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Impington Village College

FGB Minutes 21-03-16


Monday 21 March 2016 at 7.00 pm in the Gropius Hall

Present: Martin Rigby (Chairman), Jake Reynolds, Rob Campbell (Executive Principal), Kate Brierton, Brian Harrison, Stephanie Norris, Elizabeth Sadler, Alan Rodger, Huw Jones, Rachel Pegg, Simon Guest, Julian Mellor, Suzy Offord, Karen Momber, Valerie Hastings and Claire Beressi-Jones.

In Attendance: Fran Difranco (Director of Finance & Resources [DFR]), Ryan Kelsall (Principal), Chris Knight (Hewitsons), Martin Roberts (Hewtisons) and Joe Greenway (Clerk).

1    Introduction

The Chairman welcomed board members, other attendees and members of the public to the Annual General Meetings of Impington Village College and Impington Sports Centre Limited and the annual public meeting of the Governing Body.

2    Apologies

Apologies were received from David Jenkins.

3   Declaration of Business Interests


4    Chairman’s Annual Presentation

      The Chairman opened his remarks by referring to the recent Ofsted inspection of the College.  Whilst the official report has yet to be published he was confident that Ofsted will describe the College as being outstanding or good in all aspects and well on the way to being outstanding overall.  He was particularly pleased that inspectors had commended the ways in which the College had addressed the poor Pupil Premium results of 2015.  He offered his thanks and congratulations to all involved.

The Chairman then briefly referred to the plans for IVC to become a key founding member of a future Multi-Academy Trust, the ethos of which would be to preserve and develop the College’s purpose of delivering outstanding education with wide community objectives and being held to appropriate and effective account by parents and other stakeholders.

5    Principals’ Annual Presentation

            Julian Mellor arrived during this agenda item at 7.10pm.

      The Executive Principal made a presentation that covered an overview of IVC and the development of the Trust.

  • Overview of 2015 
  • Many successes for the ‘School’ (11 – 16 and Sixth Form)
  • Concluded a wonderful year (2014-15) celebrating 75 years of IVC
  • The Sports Centre continues to flourish and be a great success
  • Developing IVC into a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT)

The College became a Foundation School in 2010 and an Academy in 2012 (independent state-funded school).  Since May 2015, the Government focus has been on all schools becoming Academies and many Academies forming into Multi-Academy Trusts.  A MAT is where a single Trust oversees/is responsible for more than one Academy.  The Academies share the Trust’s vision/ethos and (often) practices.  The composition and shape of the MAT can be individually determined.

The reasons why IVC is actively pursuing development of a MAT are because it is an opportunity to lead the development of itself and other (like-minded) schools and to build on the excellence established at College.  It offers opportunities to share and collaborate (practice and resources) and also economies of scale.  The options that exist include the establishment a Free School (simply a new Academy), sponsorship of schools that require it and to invite partners (perhaps smaller bodies) who recognise the benefits of formal collaboration.  The next steps require the College to:

  • Configure the leadership
  • Re-constitute the Academy
  • Apply and develop links

The Principal presented the main achievements of the College in 2015 and the anticipated progress in 2016.

  • Review of 2015

GCSE Achievement 

  • 5A* - C Including English and Maths: 65%
  • Progress 8: +0.17
  • Attainment 8: C+
  • Expected Progress in Maths: 76%
  • Expected Progress in English: 76%
  • EBacc: 37%
  • Pupil Premium Progress 8: -0.6

Sixth Form Achievement 2015

  • IB Pass rate: 95%
  • IB Average Point Score: 32
  • A- Level A*- C: 56%
  • A- Level A*- E: 91%
  • Progress in 2016

Forecast GCSE Achievement 2016

  • 5A* - C Including English and Maths: 84%
  • Progress 8: +0.51
  • Attainment 8: B-
  • Expected Progress in Maths: 90%
  • Expected Progress in English: 90%
  • EBacc: 45%
  • Pupil Premium Progress 8: +0.31

Forecast Sixth Form Achievement 2016

  • IB Pass rate: 91%
  • IB Average Point Score: 32
  • A- Level A*- C: 81%
  • A- Level A*- E: 100%

All these outcomes are much improved on those of 2015.


The following changes are proposed to the curriculum

Key Stage 3 (Year 7 and 8):

  • Computing
  • Enrichment Curriculum
  • Booster Programme

KS3 (Year 9):

  • Increased hours for Modern Foreign Languages, Science, English and Maths

KS4 (Year 10 and 11):

  • Increased hours for Maths, English and Science

KS4 (Year 11):

  • ECDL – a vocational programme

There were no questions following the presentations.

8     Questions to the Governing Body

The Chairman invited questions from members of the public.

‘Please could you explain why the current Year 10 English classes in both Language and Literature are not setted?’

The Principal responded by saying that it is not College policy to set students for these subjects.  The groups are mixed ability as evidence shows that lower ability students improve less when all grouped together rather than when in groups of mixed ability.  Changing the current way students are grouped is being explored as, despite having mixed ability groups, there does appear to be upper and lower bands.  Parents will be informed if changes are proposed.

There were no further questions.

The Chairman thanked the members of the public for their attention.  He invited them to stay for the remainder of the meeting and said he would offer another opportunity for them to ask questions at the conclusion of the main agenda items.

6    AGM of Impington Village College

6a    Present: Martin Rigby (Chairman), Jake Reynolds, Rob Campbell (Executive Principal), Kate Brierton, Brian Harrison, Stephanie Norris, Elizabeth Sadler, Alan Rodger, Huw Jones, Rachel Pegg, Simon Guest, Julian Mellor, Suzy Offord, Karen Momber, Valerie Hastings and Claire Beressi-Jones.

6b    In Attendance: Fran Difranco (Director of Finance & Resources [DFR]), Ryan Kelsall (Principal), Chris Knight (Hewitsons), Martin Roberts (Hewtisons) and Joe Greenway (Clerk).

6c    Members of the Public in attendance: Five members of the public were in attendance.

6d    Apologies and Quorum: Apologies were received from David Jenkins.  There were no proxy votes.  The Chairman noted that the AGM was quorate.

6e    Receipt of Annual Accounts

        The members of the academy trust received the accounts of Impington Village College for the year end 31 August 2015.

6f      Re-appointment of Auditors

Julian Mellor proposed the re-appointment of MacIntyre Hudson as auditors for Impington Village College for the next financial year.  This was seconded by Elizabeth Sadler.

The appointment was approved nem con

The AGM of Impington Village College closed at 7.30 pm.

7     AGM of Impington Sports Centre Limited

7a    Present: Martin Rigby (Chairman), Jake Reynolds, Rob Campbell (Executive Principal), Kate Brierton, Brian Harrison, Stephanie Norris, Elizabeth Sadler, Alan Rodger, Huw Jones, Rachel Pegg, Simon Guest, Julian Mellor, Suzy Offord, Karen Momber, Valerie Hastings and Claire Beressi-Jones.

7b    In Attendance: Fran Difranco (Director of Finance & Resources [DFR]), Ryan Kelsall (Principal), Chris Knight (Hewitsons), Martin Roberts (Hewtisons) and Joe Greenway (Clerk).

7c    Members of the Public in attendance: Five members of the public were in attendance.

7d    The Chairman noted that the meeting was quorate since the sole member (Impington Village College) was present and represented by its governing body.

7e    Receipt of Annual Accounts

         The members received the accounts of Impington Sports Centre Limited for the year end 31 August 2015.

7f      Re-appointment of Auditors

Rachael Pegg proposed the re-appointment of MacIntyre Hudson as auditors for Impington Sports Centre Limited for the next financial year.  This was seconded Brian Harrison.

The appointment was approved nem con

The AGM of Impington Sports Centre Limited closed at 7.35 pm.

9    Minutes of the Meeting held on 24 November 2015

The minutes of the meeting held on 24 November 2015 were agreed and signed as a correct record.  There were no matters arising. 

10  Developing a Multi Academy Trust

The Executive Principal referred governors to the paper advising that it had been written before the announcement in the Budget that it was now government policy that all schools will become academies by 2020.  He reminded governors that over the past year the College had been working to transform Impington Village College from a single, standalone Academy into a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT).  The reasons for doing this, as agreed at the outset, were:

  • to preserve the unique ethos and vision in an environment where maintaining a single school trust has become increasingly challenging;
  • to build a network of local schools, where each can preserve its own ethos and purpose, but where the network offers a greater ability to deliver excellent outcomes for all students in the College’s part of Cambridgeshire.
  • to benefit from the practical advantages of forming a MAT such as:
    • sharing best practice
    • economic benefits, such as centralised services
    • the ability to focus funds where they are most needed
    • increased and flexible staffing resources
    • the opportunity to establish succession planning programmes and, in doing so, retain good staff who might otherwise move on

He was particularly pleased to confirm that the College’s vision and ethos had been endorsed during the recent HMI/Ofsted inspection.

He stated that it is important for governors to note that ‘there is nothing in education legislation that prescribes how MATs must be composed’ (NCTL, 2015).  It is up to schools to determine the structure and operation of a MAT. 

He confirmed that the current working name for the proposed MAT is Impington Education Trust, and the key objectives of it are:

  • that the vision and ethos of the MAT is consistent with the ethos of IVC, especially that it is inclusive and inspirational in character and preserves and enhances IVC’s commitment to being international;
  • that the MAT preserves the principles of local democratic accountability embodied in the IVC academy constitution adopted in 2012 both for IVC and for future Academies joining, or being set up by, the Trust;
  • that the MAT has Trustees who have the will, capability and skills to pursue its vision, drive its strategy and hold the Executive Principal and other senior managers to effective account;
  • that the MAT can achieve and sustain the performance (including DFE/RSC recognition) required to remain a sponsoring Trust with the potential to expand by taking on the management of other academies, or by opening a Free School, provided that these are consistent with MAT’s purpose of delivering excellent outcomes for all students in the College’s part of Cambridgeshire.

The Principal then described the proposed structure for the MAT.  (Governors should refer to the diagram issued as agenda item 10B)

  • Members

Following clear guidance from the DFE it is proposed that the number of Members is established at 10 and that these are elected by the current Governing Body of Impington Village College (excluding Staff Governors and only comprising a maximum of two of the current Executive Committee including the chairman, thus ensuring ‘robust accountability’ (NCTL, 2015)).

  • Trustees

That the board of the Trust, as agreed at the January 2015 FGB meeting, should comprise 7 Trustees comprising 6 non-executive Trustees, including the incumbents, and three further Trustees to be selected, and 1 executive Trustee who is the Executive Principal of the Trust.

Further recruitment to the Board (of the 3 additional non-executive Trustees) should be based on the job specification used in the selection of the initial trustees but with the additional priorities of:

  1. creating greater diversity of background and experience (including factors such as gender, ethnicity and age);
  2. adding expertise in education, across all stages, to reflect the ambition of the IET to develop a multi-phase MAT which is likely to include primary, secondary and special Academies.
  •  Local Governing Body (LGB)

That the existing Governing Body of IVC becomes its Local Governing Body and continues with its existing constitution of elected staff and parents and appointed community representatives, thus preserving the village college ethos and local voice.  It will have primary responsibility for overseeing teaching and learning and wider pastoral care at IVC, though the Trustees have ultimate responsibility for ensuring that this arrangement is effective. 

Any other schools in the MAT will also have local governing bodies with similar responsibilities delegated to them although the latter will be determined by their capacity and performance.  A very specific and clear scheme of delegation will be drawn up for each school in the MAT, including IVC.

Securing accountability

Critical in the success of the proposed MAT is accountability which has two purposes:

  • accountability for the education, performance and outcomes of learners who attend the Academies;
  • local accountability so that the ethos and context of each individual Academy and its particular community is appropriately influential in the MAT.

The Executive Principal concluded that an effective combination of strong leadership and management at Trust level combined with effective delegation to LGBs will be the best means of serving both purposes and can fulfill the vision of Henry Morris.

The Chairman thanked the Executive Principal for his presentation and invited Chris Knight, Senior Partner of Hewitson’s, the College’s Solicitors, to comment.  Mr Knight stated that the College’s plans as given in the paper reflect what is happening across the country.  It was his opinion that none of the ethos of IVC will be lost in the process and that it is more likely to be secured by the process rather than if the College joined an existing MAT sometime in the future.  He was also of the view that IVC would have to join a MAT in due course.

Mr Knight then outlined the next steps which, in summary are:

  • Approve the process of development of the MAT (this paper).
  • Enter a period of consultation with stakeholders for a minimum of 8 weeks.
  • Redraft and approve new Articles of Association.  The new Articles will specify how the Members will be appointed, their terms of office and the role they play in appointing and holding Trustees to account.
  • Once the new Articles are approved at an extraordinary meeting of the FGB all the current IVC Academy Trust assets transfer to the new Multi Academy Trust.  The assets of all academies that join the MAT in the future will similarly transfer and this will include all property.
  • This work is achievable by September 2016 but will be challenging.

Governors asked why must the founding members be limited to 10 given a not dissimilar situation when the College became an academy and how it could be ensured that parents could become Members if suitable.  The Chairman responded that it was clear DFE advice that 10 was the expected number and that any application in excess of 10 is likely to be less favorably received.  It was agreed that by discounting staff governors, 13 Governors were left of the existing FGB.  This included Parent governors so clearly they will be founding Members.  He also suggested that not all of the current thirteen may wish to become founding Members of the new Trust. 

Governors then asked how academies joining the new MAT will get Member representation.  Following debate it was agreed that LGBs will get elected in a similar way to how the current FGB is elected and that, in principle, each LGB will ‘nominate’ a representative to be a Member.  Governors were mindful that this conflicted with the advised maximum Member number of 10.  Mr Knight advised that those schools that join the new MAT later than others were unlikely to have Members.  Following further debate it was agreed that the first draft of the new Articles should not specify the number of Members and that it be assumed that all 13 governors of the current FGB will become founding Members of the new Trust.

Governors then asked for details of the Schemes of Delegation, how a LGB can influence the Members and about the benefits of a multi-phase MAT.  The Chairman advised that each Scheme of Delegation will reflect the ethos and vision of each particular school and the the MAT could therefore have a number of SoDs.  He confirmed that the Trustees could amend SoDs and that they must have the power to do this if responsible for poorly performing schools as well as good schools.  He commented that a LGB will clearly be able to directly influence Members if it has a Member on the LGB.  The Executive Principal commented that, for a multi-phase trust, backroom functions like HR, Facilities and IT could be shared as well as developing a greater understanding of teaching and learning across phases and also improved communication with parents.

Governors then asked whether the lack of non-executive members of the current Executive Committee was an impediment and the impact of the proposed free school on the current SEND provision.  The Executive Principal responded that rigorous recruitment activity is taking place but the Executive Committee does not want to ‘sack’ new appointees when other academies join the MAT.  He also advised that the students that would attend the proposed new free school are from different cohorts from those attending the current SEND provision.  CBJ, link governor for SEND, advised that she had discussed the free school proposal with affected staff, that it was agreed that it was a good idea and that the provision offered by the Pavilion and IDEAL would remain.

The Chairman then drew the debate to a close and summarised the next steps as to:

  • ask existing Governors to identify if they wish to remain as Members of the MAT;
  • ask the College solicitors to draft new Articles of Association, that do not specify the number of founding Members, which will be circulated Governors and the DFE for approval;
  • hold an Extraordinary FGB meeting to approve the Articles;
  • continue with appointments to the Executive Committee (acting as the proposed Trust Board) to ensure it is able to continue:
  • speaking to potential partner schools in the new MAT;
  • submit an application to sponsor Academies;
  • submit a bid for a Free School.
  • communicate widely and engage positively with local communities about the development and benefits of the MAT

Governors were content to approve the paper and the next steps as given above.

Decision: Governors approved the principles, proposals and actions given above to develop IVC into a Multi Academy Trust nem con.

11   Executive Principal’s Report

Suzy Offord and Chris Knight and Martin Roberts of Hewitsons all left at the start of this agenda item at 8.40pm

The Executive Principal referred governors to his report which covered the recent Ofsted inspection, the College Development Plan mid year review, Executive matters and other material matters.  He apologised for not including the detailed reports on the College Development Plan review and asked the Clerk to circulate these once received.

Action: Clerk to circulate the detailed reports on the College Development Plan to all governors as soon as reasonably practicable.

Governors had no comments or questions to make and noted the Executive Principal’s report.

12   Principal’s Report

The Principal advised that his report had actually been substantially covered in the presentation he made at the start of the meeting.

Governors had no further comments or questions to make and noted the Principal’s report.

13   Finance Matters

The DFR referred governors to his report advising that the overall carry forward shows a surplus balance of £133k but most of this is ring fenced for categories other than revenue.  The revenue carry forward at present shows a deficit of £152k which highlights the need for income generation or savings during the second half of this year.

He reminded governors that the Budget forecast for 2015-16 was based on substantial savings or revenue generation during the financial year.  In the budget set to ensure achievement of a balanced budget, the target for income generation was £430K with £142k income achieved to date which is the contribution from the Sports Centre.  This leaves £284k still to find by August 2016 which will be a real challenge in-year and may mean a revenue deficit is carried forward into next financial year.

The DFR commented that the College is facing similar budgetary pressures to many schools and colleges nationally in that many unfunded increases in costs will occur over the next few years.  For IVC this amounts to around £250k per year for the next 3 years.  Consequently, income generation is now a key focus along with improving efficiency and staff rationalisation.  The Sports Centre will continue to contribute to the overall College budget.  Additionally, none of the measures currently under discussion address the lack of capital funding.  On a positive note the PAN will increase, the sixth form is performing well and the relationship with Histon FC will be financially good for the College.

Finally the DFR advised that the outcome of the government’s ‘Fairer Funding for Schools’ proposal will take many years to deliver.  AR advised that he had written a ‘proto-response’ to the current consultation document and that he was happy to share this on request.

Governors noted the Financial Report.

14   Vertical Tutoring System Report

The Principal presented the report on Vertical Tutoring on behalf of the Assistant Principal: Behaviour and Inclusion.  The paper describes how the new Vertical Tutoring System had strengthened the College’s Tutorial processes. 

In monitoring academic progress, the conversations between tutor and tutees occurred on more regular bases with improved quality and focus, monitoring and tracking, leading to report writing being much better.  This has resulted in the introduction of new Individual Learning Plans for students who are below target in 4 or more subjects. 

The work of tutors had been systematically reviewed to ensure there is high quality tutoring of all students.  This has included the Head of House monitoring all tutors within their House and then working with individual staff members who are not meeting the required level.  This has ensured the tutors feel supported in developing their skills.

Tutor group assemblies have been ‘outstanding’ and covered topics on British Values and collapsed days have allowed cross-year group work too.  Finally, the Principal was pleased to report that student attendance at 96.35% continues to improve and is nearly 1% point higher on this time last year.

Feedback from students is overall positive with negative responses increasing with Year group age.  Unfortunately, there was no data from the previous tutorial system to make comparisons. 

A staff governor opined that the new arrangements were having positive impact.

The Principal advised that, in the light of the staffing reductions, he would need to review the staffing of tutorials for next academic year and that a full review of vertical tutoring would take place at the beginning of next year with a report made to governors in the autumn term. 

Governors noted the report on the Vertical Tutoring System.

  • Minutes of Committee Meetings

Governors received and noted the minutes of the Executive Committee meetings of 17 November 2015, 18 January 2016, 2 February 2016 and 1 March 2016 and of the Learning Committee meetings of 2 February 2016 and 7 March 2016. 

A governor asked for clarification of the minute in the Executive Committee meeting of 1 March 2016 regarding removal of a Director from office.  The Chairman replied that the Companies Act provides a statutory process which must be followed for such a circumstance and this will be applicable to the current trust and the future MAT.

Governors also requested that the minutes of Executive Committee meetings be circulated sooner.  It was agreed that Executive Committee meeting minutes will be circulated to all governors after the minutes are approved at the subsequent meeting of the Executive Committee.

Action: Clerk to circulate the minutes of Executive Committee meetings to all governors as soon as reasonably practicable after their approval at a subsequent meeting.

On behalf of the FGB, ES expressed her appreciation for the work of the committee on their behalf.

The meeting closed at 9.10 pm.