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Impington Village College

FGB Minutes 23-03-15

MEETING OF THE FULL GOVERNING BODY

Monday 23 March 2015 at 6.00 pm in the Library

Impington Village College

MINUTES

Present:   Martin Rigby (Chairman), David Jenkins, Rob Campbell (Principal), Jayne Green, Jake Reynolds, Elizabeth Sadler, Alan Rodger, Huw Jones, Rachel Pegg, Simon Guest, Julian Mellor, Suzy Offord, Karen Momber and Valerie Hastings.

In Attendance: Fran Difranco (Director of Finance & Resources [DFR]), Ryan Kelsall (Vice Principal Teaching & Learning [VPTL]), Simon Warburton (Vice Principal Progress & Achievement [VPPA]) and Joe Greenway (Clerk).

1    Apologies

Apologies were received from Stephanie Norris, Brian Harrison, Claire Beressi-Jones and Katie Jarvis (Assistant Principal).  The Chairman welcomed Simon Warburton to his first meeting of the FGB.

Declaration of Business Interests

      None

2    Minutes of the Meeting held on 27 January 2015

The minutes of the meeting held on 27 January 2015 were agreed and signed as a correct record. 

3    Matters arising from the Minutes of the Meeting held on 27 January 2015

      None.

4    Improving Governance Effectiveness

The Chairman reported that he had identified an HR professional who was prepared to undertake the skills audit of governors as the prerequisite for invitation to be a member of the proposed Executive Committee.  He also reported that the proposed changes to the Articles of Association were with the College solicitors, Hewitsons for their consideration.  Finally he advised that he would be calling a meeting of the Governance Working Party at the start of next term to decide on the next steps.  Alan Rodger was asked and agreed to serve on the Governance Working Party.

Action: Chairman to arrange a meeting of the Governance Working Party as soon as reasonably practicable after the start of the summer term.

Suzy Offord arrived at the end of this item at 6.10 pm

5     Governor Link Visits

       The Vice Principal Teaching & Learning [VPTL] referred governors to his paper for amending the links between governors and the College proposing that named governors be linked with named individuals of the CET.  The rationale for the proposal is that all Assistant Principals have subject/department responsibilities as well as a whole College responsibility and so governors would gain a good insight into those areas.

Governors acknowledged that this would be the case but the proposal would preclude them from gaining knowledge and insight of College activities from the ‘sharp end’; that is by observation of classroom teaching and/or by conversation with classroom teachers.  Governors also asked whether it is appropriate for a Staff Governor to be a link governor, whether College functional areas could select a link governor and what the optimum number of link visits a year would be.  The Principal was of the view that Staff Governors would usefully perform the function of link governor and that being on the staff should not create any conflict of interest and that there was no reason he could think of why departments could not request a named governor to be their link although clearly the governor would need to agree to this.  Finally given the low numbers of link visits over the last two years whilst more than one visit per academic year was laudable it was more realistic to aim for at least one visit per year.

Governors concluded that the current situation was not satisfactory.  Alan Rodger offered to facilitate a small group of governors working together on this item to come up will clear proposals for the June FGB.  Karen Momber, Elizabeth Sadler and Jayne Green agreed to participate in this group.

Action: Alan Rodger to facilitate a small group of governors as soon as reasonably practicable to produce some workable proposals for Governor Link Visits for the June 2015 meeting of the FGB.

The Chairman thanked the VPTL and Clerk for bring this matter to the attention of the FGB and thanked Alan Rodger and volunteers for taking the matter forward.

Governors noted the report.

6     Principal’s Report

Principal referred governors to his report and in particular:

  • Report on the College Development Plan Objectives

Referring to the executive summary the Principal asked governors to note the following successes and areas for development for each of the College’s units:

Unit of College

Areas of success (to date)

Areas for development

Overall ‘judgement’

IVC 11-16

  • Continued improvements to teaching and increased % of ‘Outstanding’ experiences for students.
  • Improved marking and feedback (IMP-Stamp)
  • Impact of Behaviour Policy (including Rewards)
  • Securing over 70% 5A*CEM
  • ‘Closing the gap’ (achievement of PP students)
  • Progress in Humanities, Science and Foundation Subjects

Good

Impington Sixth Form

  • Current estimates of achievement for IB and A Level
  • AS outcomes (actual achievement)
  • Ensuring recruitment is at 150 for Sept 2015

Improving to Good

Impington Sports Centre

  • Continued growth and improvements in provision
  • Staffing review and re-structuring

Outstanding

Community & Adult Learning

  • Success of i75
  • Increased interest and demand
  • Lettings

Good (+)

Overall

This is a transitional year with much introduced and a new CET settling well into the College

Ensuring impact and embedding of improvements.
Achievement must be consolidated

Good

The key issue for the Principal was the Pupil Premium ‘gap’ and he expressed concern that the College performance in this measure should not ‘go back’ in 2015, particularly as Ofsted focuses almost exclusively on this in its current inspections.  He confirmed that he was rigorously and regularly challenging the CET about the robustness of predictions data and the specific measures being employed to support specific PP students.

  • College Executive Team Roles & Responsibilities

The Principal referred governors to the table describing the R&Rs asking them to note that Ryan Kelsall and Simon Warburton had exchanged responsibilities and hence job titles.

  • Staffing Restructure 2015

The Principal asked governors to note the proposed restructure of support staff that has been discussed and approved at the meeting of the Resources Committee the previous week.  He reminded governors that a significant driver for the reorganisation was to ensure that Vertical Tutoring could be successfully delivered.  The DFR informed governors that Alan Rodger, in his role as link governor, would be available for individual meetings with support staff if they so wish them tomorrow (24 March 2015).

  • Local Leader for Education LLE

The Principal reminded governors of his successful application to become a LLE and reported that he is currently working alongside an HMI to support 3 schools that ‘require improvement’.  Whilst agreeing that 20% of his working hours will no longer be given to IVC there were 2 able Vice Principals in charge who are both seeking headships to manage is his absence and the knowledge gained by the role will be hugely beneficial to IVC.  Governors expressed concern that the Principal might be ‘spreading himself too thin’ given that he is also teaching and intends to be a tutor next academic year as well.  The Principal noted and thanked governors for their concerns and was clear that he could comfortably manage the workload.

Governors noted the Principal’s report.

Karen Momber left after this item at 6.55pm

7     Financial Report

The DFR referred governors to the papers and was able to report that the financial position as at the end of February 2015 was showing a surplus of £272k and similarly the Sports Centre was showing a surplus of £334k.  He confirmed that most cost centres are on budget profile with maintenance and admin expenditure being well above although he anticipates a levelling off over the rest of the year.

The DFR then advised governors about funding for 2015-16.  Compared with 2014-15 the income changes currently known and assumed are:

  • School budget share up by £302k (new money for Cambs), but the Education Services Grant has reduced by £81k (allowance per pupil cut centrally).
  • Sixth Form funding has dropped by £130k (numbers down to 271 compared to 294 last year).
  • The High Needs Block funding is the same as 2014-15 as is SEN, EOTAS and Pupil Premium funding.

This results in the bottom line income being up by £117k.

The DFR then informed governors of known changes to expenditure which include:

  • An increase in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) employers pensions contribution of 2.3% that amounts to about £75k on current staffing.
  • An administration fee has been introduced by TPS for the first time that is circa £6.5k.
  • Removal of the National Insurance rebate (3.4%) that will cost a further £26k.
  •  A 1% pay rise is likely plus grade drift estimated at £30k.

The total increase in expenditure amounts to £137.5K and this more than swallows up all the additional income.  The DFR expressed some concerns about the financial position going forward into 2016-7 and 2017-18 as too little was known about future government intentions and he also expressed particular concern about the lack of capital funding.  He reminded governors that the capital fund for 2015-16 is only £29,500 and that there is a substantial backlog of significant estates matters that will need to be addressed and where the College has insufficient funds to do the works.  He advised that additional funds would need to be raised.

Governors noted that some schools are undertaking extensive fund raising to support capital works.  The Principal commented that he would have difficulty supporting efforts to raise money from parents for works that, in his opinion, should be funded by the state.  The Chairman commented that the ‘alumni strategy’ is to support fund raising over the long term, 10 years or more.  The DFR commented that some maintenance items, for example roof work and refurbishment of toilets, will not wait that long.

The DFR advised that he was confident that, despite the apparent overall reduction, he would be able to present a full balanced budget for 2015-16 for the June 2015 FGB for approval.

Governors noted the report.

8     Skanska Update

The DFR made a presentation to governors that had been given to the College by Skanska and confirmed that this had also been given and discussed at length at the meeting of the Resources Committee of 16 March 2015.  He reminded governors that the project had been substantially reduced when compared with the original proposal as a result of changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive Tariff.  However both he and the Resources Committee were convinced that the project was still worthwhile and beneficial to the College from financial, educational and sustainability points of view.  Jake Reynolds confirmed that this was still a worthwhile and very good project that would bring a huge benefit to the College.  He commended the efforts of the DFR in maintaining his enthusiasm and drive to see the project through to its current stage over a period of 4 years.  These comments were fully endorsed by the FGB.

Governors noted the report.

9    Minutes of Committees

            David Jenkins left the meeting at the start of this item at 7.15pm.

Governors received and noted the minutes of the Strategy & Engagement Committee of 3 February 2015, Resources Committee of 9 February 2015 and the Learning Committee of 3 March 2015. 

  • Any other business

1. Vertical Tutoring Consultation Letter

The Principal referred governors to the formal consultation letter sent on their behalf to recognised trades unions as the proposed reorganisation of support staff does have the potential for staff redundancies. 

Governors asked who would oversee the admin in the new Houses.  The Principal replied saying that House Managers and Assistants will be responsible with the VPPA having senior manager responsibility.

Governors noted the consultation letter.

2. Christine Bondi

The Principal informed governors that former governor, Christine Bondi, had recently passed away and that the funeral was on 7 April 2015 if anyone wished to attend.

3.  Multi-Academy Trusts

A governor asked whether any approaches had been made local schools in this regard.  The Principal reported that discussions were continuing.

4. Governors Away Day Saturday 13 June 2015

The Chairman asked whether topics for the Away Day have been decided.  The Principal thought that College Self Evaluation and Strategic Priorities would be worthwhile discussion items and that the Safeguarding training for governors could usefully be delivered at the start of the FGB meeting in June 2015.

The meeting closed at 7.30 pm.