Skip to content ↓

Impington Village College

FGB Minutes 18-03-14




Tuesday 18 March 2014 at 6.00 pm in the Library



Present:   Martin Rigby (Chairman), David Jenkins, Rob Campbell (Principal), Jayne Green, Brian Harrison, Hildegard O’Kane, Elizabeth Sadler, Alan Rodger, Huw Jones, Paola Pizzigallo, Claire Beressi-Jones, Jake Reynolds, Julian Mellor, Simon Guest 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), and Joe Greenway (Clerk)

Note the Chairman made adjustments to the order of business and so the minutes reflect the order that the agenda items were taken.

1    Apologies

Apologies were received from Lauren Allin and Suzy Offord.  The Chairman welcomed Stephanie Norris to her first meeting of the FGB and reported the resignation of Paula Carter.

2    Minutes of the meeting of 28 January 2014 and Matters arising from the Minutes

The minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2014 were agreed and signed as a correct record. 

Agenda item 13  - Skanska update

The DFR reported that the Development & Engagement Manager was drawing up a programme of press releases about the Skanska project.

Agenda item 14 – Matters for discussion

The Principal reported that a progress report on the activities of Cluster meetings have been discussed at the recent meeting of the Strategy & Engagement Committee.

Agenda item 14 – Governor vacancies 

The Clerk and Chairman reported that they had discussed how best to fill the vacancy for a co-opted governor and advised that the just received resignation of a parent governor and the soon to occur end of office of two other governors made the situation more complex.  They proposed to wait until the governors whose terms of office were soon to expire made their intentions known and then develop a strategy to recruit replacements.  One of these governors advised that she would NOT be seeking to stand again.

The Principal queried whether the vacancy for staff governor had to be for a member of teaching staff only or whether the vacancy could be filled by any category of staff.  The Clerk advised that he would check the Articles and then hold an election for a staff governor from the start of the summer term.

ActionsClerk to organise appropriate processes to recruit suitable individuals to fill the vacancies on the governing body as soon as reasonably practicable. 

Governors commented that it was disappointing that there were no members of the public present at the public meeting.  They requested that, for next year, the meeting be more effectively promoted.

ActionClerk to promote the annual public meeting of the board next year more effectively making use of the community contacts made through the work of the DEM.

3    Report on Progress of Impington 75 (I75)


 The Principal presented the I75 progress report on behalf of the Development and Engagement Manager. He confirmed that the College was successful in obtaining a grant of £100,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support remedial building works on the Gropius building.  A grant of £15k has also been awarded by the PSFA and that a bid for further grant funding from the HLF was to be submitted in April.  Very successful meetings with clubs that use IVC premises and other stakeholders had been held since January. 

The Principal then referred the committee to the paper highlighting the events currently planned which include:

  •          Anniversary launch weekend:  Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 September
  •          75 at 75 Exhibition
  •          Architecture Project
  •          i75 Ale
  •          IVC @ 75 Film project
  •          Sunday Cinema
  •          International Week
  •          Art and installations
  •          Whole College Photograph
  •          1939 Day
  •          Events and activities
  •          IVC Archive

Governors asked about the creation of a list of possible alumni and were told that there were currently around 275 individuals recorded.

Governors noted the report.

4    Principal’s Report

Jake Reynolds arrived during this item at 6.30 pm.

The Principal drew governors’ attention to the following items in his report.

  • College Development Plan

The Principal reported on progress against the priorities and success criteria for the main school (11-16) and sixth form.  In summary the College is on track to achieve the bulk of the success criteria.  He advised that the College would work on the behaviour management policy in the summer term.  The VPTL advised that the target of in excess of 90% for the IBDP pass rate might be optimistic.  The Head of Sixth Form is currently on maternity leave (due back to work in July) and a less experienced deputy is undertaking the management with VP support and this may be affecting performance slightly.

  • Preferences September 2014

The Principal advised that the College might recruit around 210 students to Year 7 in September and that there had been a decline in numbers coming from some schools.  The College would further analyse the changes in recruitment patterns from feeder primaries to explore reasons for this decline.  Governors asked about relationships with specific schools.  The VPQA responded by saying that the majority of recruitment issues will be solved if the student achievements continue to improve so that the College is graded outstanding at its next Ofsted inspection.  The College is looking to reintroduce an Open Evening, immediately followed by an Open Morning next year to improve the marketing of the College.

  • Assistant Principal Recruitment

The Principal referred governors to his recently circulated email announcing the outcomes of the recent interviews to the Assistant Principal posts.  He was able to confirm that the College had of field of high quality applicants to draw from and that 5 individuals were to be appointed to the AP level.  One individual was an internal promotion; the others were all highly qualified staff coming from outstanding and/or rapidly improving schools.  The Principal thanked those governors who had participated in the recruitment process for their help and support and confirmed that all Assistant Principals would be teaching 50% of a teaching timetable.

Governors expressed satisfaction with the progress made with the College Development Plans and with the Assistant Principal appointments and noted the Principal’s report.

5     Student Pastoral System from 2015

       Claire Beressi-Jones and Hildegard O’Kane left during this item at 6.55 pm and 7.15 pm respectively.

The Principal advised governors that the paper as written was initially a think piece about the ways forward to evolve the College’s pastoral system.  However consequent to the Assistant Principal appointments referred to above the promotion of an internal candidate necessitated a change to the pastoral system from September 2014 rather than 2015.  He was thus seeking a steer from the FGB as to whether the complete change to the pastoral system as outlined by the paper should be brought forward by a year.  The Principal advised that the current Year 10, that is, Year 11 next academic year, would NOT be part of any new arrangement. 

There then followed a long and wide ranging discussion on the merits or otherwise of introducing a vertical tutorial system (a ‘house’ like system) and whether it could be introduced from September 2014 in a satisfactory manner.

The Chairman summarized the outcome of the discussions that the CET recommended introducing a new system from September 2104 and that it would be fit for purpose.  However some members of the governing body felt that there needed to be more consideration of whether the system proposed would be the right one and that the College could introduce it by September 2014 with staff having undertaken the training necessary to be effective ‘vertical’ tutors.  The Chairman therefore proposed holding an additional meeting of the full governing body before the end of the spring term with a single item agenda describing the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed system together with convincing assurances that the new system can be satisfactorily introduced by September 2014.  The Principal and governors supported this proposal.

ActionsClerk to organise an additional meeting of the FGB before the end of term.  Principal/CET to produce a paper covering the above and other matters they believe relevant for the additional meeting.

6    Ofsted Report on Section 8 Inspection

The Principal referred governors to the just received letter from HMI that described the unannounced inspection and the outcomes.  He asked governors to note that where the letter referred to Ofsted receiving a ‘number of complaints’ there were in fact only two complaints.  The letter makes clear that the College does have safeguarding procedures that meet requirements, including responses to students presenting challenging behaviours and that leaders and managers are effective in monitoring and evaluating policy and practice for behaviour management and safeguarding within the College.

The priorities for further improvement are to make sure policies are tailored to the particular needs and circumstances of IVC and its students, that these policies are frequently reviewed and that a concise revised behaviour policy that gives clear guidance to staff and students is issued as soon as reasonable practicable.

The Principal expressed considerable, but non-complacent satisfaction with the outcomes, and confirmed that the priorities for further improvement were already in hand.  He also confirmed that governors would be involved, through their committees, in the approval and review of policies.

Governors expressed satisfaction with the Principal’s report.  Huw Jones volunteered to assist with any policy review.   Governors also offered comments on the letter to parents regarding the inspection that the Principal had written.

ActionsPrincipal/CET to ensure updated safeguarding polices are brought to the appropriate governor committee for review and approval. Principal to report on the progress made in addressing the priorities for further improvement referred to in the HMI letter at the July meeting of the FGB.

7     Self-Evaluation

Huw Jones and Katie Jarvis left during this item at 7.45 pm and 7.50 pm respectively. 

The VPQA referred governors to the papers advising them that Self Evaluation had been discussed extensively at the recent meeting of the Learning Committee.  He stated that appropriate members of CET wrote the different elements of Self Evaluation presented to them as follows:

Achievement VPQA Ryan Kelsall
Quality of Teaching VPTL Richard Spencer
Behaviours & Safety APDI Katie Jarvis
Social, Moral, Spiritual &Cultural Development(SMSC) APEIE Rebecca Jermy
Leadership & Management Principal Rob Campbell


The VPQA, supported by other CET colleagues, then went on to explain the judgments and rationales for each of the elements.

Achievement - Good

Data to form this judgement is taken from the RAISEonline 2013 report that governors have discussed at length.  This gives a 5 A*-C measure of 74% ranking the College 7th in the county and in the top 25% nationally.  Whilst it could be argued that this is an outstanding performance the poor results of 2012 result in a weak 3-year trend graph so CET believes Good is a better judgement.  The Pupil Premium achievement gap, which governors have also discussed at length, is again currently too large for the College to claim it has outstanding achievement.

The VPQA reminded governors that the official RAISE-online report for 2014 will be poor because of the government insistence that only the first subject entries (November 2013 for English and Maths) count in RAISE statistics.  The College has already engaged a reputable and independent software company to analyse its June 2014 results to produce a more accurate RAISE-online report.

Teaching – Good

The rationale for this judgement is that whilst 80% of lessons observed in 2013-14 are good or better the percentage of outstanding lessons observed is lower than average.  Overall the quality of teaching across the College is good but there is still evidence of some satisfactory and inadequate practice.  Recruitment of new staff for September 2014 and proactive and rigorous mentoring of existing staff should address this.  At the last Ofsted inspection (2012) no outstanding lessons were observed in the core subjects.

Behaviour & Safety – Good

The VPTL remarked that whilst Ofsted had judged this element outstanding in 2012 CET believed that good was a more accurate judgement.  This is because there are inconsistencies in the application of the new behaviour management policies such as with the imposition of sanctions and the awarding of merits.  The feedback from Ofsted as discussed under the previous agenda item confirms the College’s self evaluation.

Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development (SMSC) - Good

CET are firmly of the view that the College is outstanding for this element.  However they are concerned that the evidence base is currently insufficiently robust and may be unable to meet a firm challenge.  The judgment is therefore given as good and the APEIE has been charged with devising systems and processes to acquire sufficient evidence to withstand any challenge and to confirm the CET perception.

Leadership & Management – Good

The Principal commented that, in his opinion, L&M could only be outstanding if all the other elements are also outstanding.  Consequently as all the other elements are good L&M is similarly graded good.  However the effectiveness of the new CET, together with the appointments of new Assistant Principals currently in progress, gives the Principal confidence that there will be the high quality leadership in place necessary to move the College to outstanding.

Governors noted the Self Evaluation Reports. 

8     CAP(Cambridge Area 14-19 Partnership) Incorporation

The Principal reminded governors that they had discussed this matter at the January meeting and that at that meeting CET were instructed to undertake some ‘due diligence’.  The DFR reported that feedback had now been received from both the solicitors for the College and for CAP none of which was negative or advised against proceeding with support for CAP incorporation.  Both solicitors recommended the drawing up of a ‘members agreement’ to which all members of CAP (that is the schools and colleges participating and CAP itself) be a party to.  The solicitors for CAP (Eversheds) offered to draft such an agreement. 

Governors also noted and were content with the CAP I&E Summary and priorities and action plan.  There were no other questions.

Decision:  Governors approved the proposal that IVC become a member of CAP on incorporation subject to the satisfaction of the College’s legal advisers with the ‘Members Agreement’ as described above nem con.

9     Financial update

The DFR referred governors to his paper and reported that the College is in a healthy financial position after period 6 of the financial year with a current reserve of £404,655.  There were no concerns to be brought to the attention of governors.

Regarding future budgets he was sure governors had noted the recent announcement from the government about the increase in student funding in Cambridgeshire.  This was extremely welcome and could result in an increase of up to £275 per student but would not be available until 2015-16.  For the year 2014-15 the Schools’ block allocation was reduced by £161k and funding for special needs by £30k.  This was offset by an increase in funding for the sixth form of £200k.  The recruitment to the Assistant Principals had had a positive knock-on effect on the overall budget for 2014-15. 

These matters will be described and explained in full at the March Meeting of the Resources Committee.

Governors noted the financial update reports.

10   Skanska update

The DFR reported that Skanska had undertaken a site visit and were drawing up a project plan for the works.  The DFR and DEM were drawing up a series of press releases to promote the project and College.

Governors noted the report.

11   Matters for discussion

  • Topics for Governors’ Away Day 17 May 2014

The Chairman reported that he had received a number of ideas for topics to cover on the forthcoming Away Day and that a programme would be drawn up in due course.

  • Governor Committee Membership

The Clerk thanked governors for their responses regarding committee membership and asked governors to note the updated committee membership.  The Chairman announced that governors would need to look again at how they engage with the College, taking into account the feedback for the recent Ofsted visit.  The Governor Link Visits policy would need to be reviewed at Learning Committee to cover this.

ActionChairman/Principal to review the governor links policy and submit proposals for discussion to a meeting of the Learning Committee before the end of the academic year.

12   Matters for information: Minutes of Committees

Governors received and noted the draft minutes of the Resources Committee of 10 February 2014 and Learning Committee of 4 March 2014. 

13   AoB

1 Strike Action 26 March 2014

The DFR informed governors that the NUT was planning to take strike action on Wednesday 26 March 2014 and that the College intends to remain open with some year groups on a reduced timetable.

Governors noted the report.

The meeting closed at 8.15 pm.