FGB Minutes 26-06-12
Meeting of the Governing Body
Tuesday 26 June 2012 at 6 pm in the Library
Present: Martin Rigby (Chair), Claire Beressi-Jones, Rob Campbell, Jayne Green, Brian Harrison, Huw Jones, Patricia Labistour, Nick Morley, Hildegard O’Kane, Jake Reynolds, Alan Rodger, Elizabeth Sadler, Michael Truscott
In Attendance: Fran Difranco (Vice-Principal: Business and Administration [VPBA]), Sandra Morton (Vice-Principal: Student Services [VPSS]), Sharon Sanderson (Clerk), Joe Greenway (Clerk Elect), Carol Tacq (Minute Taker)
Joe Greenway, Clerk Elect to the Governing Body, was welcomed to the meeting.
1 Approval of Absences
Apologies were received from Lauren Allin, Shailaja Fennell, David Jenkins and Suzy Offord.
2 Minutes of the Meeting held on 23 April 2012
The minutes were agreed and signed as an accurate record.
Huw Jones and Michael Truscott joined the meeting during the following item.
3 Matters arising from the Minutes of the Meeting held on 23 April 2012
Minute 4 – Chaplaincy
Governors were reminded that on 23 April they agreed:
- to appoint someone in the role of ‘chaplain’ to provide spiritual and moral support to all IVC students;
- to accept the offer of the Histon and Impington Council of Churches to sponsor a chaplaincy at IVC by funding a part-time appointment of one day per week for one year from September 2012 provided that the Council is willing to accept an amended job description for the role; and
- to set up a group of governors (Sue Burton, Jayne Green, Huw Jones, Alan Rodger and Elizabeth Sadler) to review, amend and agree (if necessary by majority) the job description for the role of ‘chaplain’.
Governors received a tabled copy of a memorandum to the Histon and Impington Council of Churches dated 7 May 2012 together with a revised job description for the chaplaincy appointment prepared and agreed by the working party set up on 23 April 2012.
Governors noted that the Council of Churches, at their meeting on 9 May, were in agreement with IVC’s revised job description for the role, except for the proposed job title (The Listening Ear). The job title is an issue on which members of the working party were split. In the opinion of some governors, a ‘chaplain’ is someone who holds religious beliefs and this is not consistent with the ethos of a secular school.
There has been no subsequent dialogue with the Council of Churches and governors noted Alan Rodger’s offer to liaise with the Council of Churches in order to agree a compromise.
Governors discussed possible job titles including:
- Chaplain – not exclusively Christian and may be non-faith based (there are humanist chaplains in The Netherlands, for example)
- Student Pastoral Care Worker (mentioned in the job description but not discussed)
- the view expressed by one governor that appointing a Christian to undertake the chaplaincy role may lead representatives of other faiths to seek to sponsor a similar role in the college
- the importance of engaging with the Council of Churches since the Council is funding this appointment.
Decision: Governors agreed nem con that the working party should, on behalf of the Governing Body make a decision about the job title and that Alan Rodger should liaise with the Histon and Impington Council of Churches to achieve an outcome acceptable to both the Council of Churches and IVC.
Governors also agreed that, since Sue Burton is no longer a staff governor, the working party could co-opt Sue Burton or another staff member or governor if they so wish.
Action: Alan Rodger, Jayne Green, Huw Jones and Elizabeth Sadler.
4 Principal’s Report
Governors received the Principal’s Report dated 26 June 2012 which covered the following:
Ofsted Report – see Minute 5 below.
College Development Plan (CDP) Review – a CDP review will be carried out during the next few weeks and will be presented to the Governing Body in September.
Uniform Review – the pilot uniform amendment is currently under way and has, so far, been uneventful (largely because of the weather). The main issue is the wearing of shorts which is why the pilot is taking place in the summer term. The Learning Committee will discuss this at their meeting on 3 July and will determine the criteria on which the success of the pilot will be judged.
Staffing Structure Update – Further restructuring has been necessary following the appointment of Lee Walker as Deputy Head of Hinchingbrooke School and the forthcoming absence on maternity leave of Christine Ingles (Leader of Personal Development and Learning). Appointments and arrangements are as detailed in the report. The most recent appointment is that of K J Norton-Berry as Assistant Principal, a one-year fixed term appointment to cover key areas of Lee Walker’s responsibilities including data, exams, ICT strategy, target-setting and timetable.
Staffing – The report lists 20 teaching staff members who are leaving at the end of the Summer Term together with their length of service and reasons for leaving. Some of these have worked at IVC for many years, having been appointed in the 1970s and 1980s.
Valediction – Governors warmly endorsed the Principal’s tribute to Sandra Morton for her outstanding contribution to IVC during the last 24 years. Sandra Morton thanked the Principal and governors for their support over the years and, in particular, Alan Rodger who was Chair of Governors during the time of her Acting Headship. Governors were pleased to note that Sandra’s involvement with the International Baccalaureate (IB) will continue after her retirement.
Action: The Principal will arrange for a press release about Sandra Morton’s retirement and her ongoing contribution to the IB, as well as the very positive Ofsted report.
Budget – See Minute 6 below. Governors noted that there is a debate at national level on the nature of support for special needs students and the impact that it has on students’ achievement. This will lead to significant change in special needs funding. Recently announced changes to the funding of ‘high needs’ students will lead to schools having to fund the first £10K of support for each ‘statemented’ student from September 2013. This could cost IVC up to £500K. Continued under-funding of capital and reduced sixth form funding were also noted.
Alan Rodger advised governors that the forthcoming Spending Review is likely to be harsher than the last one. Although Cambridgeshire will fight for the ‘biggest baseline possible’, there will be less money and making the best provision for all students will be increasingly challenging.
5 Ofsted Report
Governors received the report of the Ofsted Inspection led by David Jones HMI at IVC on 30 – 31 May 2012. Governors noted the Principal’s comments on the report including:
- The inspectors judged IVC to be a ‘good’ school with ‘many significant strengths’. Under the new inspection framework an ‘outstanding’ judgement is very difficult to achieve; of the schools inspected during January to March only 7% were ‘outstanding’ and 50% were ‘good’. In the secondary sector, the figures were 6% and 41% respectively.
- In the inspection report, the word ‘outstanding’ is used with every reference to the sixth form. It is hoped that this will have a positive effect on sixth form recruitment and this will be discussed by the Learning Committee at their meeting on 3 July.
- Key issues are to:
- ensure that all teaching is at least good or better by utilising the examples of outstanding teaching evident in all subject areas to facilitate high-level independent learning and debate;
- improve the curriculum progression from Key Stage 3 to the sixth form by providing a blend of courses that link to the challenge and opportunity provided by the successful IB provision.
Governors were pleased to note, in respect of the self-evaluation process, that the rigor and objectivity of the Principal and Senior Leadership Team (SLT) was recognised by the inspectors. The only change made by the inspection team was to raise the self-evaluation judgement for Behaviour and Safety from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’.
During the subsequent discussion, the following points were noted:
- Teaching and learning was one of the areas on which governors focused at the ‘away day’ held just before the inspection.
- Too many of the 58 lessons observed by the inspection team were not good; 16 were ‘satisfactory’ and 2 were ‘inadequate’.
- Of the sixth form lessons observed, 5 were ‘outstanding’ and 7 were ‘good’.
- A new appraisal policy has been drafted on which staff are being consulted.
- The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is an opportunity to bring characteristics of the IB into the 11- 16 school and is seen as the way forward.
- IVC aims to be ‘outstanding’ by 2015. This aim is ‘very achievable’ and the Principal is working with the SLT to plan what needs to be done over the next 3 years to respond to the challenges set by Ofsted.
- Because of the positive inspection, there is a possibility that IVC may be asked to work with a secondary or primary school that has been judged as ‘requiring improvement’. At this stage, it was not known whether there would be a legally binding requirement to do so. It was suggested that it might be advisable to consider what kinds of relationships IVC needs to establish or build on with other schools, together with the possible financial and other benefits of so doing.
- The ‘0 -19 vision’ was mentioned. Action: The Chair will follow this up at the first full governing body meeting next term. Clerk for agenda.
Decision: The Chair proposed a formal vote of thanks to the Principal and staff for achieving a very positive Ofsted inspection report. This was unanimously agreed by governors.
6 Budget 2012-2013
Governors received the Budget Proposal for 2012-2013 including a 2012-2013 Budget Summary, and Headline Figures for the 5-month period since IVC became an academy. Governors noted that the Resources Committee, having discussed the budget at their meeting on 18 June 2012, recommend acceptance of the budget proposal by the full Governing Body.
The Chair of the Resources Committee drew the attention of governors to the following:
- At the meeting on 18 June, the Committee received a detailed explanation of the components of the budget summary and the assumptions that have been made in preparing the budget proposal.
- The headline figures show that IVC is in a healthy financial position.
- Salaries and other staff costs (£6 million) form the majority of the £7.7 million budget. Other substantial expenditure items include departmental capitation, premises, the rolling IT replacement programme, etc.
- The proposed 2012-2013 budget includes a forecast surplus of £55K. This is the ‘worst case scenario’ and it is hoped that the surplus at the end of the coming financial year will be higher than the forecast.
Governors also noted that:
- in the face of a reduction in sixth form funding, expenditure has been limited as far as possible and a college development fund of £200K has been created
- in the financial year starting on 1 September, IVC will have retained earnings of £450K (schools are not allowed to have reserves).
Decision: Governors approved nem con the proposed budget for 2012-2013.
7 Matters for information
7.1 – Skanska Retrofit Update
Governors received an oral update from the VPBA on the Skanska Retrofit project and noted:
- Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) the 90-day detailed design stage of the project is due to be completed by 2 August 2012. This may over-run by two weeks.
- Some of the utilities information is having to be re-modeled.
- Critical works that could only take place during the summer holiday period have been rationalised so that work can be undertaken in term time. There will now be three biomass boilers which will reduce the amount of trenching required.
- The cost of photo-voltaic (PV) panels is falling and this may become a discussion point.
- There are two risk items:
- Asbestos in the George Edwards building.
- Finance – Now that IVC is an academy, and funded through the Education Funding Agency (EFA), there is a risk to investors that the agreement with Skanska may be ultra vires. The risk is that IVC do not keep up with payments and the investors want the DfE (Department for Education) to underwrite the project. Jake Reynolds is confident that this is resolvable as there is a commitment within the DfE to make this sort of project work, particularly with academies. He is meeting the Director of Finance at the DfE on 5 July and will put the IVC case to him and ask him to help find a solution.
The VPBA will keep governors updated on progress.
7.2 – Minutes of Committees
Governors received and noted the minutes of the Learning Committee meeting held on 26 April 2012.
8 Any Other Business
8.1 – Annual Child Protection Monitoring Report to Governors 2011-2012
Governors received the Annual Child Protection Monitoring Report 2011-2012. In the absence of Steph Franklin, Lead Designated Person for Child Protection, and Lauren Allin, Designated Governor with responsibility for Safeguarding, the Principal advised governors that IVC’s child protection procedures have been scrutinised during the year and are now better than ever. Evidence of this is the upgrading of IVC’s self-evaluation of Behaviour and Safety from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’.
The Principal assured governors that Steph Franklin undertakes her Lead Designated Person role to a very high standard and that, in this role, she is well supported by Lauren Allin.
Decision: The Annual Child Protection Monitoring Report 2011-2012 was signed by the Chair of Governors to indicate approval of the report by the Governing Body.
8.2 – Parents’ Forum
Governors noted that a Parents’ Forum has been established with the aim of improving engagement with parents. The inaugural meeting will take place at 7 pm on Wednesday 27 June. The Principal will outline key developments, including staffing and the Ofsted inspection, before opening the meeting to discussion. Governors are welcome to attend.
Governors expressed support for this initiative and would be interested to receive a report on it in due course. Action: Clerk for agenda.
The meeting closed at 7.40 pm.