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Impington Village College

FGB Minutes 20-06-16


Monday 20 June 2016 at 6.00 pm in the Pavilion

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

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

1    Apologies

The Vice Chairman advised that the Chairman would be arriving late as he was attending a meeting convened by the RSC.  Apologies were received from Jake Reynolds, Julian Mellor and Stephanie Norris

2   Minutes of the meeting of 21 March 2016 and the Away Day of 14 May 2016

The minutes of the meeting held on 21 March 2016 were agreed and signed as a correct record.  There were no matters arising and all the actions therein had been completed.  The minutes of the Away Day meeting held on 14 May 2016 were agreed and signed as a correct record

3   Matters arising from the Minutes of the Away Day meeting

Developing the Trust

The Executive Principal confirmed that a group of governors had met to work on finalising the iMAT manifesto.

Staff Well-Being, Engagement and Development

The Clerk advised that the Executive Committee thought it more appropriate for further work to be undertaken by staff on the Vision, Mission and Values during the summer term and that a full report be given to governors in the autumn term.

Huw Jones arrived at the end of this item at 6.07 pm 

4    Principals’ reports

The Executive Principal referred governors to the paper that had been jointly written by both himself and the Principal (RKE).  Referring to the application to open a special free school, ‘The Cavendish School’, he advised a pleasing response had been received from the public to date clearly indicating that the Trust had tapped in to a local need.  He commended the launch event planned for 24 June to governors and advised that the application timescale was very tight.

Referring to the budget, which will be discussed at length in the next agenda item, he asked governors to note that the next two financial years will be particularly challenging and that firm action will need to be taken to ensure that the College lives within its means and also continues to deliver excellent education for all.  Savings in staffing costs, where the College is well over national benchmarks, will be necessary.

The Executive Principal was very pleased to report the positive outcomes of the recent visit by officers of the Regional Schools Commissioner.  Key points identified were:

  • The very good actions taken by the team to improve the school further
  • The largely very positive climate and feedback from students
  • The high quality and very positive input from the large majority of staff
  • The position of IVC to secure further improvements necessary to be judged ‘Outstanding’ at its next inspection
  • The strong position for the Trust to work with other schools

Governors unanimously commended the College for the positive outcome from the RSC visit.

RCA then referred governors to the student progress report at the various Key Stages as written by RKE.  The key issues were:

Key Stage 3

  • Progress in Year 7 is good in all areas
  • Progress in Maths and Science in Year 8 and 9 is a concern
  • PP progress is particular concern in Year 8
  • Progress is a concern in all areas in Year 8

Key Stage 4

  • Progress and attainment in Year 11 is excellent
  • Progress and attainment in Year 10 is a concern due to increased accountability levels (5 = Good grade)

Key Stage 5

  • Attainment in Year 13 A-Level and IB is excellent
  • Progress in Year 13 A-Level is excellent
  • Progress in Year 13 IB is a concern
  • Attainment and progress in Year 12 A-Level is a concern
  • Attainment in Year 12 IB is good
  • Progress in Year 12 IB is a concern

He confirmed that all these figures would be discussed at length at the next meeting of the Learning Committee, to be held on 28 June 2016.

Governors expressed concern at the seemingly high numbers of staff leaving at the end of the year.  They asked how this compares with previous years, with other schools and whether the known and planned staff redundancies may have had an impact.  They also requested an anonymised analysis be produced, including the outcomes from the exit interviews.

RCA confirmed that an analysis would be undertaken as soon as reasonably practicable and taken to the Executive Committee.

Action: RCA to undertake an analysis of staff leavers over recent years to identify trends etc. as soon as reasonably practicable and to present this to the Executive Committee for consideration.

Governors noted the Principals’ reports.

5     Finance Matters

Suzy Offord and Martin Rigby arrived during this agenda item at 6.35 pm and 6.40 pm respectively.

i    Budget 2016-17

The DFR referred governors to his report advising that, at the time of writing, the predicted deficit for 2015-16 is £173k.  This is substantially better than that predicted in April (£270K) and is as a consequence of key interventions already made.  He then went on to highlight the financial landscape for the next two years with the overall picture being, in summary:

    • The current forecast out turn could mean the College ends 2015/16 with a deficit of £173k
    • Funding for 2016/17 is down by £262k due to lower student numbers.  (36 fewer in KS3 and KS4 due to the last year of PAN reduction from 240 to 210 and 19 fewer students in Sixth form)
    • In addition, Pupil Premium funding is down by £7k
    • Total reduction in funding for 2016/17 is £270k
    • Worst case scenario could be a deficit of £342k by the end of next year if no action is taken, but the College has already started to address this and with the current interventions planned is more likely to reduce this figure to a £143k deficit.
    • Work is still going on to reduce this but at the time of writing this is the current position.  The Executive Committee should be in a position to finalise the submission at the July meeting. 

The essence of the budget proposal for 2016-17 is to submit a deficit budget with a recovery plan for the deficit to be eradicated by the end of 2018.  He drew governors’ attention to the following points:

  • Employee costs as a percentage of funding are forecast to be 90%.  Benchmarking indicates this should be 80% in a typical school.  £5.6m in the case of IVC.
  • There have already been significant savings in staff costs this year (£229k of absorbed employers on costs and a further £43k eradicated on a like for like staff set to last year, giving a total of £273k)
  • Recovery plan interventions have already commenced and will focus on continued staffing restructures, income generation activity, reducing unnecessary expenditure wherever possible, further curriculum review, a new partnership with Histon FC bringing in more sixth form students as part of the academy arrangements and a shared venture with income opportunities for both HFC and IVC from a new 3G all weather football pitch on their site.  This should generate in excess of £600k over the next 2/3 years
  • The Fair Funding Formula is out for consultation but will take at least 2 years before schools feel any benefit.  This will eventually however benefit IVC and other Cambridgeshire schools improving the longer term forecast, but by how much is unknown.
  • The impact of becoming a MAT has been ignored for 2016/17 financial year in this draft but there may be opportunities arising during the year if progress in this venture occurs

Governors commended the College for sharing the financial position with staff and asked whether it was ‘politically sensible’ to submit a deficit budget, bearing in mind the consultation on Fairer Funding.  The DFR opined that it was unlikely to adversely affect the College.  They then asked about the seemingly low spend on Pupil Premium and the impact of a deficit budget on Teaching & Learning.  The DFR advised that spending on PP lags and confirmed that it will be all spent by the year end.  The Executive Principal advised it was impossible to objectively quantify any impact on teaching & learning.  The Vice-Chairman opined whether governors should write to local MPs explaining the College’s financial position.  AR replied that he had already met local MPs and was assured that they were aware of the situation.  Nevertheless, the Vice Chairman asked governors to consider writing to MPs.

There being no further points the Vice Chairman called for a proposer and seconder to accept the recommendation of the DFR to submit a deficit budget, with the detail to be agreed at the July meeting of the Executive Committee.  Brian Harrison proposed and Huw Jones seconded.

Decision: Governors approved the proposal to submit a deficit Budget for 2016-17, with an accompanying Recovery Plan, nem con.

ii   Financial update May 2016

            Governors noted the financial update as at 31 May 2016.
David Jenkins left the meeting at 6.50pm.  Martin Rigby took over chairmanship of the meeting from 6.50pm

6     Governor Link Visits Allocation

It was agreed that this item be deferred to the next meeting of the Learning Committee.

7     Annual Safeguarding Report 2015-16

It was agreed that this item be deferred to the next meeting of the Learning Committee.

8     Progress Report on MAT

            Ryan Kelsall arrived during this item at 7.00pm

The Chairman referred governors to the revised Articles which now include all the changes discussed and agreed at the recent meetings, particularly the Away Day.  Governors asked for clarification of a very few minor points and this was given.  The Chairman confirmed that, for IVC to establish the Cavendish School, it must be a MAT.

The Clerk advised governors that the special FGB to discuss and resolve to amend the Articles of Association would take place on the evenings of either Monday 18 or Tuesday 19 July and that the date would be confirmed as soon as possible.  He further explained that proxy votes were acceptable for those governors unable to attend.

The Executive Principal was pleased to confirm that Witchford Village College (WVC) wished to be part of the new MAT.  A public consultation on this proposal must now be held and it is planned that this be concurrent with the existing MAT consultation with the consultation period extended until 18 July.  Assuming this is satisfactory, and other approvals are gained (for example from the RSC) due diligence must be undertaken to establish any risks.  This is likely to take some months so a provisional target date for WVC to join is around November 2016.

The Chairman advised that it was now very unlikely that Milton Primary School (a church school) would join the MAT.  The local diocese only allows its schools to become members of hybrid MATs if the diocese remains in control and this would not fit with the values of the new MAT.  The Chairman also advised that a new trading name for the proposed MAT is still sought.

Governors noted the progress made on developing the new MAT.

9     Draft Calendars of Meetings 2016-17

The Clerk referred governors to two draft calendars of meetings for the next academic year.  The first assumed the status quo; the second hypothesised a potential calendar if conversion to a MAT is approved.  He emphasised that the key points to note are the dates when meetings are planned, the actual nature of meetings will be advised in due course.

He further offered the opinion that, if the new MAT is approved, the first ‘jobs’ of a future LGB are to appoint a Chairman and Vice-Chairman, to note the Scheme of Delegation given to IVC by the Trust Board, and to decide how best it can fulfil its role of ensuring IVC meets the requirements of the Scheme of Delegation, that is, whether it needs to establish committees or not.

Governors noted the two calendars of meetings for 2016-17.

10   Minutes of Committee Meetings

Governors received and noted the minutes of the Executive Committee meetings of 3 May 2016 and 9 May 2016, and of the Learning Committee meeting of 10 May 2016.

11   AoB        

The meeting closed at 7.20 pm.

Governors then relocated to the Gropius Hall for the Public Consultation Meeting on the proposal to convert to a Multi Academy Trust.