independently scrutinized and all the paperwork completed. Marley will submit them to OSCR.             

4: AGM – It was agreed that this would take place on 26 October at 2pm. Laurie will contact all the members and we will also advertise is via Facebook in the  hope of generating more interest of potential members      and/or trustees.     

We will have a brief meeting after the AGM to co-opt Ianthe.   

Date: 26.10.19 Time: 2pm Location: 1 Victoria Road

Annual General Meeting.

Present: Members – Laurie M, E Lil, Sandra D & Ianthe F. Non-members – Mark N & Ally M.

Apologies: Joseph L, Marley H & Keiron W.

1: Annual report – This had been circulated to members before the meeting. There were no questions raised by members.

2: Financial report – This had been circulated to members before the meeting. There were no questions raised by members. E.Lil outlined the main details for the meeting. There was discussion about the use of some restricted funding and the difficulty of setting up a forum for teenagers linked to our website.

3: Constitution amendments – None at present.

4: Trustees – No new trustees were standing at the meeting and the current trustees agreed to continue. It was pointed out that we are currently below the minimum numbers of trustees required by our constitution.

5: Appointment of Auditor for the next financial year


Numerous questions were raised by the non-members present. While pertinent and important, they were not consistent with the business of the meeting. The trustees provided as much information as they felt able, but it was not clear if the aim of the questioning was for the benefit the charity.

The major concern raised related to membership and the perception that the charity is not open to new members. The trustees are aware that the PayPal button on the website is not currently working but were not aware that this technical issue has been perceived by some as the charity being unwelcoming. Schoolhouse is always open to new members and trustees. In the short term, it is best to make contact via email or through Facebook. The visitors were assured that their membership application would be dealt with at our meeting in December.

Date: 26.10.19 Time: Location: 1 Victoria Road

Present: Laurie M, Ianthe F, Sandra D, E Lil.

Apologies: Joseph L.

Ianthe agreed to become a trustee and was formally co-opted.

Joseph’s condition remains serious so he will need to retire from being a trustee by the end of November. It was agreed that we would need to approach a past trustee to make up the number on the board. Hopefully this will be a short-term measure until more new trustees can be found. Laurie will make enquiries.

It was agreed that we would need an extra meeting to follow up unexpected business from the AGM.

Date of next meeting: 7.11.19 at 11:30am.

Date: 7.11.19 Time: 11:30am Location: 1 Victoria Road

Present: Laurie M, Marley H, Ianthe F & E Lil.

Apologies: Joseph L.

Matters arising:

1: Joseph’s situation remains unchanged. We welcomed Ianthe and welcomed back Marley as trustee.

2: AGM –

The AGM was attended by both members and non-members. This created a few issues in terms of which information trustees were obliged to make public and which should only be available to members.

Laurie outlined our legal obligations in this regard.

Subsequent to the meeting, the trustees received a letter requesting more information. It is not clear if this is a vexatious or supportive request, but we agreed to respond in as positive fashion as was possible.

It was agreed that Lil would draft a response and then circulate to trustees for comment.

Laurie would prepare the list of trustees for publication on our website and check the minutes in case anything required redaction before making those public.

3: Non-members – The 2 non-members present at the AGM asked to become members. This will be discussed at our next meeting once we have further debated the issues that were raised during the July meeting. We were also given a list of other potential members, but it would be inappropriate to contact them directly because of GDPR.

It is possible to volunteer while not a member, so both are being offered volunteering roles while their membership is pending

(see below).

4: Teen forum

We discussed how we could move forward with this initiative and how flexibly we could use the funding we had been given. Lil is to approach 2 potential home educators who might be able to moderate or supervise teenage moderator. Ianthe offered to run a session on internet safety for the group of teenagers who have expressed interest in the project.

5: Information event

It was agreed that we would host another event for families considering or new to home education on January 25th 2020.

6: Volunteers

Marley suggested a potential new volunteer.                                                It was agreed that she should pursue this contact.

Lil has contacted Mark who attended the AGM and asked if he would be interested to join in further meetings with LAs. So far he hasn’t responded. We will also invite Ally to volunteer at the information day.

Date of next meeting 16th December 2019 at 11am.

Date: 16/12/19 Location: 1 Victoria Road.

Present: Laurie, Marley, Ianthe & Lil

Matters arising:

Joseph’s situation remains unchanged so he can no longer continue as a trustee. It was agreed not to write a letter of thanks for his contribution as this would probably be upsetting for his family.

A letter has been spent to AM but there has been no reply.

Despite a series of technical glitches, the list of trustees and copies of previous minutes are now available on the website.

In order to move forward with the teen forum project, Ianthe will lead a workshop on ‘Online Safety’ on 8 Feb. This will be advertised on the website and via Facebook. A home ed parent is willing to moderate a group of teenage moderators. We will also try to open up the office to a teenage meet up once a month.

Ianthe and Lil had met with a new potential volunteer but A has decided not to go ahead.


This was discussed at length. Since the charity seeks to support all home educators rather than just members, the purpose of the membership fee was debated. It was agreed that we would remove the financial hurdle to membership so the fee will be 0. Donations will obviously still be welcomed. The paypal button on the website will be reinstated for this purpose.

The need for protecting the aims, purposes and ethos of the charity was raised. It was consequently agreed that potential new members would be asked to volunteer before becoming members so that the trustees had some mechanism for establishing relationships of trust. This will also aid the work of the charity as we are currently sufficiently funded but would be able to achieve more with more volunteers/members.

Our host charity had raised concerns about PVG in July since there are sometimes trustees in the office at the same time as vulnerable teenagers. It was agreed that all trustees should have PVG checks from now on.

In addition to the 2 people who attended the AGM, applications for membership have also been received from 7 others. Lil will draft a response, explaining the new arrangements for membership. Once this has been circulated and agreed, it will be sent to the applicants. We will invite them all to the Information day on 25th Jan.

Laurie will draft a letter to existing members explaining the change and encouraging them to continue to donate to the charity. There will be no expectation that existing members should volunteer to continue their membership but we will ask them to consider supporting Schoolhouse in this way.

Laurie will also draft a policy on requirements for membership/issues that would raise questions regarding an applicant’s suitability.

Date of next meeting 13th January at 11am

Date: 3rd February 2020 Location: 1 Victoria Road

Present: Laurie, Marley, Ianthe & Lil

Matters arising:

The January meeting and subsequent events had to be postponed. The events will now both take place on 7 March at 1pm. Laurie will make vegan soup. Ianthe will advertise them on the website and via Facebook.

Lil has drafted a response to the applicants for membership. This was agreed and Ianthe will send it.

Laurie will draft a letter to existing members explaining the change and encouraging them to continue to donate to the charity. There will be no expectation that existing members should volunteer to continue their membership but we will ask them to consider supporting Schoolhouse in this way.

Laurie will also draft a policy on requirements for membership/issues that would raise questions regarding an applicant’s suitability.

We will need to update the website to change the information re membership/volunteering.


There’s been an increase in the number of people asking for support and joining the facebook group.

Engagement with LAs:

Parents from Mid Lothian have been in touch. Laurie felt it was necessary for us to challenge the misinformation on the ML website and their demands on families. Various ways of interacting with the LA were discussed. Lil will draft a letter outlining the legal aspects and requesting a meeting. It was also agreed that we should return to our programme of engaging with LAs. Laurie will go back to look up the P&K website and Marley will investigate LAs in the north.

Date of next meeting 2nd March at 11am

Date: March 2nd 2020 – Location: 1 Victoria Road

Information Day

This is going ahead on Saturday. There has been significant interest on social media. Laurie will make soup. Lil will bring milk, sugar and a ppt. Ianthe will run the internet safety session. Concerns were raised that some people might attend with a view to disrupting the day. A strategy for minimizing any upset was agreed.

Applications for membership:

Letters had been sent but only 2 responses received both making similar points re the difficulty of volunteering. Lil will draft a letter addressing their concerns.

Laurie will draft a letter to existing members explaining the change and encouraging them to continue to donate to the charity. There will be no expectation that existing members should volunteer to continue their membership but we will ask them to consider supporting Schoolhouse in this way.

Laurie will also draft a policy on requirements for membership/issues that would raise questions regarding an applicant’s suitability.

The website has been updated to change the information re membership/volunteering but the paypal button has yet to be reinstated for donations. Ianthe is working on this.


There continues to be an increase in the number of people joining the facebook group. Requests for support are more constant.

Another email has been received re membership but it doesn’t appear to be asking to join but for information about existing members from a past member. Lil will draft a response.

Engagement with LAs:

Lil circulated copies of the information available on the Midlothian website re home education and a draft letter to requesting a meeting. The letter was agreed and will be sent.

Letter from OSCR:

One of those applying for membership has also made a formal complaint about Schoolhouse to OSCR. Laurie circulated the letter from OSCR and the various items were discussed. Lil will draft a response and circulate via email as we have to respond before 13 March. The only substantive issue is the number of trustees falling below 4 last year. This matter is now rectified.

Date of next meeting 1st April at noon.

Date: 5th June 2020 – Location: Zoom

Present (Zoom meeting): Laurie, Ianthe & Lil

Apologies: Marley

Matters arising:

Postponed to the next meeting

Meeting with MSP:

We have been asked to comment on the Children (Scotland) Bill by Jeremy Balfour MSP. It was agreed that we would all try to attend a zoom meeting. Laurie will respond to the invitation and circulate possible times of meeting. The Bill mainly concerns family courts rather than education but is seeking to incorporate more aspects of the UNCRC. In our experience, the person who is chosen to represent children’s views in court can influence the outcome. Courts also tend to support a parent who is seeking to send a child to school rather than home educate.

We discussed possible points we should raise:

  • equal status of home education and school education
  • the presumption of UNCRC that parents/guardians (rather than the state) would represent their child(ren)’s rights
  • training, assessment, accountability and independence of the safeguarder – the role currently tends to be filled by either social workers or lawyers.

We also thought we might use the meeting to raise some questions re education, home education and extra funding for vulnerable children within the current Coronavirus legal framework.

Annual Accounts:

Lil has agreed to draft the accounts.


Following informal dialogue with OSCR, the issues raised have been dealt with, so we are able to write to existing members, updating them re the changes to the membership fee. Laurie will draft this and circulate.

Facebook/Possible press release:

It was agreed that we would ask on the Facebook group if any of the parents who have joined since the schools were closed are considering continuing to home educate once schools reopen. Depending on the response, this might give us some useful data for a press release. Although we have information about withdrawing children from school on our website, we agreed we should also put it in the files of the facebook group.

Next meeting to be arranged after our meeting with Jeremy Balfour.

Date: 3rd July 2020Location: Zoom

Present (Zoom meeting): Laurie, Ianthe & Lil

Apologies: Marley

Matters arising from both previous meetings:

Information Day.

This was well attended and the feedback very positive. We will plan a similar event for as soon as possible after lockdown, hopefully September. Ianthe ran an internet safety workshop in parallel for the older children/teens present.


Following on from our correspondence, Ianthe has updated the website to include new information about volunteering and made the paypal button operative again but for donations rather than membership payments. Laurie has drafted a letter to existing members explaining the changes. Lil will add a paragraph encouraging volunteering.

Lil has circulated the draft accounts and will put them into the OSCR spread-sheet. It was agreed that we would ask Paula Cowie to be the independent scrutiny again.

MSP Meeting

Ianthe, Laurie and Lil had a productive zoom meeting with Jeremy Balfour MSP. In prep for this Ianthe set up a survey to ask how many people would continue to educating their children at home after lockdown. The polls are still open but a high percentage said they would be, particularly families with children with health issues/additional needs.

Once the pandemic restrictions are past, we will contact him again to set up an information stall in Parliament.

Media Interest:

Lil was interviewed for radio in March and a press release was drafted at the beginning of lockdown but not circulated. Ianthe has been interviewed recently by the press. We will draft another release regarding the survey results as people begin to consider the schools reopening. Lil will draft and circulate for comments and Ianthe will circulate the agreed text.

Local Authorities:

Before the chaos of lockdown, we were about to restart interacting with local authorities regarding their policies, particularly those with misleading information on their websites. We will need to redraft our letter slightly but also attempt to approach all councils as we are likely to be in a position in the autumn where considerably more families are choosing to educate by other means.

MidLothian, Shetland and Aberdeen have been mentioned by members of the Facebook group as being difficult so Lil will look up their policies. It was agreed that we would also send a copy of the new press release to the councils.

Youth Forum:

This seems more urgent than ever but lockdown has normalised use of Zoom. Lil will contact Priya to discuss if she would still be interested to be employed to act as convenor/moderator for this.


Laurie will apply for extra funding in the hope that we might be able to employ someone to assist with admin. Laurie will draft a job description and circulate.

Date of next meeting: Monday 3 Aug 1pm.

Date: 10th August 2020 Location: Zoom

Present (Zoom meeting): Laurie, Ianthe & Lil

Apologies: Marley

Matters arising from both previous meetings:


Lil has put the draft accounts into the OSCR spread-sheet and re- circulated. They have now been sent on to Paula Cowie for independent scrutiny.

Media Interest

A press release has been drafted, agreed and se out regarding the poll results. It was agreed that we would draft another giving advice about withdrawing children from school. It was agreed that we would also send a copy of the new press release to the councils.

Local Authorities

Lil has read the information on the websites of MidLothian, Shetland and Aberdeen which had been mentioned by members of the Facebook group as being difficult. It was decided at this stage that we should send a more general letter to all LAs inviting contact/offering support rather than tailoring specific letters for each LA.

Youth Forum.

Lil will contact Priya to discuss if she would still be interested to be employed to act as convenor/moderator for this. Issues such as what format and which platform were further discussed but there seems no obvious choice.


Laurie has secured £500 extra funding from Tescos (Bags of Help). We have yet to hear back from the community fund but Laurie has drafted and circulated a job description.

Information Day/Zoom Q&A

The most recent advice to parents is that schools are reopening and children should be back full time from 17th. Some families are very worried about health/shielding etc so it was agreed that we would hold a zoom Q&A session on Saturday to give people information about the legal processes involved in withdrawing children from school. This will be advertised on FB and by press release(?). We will ask people to express interest and questions in advance so we can use the time most effectively. Ianthe will investigate creating an appropriate Schoolhouse Zoom account.

Possible Home Ed Conference

We discussed the possibility of organising a home ed conference via zoom. This will be discussed again following the Q&A.

Letter to members re changes to the membership fee

The letter to existing members has been edited and agreed. Laurie will send it.

Trustee Expenses

Laurie will draft a policy on this

Date of next meeting: Monday 31st Aug 1pm.

Schoolhouse trustee’s list:

2016 -2017                Elected        resigned 

Marley Hunter          01.02.13                                      Chair

Elizbeth Lil                 22.03.17

Laurie Matthew       01.02.14

Mark Kimber            22.03.17      17.06.17

Margaret Armour   22.03.17

Marriane Cranwell

Andrea Neilson       02.03.15

Jane Christie            02.01.16

Cathy Rosa               1.06.17                                         Treasurer

Jane Gordon            02.01.16


Mark Kimber           22.03.17      17.06.17                Secretary

Margaret Armour  19.02.17       17.06.17

Marriane Cranwell 17.06.17

Andi Neilson           02.03.15       17.06.17

Jane Christie           02.01.16       22.04.17

Elizabeth Lil            22.03.17                                       Secretary

Marley Hunter       01.02.13                                       Chair

Joseph Lumbasi     20.11.17

Laurie Matthew     01.02.14                                       Vice Chair

Cathy Rosa              01.06.17                                       Treasurer

Jane Gordon           02.01.16


Marley Hunter        01.02.13         31.12.18            Chair

Joseph Lumbasi      20.11.17                                     Treasurer

Elizabeth Lil             22.03.17                                     Secretary

Laurie Matthew      01.02.14                                     Vice Chair

Jane Gordon            02.01.16        01.11.18


Marley Hunter         07.11.19

Elizabeth Lil              22.03.17                                     Secretary

Laurie Matthew       01.02.14                                     Vice Chair

Joseph Lumbasi       20.11.17                                      Treasurer

Ianthe Forbes           26.10.19