FGB Minutes 22-06-15
MEETING OF THE FULL GOVERNING BODY,
Monday 22 June 2015 at 6.00 pm in the Library
Present: David Jenkins (Vice Chairman), Rob Campbell (Principal), Jayne Green, Elizabeth Sadler, Alan Rodger, Huw Jones, Rachel Pegg, Simon Guest, Julian Mellor, Suzy Offord, Karen Momber, Stephanie Norris, Claire Beressi Jones and Valerie Hastings.
In Attendance: Fran Difranco (Director of Finance & Resources [DFR]), Ryan Kelsall (Vice Principal Teaching & Learning [VPTL]), Simon Warburton (Vice Principal Progress & Achievement [VPPA]) Katie Jarvis (Assistant Principal Discipline & Inclusion) and Joe Greenway (Clerk).
Apologies were received from Martin Rigby (Chairman), Jake Reynolds and Brian Harrison.
Declaration of Business Interests
The Assistant Principal Discipline & Inclusion referred governors to the Power-point on Safeguarding previously circulated and reminded them that training for Governors would take place at the start of their first meeting next academic year. There were no questions from governors. The Vice-Chairman emphasised the importance of the training to support Governors in the delivery of their statutory obligations with regard to Safeguarding.
3 Minutes of the Meeting held on 23 March 2015
Huw Jones arrived during this item at 6.05pm
The minutes of the meeting held on 23 March 2015 were agreed and signed as a correct record.
4 Matters arising from the Minutes of the Meeting held on 23 March 2015
The Clerk reported on the two actions from the meeting: the Chairman of the FGB had arranged a number of meetings of the Governance Working Party, the outcomes of which were the subject of agenda item 6 and that Alan Rodger had not yet convened a small group of governors to consider Governor Link Visits but that he would do so in due course.
Action: Alan Rodger to facilitate a small group of governors as soon as reasonably practicable to produce some workable proposals for Governor Link Visits for the Autumn 2015 meeting of the FGB.
5 Finance Matters
Suzy Offord arrived during this item at 6.18pm
i. Budget 2015-16
The DFR referred governors to the papers describing the Budget for 2015-16 where total income is forecast as £7.9M and expenditure £7.9M. To achieve this balance it is necessary:
- To assume all but £30k of Pupil Premium funding goes on staff salaries
- For the DFR to raise £50k of grant funding
- For the Sports Centre to contribute £142k.
- To reduce capitation (learning resources in faculties) by 25%.
- To reduce supply staff costs from £100k to £30k.
- To keep the Premises budget unchanged resulting in no funding being available for any capital works.
The DFR explained that expenditure has increased due to increases in employers’ contributions to Teachers Pensions, removal of the National Insurance rebate, an assumed 1% pay rise and grade drift with similar increases for non-teaching staff. All of these increases had ‘wiped out’ the increase in pupil funding Cambridgeshire schools had received. From 2016-17 there would be no reserves and if there is no increase in funding it is likely to be impossible to set a balanced budget without taking significant actions such as:
- Reviewing staffing both short term and longer term
- Considering the viability of small class sizes
- Raising funds
- Reviewing all current expenditure and only allowing absolutely necessary items.
- Reducing absence of staff from College to keep cover costs down
- Achieving savings through economies of scale by being part of a multi-academy trust.
The DFR concluded by referring governors to the table showing staff costs as a percentage of funding that is currently 87.86% with the normal expectation of it being 85%. This suggested the need to reduce staff costs by 3% each year over at least the next two years.
Governors asked whether there were any indications as to the levels of funding for 2016-17 and what would be the impact of these funding constraints on the Impington Curriculum Experience (ICE). The DFR responded that the situation in 2016-17 is likely to be a repeat of 2015-16 with no additional funds being made available. Regarding ICE the Principal responded that its delivery is the core business of the College and the commitment to ensuring a high quality experience with best possible outcomes for all students remains paramount. However what needs to explored are changes to more cost effective modes of delivery and a closer scrutiny of the curriculum as a consequence. He reported that the CET had already met twice to discuss the actions referred to above and a decision has been made not to run GCSE Japanese next year as the class size was only 5 students. Some classes in offered in the Sixth Form are also under review, for example, Russian.
Governors then asked how the funding cuts could impact on the recruitment of international students to the IB programme, whether it was possible to raise revenue and if the College could achieve its financial targets by saving expenditure rather than arbitrarily cutting costs. The Principal advised governors that they would need to consider their response to the forthcoming UK referendum on EU membership. The Principal stated that, in his view, it was incompatible with the ethos of IVC for the College’s stance on EU membership to be anything other than wholehearted support for the UK remaining part of the EU. Funding of EU nationals would certainly change for the worse if the UK left the EU, with a consequent significant adverse effect on College funding. The DFR stated that he had already mentioned his personal target to raise some £50k next year from other sources (for example grant funding) and he advised that savings could only be achieved by a mixture of saving expenditure and cutting costs. He concluded that it was the recommendation of the Resources Committee that the budget as presented be approved for submission to the EFA.
There being no further questions the Vice Chairman called for approval of the budget for 2015-16. Approval was proposed by Elizabeth Sadler and seconded by Claire Beressi Jones. A vote was taken and the results were:
For: 14 votes
Against: 0 votes
Decision: The Budget for 2015-16 was approved by a majority of 14 votes.
ii Financial update
The DFR made a presentation and referred governors to the papers reminding them of the financial position in the current year, 2014-15 as advised in March 2015:
- Reserves brought forward £471k
- Income to date £5.7M
- Expenditure £6.0M
Reserves to be carried forward were predicted then to be circa £150k. He now advised that the reserves in August 2015 would be only £22k; effectively zero. Employee costs are 1.35% over budget and premises costs 6% over budget.
He then reported on the current performance of the Sports Centre which continues to perform well:
- Reserves brought forward £303k
- Income £616k
- Expenditure £525k
Predicted reserves to be carried forward are circa £395k.
Governors expressed regret that, as they were now having to see the College through a period of reducing funding, their decisions may lead to consequences that not all stakeholders were content with but they also acknowledged that these were the circumstances in which they and the College found themselves.
Governors noted the Financial Update.
6 Away Day outcomes
These are recorded separately in a confidential minute.
7 College Day
The APDI left during this item at 7.30pm
The VPPA referred governors to his paper advising them that the rationale for the proposed change to the College Day was that it was more suitable for Vertical Tutoring, due to start in September 2015. Proponents of Vertical Tutoring were strongly of the view that tutor time was less effective immediately after the lunch break and that it should be moved to around the morning break. He advised that two models had been drawn up which were explained to and then put to the vote of the student body. Out of 354 responses 82% were for model A which moved the tutor time to just before the morning break with only one teaching period after lunch. Lunchtime break would not commence until 13.40.
Governors asked whether the catering provision could cope with the inevitable increase in demand at morning break and the DFR reported that he had been assured that any increase in demand would be adequately managed. Governors were pleased that students had been involved in the decision-making. The VPPA recommended model A for approval with the caveat that it be under regular review to confirm that the lunchtime period is not too late.
Approval of Model A of the new College Day was proposed by Jayne Green and seconded by Claire Beressi Jones
Decision: Model A for the new College day was approved nem con.
The VPPA left after this item at 7.35pm
8 Calendar of Meetings 2015-16
The Clerk asked Governors to note the proposed calendar of governor meetings for 2015-16 advising them that if the proposed new Executive Committee comes into being substantial changes are likely to occur.
Governors noted the Calendar of Meetings.
9 Minutes of Committees
Governors received and noted the minutes of the Resources Committee of 16 March 2015, Strategy & Engagement Committee of 12 May 2015 and Resources Committee of 8 June 2015.
The VPTL provided an explanation of some aspects of the proposed new programme with Histon Football Academy as recorded in the minutes of the S&E Committee. Governors expressed the hope that the provision would show an improved gender balance over time and they welcomed the income the new provision would provide.
10 Any other business
1. Appointment to the proposed new Executive Committee
The Vice Chairman advised that the decisions made under agenda item 6 now required governors to approve a mechanism for appointments to the new Executive Committee. He reminded governors that the documents concerning the process of appointment had been issued, discussed and approved at the recent Governor Away Day. Governors debated the composition of an Appointments Panel and concluded that it should consist of two Governors who were not standing for the Executive Committee and one member of the CET with the Principal and the HR Consultant who assisted in drawing up the documentation, acting as advisers. Furthermore they concluded that the Governance Working Party should be responsible for the process and canvass governors on whether they wished to stand or not.
Approval of the above arrangements was proposed by Suzy Offord and seconded by Alan Rodger.
Decision: The method described in the preceding paragraph to make appointments to the Executive Committee was approved nem con.
A governor expressed disappointment at the late notice given to governors inviting them to participate in the review of the College Chaplaincy. The Chair of the Learning Committee, as a member of the review panel, apologised for this explaining that the Governor who had attended last year had unfortunately become aware of the review at very late notice and could not attend. The Chair of the Learning Committee stated that the review would be discussed at the meeting of the Learning Committee next month and that all Governors were welcome to attend.
The meeting closed at 7.55 pm.