FGB Minutes 24-09-13
Impington Village College
MEETING OF THE FULL GOVERNING BODY,
Tuesday 24 September 2013 at 6.00 pm in the Library
Present: Martin Rigby (Chairman), David Jenkins, Claire Beressi-Jones, Rob Campbell, Jayne Green, Jake Reynolds, Elizabeth Sadler, Julian Mellor, Patricia Labistour, Huw Jones, Michael Truscott, Hildegard O'Kane, Suzy Offord, Paula Carter, Paola Pizzigallo and Lauren Allin.
In Attendance: Richard Spencer (Vice Principal Teaching & Learning and Upper School [VPTL]), Fran Difranco (Vice Principal Business and Administration [VPBA]), Ryan Kelsall (Assistant Principal Maths and Data & Tracking [APMDT]), Rebecca Jermy (Assistant Principal English and Interventions & Enrichment [APEIE]), and Joe Greenway (Clerk)
1 Approval of Absences
Apologies were received from Alan Rodger, Nick Morley and Brian Harrison.
2 Election of Chair and Vice Chair
The Clerk took the chairmanship of the meeting for this item.
Martin Rigby had previously agreed to act as Chairman of the Governing Body for the academic year 2013-14. The Clerk invited nominations for the position of Chairman from governors. Martin Rigby was proposed by Hildegard O'Kane and seconded by Pat Labistour. There were no other nominations.
Decision: Martin Rigby was elected Chairman of the Governing Body for academic year 2013-14 nem con.
Similarly David Jenkins had previously agreed to act as Vice-Chairman of the Governing Body for the academic year 2013-14. The Clerk invited nominations for the position of Vice-Chairman from governors. David Jenkins was proposed by Martin Rigby and seconded by Paula Carter. There were no other nominations.
Decision: David Jenkins was elected Vice-Chairman of the Governing Body for academic year 2012-13 nem con
3 Minutes of the meeting of 25 June 2013
The minutes of the meeting held on 25 June 2013 were agreed and signed as a correct record.
4 Matters arising from the meeting of 25 June 2013
There were no matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting.
5 Principal's Report
Lauren Allin and Julian Mellor arrived during this item at 6.15 pm and 6.20 pm respectively.
The Principal referred governors to his paper asking them to note the much improved college performance at GCSE especially the 5 A*-C including English and Maths measure being over 70% for the first time in the college's history (71%). Other measures showed improvement and there were excellent results in some subjects for example Maths and Performance. There was under performance in Science and Humanities. Performance of the sixth form was similarly very good with the IB pass rate increasing by 4 points up to 90%. These 2013 student outcomes will be discussed further under agenda item 6.
Governors expressed satisfaction with the improvement in performance and agreed with the Principal's proposal to delay completion of the Self Evaluation Form until January 2014.
The Principal presented his review of the College's Development Plan for 2012-13 commenting that the RAG rating of progress has elements of subjectivity. The mainly amber progress of CDP objective 1 (teaching & learning) implied that not much progress has been made in improving the quality of teaching and learning when, in fact much improvement has taken place. The introduction of the 'Impington Experience' criteria mid-year raised the standards bar making in more difficult for staff to achieve good and outstanding observation grades. The Principal was confident that standards of T&L would continue to improve and that actions had been taken with regard to the two teachers that gave 'inadequate' lessons.
CDP objective 2 (curriculum) showed that much progress has been achieved in the development of the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and that Learning Committee would receive a detailed progress report at their December meeting. The structure of the college day would be reviewed again this year but in the context of the proposed curriculum changes for 2014-15.
CDP objective 3 (improved achievement in GCSE especially English and Maths) has clearly made the required progress and CDP objective 4 (improved achievement in the sixth form) similarly so but with some issues with individual subjects.
Governors asked about the impact of the changing arrangement with modules tests in GCSE. The VPTL responded by saying that students would sit the November series of examinations in English and Maths. They would then study the IGCSE in English for the June 2014 exams and take the better result and, in Maths those gaining grade C at Foundation level would study for the Higher level exams in June 2014.
Governors noted the report and were pleased with the progress made.
The Principal then referred governors to the 2013-14 strategic priorities for both the academy (11-16) and the sixth form asking them to note the new, much reduced in size format, and the governors' termly monitoring role. Similar plans for the Sports Centre and Community and Adult Education will go to the Strategy and Engagement Committee
in October and the to the Board of Directors of Impington Village College Sports Centre Limited in November.
Action: Principal and Clerk to ensure the remaining strategic priorities are an agenda item for the next meeting of the Strategy & Engagement Committee (8 October 2013)
Governors commented very positively about the new format, agreed with all the statements therein and expressed the wish to see if the college values of 'inclusive, international and inspirational' could be made more apparent in the documents without significantly changing the format.
The Principal then reported on some matters of management:
• The NUT and NAS/UWT teachers strike call on 1 October which will necessitate the closing of the college for years 7 to 10. Staff on strike will lose a day's pay. There may also be a national strike in November. Governors unanimously supported the actions taken by the College.
• The improved recruitment in the sixth form with which governors expressed great satisfaction.
• The revised roles, responsibilities and job titles of the College Executive Team. The Principal and Chairman welcomed Rebecca Jermy and Ryan Kelsall to their first meeting of the Governing Body.
• The long term absence of 2 senior members of staff. The Chairman informed the meeting that he has been kept informed of the issues and that the Principal will be re-allocating some management responsibilities over the next couple of days. Governors asked about the designated senior member of staff for safeguarding as the two staff that are absent have that role. The Principal responded by saying that the college still has three members of staff who have undertaken the required training and that he is going to undertake the senior designated person safeguarding training too.
• Finally the Principal commented on the buoyant and positive spirit shown by CET and how its skills and attitudes have been enhanced by the new appointments.
The Chairman thanked the Principal for his comprehensive report which the governors received and noted. He suggested that the Principal consider the involvement of one or two governors in the working party that will be set up to reconsider changes to the college day. The Principal agreed with this suggestion and proposed that the Strategy and Engagement Committee look at a timetable for working party to work to.
Action: Principal and Clerk to ensure an appropriate agenda item is prepared for the next meeting of the Strategy & Engagement Committee (8 October 2013)
The Chairman, on behalf of the full board, offered a formal vote of thanks to the Principal and the rest of CET for the good work undertaken in 2012-13, the positive progress made in many issues and particularly in the improvements in student achievements.
6 2013 Exam Results
Jake Reynolds left at the start of this item at 7.00 pm
David Jenkins left during this item at 7.20pm.
The VPTL referred governors to his paper and confirmed the Principal's remarks that the key measure of 5 A*-C including English and Maths had increased by 15 points over the
2012 result to 71%, this first time this measure had exceeded 70%. Whilst this was an excellent achievement he cautioned governors about describing this as an 'outstanding' performance. There were some issues at subject level and also with attainment and to be outstanding the results have to be consistently high across the piece and so approaching the upper 70s in percentage terms. Nevertheless he was pleased to report that the actions undertaken last year, and regularly reported to governors, had by and large worked.
Areas of strength are:
• Significant (16%) improvement in attainment in Maths.
• Significant (16%) improvement in attainment in English.
• Significant improvement in rates of progress at all levels in English and Maths.
• Outstanding achievement in Drama and Expressive arts
• Results in Art & Design and PE remain strong in comparison to national averages.
• Greatly improved accuracy of tracking and predictions. In June we predicted that we would secure 71% A*-C including English and maths, which was the precise figure reached.
• Improved points score for all students.
• Improved performance of most able securing 5A*/A grades at 30%
Areas requiring improvement or of cause for concern:
• Decline in Additional Science results to 52% A*-C.
• Chemistry, Physics and Biology all declined slightly at A*-C, although the performance of the most able was more stable.
• Geography and History were generally significantly below target and only just at or below national averages. Religious Studies (Ethics) remains significantly below target and national averages. The Faculty has an action plan in place the implementation of which will be robustly monitored by CET to ensure the required improvement occurs.
• Although the attainment of FSM (Free School Meal) students is improving steadily at 5 A*-C including English and Maths, the 'gap' of 42% remains too high.
• Seven students secured a C in both English and Maths but failed to secure the necessary passes in three other subjects. The headline figure would have been 74% had these grades not been missed.
Governors asked about the issues behind the attainment gap between FSM students and the rest. The VPTL responded that there is a lot to unpick but that the college is determined to reduce the gap. As well as learners who are SEN, there is hidden deprivation and a lack of teacher awareness. It has been shown that outstanding teaching is also a key factor in reducing the gap and there are still not enough outstanding lessons. He reminded governors of the funding challenge unique to Cambridgeshire where the unit of funding per student is so low that the pupil premium only brings the funding up to the England national average. Therefore the funding available to support FSM students is clearly not as much as in other schools.
In the sixth form the IB results showed an increase in pass rate of 4 points over 2012 to 90%. The results at AS and A2 were much less positive but generally an improvement on 2012 with the subject area of greatest concern again being Humanities. The VPTL assured governors that CET would be similarly robustly monitoring the departments' action plans to secure the required improvements.
Governors asked why the 2011 results were so strong and so what was different then compared with 2013. The VPTL responded that he could not comment personally as he was not in post at that time but had heard that it was an exceptional cohort of students. Governors then asked whether the college could be overreaching itself, as a consequence of the increased recruitment in the sixth form. The VPTL confirmed that there will be some large classes in the sixth form (high 20s) and responded that the college is working had to ameliorate any possible issues for example staffed study periods are to be introduced for A level students.
The Chairman thanked the VPTL for his report and on behalf of the governing body, expressed his great satisfaction and pleasure in receiving such a positive report.
7 Financial position to date
The VPBA tabled a short paper at the meeting apologising that the demands of the year end and enrolment made it very difficult to produce a paper beforehand. This would not be the case for future meetings. In summary to the year ending August 2013, the College has a balance sheet of £12.2M with reserves of £500k. He reminded governors that over £11.5M of this figure is the value of the colleges fixed assets, that is, its buildings. The reserves are the surplus generated by the excess of income over expenditure. Whilst this appears to be a healthy financial position the VPBA reminded governors that, for 2013-14 these reserves together with a contribution from the Sports Centre were necessary to submit a balanced budget to the DFA. Negligible reserves are forecast at the end of 2013-14 therefore there will be substantial pressure on the 2014-15 budget. Furthermore it is very unlikely that there will be any additional funding until at least 2015-16 if not later. The figures for 2012-13 will be audited over the next months to enable the statutory actions to be presented to governors in December.
Governors asked whether there were any unexpected items of expenditure known of as yet. The VPBA responded that the increased in enrolment in the sixth form had placed additional demands for learning resources which he was confident could be met as savings were being made under other budget headings.
Governors noted the report.
8 Skanska Retrofit update
The VPBA reported that there had been a lot of discussions over the summer period with planning and conservation officers. A new requirement was to submit a plan as to how the works could be used as a teaching resource. Obtaining planning consent was the final hurdle and this should be obtained after the planning meeting on 6 November 2013.
He also reported that a Cambridgeshire County Council Energy Investment Scheme is keen to use the IVC/Skanska project as a model for other organisations and to that end has organised a conference on 8 October which IVC will host. The VPBA will use this opportunity to promote the project and Jake Reynolds and the Principal will also be attending. Grant funding may also be available through this scheme which clearly he will pursue.
Governors noted the report and looked forward to further reports, particularly on whether grant support for the project could be sought.
9 Governor Link Visits
The Clerk reported on the number of link visits that had occurred during 2012-13 and advised that governors of the need to review the effectiveness of the policy. The Chairman reminded governors that Academy status made them statutorily responsible for the College. Occasional visits to departments were an aspect of their role but of less importance than regular attendance at board and committee meetings. Governors agreed that they did not visit perhaps as often as they should but also commented that departmental staff had cancelled planned visits. Other governors were expecting a more planned approach to visit led by the College.
The Principal expressed disappointment that he was not made aware that staff had cancelled planned visits. He agreed to remind staff about this particular role of governors in an academy and the importance of governor visits to departments a future staff meeting.
Action: Principal to brief staff on the role of governors in an academy at a future staff meeting.
Following discussion it was agreed to keep the policy as it currently is with the Clerk and PA to the Principal to draw up a visit timetable for issue in due course. The Clerk would also update and re-issue the table of linked governors.
Action: Clerk and PA to Principal to draw up a timetable of visits of governors to departments for 2013-14 and the Clerk to update and re-issue the table of linked governors.
10 Matters for Information
a) Minutes of Committees
Governors received and noted the draft minutes of the Learnig Committee of 9 July 2013, the Resources Committee of 17 June 2013 and the Resources Committee of 25 July 2013.
b) Register of Pecuniary Interests 2013-14
The Clerk advised Governors to complete and return to him the register of pecuniary interests form as soon as reasonably practicable and by no later than the next meeting of the governing body.
c) Calendar of Governor Meetings 2013-14
The revised calendar of meeting was circulated to members
d) Governors Training News
The Chairman made a presentation of a Certificate of Attendance to Pat Labistour who had attended a number of governor briefing sessions in 2012-13. PL then briefed the meeting on a training session she had attended that day and passed on documentation to the Chairman for review and possible circulation to members.
Governors noted the latest issue of 'Governor Training News'
11 Any other business
Suzy Offord and Paola Pizzigallo left during this item at 8.15pm
a Article in Cambridge Evening News
The Chairman reminded governors about the recent article and the Principal's response which had both been previously circulated. The Chairman had review matters with the Principal and was content that the College had done all it could and should have done and that all procedures had been followed. The Principal reported that he had taken advice from Cambridgeshire County Council about his statement.
Governors asked whether the article could be treated as a formal complaint and that the parent and press be invited to participate. The Chairman advised that unless and until a formal complaint about the matter was raised it was best to draw a line under the matter.
The meeting closed at 8.25 pm.