FGB Minutes 20-11-12
Meeting of the Full Governing Body
Tuesday 20 November 2012 at 6 pm in the Library
Present: Martin Rigby (Chair), Claire Beressi-Jones, Rob Campbell, Jayne Green, Brian Harrison, Huw Jones, Patricia Labistour, Hildegard O’Kane, Nick Morley, Alan Rodger, Elizabeth Sadler and Lauren Allin.
In Attendance: Fran Difranco (Vice-Principal: Business and Administration [VPBA]), Steph Franklin (Vice-Principal: KS4 [VPKS4]), Sharon Sanderson (PA to Principal), K J Norton-Berry (Assistant Principal) and Joe Greenway (Clerk)
1 Approval of Absences
Apologies were received from Jake Reynolds, Shailaja Fennell, Deirdre Murphy, Suzy Offord, Michael Truscott and David Jenkins.
Election of Members
Alan Rodger and Huw Jones left the meeting
The Chairman invited nominations for the position of co-opted Governor following the expiry of the term of office of Alan Rodger.
Alan Rodger was proposed by Brian Harrison and seconded by Nick Morley. There were no other nominations.
Decision: Alan Rodger was elected to the Governing Body as a co-opted member nem con.
Similarly the Chairman invited nominations for the vacant appointment of a Governor under Article 50.
Huw Jones was proposed by Brian Harrison and seconded by Nick Morley. There were no other nominations.
Decision: Huw Jones was elected to the Governing Body under Article 50 nem con
Alan Rodger and Huw Jones re-joined the meeting.
Furthermore the Governors resolved to ask Huw Jones to consider the process for co-option of Governors and to return with proposals in due course.
Action: Huw Jones
2 Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 September 2012
The minutes of the meeting held on 25 September 2012 were agreed and signed as a correct record.
3 Matters arising from the Minutes of the Meeting held on 25 September 2012
- 2012 Exams Results to include student numbers
Governors received and noted the re-issued paper on exam results 2012.
The VPKS4 reported that the job description and success criteria for the Chaplaincy post had been written and forwarded to James Blandford-Baker of the Histon & Impington Council of Churches for comment and approval. Recruitment to the post would be led by the Histon & Impington Council of Churches with IVC participating. The VPKS4 also reported that 2 candidates had already expressed an interest in the post and this is before any advertising has taken place.
Governors received and noted the progress made.
Governors requested that when the calendar of Governor meetings is drawn up for 2013-14 that reference is made to major faith holidays so that possible clashes can be avoided.
4 Principal’s Report
Lauren Allin arrived at c6.35 pm and joined the meeting during the following item.
The Principal drew Governors’ attention to the following items in his report.
- Update on Action short of a Strike
The Principal reminded Governors of the history of this issue and reported that the union action is impacting in a small way, for example by:
- Refusal of some staff to attend a lunchtime meeting
- Disagreeing with the inclusion of percentages as measures within appraisal objectives
- Disagreeing with the principle that all teachers will only be ‘observed’ three times over the year (in any form – whether ‘drop-in’, Learning Walk or formal observation)
- Identifying issues with the directed time budget (the 1265 hours over the year that can be allocated to the professional duties of teachers)
Since the meeting of the Resources Committee the Staff Welfare Action Group (SWAG) has been established and is starting to meet. This is seen as a positive move by all concerned. The Chairman stressed the importance of being non-confrontational with staff at this stage but nevertheless reminded Governors not to be complacent about emerging issues in the future. The major stumbling block is still the number of possible teacher observations. The goal of outstanding teaching cannot be put in jeopardy by not observing under performing staff as often as is necessary to secure improved performance. It is recognised that a balanced approach is required with some
staff likely to need more support to improve than others.
Governors endorsed the Chairman’s comments unanimously and confirmed their full support for the actions of the Principal. They alsocommended the actions of the Resources Committee in meeting with the Union Representatives and the positive engagement that took place.
The Principal commented that he believed that staff would appreciate hearing the views of Governors as just expressed in an informal setting and invited Governors to attend the recently introduced coffee meetings on Friday mornings and also the staff development day planned for Monday 7 January.
- Standards and Achievement 2012
The Principal reported that IVC is part of the legal challenge to the GCSE results ‘fiasco’ and that this is expected to take place in December 2012.
- Strategic Priorities
The Principal shared the emerging Strategic Priorities for the College that the college executive team are working on at the request of the S& E Committee and invited comment from Governors. The Strategic Priorities are due for completion by the end of term and then will be brought to Governors for comment and approval.
The Principal asked Governors to note the ‘unofficial’ intention of Dry Drayton Primary School to move from the catchment area of IVC to that of Comberton Village College. Approaches were believed to have been made by the Chairs of Governors of both establishments. The Principal was minded not to take any action until IVC was formally notified of the intention through the appropriate LEA procedure. Governors asked about the possible consequences of such a change. The Principal responded that there would be an impact particularly with the transport arrangements of some students.
Governors noted this issue and asked to be kept informed as it developed.
- College Day
The Principal reported that he has instigated a review of the college day and invited comments from Governors. Proposals will be brought to Governors in due course.
5 Matters requiring a decision by Governors
- College Development Plan
The Principal reminded Governors that the objectives of the CDP had been agreed in principle at the previous Full Governing body meeting. The College Executive Team had now worked on the detailed actions, targets, success criteria and monitoring processes and that these were now ready for discussion.
Governors reminded the CET that actions leading to ‘manipulation of data’ should always be in the context of the impact on teaching and learning and not just for better data per se.
Governors recommended that the detailed actions be discussed at the next meeting of the Learning Committee in two weeks time.
Action: Clerk and VPKS4 to make the CDP an agenda item for the Learning Committee meeting of 4 December 2012
- Terms of Reference
The Terms of Reference of the Strategy and Engagement Committee and Resources Committee were reviewed at their meetings of 9 October 2012 and 22 October 2012 respectively. Both committees approved the proposed amendments and recommended these changes to the Full Governing Body for approval.
Decision: Governors approved the changes to the Terms of Reference nem con.
- Admission Policy 2014-15
The Governors were informed that, other than changes of date, there were no other changes proposed to the policy.
Decision: the Governors approved the Admissions Policy 2014-15 nem con
- Sixth Form Admission Criteria
Some minor changes were proposed and highlighted to Governors.
Decision: the Governors approved the Sixth Form Admissions Criteria 2014-15 nem con
Governors raised the issue of the sufficiency of information available from home-schooled applicants for the college to make an appropriate admission judgment. The Principal reminded Governors that the inclusivity of IVC is a key strength as are its diagnostic assessment and student support processes.
Governors requested that the issue be explored and a report made to the spring term meeting of the Learning Committee.
Action: Clerk and VPKS4 to make the admission of home-schooled and other similar students an agenda item for the Learning Committee meeting of 5 March 2013.
Governors also noted the success of the recent Sixth Form Open Evening.
- Governors’ Away Day
Governors agreed that the previous Away Day was a great success and wished to hold a similar event this academic year in the summer term.
Action: Clerk to propose suitable dates and to communicate to Governors through ‘Doodle’
6 Report on visit to IVC by the External Adviser, John Versey
PL reported that the External Adviser was very positive about the College and appeared realistic in his approach. He made some very pertinent comments about the quality of teaching for managers to note, for example:
- Too much teaching is aimed at the middle of groups, and so is not stretching the top end, where there is a level of complacency, or raising the progress of the lower end.
- The need to introduce more assessment of work at foundation level, with ‘intervention tests’ to highlight areas of deficiencies.
- The need to identify Teaching Assistants with specialisms, and deploy these appropriately and most effectively.
He also suggested that the College Executive Team’s draft targets were possibly a little high, and whilst commendable, might be ‘more certain of realisation if dropped a few points’. He judged that the college’s level of challenge was set ‘quite high’, and that therefore they were sufficiently challenging.
The Principal reported that the College Executive Team had noted the adviser’s comments and had agreed to changes in the targets.
Governors received and noted the report and approved the changes to the targets.
The Chairman reported how the outcomes of the External Adviser’s Report were consistent with the objectives for the Principal’s appraisal.
The Principal re-emphasised that the proposed changes to the method of funding, particularly of students with special needs, would have a significant impact on IVC. One Governor reported that she had received a response from the Secretary of State on the matter who implied that LAs had the authority to provide additional funds to institutions that were significantly worse off by the new arrangements, like IVC. She proposed writing to the LA for clarification about this. The Chairman was keen to have more detail about the possible impact of the funding changes on IVC. He encouraged the application of the new funding formula on the last complete set of student data as far as is possible and as soon as reasonably practicable. This will allow him and the Principal to meet with the local MP with some ‘facts’ to discuss.
7 Matters for information
- Skanska Retrofit Update
The VPBA reported that there has been little progress on the project since the last meeting. Given the delay in addressing the matters highlighted in his report he believes it is now unlikely that the project will start until early spring 2013.
Governors received and noted the report.
Action: VPBA to continue to report progress to Governors.
- Minutes of Committees
Governors received and noted the draft minutes of the Strategy & Engagement Committee of 9 October 2012 and Resources Committee of 22 October 2012. Governors commented on the procurement of floodlighting for the Sixth Form Open Day and were assured that there would not be a repetition of the issue. Similarly they commented on the change to the funding agreement so that IVC could employ non QTS teaching staff. The Principal assured Governors that all staff whether QTS or not will continue to be recruited with rigor. The change gave IVC flexibility to appoint the staff it thought best and put it on a par with FE establishments where QTS is similarly not mandatory.
- Pecuniary Interest Forms
The Clerk request those Governors who had not returned to him their completed pecuniary interest forms for 2012-2013 to do so as soon as possible
- Election of Parent Governors
The Clerk reminded Governors that nominations for the three vacant positions of parent Governor closed on Monday 19 November and informed them that 3 nominations had been received. These are:
- Ms Paula Carter
- Mr Julian Mellor
- Dr Jake Reynolds
As there were no other nominations these three nominees are duly elected as members of the full governing body.
Action: Clerk to inform the successful nominees and to arrange for their induction. The Chairman will communicate with SF about her leaving the Governing Body.
The Principal announced that the College Executive Team had reviewed the number of policies the college had and reminded Governors that they all had to be reviewed and approved by Governors. It is proposed that the 47 policies currently in existence be reduced to 11. To do this polices will either be merged together and/or converted to procedures (which do not need Governor approval). Each of the 11 policies will have a named member of the executive team as policy owner. The proposed 11 policies and policy owners are:
- Admissions Policy RC/SF
- Appraisal Policy RC
- Charging & Remissions Policy FD
- Complaints Policy RC/MR
- Data Protection Policy FD
- Equality & Accessibility Policy NM
- Health & Safety (including safeguarding) Policy FD/SF
- Pay Policy RC
- Sex Education Policy EM
- SEND Policy NM
- Staffing Policy RC
- Student Behaviour & Discipline Policy SF
Governors endorsed the proposal and requested, in due course, some form of chart showing the current 47 policies and what they all evolve into in the new scheme.
Action: Principal and College Executive Team
- Withdrawal of funding from Arts Development Manager Post
The Principal reported that this is being proposed by South Cambs Council with effect from July 2013. The post is jointly funded by IVC and Cottenham VC as well as South Cambs CC. If funding is withdrawn by the council IVC will have to supplement the funding from current budgets and/or be responsible for redundancy costs.
The Principal has emailed relevant councillors and a copy of his email will be sent to Governors.
- Pay Review Committee and next meetings
The Principal reminded Governors that a pay review committee needs to meet soon to discuss and agree important policy items. The Pay Review Committee consists of 3 members of the Resources Committee who are not college staff. BH, MR and CB-J agreed to be members of the committee. The following meeting dates and times were also agreed:
- Pay Review Committee Monday 10 December @ 4.30pm
- Resources Committee Monday 10 December @ 5.00pm (single agenda item meeting to discuss statutory accounts)
- Full Governing Body Monday 10 December @6.00pm (single agenda item meeting to approve statutory accounts)
The meeting closed at 8.05 pm.