FGB Minutes 27-09-16
MEETING OF THE FULL GOVERNING BODY
Tuesday 27 September 2016 at 6.00 pm in the library
Present: Martin Rigby (Chairman), David Jenkins (Vice Chairman), Rob Campbell (Executive Principal), Kate Brierton, Brian Harrison, Elizabeth Sadler, Alan Rodger, Huw Jones, Rachel Pegg, Julian Mellor, Stephanie Norris, Valerie Hastings and Claire Beressi Jones.
In Attendance: Fran Difranco (Director of Finance & Resources [DFR]), Ryan Kelsall (Principal), Victoria Hearn (Vice Principal Progress, Achievement & Pupil Premium [VPPAPP]), Dan Wright (Vice Principal Curriculum & Staffing [VPCS]) and Joe Greenway (Clerk).
Governors agreed to reorder the agenda, taking most of the governance items after the academic items to allow academic staff to leave the meeting promptly.
The order of items in the Minutes thus reflects the order in which they were taken.
Apologies were received from Jake Reynolds, Simon Guest, Suzy Offord and Karen Momber.
2 Declarations of Interests
3 Governance Matters
- Election of Chair and Vice-Chair for 2016-17
In light of the changes to the governance arrangements to be discussed later on in the meeting and the current position regarding the conversion of the Academy Trust to a MAT the Governors unanimously agreed that it was not appropriate to elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman of the future LGB at the meeting and asked Martin Rigby to continue in his position of Chairman of the FGB for this meeting only, to allow the business of the meeting to be conducted effectively.
Martin Rigby consented to act as Chairman of the meeting.
4. Minutes of the meeting of 20 June 2016, 19 July 2016 and 8 September 2016
The minutes of the meetings held on 20 June 2016, 19 July 2016 and 8 September 2016 were agreed and signed as a correct record.
5 Matters arising from the Minutes of the previous meetings
20 June 2016
Agenda item 4: Principal’s Report, Analysis of Staff Leavers
The Executive Principal confirmed that this analysis had been done and discussed at Executive Committee. Governors asked that this be an agenda item for the first meeting of the LGB and the Principal agreed to lead.
Action: Principal to present the analysis of staff leavers over recent years to the next meeting of the LGB.
19 July 2016
8 September 2016
The Chairman reminded governors that at the meeting in September they resolved to accept the DfE’s position that there be a maximum of 5 Members of the new MAT and to argue strongly for longer, but nevertheless fixed, terms of office for those Members (say around 10 years) once the MAT has been approved and for the number of Members to be increased in the future.
Huw Jones arrived at the end of this item at 6.13 pm
6 Principal’s report
The Principal referred governors to his paper that gave an overview of the College’s summer exam performance and changes in staffing. He commented that academic performance in 2016 was excellent across the board with sustained success in a number of areas from 2015 and showed rapid improvement in identified and targeted areas. The headline figures for 2016 were:
IB: Still excellent with a Pass Rate of 95% (95%), Average Point Score 32 (33)
A-Level: A*- E 100% (91%), A* - C 76% (56%)
GCSE: 5 A* - C Inc. E&M: 81%, a 15% rise on 2016 (66%), Progress 8: (estimated) +0.82 (+0.19), Attainment 8: 6.07 B+ (5.33 C+). In layman’s terms this means that every student at IVC achieved 2/3rds of a grade better than their performance on entry predicted.
GCSE PP: 5 A* - C Inc. E&M: 61% (20%), Progress 8: (estimated) +0.51 (-0.8), Attainment 8: 5.07 C+ (3.55 D-)
He concluded that these results prove that every student at IVC makes good progress.
The Principal then reported that over 20 new staff have started at IVC in September 2016 and are following a new induction programme and mentoring scheme. A new science teacher has been recruited for a January 2017 start, he commented that it is College policy to focus recruitment on being able to deliver EBACC subjects. He also confirmed that new staff are mainly NQT and main scale teachers as he was confident in the performance of the existing middle leadership team.
Governors expressed delight in the outstanding performance of the College and formally expressed their thanks for the efforts of all students, teachers, support staff and managers in achieving such excellent results.
To set the performance in context a governor asked the meeting to note that a cited reason for underperforming schools in the Fens is that there are many students who do not speak English at home and yet IVC is third in the County table for numbers of students where English is not the first language at home.
Governors opined that the College web-site does not appear to make as much of this performance as it should. The Principal commented that promotion of the performance on social media, for example by Facebook, had been very active and that reporting of results featured very heavily in the Parents’ Evenings presentations that are currently underway.
The Executive Principal agreed to ask the Development and Engagement Manager to do more to promote such good news on the College web-site and also to communicate such achievement to the College Alumni.
Action: Executive Principal to instruct the Development & Engagement Manager to actively promote the Summer 2016 achievements through say better use of the College’s web-site and contact with Alumni.
Governors noted the Principal’s report.
7 & 8 Exam Review 2016 and College Development Plan 2016-17
The Vice Principal Progress, Achievement & Pupil Premium made a presentation on the Exam Results, Summer 2016 and the actions that will be taken in 2017 to ensure the high standard of performance in maintained. She confirmed that 2016 was a summer of excellence with headline measures and individual subjects being truly outstanding, with improvements occurring in all areas previously identified as having weaknesses and that this is particularly the case with Pupil Premium Students. In her view 2016 was successful because:
- Everyone was on message - staff and students
- The quality of teaching (and impact) had much improved
- There was a relentless focus on Pupil Premium (over 2 years)
- There was targeted intervention where needed
- There was greater focus on exam preparation
- There was increased rigour around data/tracking
- There were Rapid Improvement Plans: targeting areas of concern worked.
The main challenges for the College in 2017 are:
- New GCSEs in English/maths; many challenges, the unknown and expecting a national downturn
- Hard to predict Outcomes as Progress8 is a total unknown
- PP students continue to present a significant challenge: gap on entry, relatively low ability
- Significant numbers of SEND students could have an adverse effect on their P8 score and therefore the college’s overall P8 score
- EBACC challenges- only 32% entered because of historic curriculum decisions
To address these challenges, the key priorities for 2016-17 will be very similar to those of 2015-16 and are:
- Absolute focus on teaching and learning- core business
- Pupil Premium- as it will continue to be a huge challenge
- To build on the strength of Vertical Tutoring to ensure that student progress is maximised.
To maintain focus on Teaching and Learning the College intends to show:
- More ownership by middle leaders to encourage risk taking and peer support among staff
- A tighter focus on quality assurance by means of:
- Learning Visits led by VHE/Lead Practitioners (internal Ofsted model, developed with PLG)
- Work Scrutiny: thematic, thorough
- Use of Bluesky/appraisal
- High quality professional learning for all, for example:
- CMI leadership qualification
- Impington Toolkit
Specifically for Pupil Premium students the College intends to:
- Maintain whole-college focus
- Look realistically at curriculum and individual provision
- Provide 1:1 support where needed, especially in Year 11
- Continue to drive attendance improvements to support focus on progress
- Ensure Heads of Houses show leadership and a forensic approach to individual students
- Continue to review and improve the booster programme, especially as the College expands capacity in the core
The College recognises the importance of the new House System and Vertical Tutoring and the impact it has had. Actions for 2016-17 include:
- Developing HoH role with the focus on leadership of progress
- Introduction of half termly House Reviews to triangulate evidence and put clear actions in place to raise attainment/attendance
- Professional learning focused on tutoring in response to the staff survey
- Quality Assurance of tutoring:
- Parent and student feedback
- Improve approach to student leadership with secondment to SLT
The VPPAPP summarised her presentation asserting that there is a huge amount to be proud of and a great time to be leading IVC. She concluded that the College needs to
- Continue to develop the positive culture emerging and empower middle leaders (who are excellent), and
- Respond to external challenges, including reviewing the curriculum offer, BUT provide consistency for staff.
2016-17 will be about sustaining what has been achieved and making marginal gains whereever possible.
Governors repeated their congratulations as given under the previous agenda item and particularly thanked the VPPAPP for her leadership during the year and noted the report.
9 Safeguarding Report
The Principal presented the Safeguarding Report on behalf of the Assistant Principal Behaviour and Inclusion which summarised the key actions undertaken with respect to safeguarding during the year. He also advised of the additional members of staff who would undertake the full Child Protection Training during 2016-17 which included the Principal himself.
Governors noted the report on Safeguarding and advised the Executive Committee to consider the possible safeguarding implications at a Trust Board and MAT level in the future.
Action: Executive Principal to recommend ways of managing Safeguarding at Trust Board, Member and MAT levels to a future meeting of the Executive Committee.
10 Minutes of Committee Meetings
Governors received and noted the minutes of the Learning Committee meeting of 28 June 2016, and of the Executive Committee meetings of 7 June 2016, 5 July 2016 and 9 August 2016.
A governor questioned the degree of confidentiality needed for Executive Committee Minutes as not receiving the Confidential Minutes meant that Governors could not fully monitor the work of the Committee. A member of the Executive Committee advised that confidentiality was necessary as individual named schools and staff are often discussed. Governors asked the Executive Committee to review whether the confidentiality restriction could be removed after a period of time, say three months.
Action: Executive Committee to debate the degree of confidentiality applied to minutes of Committee meetings.
The Principal, Vice Principal Progress, Achievement & Pupil Premium and Vice Principal Curriculum & Staffing left the meeting at 7.30pm
3 Governance Matters - continued
The Chairman reported on the current state of play with regard to converting the Academy Trust to a Multi Academy Trust and what was required from Governors at the meeting to move matters on. Updated Articles of Association were now available from the College solicitors which had been amended as instructed by governors following the resolution made at the meeting of 8 September 2016. The Chairman stated that the following individuals had agreed to become Founding Members:
- Julian Mellor
- Huw Jones
- Martin Rigby
- Hildegard O’Kane
- Jane Lucas (a governor at Witchford Village College)
Terms of office of Members would be the subject of a ‘side letter’ to the Articles and a key element would be to ensure that Members do not reach the end of their terms of office at the same time. Furthermore, it had been agreed that the Trust Board would provide a written report to the Members on a termly basis in addition to making a formal presentation at the Annual General Meeting of Members.
The solicitors had provided a written resolution to adopt the MAT Articles referred to above and that this included the approval of the change of Trust name to the Morris Education Trust and a written resolution to appoint the five founder members also as given above. The solicitors had also provided individual Letters of Resignation and Appointment for current Members/Trustees/Directors/Governors to sign to facilitate their change in role once the MAT is established.
Governors were content with the arrangements thus far. The Chairman invited Governors present to sign the Written Resolution and their respective Letters and to NOT date any document. He explained the rationale for this instruction as follows:
The amendments to the Articles of Association are subject to the consent of the Department for Education as may be exercised through the Education Funding Agency or Regional Schools Commissioner. However, this is not expressed in the resolution itself as to do so would suggest a period of uncertainty for the company’s Articles between the date of the resolution and the date consent is received. It is better to have a resolution which is dated after consent has been received and thus the resolution has been passed today but left undated and will be dated once DfE consent is received.
The members delegate authority to the DFR (Fran Difranco) or Hewitsons Solicitors to date the resolution once consent has been received, subject to there being no change to the Articles of Association as agreed at today’s meeting by the members and no circumstances of substantive detriment occurring for the company between the date of today’s meeting and the date of consent.
ALL governors present then signed the appropriate documents.
The Chairman instructed the DFR to obtain the signature of those governors who were not in attendance as soon as reasonably practicable and to forward the completed documents to the solicitors similarly.
Action: DFR to obtain the signature of those governors who were not in attendance as soon as reasonably practicable and to forward the completed documents to the solicitors similarly.
iv. Scheme of Delegation
A governor asked about the ‘central staff’ referred to in the Scheme of Delegation. The Executive Principal responded that it currently referred to himself and the DFR with one or two others working for both the Trust and the College. He reminded governors that once the MAT was established all staff would be its employees and so could, in theory, be deployed anywhere in the MAT. In practice, deployment of staff in other schools in the MAT would be matters of consultation and negotiation. He also confirmed that staff from joining schools would have their conditions of service safeguarded under the TUPE arrangements.
Governors agreed that it was not appropriate to further discuss the Scheme of Delegation and Arrangements until the MAT was established.
ii. Progress on MAT Developments
The Executive Principal reported that the free school application, for the Cavendish School, had been formally submitted this week following the Headteacher Boards approval of the new MAT to be a sponsoring academy. He confirmed that due diligence of Witchford Village College was currently being undertaken by both himself and the DFR and that it was hoped that WVC would join the MAT by January 2017.
v. Calendar of Meetings 2016-17
vi. Declarations of Interests Forms
The Clerk received completed DofI forms from some Governors.
The meeting closed at 7.55 pm.