FGB Minutes 22-09-15
MEETING OF THE FULL GOVERNING BODY,
Monday 22 September 2015 at 6.00 pm in the Library
Present: Martin Rigby (Chairman), David Jenkins (Vice Chairman), Rob Campbell (Principal), Jayne Green, Jake Reynolds, Brian Harrison, Elizabeth Sadler, Alan Rodger, Rachel Pegg, Simon Guest, Julian Mellor, Suzy Offord, Karen Momber, 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 Huw Jones and Stephanie Norris.
Declaration of Business Interests
2 Safeguarding Training for Governors
Suzy Offord and Rachel Pegg arrived during this item at 6.07pm and 6.10pm respectively.
The Assistant Principal Discipline & Inclusion made a Power-point presentation on Safeguarding reminding them of the legal obligation placed upon the College to train its staff and governors. She highlighted the key documents to which they should refer as:
- Working Together (2013)
- Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2014
- Cambridgeshire Safeguarding Inter-Agency Procedures
and asked governors to note that updated guidance had been received from the DfE over the summer. This covered Female Genital Mutilation, Honour Based Violence, Child Sexual Exploitation and Protection from Radicalisation.
The APDI opined that Vertical Tutoring helps with tighter tracking of vulnerable students. She reminded governors about the ‘Logging a Concern’ forms and their location and that Clare Beressi Jones was the named governor with oversight of Safeguarding. CBJ confirmed that she had undergone training for the role.
Governors asked about the archiving of ‘Logging Concern’ forms. The APDI responded that they have to be kept for a period of 10 years and that if a student moves to another school, any forms on file get sent to that school.
Governors then asked about the processes that confirm they are adequately discharging their responsibilities with respect to safeguarding. The APDI replied that CBJ, as named governor, oversees the College process by attending meetings of designated personnel and that an annual report is produced and shared with governors. Governors discussed whether an external audit of the College’s safeguarding procedures would be appropriate in the near future and CBJ agreed to consider this.
Action: Claire Beressi Jones to review the merits of procuring an independent audit of College safeguarding procedures and to produce recommendations for a future FGB.
The Chairman emphasised the importance of the training to support Governors in the delivery of their statutory obligations with regard to Safeguarding and thanked the APDI for her presentation.
The APDI left the meeting at 6.20pm.
3 Governance Matters
i. Election of Chair and Vice Chair for 2015-16
The Clerk informed the meeting that Martin Rigby had previously agreed to act as Chairman of the Governing Body for the academic year 2015-16. The Clerk invited nominations for the position of Chairman from Governors. Martin Rigby was proposed by Julian Mellor and seconded by Elizabeth Sadler. There were no other nominations.
Decision: Martin Rigby was elected Chairman of the Governing Body for academic year 2015-16 nem con.
Similarly David Jenkins had previously agreed to act as Vice-Chairman of the Governing Body for the academic year 2015-16. The Clerk invited nominations for the position of Vice-Chairman from Governors. David Jenkins was proposed by Claire Beressi Jones and seconded by Valerie Hastings. There were no other nominations.
Decision: David Jenkins was elected Vice-Chairman of the Governing Body for academic year 2015-16 nem con.
ii. Executive Committee: Feedback from the Appointments Panel
Julian Mellor, Chairman of the Appointments Panel for the interview of Executive Committee applicants, reported that three applications had been received and that applicants were formally interviewed on 23 July. The applicants were Martin Rigby, David Jenkins and Alan Rodger. The interview panel consisted of JM himself, Valerie Hastings, Judith Elliot of EL Consulting and Guy Dickens of Cambridgeshire County Council with the Principal and Clerk also in attendance. He confirmed that all applicants went through a rigorous and challenging interview and that it was the unanimous recommendation of the appointments panel that all three applicants be appointed to the Executive Committee.
Governors noted the Appointments Panel recommendation.
iii. Committee Structure 2015-16
The Chairman reminded Governors that the proposed new committee structure meant that the functions of the Resources and Strategy & Engagement Committees would be taken over by the Executive Committee and so those two committees would cease and that the Learning Committee would continue. In the fullness of time the Learning Committee may evolve into the Local Governing Body for IVC within a Multi-Academy Trust structure. Governors expressed disappointment in both the small size and diversity imbalance of the new Executive Committee. The Chairman agreed and confirmed it would be a priority of the EC to broaden its diversity, possibly by using its powers of co-option. Governors asked whether the Terms of Reference of the Learning Committee should change. The Chairman proposed that both the Executive Committee and Learning Committee review the ToRs of the Learning Committee for 2015-16 as soon as reasonably practicable.
Actions: Executive Committee and Learning Committee to review the Terms of Reference of the Learning Committee for appropriateness particularly following the change in the FGB committee structure and to make recommendations to a future FGB.
There being no other questions the Chairman proposed that the recommendation of the Appointments Panel referred to above be approved and hence the new Committee Structure of the FGB come into being with immediate effect.
Decision: Martin Rigby, David Jenkins and Alan Rodger were approved as members of the Executive Committee of IVC (together with the Principal and DFR ex officio) and that the new Committee Structure, as approved at the FGB meeting of 16 December 2014, would come into being with immediate effect. nem con.
iv. Calendar of Governor Meetings 2015-16
The Clerk asked governors to note the latest version of the calendar of meetings for 2015-16. It was agreed that an FGB meeting was necessary in November and that the decision to hold an Away Day be decided next term. In the meantime Governors were advised to keep the Away Day date in their diaries. The Chairman advised that the Executive Committee would discuss the merits of establishing an Internal Audit Committee and report back to the next FGB.
Actions: Executive Committee to review the merits of establishing an Internal Audit Committee of the FGB and to make recommendations to a future FGB.
v. Register of Pecuniary Interests Forms 2015-16
The Clerk advised Governors to complete and return to him the register of pecuniary interests form as soon as reasonably practicable and by no later than the next meeting of the governing body. He reported that the auditors currently in College auditing the financial performance for 2014-15 had asked to see the Pecuniary Interests forms for 2014-15.
Actions: All Governors and Senior Managers to complete a Pecuniary Interest form for 2015-16 as soon as reasonably practicable and to return the same to the Clerk.
vi. Link Governor – Pupil Premium
The Principal advised Governors of the importance of a Governor volunteering for this position given the disappointing results of these students. Elizabeth Sadler advised that a group of governors had been working with CET on Link Governor arrangements over the summer and tabled a chart showing the College by Faculty/Department, Staff Contact and potential Link Governor. The chart showed some gaps for link governor for particular departments. Following discussion it was agreed that Leadership and Management would be deleted with the link being the Executive Committee; Governors already linked to particular departments to remain in that position; and that the vacancies in links be filled as follows:
- ICT and Languages Julian Mellor
- Sixth Form Stephanie Norris
- Staff Well Being & Development Karen Momber
- Humanities & Disadvantaged Students including Pupil Premium
Jake Reynolds and Martin Rigby
It was agreed that the next meeting of the Learning Committee would finalise matters concerning Link Governors and circulate the documents to all Governors following approval at the Committee
Actions: Learning Committee to complete the amendments to the arrangements for link Governors at the October 2015 meeting and to circulate the conclusions to all Governors as soon as reasonably practicable thereafter.
4 Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 June 2015 (including the Confidential Minutes)
The two sets minutes of the meeting held on 22 June 2015 were agreed and signed as correct records.
5 Matters arising from the Minutes of the Meeting held on 22 June 2015 (including the Confidential Minutes)
6 Principal’s Report
The Principal referred Governors to his paper advising that 2014-15 had represented another ‘very good’ year that had involved much College development and some turbulence leading to a number of issues to address in 2015-16, for example, some disappointing results in specific areas in GCSE and A2. These will be covered in the next agenda item.
The Principal then referred to the papers covering the review of the College Development Plan (CDP) for 2014-15 where he expressed a judgement of each unit of the College and an overall judgement. Specific priority areas highlighted for development were:
- Pupil Premium achievement and progress.
- In-School variation of subjects and teaching/progress of students
- Sixth Form recruitment and retention
For the College overall he offered three core priorities for 2015-16:
- Improve the impact of teaching on students’ learning (across all years)
- Ensure all disadvantaged students make accelerated progress
- Ensure all students receive excellent tutoring as standard
Governors challenged the Principal to explain why the College had not met the success criteria for 2014-15 in all the numerical targets apart from Valued Added and Attendance. It was opined that was this as a result of poor target setting and/or poor progress monitoring and performance estimation. Some Governors were of the view that more realistic targets should have been set, or the targets altered mid-year to reflect more up to date knowledge of potential student outcomes. Other Governors believed ambitious targets were essential to bring about better performance. The Principal responded that the CET is forensically analysing the results data to identify the reasons behind these discrepancies and that the outcomes of this analysis will be discussed at Learning Committee. He emphasised that there were some outstanding successes within the 2014-15 results and that the excellent performance in RE taken by Year 10, a 15% improvement on the previous cohort, was a good indicator for a much better performance by the 2015-16 current Year 11 cohort. CET was fully aware that its reputation rested on the 2016 results.
Governors were content for the College to pursue the three core priorities for 2015-16 but also emphasised that there were additional priorities too, not least the financial position of the College.
The Principal then referred Governors to the Darwin Green Bid Document that had been written over the summer by a core team of CET members and a working party of Governors. He advised that the next stage was for the College to make a presentation to Cambridgeshire County Council officers and councillors at a Public Meeting on Tuesday 29 September and that the attendance and support of Governors would be welcome. The two other applicants would also be making presentations. On behalf of the FGB the Chairman thanked the Principal, CET members and the working party members for the work done on the Darwin Green School bid to date.
The Principal reported that Sixth Form recruitment matched the 2014 level and was disappointingly below PAN (150) at 138. Governors noted the explanations given and supported and were pleased to note and supported the steps to be taken during 2015-16 to improve recruitment for September 2016. Governors asked whether a review of the College timetable and broad offer might help improve sixth form recruitment from the main school. The VPTL responded that the College is actively sharing the sixth form experience with the lower school. Governors were particularly interested to receive feedback, in due course, about the success or otherwise of the new BTEC courses and the joint provision with Histon FC.
Finally the Principal was pleased to report that the introduction of the Vertical Tutoring System appeared to be going well to date. Governors requested that a report on Vertical Tutoring be on the agenda of their November meeting.
Action: Principal to produce a report on the Vertical Tutoring system for the November meeting of the FGB.
Governors noted the Principal’s report.
Rachel Pegg left the meeting after this item at 7.45pm.
7 2015 Exam Results
The VPPA referred to both his paper and the Principal’s paper and highlighted the following performance at GCSE:
- 66% 5A*-C including English & Maths (slightly down from 68% last year and lower than predicted)
- English at 75% (lower than expected); Maths at 74% (as predicted and overall a good outcome, albeit with a significant issue of under-achievement by Pupil Premium students)
- Science – separate sciences good for Biology and Physics; poor for Chemistry; Additional (Double) Science – as predicted but lower than the College would wish
- Languages – French very disappointing; good for Spanish and German
- Humanities – with many improvements, especially History to 75% (from 61% in 2014) and Art and Design.
Headline areas for improvement include:
- Missed target of 72% for 5 A*-C including English and Maths.
- 3 Levels of progress in Maths and English slightly below target at 76% for English (85% target) and 79% for Maths (target 80%)
- A number of subjects were well below target performance; Catering, Child Development, French, ICT and Computing, and Media and this has created a wide range of attainment variation across the College
- Gap between PP students and non PP for 5 A*-C currently stands at 44% (number of English re-marks in for appeal) this is way in excess of the 30% we were predicting in the tracking.
The VPPA identified the following three main areas of focus for the next few months:
- The inaccuracies of predictions - this presents a real challenge as it undermines the College’s ability to track with confidence and intervene effectively
- The within-College variation - the gulf between high attaining subjects such as Art and Design, Drama, German and other subjects such as Catering, Child Development, French, ICT & Computing, Media and Music is far too wide. A number of steps will be put in place to reduce this gap with the current Year 11.
- The gap between PP and non PP attainment is a threat to the College. APHPP will coordinate a response to the lessons that can be learnt from last year and reduce the gap to below 20% in the first instance with the current Year 11.
He reported that the strategies for progress this year will be:
- More effective moderation of assessment data.
- English, Science and Maths departments carrying out baseline Year 11 assessments to give a clear indication of the current attainment of Year 11, and the areas of learning that need to be addressed in the near future so allowing specific and targeted interventions to be made.
- Ensuring departments carry out a thorough review of their exam results and exam feedback and make recommendations of how they will alter their schemes of work for this year.
- Ensuring PP support will be a leading focus for all staff.
Governors noted the report of the VPPA and looked forward to a detailed discussion being held at Learning Committee.
The VPTL asked governors to note the excellent IB results (pass rate 95%, 81 % in 2014) and excellent AS results (pass rate 90%, 77% in 2014). The A2 results were disappointing at a pass rate of 91% (98% in 2014) with Media and Sociology being the subjects of particular concern. The VPTL opined that the absence of the Head of Sixth Form for much of last year led to a lack of focus and leadership. This has been addressed with the return of the Head of Sixth Form to the role of Assistant Principal Post 16 and the appointment of a Lead Teacher for the Sixth Form. He expressed confidence that the A2 outcomes would be better in 2016.
Governors noted the strategies to improve AS and A2 and noted the report of the VPTL.
The VPPA left at the end of this item at 7.55pm.
8 Financial Update
The DFR referred governors to the papers advising them of the year-end financial position for 2014-15 is:
- Reserves brought forward £471k
- Income to date £7.7M
- Expenditure £8.0M
Reserves to be carried forward are circa £153k. The figures include “Funded Revenue” carry forward as at the end of the last financial year but this is now negative as the balances carried forward consist of ring fenced (non-revenue funds) which make up all of the carry forward balance. Thus the Revenue Funding balance carried forward is a deficit of £5.6k, NO reserves at all.
He reported that significant work needs to be done over 2015-16 to the make savings and/or more income generation assumed in the budget. He advised that the funding regime ongoing is very tough and that the EFA are likely to challenge the College’s high ratio of staffing to funding. He also asked governors to note the ‘abysmal’ funding for capital works.
Governors asked about the potential income from the relationship with Histon FC. The DFR advised this would be around £2500 net per student with the total being up to £160k per year from year 2 of the programme.
He then reported on the finances of the Sports Centre which continues to perform well:
- Reserves brought forward £303k
- Income £832k
- Expenditure £725k
Reserves to be carried forward are circa £411k.
Governors noted the Financial Update.
Jake Reynolds left at the end of this item at 8.05pm.
9 Minutes of Committees
Governors received and noted the minutes of the Learning Committee of 30 June 2015 and Resources Committee of 13 July 2015.
- Any other business
The meeting closed at 8.10 pm.