LGB Minutes 23-05-17
MEETING OF THE LOCAL GOVERNING BODY
Tuesday 23 May 2017 at 7.00 pm in the library
Present: Karen Momber (Chairman), Brian Harrison, Elizabeth Sadler, Jake Reynolds, Valerie Hastings, Rachel Pegg, Ryan Kelsall (Principal) and Claire Beressi Jones.
In Attendance: Kate Brierton (Trustee), Victoria Hearn (Vice Principal), Simon Warburton (Assistant Principal) and Joe Greenway (Clerk). Rachel Carrington, Jenny Walker and Rebecca Moore of the Science Department were also in attendance to deliver agenda item 4.
1 Apologies and Declarations of Interests
Apologies were received from Suzy Offord, Simon Guest and Alan Rodger (Trustee).
There were no declarations of interest.
2. Minutes of the meetings of 21 March 2017 and Matters arising
The minutes of the meeting held 21 March 2017 were agreed and signed as a correct record.
3. Governance Matters b. Scheme of Delegation
ES confirmed that she had submitted grammatical corrections to the Clerk and the Clerk confirmed that these had been actioned.
Staff Exit Interviews
The Principal advised that Staff Well Being would be covered in the workshop activity to be held at the end of the meeting.
3. Standing Reports
The Chairman stated that she assumed that all Governors had read the Principal’s Report and the reports on the Data Dashboard, Safeguarding and the MET and would thus not ask the writers to talk to their papers. She asked for questions on any aspects of the papers that Governors wished to raise. The following topics were identified:
- Reorganisation of the Senior Team
- Sixth Form
- Safeguarding: Variance in Logs
- Staff Exit Interviews
- MET Report
Reorganisation of the Senior Team
Governors expressed concern about the workload on the senior staff remaining in post following the reduction in the numbers that make up the senior team. The Principal assured governors that the quality of middle leadership in the College was much improved so that senior staff were less involved at that level. Similarly, the Heads of House are now undertaking more of the managerial roles previously undertaken by senior staff. He advised that Simon Warburton would be taking on a more operational role from September at Assistant Principal level allowing Victoria Hearn to devote more time to her strategic responsibilities. All senior staff would have a significantly reduced teaching commitment from September. Finally, the Principal confirmed that the current senior team all work together extremely well.
Governors welcomed the Principal’s comments and proposed that a review of the senior team’s workload be undertaken after about six months.
Governors asked about recruitment and the long-term future of the sixth form. The Principal reported that recruitment for September had improved since the previous report. He confirmed that the funding of EU students would not change in 2017-18 or 2018-19 but the funding of EU students in their second year of study in 2019-20 was unknown. Discussions had been held with agencies that assist in recruiting EU students.
He also reported on developments currently being explored by the MET Trust Board in creating an International Sixth Form that would exist in parallel to the current Sixth Form. Students would be taught together. The operation would be private, taking in fee paying students from across the world, particularly the Far East. Contact has already been made with a company in Cambridge that would recruit such students. It is hoped that around 50 fee paying students would be recruited for September 2018. Funding for a new build is also being investigated.
Governors were pleased to note the progress being made and asked to be kept informed of developments.
Safeguarding: Variance in Logs
Governors asked whether there is anything the College can discern from the apparent variance in the number of logs of concern. The Principal advised that there is no pattern to staff logging causes for concern; there could be up to five forms in one day from different staff about the same child. Governors viewed this response as evidence that staff are treating safeguarding with the seriousness it deserves.
KB advised governors to review and complete the Initial Safeguarding Checklist for Governors and to report on this next meeting. Action: ALL
Staff Exit Interviews
Governors asked whether the issues raised in recent Exit interviews had been addressed. The Principal suggested that the workshop activity at the end of the meeting on the staff survey will give some feedback on this matter. He reported that staff turnover will again be high this year and also that the College recruits significant numbers of trainees who undertake their teacher-training at College.
KB (link Trustee to IVC LGB) reported that the Trust Board had successfully recruited two new Trustees to the Board and they will start their roles in June. Both have substantial industrial experience at a strategic level: Janice Garner in Finance and Keith Thomson in HR.
The Chairman was pleased to report that SG had studied the latest Data Dashboard and had no queries to raise.
RK reported the he had met with 3 parents who had expressed an interest in standing for the Parent Governor vacancy. He reminded the LGB that there were also 2 vacancies for Trustee appointed governors.
The LGB congratulated the Trust Board on its successful application for the Cavendish Free School and also welcomed Witchford Village College into the MET.
Governors noted the Standing Reports.
4. Faculty Review - Science
Three members of staff from the Science Faculty made a Power-point presentation to Governors which is appended to and forms part of these minutes.
Governors were very positive about the quality of the presentation and the work of the Faculty, particularly the impressive KS4 and KS5 outcomes of 2016, and the range of exciting activities planned for next year. Governors asked questions on mixed ability teaching and the transition of Year 6 students (primary) to Year 7. Staff responded that the behaviour of mixed ability groups had much improved compared with the previous arrangements although some parents, particularly those of high ability students, are challenging this. Governors commented that good staff development opportunities must be made available to ensure staff have the ‘tools’ to manage mixed ability groups well. Regarding the transition to Year 7 staff reported that Year 6 students will undertake project work at the end of 2017-18 in their primary schools which they will complete when they join IVC in September 2018.
The Chairman thanked the Sciences staff for their work and the presentation made at the meeting.
Governors noted the Science Faculty Review.
5 Link Governor Report
The Chairman made a verbal report on her visit to the College where she investigated the CPD opportunities available to staff. A written report on her visit will be made available in due course. Action: KM
KM reported that there are tailored CPD activities available to 3 tiers of teaching staff: teachers, lead practitioners and middle leaders. Teachers have a toolkit and attend taster sessions and workshops in areas that interest them; lead practitioners have coaching and mentoring sessions facilitated by the University of Bedford and middle leaders follow the Impington Middle Leaders Development Programme (IMLDP) delivered by members of SLT. All participants appeared positive and enthusiastic about the development sessions and demonstrated a high level of engagement. VH reported that 2 staff from Witchford may join the IMLDP next year.
VH then reported that the work with CASSA is still yielding positive benefits for the College. Meetings with staff from other schools in CASSA have been or will be held to share good practice and bursaries will be made available to help staff study particular areas of interest.
Governors welcomed the impressive report and looked forward to receiving a report sometime in the future where the impact of the CPD on student learning and outcomes can be shown. They were particularly interested in viewing some of the CPD materials and VH advised that Governors would be welcome to attend future CASSA events. The Principal asked VH to issue invitations to Governors as appropriate. Action: VH
Governors noted the Link Governor Report on CPD.
6. Governor Training Report
The Chairman and ES advised that they had recently attended a termly briefing to governors offered by Cambridgeshire County Council. The briefing documents are now available on the ‘Knowledge Hub’ web site. KM stated that she would share the link to the ‘Knowledge Hub’ with all governors.
ES then made a brief presentation using some of the Safeguarding slides referred to in the briefing and encouraged all governors to consider undertaking safeguarding training as and when it is offered by Cambs. CC. KB (Trustee) strongly supported this suggestion having recently completed such training herself.
Governors then debated the merits of continuing the subscription to the School Governance Support Team as offered by Cambs. CC and also whether the LGB subscribes to the National Governance Association. The NGA offers numerous free web based courses through its Learning Link to support governors in the role. Governors strongly supported continuing to subscribe to the Cambs. CC service and asked the Principal to make the necessary arrangements. They raised no objections to the college joining the NGA. Action: KM & RK
The Chairman encouraged all governors to explore the NGA Learning Link. Action: All
The Chairman and Principal also agreed to discuss an indicative programme of training to be offered to governors in 2017-18. Action: KM/RK
7 Link Governor Allocation
The Chairman referred governors to the link allocation paper, asking them to note that there are gaps in the coverage of College areas of work and expressed the hope that newly recruited governors would be able to fill at least some of these gaps. She reminded governors that there is no specified period of time for the link relationship and asked that governors allow the links as proposed to run for at least a year. Governors were content with this arrangement.
8 Workshop Activity – Staff Well Being
All Governors took part in a series of small workshop activities covering the raw data from the recent staff survey and facilitated by Ryan Kelsall (Principal).
Feedback from the group work identified the following issues:
- Improvement in positive responses compared with the previous survey, some substantially
- Significant increase in ‘trust’
- More staff engagement
- More clarity in communication
- Support staff less positive than teaching staff or managers
- Need to improve the rewards system and also to communicate the current rewards better
Governors asked to be sent the response rate. Action: RK
The Principal advised that the College was considering a student survey in due course.
Governors appreciated the workshop, valued the lessons learned and thanked the Principal for his efforts.
- Informal contact among governors
The Chairman expressed a desire to increase contacts among governors, meeting up occasionally for coffee, tea etc. to discuss governance matters more informally. Governors were not unreceptive to this suggestion.
- Resignation of Rachel Pegg
The Chairman noted that Rachel Pegg, Teaching Staff Governor, was resigning her role after the meeting following her promotion to a more demanding role in College.On behalf of the LGB the Chairman thanked Ms Pegg for her work on the governing body and wished her every success in her new role.
The meeting closed at 9.10 pm.