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Impington Village College

LGB Minutes 11-06-19


Tuesday 11 June 2019 at 6.00 pm in the library


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

In Attendance: Victoria Stubbs (Link Trustee), Rob Campbell (MET CEO), Simon Warburton (Assistant Principal), Chris Gee (Director of Student Experience), Mo Middleton (Lead Practitioner), Stephen Drew (Lead Practitioner) and Joe Greenway (Clerk). 

The minutes reflect the order that the agenda items were taken.

1. Workshop Activity – Staff Well Being

Simon Warburton (Assistant Principal) made a PowerPoint presentation on Staff Wellbeing at IVC.

He reminded governors that the college has recently been awarded the Carnegie Centre of Excellence Mental Health Gold Medal Award for schools and referred governors to the ten steps to staff wellbeing as proposed by the Anna Freud National Centre which are:

1. Is there a staff mental health lead?

2. Is there a mental health policy?

3. How does the college ethos promote openness about mental health?

4. Are there opportunities for supervision?

5. Could supervision be offered outside of line management?

6. How innovative is the college in reducing workload?

7. Is there a comfortable space where staff can take time out?

8. Are there opportunities for staff to participate in activities not linked to their work?

9. Is the mental wellbeing of staff an agenda item at staff and governor meetings?

10. Is it feasible to introduce a staff wellbeing survey to help understand the key issues in the college?

SW was pleased to advise that the college can show positive responses to most of the above steps and he gave examples where this was the case.

He then showed how there are improving positive responses given by staff when they are questioned about whether their performance is regularly measured against objectives and also whether they receive feedback on their performance.  He opined that the current staff survey questions relating to stress at work, support at work and ability to manage workload are not rooted in any academic relevance and that there were missed opportunities for more exacting questions to provide feedback on current progress and next steps.

There then followed a workshop activity.  SW provide 4 sets of questions that enquired about staff wellbeing.  He asked governors, in small groups, to review each question set and decide:

  • Which questions should be in a survey?
  • What questions are we trying to find answers to?
  • How do we want to support staff further?
  • How should we dig deeper?
  • What process would give governors confidence in what the college is doing and the care it gives to staff?

At the concluding plenary SW advised that the sets of questions were from Ofsted, the British Heart Foundation, the Educational Support Partnership and the Black Dog institute of Australia.  Governors were unanimous in their preference for questions from the two latter providers, commenting that other questions were insufficiently teacher centric.

SW thanked governors for their comments and advised that he would now compile a staff survey which he would share with the LGB in due course.

Action: SW

Victoria Stubbs (Link Trustee) offered to send a software package that covers similar material and used in her place of employment.                      Action: VS

Governors thanked SW for the presentation and look forward to receiving updates on staff wellbeing in the next academic year.

2. Student Well Being and Tutoring Update

Christopher Gee (Director of Student Experience) made a PowerPoint presentation on Student Wellbeing and Tutorial provision at IVC.

He advised that the PSHE programme currently delivered at IVC already covers all the statutory elements that the DfE expects all schools to deliver from 2020.  He also advised that all schools must deliver all the recommendations of the Gatsby Report into careers education by the same date.  He was pleased confirm that the Gatsby recommendations are already all in place at IVC.  He then showed documents of the PSHE programme of work and how the careers elements required by Gatsby are mapped against this programme.

Turning to the Tutorial provision Mr Gee confirmed that the iCAS programme continues to be well received and valued by students.  He confirmed that the vertical tutoring programme will have the theme of the science of happiness running through it next year, as relevant research is showing that the development of good habits and making good habits stick by tracking behaviours and observing the changes has positive impacts to approaches to exams and well-being as well as careers.  This development is occurring because of:

  1. Feedback from tutors to focus on pastoral work.
  2. Feedback from students that wellbeing and mental health is the biggest school-based issue they want tackled.
  3. HoH analysis and PP gap.
  4. The staffing model that allows for vertical supportive relationships to exist and small group numbers to facilitate that already exists.

All this will allow for a universal programme of wellbeing support to be delivered by tutors.  Co-tutors will be replaced by ‘mentors’ who are teaching assistants and pastoral support staff.  The capacity created by moving IMPs into tutor time will allow the assembly slot to typically be ‘free’ and will also allow for targeted support by mentors for students that need guidance

Mr Gee concluded by providing a brief overview of the iSLT, the student leadership forum.

Governors thanked CG for the presentation and wished the new arrangements every success.

3. Learning Visit Report –Humanities

Ms Mo Middleton and Mr Stephen Drew, Lead Practitioners, made presentations to governors based on the outcomes of a recent Learning Visit which are appended to and form part of these minutes.  Key outcomes include the conclusions that the department shows that:

  • A greater focus on rigour and consistency has ensured that staff are aware of the high expectations of the College and leaders in the faculty.
  • Communication has much improved, and there has been an increase in professional dialogue, which is having a positive impact on teaching and outcomes.
  • Clarity around faculty approaches (across all key stages) and assessment has led to a great deal of consistency.
  • The quality of feedback has improved significantly, with clear evidence of progress in students’ Assessment Books.
  • SMSC and British Values are clearly embedded within the curriculum and pupils are provided with excellent opportunities to debate and discuss key issues.
  • Standards of behaviour and engagement among students were high, and the learning environments are very good.
  • Overall progress for Humanities was strong and is forecast to be strong again in 2019.
  • KS5 outcomes are forecast to be positive in current year 12 and 13, especially in Geography, History and Psychology.

In terms of improvement the department needs to ensure that:

  • Leaders continue to be proactive in ensuring all staff meet their high expectations.
  • Curriculum planning in History has further attention to ensure that students have a suitably challenging and thoughtfully planned programme of study.
  • Staff continue to embed new courses and make use of growing knowledge and experience of new specifications.
  • Staff review and monitor the setting of homework to ensure all homework meets the College’s expectations.
  • Staff continue to use data forensically to target students who are underperforming and intervene both in the classroom and via other methods, with a particular focus on disadvantaged students.
  • Staff ensure outcomes are consistently strong at KS5, [with a particular focus on economics (and especially weaker students)] and embedding the new Philosophy course to ensure positive outcomes in 2020.

The Principal reported that the department staff were positively engaged in the challenges set by the leadership team following the Learning Visit which was very pleasing to see.  Governors asked about the staff development priorities for the department.  Ms Middleton advised that they intend to focus on improving the delivery of their Key Stage 3 curriculum by using the best practises of other departments.

The Chairman thanked the staff for their work and the presentations made at the meeting.

Governors noted the Humanities Learning Visit presentation.

4. Standing Reports

  1. MET Update to LGBs

The Chairman referred to the MET update report provided and asked whether there were any questions for Rob Campbell, Trust CEO.  Questions were mainly about the progress of The Cavendish School.

RC prefaced his responses by wishing the LGB to formally acknowledge the work of the Trust COO (F Difranco) in securing a £1.4M grant from the Conditional Improvement Fund of the DfE for the Trust, a substantial amount of which will be spent at IVC over the summer months on essential maintenance and building works.

Governors were pleased to commend the work of the COO.

RC then reported that with regard to the Cavendish School (TCS):

  • SW had been appointed project manager for one day per week.
  • Architects, contractors and others were meeting many times over the next 6 weeks and that a virtual reality (VR) presentation of the new buildings should be available at the being of July.
  • Planning approval from Cambs. CC will be an issue.
  • Construction is due to start in 2020 with an indicative opening date of January 2021.
  • Julie Bailey (TCS LGB Chair designate) is researching internal fit out options to ensure this fully meets the needs of autistic children.

Governors confirmed that they would welcome a full report on progress, including the VR presentation and impact on the IVC site at the next LGB meeting.                                                                                                  Action: RC

RC also reported that no feedback had yet been received from the local primary school who were consulting extensively with their stakeholders as to whether they should join the Trust.

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

Rob Campbell left the meeting at 7.45pm.

5. Apologies and Declarations of Interests

Apologies were received from Rachel Carrington, Claire Beressi Jones and Kate Brierton.

6. Minutes of the meeting of 19 March 2019

The minutes of the meeting held on 19 March 2019 were agreed and signed as a correct record.

7.  Matters Arising

All actions were either complete or being discussed at this meeting aside from:

  • Year 11 and Year 13 student surveys to the July 2019 LGB.     Action: RK
  • New questions for governor link visits forms. 

Action: Chairman and Mr Noble and Mr Blatch

  • 3-year college plan to the July 2019 LGB                                      Action: RK

8. Link Governor Reports: Curriculum

The Chairman made a report of her recent visit to college.  She looked at the iCAS curriculum, met with 6 different teachers and held two focus groups with students.  She thought the iCAS curriculum allowed staff to build relationships with their students and that the activities gave students opportunity to gain in confidence and ‘to shine’.  Students commented on how much they value the service classes.

KM advised that there was a marked difference in the responses of the pupil premium and non-pupil premium focus groups with the PP students not really understanding the purpose of the curriculum with some seeing it as ‘pointless’.

Governors were complimentary about the Principalship taking time out of a full curriculum to offer iCAS, a form of enrichment that is both innovative and unique.  Governors acknowledged that iCAS is ground-breaking and a timetabling challenge, yet the students still manage to achieve excellent GCSE outcomes

The Principal reminded governors that the college also offers the IVC Further Curriculum, due for accreditation in late June, which is aimed at developing excellence in students who have been identified as ‘gifted and talented’.

Governors noted the excellent work described in the Chairman’s report.

9. Governors’Termly briefing

Mr Noble and Ms Pearce made brief comments regarding the termly briefing for governors as offered by the Cambridgeshire Governance Service that they had recently attended.Ms Pearce confirmed that the Trust complaints procedure is compliant with the latest guidance from the DfE.

The Clerk reminded governors that the documents from this briefing are now in the Briefing folder in the Dropbox for all to read at their leisure.

10. Policy Approval

The Chairman advised that in the next few days she will be allocating one or two of the policies listed to individual named governors, requesting them to read, review and make comments on the policies they have been given with 7 days of receipt.  The Chairman will collate the responses and feedback to the Principal.

Action: Chairman then all governors

11. Calendar of meetings 2019-2020

The Chairman requested that all governors feedback any problems that have with the proposed calendar to the Clerk in time for the dates to be confirmed at the July meeting.

She also advised that she intends to hold a Governors Workshop sometime before the October 2019 meeting.

12. AoB

  1. IB Evaluation​​​​​​​

On behalf of all governors the Chairman offered her congratulations to staff and in particular Jo Sale and her team, on the excellent outcomes of the recent IB evaluation visit.

The meeting closed at 8.15 pm.