FGB Minutes 14-05-16
AWAY DAY MEETING OF THE FULL GOVERNING BODY,
Saturday 14 May at 9.00 am in the Sports Centre
Present: Martin Rigby (Chairman), Stephanie Norris, David Jenkins (Vice Chairman), Rob Campbell (Principal), Kate Brierton, Jake Reynolds, Brian Harrison, Elizabeth Sadler, Alan Rodger, Simon Guest, Suzy Offord, Karen Momber, Claire Beressi Jones, Huw Jones and Valerie Hastings.
In Attendance: Fran Difranco (Director of Finance & Resources [DFR]), Ryan Kelsall (Principal), Simon Warburton (Vice Principal), Victoria Hearn (Vice Principal), Dan Wright (Vice Principal), Katie Jarvis (Assistant Principal), Jo Sale (Assistant Principal), Sue Burton (Assistant Principal) and Joe Greenway (Clerk).
Apologies were received from Rachel Pegg and Julian Mellor.
2. Declaration of Business Interests
The Executive Principal welcomed everyone to the 9th Governors’ Away Day and outlined the programme for the morning.
4. Developing the Trust
The Executive Principal introduced the topic by stating that, in his opinion, the government ‘climb down’ on requiring all maintained schools to become academies by 2020 was not as significant as was first thought. He anticipated up to 85% of maintained schools would convert with the remaining 15% being located in particular constituencies. The change in government policy should have no impact on the College’s plans.
The Chairman then reported the progress made by the Executive Committee in restructuring the Academy Trust referring to a revised organisation diagram as given below:
The difference from previous proposals, which have been previously shared with FGB, was the addition of the Local Community being responsible for the nomination of Members of the Trust. This change has come about following advice given by the DFE. The DFE are not in favour of LGBs appointing Members as this is too much of a ‘closed loop’.
The Chairman confirmed that the number of Members would, initially, be restricted to 10 individuals nominated from the local community as advised by the existing FGB. The term of office of a Member would be 4 years and for founding Members would be co-terminus with their current FGB term of office. Over time, as founding members left, new Members would be nominated by the local communities of the new schools joining the MAT. It was agreed that it would be highly desirable that Members also become governors on one or more of the MAT’s LGBs.
Governors asked what would happen once the 11th school joined the MAT and also how new schools could be represented at meetings of Members when they do not yet have Member. It was suggested that if the first situation was being seen to arise the Articles could be amended to increase the Membership. It was also agreed that schools in the MAT who do not yet have a representative Member be allowed to send a ‘Visiting Member’, nominated by the school, to meetings and who has the right to speak, although not a right to vote. It was agreed that a minimum of 2 public meetings of Members per year would normally be held.
The Chairman confirmed that the founding number of trustees will be 7 including the Executive Principal. A key criterion is ‘fitness’ for the role. As with Members the term of office of a Trustee would be 4 years and for founding Trustees would be co-terminus with their current FGB term of office.
The Executive Principal and Chairman then referred governors to the two documents describing a possible Scheme of Delegation for IVC within the MAT for 2016-2017. These documents set out the working relationship between the Trust and the school and every school within the MAT will have such documents. The EP emphasised that Schemes of Delegation are reviewed annually and that the Trust Board has the power to amend a Scheme without notice. The Chairman advised that as the DFE requires a ‘firm’ approach by Trust Boards, the principle of ‘assumed autonomy’ for every school in the MAT, whilst laudable, may not be realistic. The EP confirmed that, for 2016-17, he would be the ‘named head-teacher’ for IVC.
Governors complimented the Executive Committee on the progress made to date and asked why the terms of office of parent governors in the draft schemes had been reduced from 3 years to 4 years. The EP responded that the Scheme documents are work in progress and contain numerous phrases that are inconsistent, for example, job titles. He saw no reason why the terms of office of existing FGB members should not continue under the new arrangements.
The Chairman concluded that the next steps are to finalise the changes to the Articles with the assistance of the College’s solicitors, which he hoped would be achieved by the end of the month. These would then be sent out to all of FGB and a General Meeting of Current Members called whereby the changes can be discussed and hopefully approved. He reminded governors that a 75% majority is required for changes to the Articles to be approved and that proxy votes can be made by those governors who cannot attend on the meeting day.
Decision: Governors noted and approved nem con the progress made to date with amending the Articles to allow conversion to a MAT.
The EP then went on to outline some of the possible developments of the MAT, referring to specific schools, all details of which are confidential.
The Chairman suggested that the College is likely to require a professionally drawn up Site Strategy soon, taking into account the possible new build developments on a site that has Grade 1 listed building status. It was agreed that Stephanie Norris be asked to suggest suitable architects to whom approaches could be made.
The meeting closed at 1.15 pm.