LGB Minutes 16-07-19
MEETING OF THE LOCAL GOVERNING BODY
Tuesday 16 July 2019 at 5.30 pm in the library
Present: Elizabeth Sadler (Vice Chairman), Rachel Carrington, Claire Beressi Jones, Magdalena Charytoniuk, Guy Noble, Laura Pearce and Ryan Kelsall (Principal).
In Attendance: Victoria Stubbs (Link Trustee), Rob Campbell (MET CEO), Julie Bailey (Chair designate LGB TCS), Katie Jarvis (Assistant Principal) and Joe Greenway (Clerk).
The minutes reflect the order that the agenda items were taken.
1. The Cavendish School (TCS)
Rob Campbell (MET CEO), supported by Julie Bailey, Chair Designate of TCS LGB, made a PowerPoint presentation on progress to date with The Cavendish School.
He prefaced his presentation by stating the name of the school is taken from the famous scientist, Henry Cavendish, who has a laboratory in his name at the University of Cambridge and who was probably autistic. He reminded governors that the vision for TCS is to:
- Provide Cambridgeshire with an excellent and highly specialised and therapeutic environment for children aged 7-19 with ASC (and an EHCP: places funded by/commissioned from the LA) with ultimately 80 student places.
- Celebrate neurodiversity with a curriculum and approach developing ‘dynamic intelligence’
- Enable young people to make sense of their world and nurture the skills to help support them through their lives
The ‘journey’ so far can be summarised as:
- The impetus for the project was catalysed by the article: ‘A very modern scandal’ – the tragedy of Cambridge’s autistic and other children (Jon Vale, Cambridge News, August 2015)
- Initial ideas were shared with the LA and RSC in early 2016
- Plans were submitted to the DfE in September 2016
- Approval was granted in April 2017, and
- Builders, McAvoy, were appointed in May 2019.
He confirmed that the approach of the Trust has been to:
- Provide an holistic approach recognising the academic but also social, emotional and physical needs of students
- Provide a flexible and non-prescriptive environment which genuinely respects individual autism
- Develop positive behaviour systems and processes built on compassion and respectful kindness
- Support and guide young people by developing ‘dynamic intelligence’ and learning so that they can become independent
- Ensure strong and very proactive relationships with families
The proposed curriculum will:
- Enable our students to succeed in education and life beyond (and therefore access a curriculum which does this – academic and personal)
- Have a thematic approach in KS2 and KS3
- Focus on relevant and appropriate GCSEs and other qualifications
- Be a flexible model for Post-16
- Develop young adults with the resources to be more independent and to progress with success and confidence
- Build opportunities with the ‘mainstream’ at IVC and other providers within and beyond education
Mr Campbell confirmed that, as a special school, TCS will NOT be bound by school performance tables.
Finally, he hoped that TCS will:
- Help meet the rising diagnosis of autism in children and adults
- Develop a partnership with the Autism Research Centre – link on research
- Become a centre and hub for exchange of excellence (in education)
- Raise the profile/work of girls with autism, and encourage research
- Become an advocate within and beyond education for autism and for change and the prevention of exclusion and isolation
Mr Campbell then went on to describe the next steps in delivering the project which are to:
- Approve the designs for the school
- Submit the designs to the Planning Authority (hopefully August 2019)
- Commence preparatory work on the George Edwards’ Building in summer 2019
- Commence on-site from January 2020 with a flexible compound (building site) for the two building zones
- Early 2020 – advertise and appoint a Head (Sept 2020)
- Completion (summer 2021) and opening in Sept 2021 for c. 30 pupils (Y3 to Y7)
Mr Campbell then shared some of the display boards which describe the location, external appearance and internal configuration of the two new buildings. He emphasised the challenges posed by having a split building site where access and a safe, satisfactory working environment needs to be provided for the staff and students of IVC during the building works. He confirmed that the Trust-appointed Project Manager, Simon Warburton, will be facilitating this. He also encouraged governors to look at the ‘fly-through’ produced by the architects’ which shows how the finished buildings will look.
(Note: the ‘fly-through’ is available for governors to view in the 160719 Meeting Dropbox)
Governors thanked RC and JB for their presentation and look forward to receiving updates on progress over the next two years.
Magdalena Charytoniuk arrived during this item at 6.00pm
RC and JB left the meeting at 6.10 pm
2. Workshop Activity: Safeguarding and Prevent including Link Governor Report
Katie Jarvis (Assistant Principal) made a PowerPoint presentation on Safeguarding matters a copy of which is appended to and forms part of these minutes.
She advised that the issues she wished to bring to the attention of governors were:
- Peer to Peer abuse
- The Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) at Hinchingbrooke
- Breast Ironing
Regarding peer to peer abuse she confirmed that assemblies discussing this matter had been held with all year groups and that, subsequently, parents had been written to about the matter. She encouraged governors to view the two short films on peer to peer abuse, the links to which are given in the Power-point presentation.
Ms Jarvis then reported that any incidence of sexual assault in Cambridgeshire schools is automatically reported to the SARC at Hinchingbrooke. Regarding breast ironing she similarly encouraged governors to view the two short films on the matter, the links to which are given in the Power-point presentation.
Ms Jarvis then went on to describe Prevent which is about safeguarding people and communities from the threat of terrorism.
Prevent is one of the 4 elements of CONTEST, the Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. It aims to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism. Prevent:
- Responds to the ideological challenge we face from terrorism and aspects of extremism and the threat we face from those who promote these views.
- Provides practical help to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure they are given appropriate advice and support.
- Works with a wide range of sectors (including education, criminal justice, faith, charity, online and health) where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to deal with.
- Covers all forms of terrorism and extremism and some aspects of non-violent extremism.
She confirmed that she is the Prevent Lead for IVC and advised that Sue Campbell is the IVC Lead for Domestic Violence. Ms Jarvis also asked governors to note the safeguarding Information sheet given to staff.
(Note: This is available for governors to view in the 160719 Meeting Dropbox)
Governors had no questions to ask and thanked KJ for the presentation.
The Vice Chairman then referred governors to her recent link visit to the school. She reported that she had viewed the Single Central Record and confirmed that it appeared to be in ‘good order’ and that this had been independently confirmed upon audit.
Governors noted the safeguarding report made by the Vice Chairman.
3. Apologies and Declarations of Interests
Apologies were received from Karen Momber (Chairman), Steve Blatch and Kate Brierton. There were no declarations of interest.
4. Minutes of the meeting of 11 June 2019
At the request of the Vice Chairman the Principal clarified that ‘IMP’ on page 3 of the minutes stood for ‘I make progress’. These are reflective log sheets that students complete in tutorials. The minutes of the meeting held on 11 June 2019 were then agreed and signed as a correct record.
5. Matters Arising
All actions were either complete or being discussed at this meeting aside from:
- New questions for governor link visits forms.
It was agreed that this action was now moot.
- 3-year college plan to the July 2019 LGB
The Principal confirmed that the plan was now in draft form and would be presented to governors at a meeting next term.
6. Governance Matters
- Calendar of Meetings 2019-2020
No adverse feedback had been received regarding the meetings’ calendar presented to the June 2019 meeting.
The calendar as published was therefore approved.
- September Workshop
The week beginning 16 September was agreed to be the most appropriate time to hold a governor’s workshop. The Vice Chairman advised that the Chairman will be using a Doodle Poll to identify the favoured date.
The Principal commended the method used since the last meeting which allowed all the new policies to be scrutinised efficiently. He confirmed that all the suggested amendments had been incorporated and so recommended that all these policies be approved.
The policies listed below were approved nem con.
- Accessibility Plan
- Admissions Policy
- Charging & Remissions Policy
- NQT Induction Policy
- Relationship & Sex Education Policy
- SEND Information Report – Assessment Protocol
- SEND Information Report – Main Body
- SEND Information Report – Primary Liaison
- SEND Information Report – Provision Access Map
- SEND Policy
- SMSC Policy
7. Standing Reports
- Principal’s Report
The Vice-Chairman advised that a number of questions had been forwarded to the Principal for comment.
Regarding the change in forecast progress grades in English Language the Principal reported that the department are conservative in their estimates but that there has always been an uplift in performance from forecast to actual results in previous years and staff were confident that this would occur in 2019 too.
The Principal confirmed the outstanding results in the IBDP with a pass rate of 95%, 15% above the national average.
Governors congratulated and thanked Jo Sale and her team for their efforts.
He also asked governors to note the overall attendance at 96% is the highest of any school in Cambridgeshire. Further improving Pupil Premium attendance, currently at 92%, will be a focus in 2019-2020.
Referring to the Staff Survey he confirmed that no national comparisons were available since the IIP survey has been abandoned in favour of IVC’s bespoke survey The SLT were very pleased with the number of responses and the number of positive responses and reported that the outcomes of the survey will shortly be shared with staff.
Governors asked the Principal to comment on the staff restructuring that has recently taken place. He reported that there had been two redundancies in the SEND department and a subsequent reorganisation of staff responsibilities. This, together with a more formal curriculum in the IDEAL unit, will result in a wide positive impact on a greater number of students as well as saving on costs. In support staff the deputy House manager roles have been dispensed with and replaced with specific roles covering attendance, transition, vulnerable learners, behaviour and pupil premium across the Houses. He also advised that the librarian had left the college and that a new arrangement for its staffing, including the use of volunteers, was being trialled. Despite the loss of staff, the Principal was able to advise that the student : staff ratio at IVC is 14 whereas the national average in secondary schools is 17.
The Principal concluded that he anticipates being able to declare a small budget surplus at the end of the school financial year (31 July/August 2019??), which is well ahead of the anticipated time this was expected.
Governors had no further questions or comments to make on Safeguarding Report or Data Dashboard and thanked the Principal for his responses.
Governors noted the Standing Reports.
8. Link Governor Reports: MFL & Foundation Subjects and Maths, Science & Data.
Mr Guy Noble referred governors to the reports of his recent visits which have been uploaded to the Dropbox. He particularly wished to highlight how all students appeared to be engaged in PE lessons and how impressive was the consistency of the teaching across the lessons of three different languages he observed.
Ms Magdalena Charytoniuk was similarly complimentary about her visit to Maths & Science acknowledging the challenges faced by staff teaching Science to the Year 7 students who have such a wide range of previous science experience and also how well the changes in approach to homework are working.
Governors noted the excellent work described in the two governors’ reports.
The meeting closed at 6.55 pm.