FGB Minutes 24-06-14
MEETING OF THE FULL GOVERNING BODY,
OF IMPINGTON VILLAGE COLLEGE
Tuesday 24 June 2014 at 7.00 pm in the Library
Impington Village College
Present: Martin Rigby (Chairman), David Jenkins, Rob Campbell (Principal), Jayne Green, Brian Harrison, Hildegard O’Kane, Elizabeth Sadler, Alan Rodger, Paola Pizzigallo, Claire Beressi Jones, Lauren Allin, Julian Mellor, Simon Guest, Valerie Hastings and Stephanie Norris.
In Attendance: Fran Difranco (Director of Finance & Resources [DFR]), Richard Spencer (Vice Principal Teaching & Learning [VPTL]), Ryan Kelsall (Vice Principal Quality Assurance [VPQA]), Rebecca Jermy (Assistant Principal), Katie Jarvis (Assistant Principal Discipline & Inclusion [APDI]), and Joe Greenway (Clerk)
Apologies were received and approved from Huw Jones, Jake Reynolds and Suzy Offord. The Chairman acknowledged that this would be the last meeting for both Hildegard O’Kane and Paola Pizzigallo. He thanked them both for their service to the governing body, which, in the case of Hildegard, had been over many years. He wished them both well in the future.
2 Governor appointments
- Local Authority Governor
The Chairman confirmed that he had submitted David Jenkins’s name to the local authority to be re-appointed as the LA governor for the College and requested governor approval for this reappointment.
Decision: Governors approved the appointment of David Jenkins as Local Authority Governor nem con.
David Jenkins joined the meeting.
- Staff Governor
The Chairman welcomed Valerie Hastings to her first meeting of the FGB following her election as Staff Governor.
3 Minutes of the meeting of 2 April 2014
The minutes of the meeting held on 2 April 2014 were agreed and signed as a correct record.
4 Matters arising from the Minutes
5 Notes from the Away Day of 17 May 2014 and matters arising
The notes of the Away Day meeting held on 2 April 2014 were agreed and signed as a correct record. The Chairman thanked the Principal and the rest of the CET for a very productive and stimulating Away Day.
Agenda item 7 Primary Partnerships
The Chairman reported that both he and the Vice-Chairman were trying to arrange a meeting of feeder school governors but it was proving very difficult. They would continue to try.
6 Principal’s Report
The Principal referred governors to his paper reminding them that the ‘Keeping in Touch’ meetings with representatives of the local authority were optional now that the College is an Academy but the CET still wished to maintain the current close positive relationship. All matters within the discussion had been previously reported to governors. The Chairman commented that he thought the presentation to the LA official by members of the CET was particularly professionally done.
The Principal advised that the outcome of the review of the effectiveness of the Humanities Faculty referred to in the ‘Next Steps’ section would be considered at length at the next meeting of the Learning Committee.
Regarding the College Development Priorities the Principal stated that the initial ideas generated during the recent Away Day had been considered and developed by the CET and a draft set of Priorities had been presented and discussed at the recent Strategy & Engagement Committee meeting. The paper for that committee was attached to his report and the Principal invited all governors to email him their comments. The Priorities would be further refined over the coming months and presented to the September 2014 meeting of the FGB for final approval.
The Principal thanked those governors that had fed back on the re-drafted Behaviour Policy and commented that some of their suggestions had been incorporated. The APDI reported that feedback from recent meetings of parents about the policy had been positive. A final version of the Behaviour Policy is to go to the July meeting 2014 of the Learning Committee for approval.
Governors look forward to knowing the outcome of the naming of the new Houses and wished all those staff that were leaving well for the future and, in particular, thanked Rebecca Jermy (AP) for her work over the year. The VPTL confirmed that the Assistant Principal’s teaching hours would be covered by existing staff.
Governors noted the Principal’s Report.
7 Budget 2014-15
The Chairman of the Resources Committee referred the governors to the papers advising them that the committee had thoroughly debated the budget as drawn up by the Finance team of the College and drew governors’ attention to the following matters.
Changes in funding in 2014-15 show decreases in the school block of some £161k and the high needs block by £30k. These reductions will be counterbalanced by an increase in the 16-19 allocation of £187k resulting in an (insignificant) increase overall of around £4000. Adding other elements such as the LA SEN top up and the Pupil Premium results in an overall income of £7.959M, an increase of £24k on 2013-14.
The Chairman of the Resources Committee reported that the Finance team had undertaken substantial work on the expenditure budgets and the following assumptions have been made:
- All salary forecasts include grade drift.
- All staff will receive a 1% pay rise.
- All resignations and appointments known at the time of writing have been factored in.
- Pupil Premium funding has been included with a contribution back to the salary forecast.
- Sixth form incentives have been removed.
- Capitation has been halved with faculties having to bid for any allocation above 50% of this year’s allocation.
- Education Other Than At School (EOTAS) funding has been reduced to £116k.
- IT development has been significant over the last 3 years. The coming year however will require expenditure to slow down; therefore only essential works and rolling replacement will be possible.
- The College Development Fund (CDF) has been consumed in balancing the budget.
- The Staff Absence Insurance policy will not be renewed and the College will self-insure and seek alternative staff wellbeing services.
- The Ely minibus service will cease.
- The midday supervisors will be made redundant with cover provided by the enlarged CET.
The DFR reminded governors that in previous years the College Development Fund has been used to balance budgets but that in 2014-15 there was no money to create a CDF. It would be a year where the College is ‘treading water’ financially. He also stated that surpluses from the Sports Centre would not be transferred into the main College budget as it was necessary for the Sports Centre to build up reserves for future planned capital expenditure. He reminded governors that there is a promise of more funding in 2015-16, but the level of increase is still unknown. The Principal stated that he was to attend a meeting concerning this increased funding soon and that he would report any outcomes to governors in due course.
The Chairman reminded governors that it is one of their key responsibilities as Directors of the Academy Trust to ensure that the College stays solvent and that, on behalf of the FGB, he thanked the DFR and the Finance Team for their work and obvious competence in being able to deliver a balanced budget. Congratulations were also given to those staff that are responsible for the increasing recruitment to the sixth form.
Decision: Governors approved the budget for 2014-15 nem con.
8 Annual Child Protection Monitoring Report
The Assistant Principal Discipline and Inclusion referred governors to her report highlighting that the last time governors were trained in aspects of safeguarding was in 2010 and that this needs to be addressed. Governors were mindful of their responsibilities in this regard and it was agreed that an appropriate training session should be delivered at the start of the September 2014 FGB. Lauren Allin (designated governor with responsibility for safeguarding) agreed to lead on this using the training given to college staff as a template.
Action: APDI/Lauren Allin to organise appropriate training on safeguarding to be delivered at the September 2014 meeting of the FGB.
Decision: Governors approved the Annual Child Protection Report for 2013-14 nem con.
9 Local Government Pension Scheme Discretions Policy
The DFR referred governors to the policy drawn up following discussion of the matter at the recent meeting of the Resources Committee. The policy follows the principles as agreed at the Resources Committee which were:
- Given that the discretions that can be applied are likely to cost the College if applied and that these could run into long term arrangements that are financially significant, NO discretions would be applied
- There may be occasions where the College would want to apply a discretion which may be mutually advantageous to both the employee and the College (e.g. early retirement). As such it was agreed that applications for pension enhancement would be considered on a case by case basis and agreement would be by exception.
All governors were content with the principles as given above and with the policy as presented and advised that there should be a slight change to the layout of the document to make it clearer.
Decision: Subject to the minor changes referred to above Governors approved the Local Government Pension Scheme Discretions Policy nem con.
10 Planning a new Sixth Form
The DFR reminded governors of the plans discussed at the Away Day showing the outcomes of a conceptual exercise for the building of a new sixth form centre on site. A two storey building of some 2800 m2, accommodating up to 350 students in three locations was shown.
Option 2 with a new build in the middle of the school site seemed to be the preferred option at an indicative build cost of £8.5M. This would be for a building to the current standards of new school builds.
The Chairman was strongly of the view that any new build must be complementary to the architectural heritage that already forms part of the College estate, namely the grade 1 listed Gropius building. Such a noteworthy building ‘better’ than the ‘current standards of new school builds’ is likely to cost substantially more but, in the Chairman’s opinion, the FGB has a responsibility to ensure that the architectural integrity of IVC is maintained.
There then followed a wide ranging debate that covered such topics as:
- Implications of the Cambridgeshire County Council ‘City Deal’.
- Sources of grant funding such as the Priority Schools Building Project from the EFA and also grant funding from the European Union.
- Borrowing and the associated costs.
- Using surpluses generated from the Sports Centre.
- Future recruitment to a new sixth form centre.
- Design competition involving RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).
- Involvement of governors with expertise in the building field.
To move the matter forward governors requested more clarity over the possible financial implications in their broadest sense.
Action: Principal/DFR to consider the financial parameters and timescales for the proposal and to report progress at the September 2014 meeting of the FGB.
11 Governing Body organization, processes and governor retention
The Chairman reported that at the recent meeting of the Strategy & Engagement Committee it was recommended that engagement with parents and other stakeholders as potential governors and their retention should be an agenda item for the FGB. The Chairman was also concerned with the demands placed on governors, particularly their time, and also whether the role of a governor is sufficiently understood by all potential stakeholders. He proposed the establishment of a small working party to discuss these matters and to bring forward proposals for the FGB to consider.
There then followed a vociferous debate which included such topics as:
- The high degree of responsibility for the well-being of the College that governors have.
- The daunting quantity of papers sent to governors.
- The implications of multi-school trusts.
- Marketing the role of governors.
- The governance pages of the College web-site.
- The intellectual prowess shown by the members of the current FGB when compared with other governing bodies and how this could be perceived as intimidating by potential governors.
- The interest and insight gained through membership of the governing body
It was agreed that a small working party would be set up to look at governor recruitment and communication. Lauren Allin, Julian Mellor and Valerie Hastings agreed to serve on the working party with a target to report back to the November 2014 meeting of the FGB. The Chairman and Principal would meet to discuss the effectiveness and future development of the FGB.
Actions: Principal/Chairman to consider the effectiveness and future development of the FGB and to report progress at the November 2014 meeting of the FGB.
Lauren Allin, Julian Mellor and Valerie Hastings to serve on a working party to consider governor recruitment and communication and to report progress at the November 2014 meeting of the FGB.
12 Skanska update
The DFR reported that the Investment Grade Audit document (the contract) had been received by the College and that copies had been sent to the College’s solicitor and auditors, the Environmental Engineer, the EFA and DFE for the purposes of due diligence. All had reported back content apart from the EFA and DFE from whom no response had yet been received. He stated that the Chairman of Governors must sign the contract on or by 4 July for work to commence on time over the summer break.
The DFR confirmed that the College does not need the Secretary of State’s approval for the scheme but an acknowledgement from the DFE/EFA would be most helpful. He also confirmed that the contractual arrangements provided no risk to the College in financial terms and that the lease was within terms agreeable to the College auditors.
The Chairman expressed confidence that the College had done all it could to ameliorate all possible risks associated with the project and that he was particularly concerned that the start date should not be delayed. He therefore requested governors’ approval for the project and further, the Chairman proposed that the contract be signed on or by 4 July irrespective of whether a suitable acknowledgement had been received from the DFE/EFA or not. Elizabeth Sadler seconded the proposal.
Decision: Governors approved the signing of the Skanska contract 2013-14 nem con.
13 Calendar of Meetings 2014-15
The Clerk referred governors to the proposed calendar of meetings for 2014-15. Two committee meetings were deleted as were they thought to be unnecessary, the start time of the Resources Committee meetings was changed to 6.00pm and the dates of some meetings needed to be checked.
Action: Clerk to amend the Calendar of meetings for 2014-15 and to re-issue to governors and staff as soon as reasonably practicable.
14 Minutes of Committees
Governors received and noted the minutes of the Resources Committee of 24 March 2014 and 2 June 2014.
Hildegard O’Kane left the meeting at 9.00pm
1. ICE Programme
The VPTL offered governors a hand-out on the new ICE programme that had been shared with parents of Year 6 students. He confirmed that the ICE Programme would be discussed at the next meeting of the Learning Committee.
Lauren Allin advised governors that, in addition to the training referred to under agenda item 8 it was her recommendation that there be a second named governor with responsibility for safeguarding and that this and the issue of safer recruitment be discussed at Resources Committee. The Chairman agreed.
Action: Clerk to ensure that Safer Recruitment and Designated governors for safeguarding are agenda items for a future meeting of the Resources Committee.
The meeting closed at 9.05 pm.