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Impington Village College

LGB Minutes 19-03-19

MEETING OF THE LOCAL GOVERNING BODY

Tuesday 19 March 2019 at 6.00 pm in the library

MINUTES

Present: Karen Momber (Chairman), Rachel Carrington, Elizabeth Sadler (Vice Chairman), Steve Blatch, Magdalena Charytoniuk, Guy Noble, Laura Pearce and Ryan Kelsall (Principal).

In Attendance: Jo Sale (Assistant Principal) and Joe Greenway (Clerk). 

  1. Workshop Activity – IB Evaluation Visit

Jo Sale (Assistant Principal) made a PowerPoint presentation on the IB Evaluation visit which is due to take place 3-5 April 2019.

She advised governors that a mock evaluation visit had taken place in January 2019 and, as a consequence, the following actions were undertaken:

  • A new Self Study Questionnaire (SSQ) was completed
  • The schedule for the visit was devised
  • Policy updates were completed
  • A revised training log and protocol document were completed
  • A more detailed context section was added to the SSQ

A training day in preparation for the visit was held on 28 January 2019 and this focussed on raising awareness of the International Baccalaureate Career Related Programme (IBCP), policies for academic honesty and referencing, the use of the PRC (?) and positive interactions in evaluation meetings.  Ms Sale advised that the training day had been well received.  Other actions coming out of the mock evaluation were:

  • Changing of some staff in the visit schedule
  • Updating governor understanding of the IBCP
  • Broadening the composition of the parent group
  • Intensive work with the librarian to create an IB section of the library and ensure her knowledge and understanding is up to date

Ms Sale then spent the remainder of her presentation describing the IBCP, a course that has only been offered at IVC for 5 years, unlike the IBDP (Diploma Programme), which the college has successfully run for the last 28 years.  She started by asking governors to identify the differences between the IBCP and IBDP programmes using course outlines.  Governors were able to identify that the IBCP has vocational subjects and a different Core.  Ms Sale confirmed the 3 vocational/career related subjects offered at IVC: BTEC programmes in Sports, Performing Arts and Media.  She then gave examples of IB units of study that current students take with their vocational subject, such as BTEC Media with IB English Literature and IB Film and BTEC Sport with IB Biology and IB Psychology.

Ms Sale then went on to describe the Core element of the IBCP which includes:

  • PPS - Personal Professional Skills, comprising
    • Personal development
    • Intercultural understanding
    • Effective communication
    • Thinking processes
    • Applied ethics
    • Reflecting
  • SL - Service Learning, comprising
    • Identifying community needs
    • Planning and preparing
    • Demonstrating
    • Reflecting
  • LD - Language Development, comprising
    • Student led programme
    • Development in a language of the student’s choice
    • Reflecting on their learning
  • RP - Reflective Project, comprising
    • The only graded component of the core.
    • A 3000-word reflective essay where the students explore an ethical dilemma that is connected to their BTEC course (their career related study).

Ms Sale was pleased to report that numbers on the IBCP course have grown significantly over the past three years with the current Year 13 at 11 students and the current Year 12 at 22 students.  She confidentially predicted that these figures would continue to grow over the next few years.  Ms Sale concluded by advising that the IBCP course offers many progression opportunities with the vocational, academic and core mixtures being perfect preparation for both apprenticeships and university degrees.  She confirmed that progressions routes are not ‘hampered’ by students doing the IBCP – it is recognised in over 164 UK universities, including Cambridge, Oxford, Kings College London, Imperial and UCL.  It is also recognised internationally and Ms Sale was also particularly pleased to report that IVC are the first school in the world to have an IBCP student given an offer from Cambridge University.

Governors asked how many other schools in the UK offer the IBCP and were advised that it is no more than 5 state schools.

Governors congratulated Ms Sale on one of her students being offered the place at the University of Cambridge, thanked her for the presentation and wished her and her team the very best of luck with the forthcoming evaluation visit.

2.   Governor Link Reports

  • English & Humanities

Mr Steve Blatch referred governors to his link visits report form in the Dropbox.  He advised that he had recently met with key staff in the English & Humanities departments and been made most welcome and could report that the staff appeared dedicated to their work and that the faculty was in ‘safe hands’.

  • Sixth Form

This report was not taken as the link governor had presented his apologies and so was not in attendance.

3.   Apologies and Declarations of Interests

Apologies were received from Chris Savage, Claire Beressi Jones, Kate Brierton, Victoria Stubbs (Link Trustee) and Rob Campbell (MET CEO).

There were no declarations of interest.

The principal advised that the reason for the absence of the Trust CEO was that he had been asked by the local authority to take on the interim headship of a local primary school (at Burwell) until the end of the spring term and, consequently was very busy with that role.  RK advised that some additional responsibilities for work at trust level were being delegated to senior staff at IVC.  Governors sought assurance that the senior staff had the capacity to undertake this additional work and the Principal was able to give this assurance.

The Vice Chairman advised that workload monitoring was a topic raised at the recent termly briefing for governors given by Cambridgeshire County Council.  Governors are urged to be sensitive in what they ask staff to provide so requests for information are not too onerous; they also need to encourage staff to raise other workload issues.  Governors discussed whether to ask questions on workload when they meet staff during their link visits. 

The Principal advised that reasonable workloads for staff are a priority when drawing up teaching timetables.  This includes ensuring that staff on fractional contracts are not teaching everyday if they do not want to. He opined that the willingness of staff to teach periods 0, 6 and 7 (normal college day is periods 1 to 5) shows that staff are sufficiently content with their workloads to make such commitments.

4.   Minutes of the meeting of 29 January 2019

The minutes of the meeting held on 29 January 2019 were agreed and signed as a correct record. 

5.    Matters Arising

10 Governor Mid-Year Review.

Following discussion under the previous item it was agreed that questions concerning safeguarding be added to the link visit forms.  The Vice Chairman agreed to drawing up suitable questions and to forward them to the Clerk to update the link visit forms in the Dropbox.

Action: Vice Chairman and Clerk

6.    Standing Reports

The Chairman thanked governors for their prompt provision of questions regarding the standing reports.

a & b) Principal’s report and Data Dashboard

The Principal advised that the big increase in IVC students applying to stay on in the sixth form was as a consequence of better promotion of the sixth form throughout the school together with its high reputation for excellent teaching and results.  He also confirmed that most applications to the sixth form (Impington International College) are first choice applications.

Governors expressed concern that the P8 forecast for English was lower than for other subjects.  The Principal was able to advise that staff in English were generally more conservative in their predictions and that he is not worried about students appearing to perform poorly in the subject.  He stated that the targets set for students are very demanding but as long as progress continues to be good the below target percentages are not a cause for concern at this stage.  Regarding Science and the apparent drop in numbers of students on target for Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 Ms Carrington was able to advise that there were curriculum and data issues which were now improving.  This will have a positive impact on the data.

The Principal reported that the relatively high number of fixed term exclusions at this stage of the academic year was caused by a small number of students (4) with multiple behaviour issues that have been excluded on more than one occasion.

The Principal reminded governors that ISP 1 and ISP 2 are the two stages of the Informal Support Plans that underperforming staff have to follow to bring about improvement in their practice.

  1. Safeguarding Report

No comments made

  1. MET Update to LGBs

No report.

Governors noted the Standing Reports and the responses to their queries.

7.    Anti- Bullying Policy and Policy Update

The Principal referred governors to the revised Anti-Bullying Policy.  He advised that as a result of a concern raised with the DfE by a parent the policy had been reviewed by both himself and the Trust CEO and was now presented to governors for approval.

Governors had no comments to make regarding the policy, so the Anti-Bullying Policy was approved unanimously.

Governors asked whether there was a college policy to deal specifically with incidents involving knives.  The Principal replied that there is no specific policy, all incidents involving knives are dealt with on a case by case basis, logged and reported to the police as necessary. The Principal was pleased to confirm that knife related incidents at college are currently not a huge issue.

The Principal then referred governors to the list of Trust and Academy Policies and Documents.  He advised that those policies that have not been reviewed at their review date have been sent to the policy owners for consideration and that a report on progress will be given to the next LGB.  Governors were keen to ensure that they discharged their responsibilities for reviewing and approving all those policies within their purview in a timely manner.

Action: Principal

8.    LGB Review activity

The Chairman reminded governors that they have a responsibility for:

  • The vision, ethos and strategy of the college
  • Ensuring effective accountability of the senior staff, and
  • For monitoring their own effectiveness,

And that, following the Workshop in November 2018, they approved a number of actions to address the above responsibilities.The Chairman issued a list of these actions and asked governors, in pairs, to RAG rate (Red, Amber, Green) the progress of these actions.This activity took place, was then discussed by the governors and a summary of the outcomes is given below:

ACTION

RED (little or no progress)

Amber (some progress)

Green (complete)

COMMENTS

Revise the link visit form to include a section on safeguarding

 

X

 

 

 

Agreed at this meeting, see minute above

Governors receive a list of policies with review dates

 

 

X

Done

Link governors engage more closely in policies relevant to their link areas

 

X

 

ACTION: The Chairman to review the policy list with the Principal and feedback

Governors have greater engagement in developing surveys

X

 

 

ACTION: The Principal described the surveys run in the college and agreed to bring the Staff, Year 11 and Year 13 surveys to the LGB in the summer term

Get feedback from staff about the governor role

 

X

 

ACTION: Mr Blatch and Mr Noble to devise suitable questions for inclusion on the visits forms and to forward to Chairman, Vice Chairman and Clerk

Request that staffing and budgetary issues are added to Principal’s Report

 

 

X

Done

Discuss actions arising from the governors’ skill audit

X

 

 

No progress.  The Principal suggested that governors might like to consider taking a lead on applying for grant support on behalf of the college.  Governors agreed to hold a workshop at the start of the next academic year to brainstorm this suggestion. Action: Clerk

Align link governance more directly with strategic priorities

 

 

X

Done

Increased focus on a strategic priority at 3 LGB meetings per year

 

 

X

Done

Develop governor review systems

 

 

X

Mid-year reviews in progress

Ensure training opportunities are pursued

 

 

X

Dropbox folder for papers from termly briefings.  At least one governor attends each briefing

Process for appointing Chair and Vice Chair to be refined and succession planning put in place

 

X

 

In progress

SLT to provide a list of collaborative activity in which IVC engages in with other institutions

 

 

X

In 2018 Governor Toolkit

SLT to provide written documentation regarding the 3-year plan

X

 

 

Action: Principal agreed to write a 3-year plan for review in the summer term

Increase visibility of the LGB with parent body and local community – information to be added to the Parent Handbook, potential for regular newsletter or website page

X

 

 

The Principal advised there is no hard copy parent handbook, all information for parents is now on the college website.  He also suggested that better signage specific to governors be used at parents’ evenings.

Action:  The Chairman proposed that this action should be a matter of further discussion by governors.  This was agreed.

9          AoB

  1. Climate Strike

Governors noted that positive way the college managed the recent climate strike undertaken by some students and the good feedback received from parents.

  1. ‘Angry Headteacher’

Governors noted the recent article in the Cambridge Evening News under the above headline where the Principal made comments about the current state of funding in education.

The meeting closed at 8.10 pm.