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Meeting 1 - 2nd October 2017

Minutes of the Full Governing Body

FOXHILLS JUNIOR SCHOOL

Held on Monday 2nd October 2017 – commenced 6:00pm

 

Present: Mrs Arscott – Local Authority Governor and Chair

Mr A Shore – Headteacher

Mrs G Thornley – Co-opted Governor and Vice Chair

Mrs A M Datlen - Co-opted plus Development and Training Governor

Mr C White – Co-opted Governor

Mr Cooper – Co-opted Governor

Miss Sired – Staff Governor

Mr T Kumar – Parent Governor

Mr C Marchetti – Co-opted Governor

Dr A Wiley – Co-opted Governor

Mrs S Weatherdon – Parent Governor

 

Apologies: Mrs V Stockbridge – Co-Opted Governor

 

 

In attendance: Mrs A M Datlen – co-opted governor, offered to act as clerk for this meeting

 

 

 

 

Signed: Date:

 

 

 

1. Apologies

Were received and accepted from Mrs Stockbridge. The clerk confirmed that the meeting was quorate.

 

2. Declaration of pecuniary interests

No interests were declared at this meeting.

 

6.04pm Mr Shore left the meeting, returned 6.06pm.

 

3. Minutes of the last meeting, 4th July 2017

Apologies for the late circulation, the minutes of the last meeting were proposed, seconded and all agreed they were a true record.

 

4. Matters Arising

a) Update on action points the action point list was updated with the following noted:

1. Miss Sired has stepped down from H&S Committee - discharged

2. Mrs Thornley and Miss Sired continue to liaise regarding the instalment plan/communication to parents regarding residential trips and a letter has been sent to parents – ongoing

3. Governors agreed that a photo gallery was a good idea and Mr Shore will take photos before the start of the next meeting on Tuesday 28th November 2017, 4.30pm (please arrive a little earlier to allow time for photos)

4. Skills audit has been collated by Mrs Datlen and Mrs Arscott – discharged

5. Miss Sired to arrange a staff/governor meeting – ongoing

6. Mr Shore has emailed updated CP policy to Mrs Dulieu – discharged

7. Completion of Governors’ SSE – ongoing

8. Mrs Arscott to arrange SSE meeting, Autumn term – ongoing

9. Hayes Training – all but one governor (Mrs. Stockbridge) have completed the training, Mrs Datlen/Mrs Cooper have emailed link to her.

b) Update on MUGA

Mr Shore updated governors the progress of the MUGA which had been delayed over the summer due to HCC’s procurement processes. Mr Shore has met with Kestrel and is still in negotiation as costs have been increased (additional cost of £6k, with payments bridging two years, HCC providing £15k and the school will provide £55k - £60k from devolved budget). A possible planned start date at the autumn half term with completion by Easter 2018. A governor asked if the MUGA could be rented out to other organisations to try to recoup costs however it was explained that there would be implications regarding security, noise, supervision, access to the site, etc. with planning permission stipulating that it must be used within school hours. A governor asked about the MUGA’s proposed ‘life expectancy’ – thought be approximately 15 years of good use. Mr Shore outlined the exciting benefits to the school with regard to promoting sport, healthy living values and more access to outdoor activities.

 

6.18pm – Mr Kumar arrived at the meeting

 

c) Report on the Village in the Park event

Mrs Arscott reported that the event had gone very well with the school food stand selling out of food as it was so popular. Despite concerns regarding organisation of the event, it was well attended with many families linked to Pre- School, Infants and Junior schools coming to visit. A sum of £400 was made and this will be divided between the three schools. Mrs Arscott thanked Mrs Thornley and Mrs Jenkins from Pre-School and all those who had helped and given up their free time to support our presence at this community event.

 

6.19pm Mr Shore left the meeting, returned 6.21pm

 

d) Letter to Ashurst & Colbury Parish Council re admissions/catchment criteria

Mrs Arscott was thanked for her clear and concise letter to be published in the parish magazine. The magazine is circulated to all residents in Ashurst and is available from Co-Op and farm shop.

 

5) Election of Chair & Vice Chair

Mr Marchetti led the discussion with Mrs Arscott and Mrs Thornley agreeing to stand again for the positions of Chair and Vice Chair respectively. There were no other nominations for these posts and all governors unanimously agreed on their election. These positions would be for a two-year period ending on 31st October 2019 Mrs Arscott and Mrs Thornley were thanked for their continued commitment to the GB.

6) Membership of the Governing Body - Review of membership & structure (notes included in pack)

Considered at previous meetings, there is a shortage of potential co-opted governors. A governor asked if the Vicar at Colbury Church could be contacted however, there is a temporary Vicar in place as a permanent Vicar is yet to be appointed so it was felt that this was not feasible. Governors discussed:

  • Possible reconstitution and bringing the number down as Ofsted might question why we have two unfilled governor vacancies
  • We have a large number of parent governors (six out of twelve) and we could reduce the total yet keep one vacancy to be filled by a co-opted governor
  • The parent body is a good source of governors who could be trained and become co-opted
  • The lack of suitable candidates across the county and the difficulty faced by many GBs when trying to recruit governors
  • Recruiting and retaining governors was discussed at the recent area forum – GBs can appoint associate governors who can make a valuable contribution but would not have a vote
  • As a school, we have advertised with GS support
  • Can we be more proactive and directly approach people?
  • Some potential governors go to paid academy positions
  • FJS GB is well covered in terms of skills but need to consider succession planning
  • Bring in new people/skills – future succession planning – typically junior school parents move on
  • Is the workload evenly spread?
  • What are the advantages of keeping two spaces?
  • A more dedicated advertising campaign could be put in place
  • If FJS GB reconstitutes, then a new constitution would be drawn up and sent to HCC
  • If not disadvantageous, why change because of the possibility of finding potential candidates and then having to turn them away as no vacancies exist
  • Are we limiting our scope by removing the possibility of having new governors?
  • Ofsted will be aware that schools countrywide are experiencing similar difficulties and they would be more interested in a school that has an effective GB

Following the discussion, it was felt that FJS GB membership should stay at 14 and this proposal was put to governors. All agreed to keep GB membership at 14.

 

7) To adopt/review the following for the academic year 2017-2018:

a) The Manual of Personnel Practice & Procedure – Mr Shore outlined this document for governors and that without it, schools would have to set their own employment structure, conditions, etc. The recommendation was to adopt the MOPP, proposed by Mr White, seconded by Mrs Thornley and all governors agreed to adopt.

b) The Code of Conduct for Governors – Mrs Arscott explained the purpose of this generic document and there was discussion regarding the terminology used. A governor queried the statement ‘set the strategic direction’ and ‘set the school improvement strategy’ and whether this is a governor responsibility. A governor who had attended recent Induction training relayed that this terminology was used throughout the session. A governor involved in the School Self Evaluation also recalled the use of the word ‘set’. Mr Shore indicated that the document could be edited and the phrase ‘set the school improvement strategy’ be typed in lower case.

 

8) SATs results

Mrs Arscott asked Mr Shore to give a broad view of SATs results/data. Mr Shore relayed information regarding SATs results and distributed the Fisher Family Trust Dashboard print and supplied governor observation notes regarding KS2 results (DfE, Perspective Lite and FFT Aspire Dashboard documents) which he then explained to governors (there was an amendment to be made and the figure 83% ARE should read 86% ARE).

Mr Shore was pleased to inform governors that FJS pupils had achieved above National and Hampshire standards for ARE and triggered a significant plus in Reading, Writing and Maths. A governor asked for the term Greater Depth to be explained. However, our greatest weakness was in Writing, highlighting that we did not make as much progress in Writing compared to Reading and Maths. A governor asked whether this could be an error in the assessment process. The Year 6 team adhered rigorously to the writing assessment criteria and teachers scrupulously drilled down into the children’s work – governors acknowledged that there was general discussion nationally as to whether schools observed the assessment guidelines. Miss Sired attended moderation meetings and was advised on where a pupil’s work could be submitted as ARE.

  1. was noted that spelling is an issue and strategies are now in place from the start of the new term to address this. In addition to spelling, other issues that had caused concern were times tables, reading support and SEN support. Miss Sired explained that progress in Reading had accelerated. A governor pointed out that the school receives funding and the GB would want to see how that spend is affecting progress and attainment. Mr Shore explained that ten children in the FSM category have closed the attainment gap to National however, our non-FSM children have not shown as much progress. Mrs Arscott outlined that she and Mrs Thornley had met with Mrs Bristow (DHT) with regard to the progress of Pupil Premium children. A report will be prepared for the next CLA meeting. was noted that Mrs Bristow is very much a ‘children’s champion’, knows the children very well and is very passionate about pupils’ needs.
  1. governor asked what the reaction to the results was and Mr Shore relayed how the Year 6 team had had little or no sleep and plenty of emails had been sent during the night! Mr Shore said that they had been “staggered” by the results and this was of course, due to the children working hard but also to the great effort by the Year 6 team whilst under immense pressure. Mr Shore stated that the Performance Management Committee had analysed the data compared to National and were pleased and felt they were in ‘outstanding’ territory. A governor asked that the GB write to the Year 6 team to thank them for their hard work and commitment. Mrs Arscott had already written to them but will do so again now that published data is available.

ACTION: Mrs Arscott to write to Year 6 team

ACTION: Mr Shore to email his report to CofG/Clerk for inclusion in the minutes

9) Short Verbal report from the Headteacher

Mr Shore reported that:

  • Miss Hogbourne and Mr Goodchild had changed Year groups/Upper & Lower school
  • Miss Crowe had commenced employment as a Year 5 teacher
  • Years 5 & 6 had moved location due to the needs of a pupil
  • SDP priorities for 2017/18 – assessment for writing, moderating practice and spelling throughout the whole school and not just Year 6
  • The Every Child a Reader strategy in Year 3 has been very successful – extend throughout the school
  • Open afternoon had been very successful with excellent feedback, three further parent visits are planned – 8th Nov at 2pm, 10th Nov at tbc, 27th Nov at 2pm
  • Calendar and end of term 2018. Mr Shore explained that the Christmas term is shorter and the last day of term (Monday 23rd July 2018) is on the calendar. He requested that 23rd July 2018 be listed as an INSET day with staff attending twilight sessions throughout the year, as in recent years this has been an efficient way to offset this time, also in line with FIS and Hounsdown – proposed and agreed by all governors.

ACTION: Mr Shore to amend school calendar and inform parents

  • Serious rain damage during the holidays resulted in scheduled electrical work being delayed. Structural damage occurred in the lower shared area.
  • MUGA Update– see Matters Arising
  • A grounds day is planned for 6th Oct at 1.15pm, all welcome
  • Attendance – Arbor data (line graph) report showing excellent attendance, encouraged throughout the school, shared in assembly, ‘come to school’ culture
  • FJS Commemorative Art Project is ongoing with support from Miss Jones, Art Leader from Hounsdown School

Mr Shore was thanked for his report.

 

10) Safeguarding

a) Mrs Arscott and Mrs Weatherdon have met with Mr Shore and Mrs Bristow to progress the Safeguarding audit and have spent time working through the document. The audit document had been sent out to schools late and more time has been allowed for schools to complete and return it. Focus is on efficiency of paperwork, egg. is the Safeguarding policy up to date and on the school website? It was felt that is a very comprehensive document that has generated a great deal of work notwithstanding the fact that it is an audit and it must be rigorously completed and returned on time. Mrs Arscott and Mrs Weatherdon have attended staff meetings to witness safeguarding scenario questions/activities being discussed by staff with Mrs Arscott particularly noting, for example, how quickly staff react to non-attending pupils.

Governors must read the Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) document, Part 1 & 2, this is statutory and is available on the school website

ACTION: Mrs Arscott to email the link to all governors

b) A great deal of work is being done with all staff within the school and there will be Safeguarding training, DSLs to lead groups, on the INSET day on 30th Oct at 1.30pm – all welcome to attend. ACTION: Mrs Arscott to email governors to check availability/attendees

c) Encompass Initiative – a new initiative from Hampshire Constabulary with live information regarding domestic abuse incidents. Mr Shore explained that the school already receives police reports. Safeguarding governors are aware of this initiative and anonymised data.

 

11) Review of Governor Monitoring Section of the SSE document (circulated in pack)

Mrs Arscott thanked governors for their input to the document and suggested that to make the process more digestible, a working party be set up. In addition to Mrs Arscott, Mrs Thornley, Miss Sired and Mrs Datlen agreed to be members of the SSE working party.

ACTION: Mrs Arscott to email governors to ascertain who may be interested in joining this group

 

12) To consider Committee Structure for 2017/2018

Mr White requested that he step down from the F&R committee and Mrs Thornley stated that she was happy to continue on the CLA committee

ACTION: Mrs Arscott/Clerk – Mr White’s name be removed from F&R list and Mrs Thornley’s name to be added to CLA list

Miss Sired had stepped down from H&S and Mr Cooper now heads this committee. There were no changes to the subject link governors and Mrs Arscott and Mrs Weatherdon continue with Safeguarding. A Grievance panel team would be set up as and when necessary.

Headteacher’s performance management will be led Mrs Arscott, Dr Wiley and Mrs Stockbridge in co-operation with the school’s new LLP.

Teachers Pay Committee - Mrs Thornley will join the Teacher’s Pay Committee with a meeting to consider the recent pay award to be held on 3rd Nov at 12.30pm. A governor asked if there would be a conflict of interest if Mrs Thornley were to be a member of this committee. Mrs Thornley explained that she was independent of the school in terms of any potential conflict of interest, was available on site for meetings and that no other governors were available or could be appropriate members of said committee.

ACTION: Mr Marchetti to email confirmation of date/time of meeting to governors

Travel Team - Mrs Arscott has logged the pathways issue – ongoing. Mrs Arscott and Mr White, mentioned how impressive the recent Year 6 Bikeability initiative had been. Governors discussed the scheme in general noting how useful it is for Year 6 to learn safe cycling skills before they transition to secondary school. It was noted that the Bikeability team do not put out roadside signs to warn residents or other road users that they will be undertaking pupil cycle training. This is because motorists behave differently if they see such signs and the training must be as realistic as possible.

ACTION: Mrs Arscott/Clerk to add Mr White’s name

Staff appointments – as a related action from Safeguarding and Safer Recruitment, a governor needs to be appointed to oversee this process

ACTION: Mrs Arscott to invite a governor to oversee this procedure

Clerk to governors - GS are recruiting and we may have a temporary clerk for the rest of the term and Jan 2018. If anyone can suggest a candidate who might be interested in training to become a clerk, please let Mrs Arscott/Mrs Datlen know. A card and collection for Sandie has been organised, please sign and send any donation to Claire Cooper – thank you.

 

13) Governor Skills Audit & Competency Framework

Mrs Arscott thanked Mrs Datlen for collating the information. The analysis showed areas for possible development, i.e. procurement, estate management, however this was thought to be subjective and further thought must be given to how this is relevant to the needs of our GB.

ACTION: Mrs Arscott/Mrs Datlen (DTG) to meet to discuss gaps/training needs

 

14) Governor Training

Mrs Datlen (DTG) has arranged Whole Governing Body Training for 23rd Nov, 6.00-8.00pm. The session is a new package ‘Co-Acting Styles: Working Together as a Team’ and will be led by Tony Quinn. Governors were reminded to complete and return training course feedback forms for inclusion the training file which would be presented to Ofsted. Governors were also reminded to complete the E-Learning modules on the GS website and send the DTG copies of certificates. Information on all GS training can be accessed via their website

http://www3.hants.gov.uk/education/governors/education-governors-intranet.htm

 

15) Any other business

  • Miss Sired informed governors of a new Positive Behaviour Ambassadors initiative that she is introducing in school. The aim is to establish what a Foxhills learner looks like, to collect feedback from pupils and develop pupils’ ownership of school behaviour and leadership. Initially led by Year 6 students, the Ambassadors will embed thinking and train the younger pupils over time. Mrs Weatherdon offered to be the link governor and will meet with Miss Sired in due course.

ACTION: Miss Sired/Mrs Weatherdon to arrange a meeting

 

  • Foxy Fireworks, 3rd Nov – please contact Mrs Weatherdon with offers of help on the day and on the night please
  • Friends of Foxhills (FoF) – a governor asked if the FoF was continuing and Mrs Bristow has written to parents to drum up support.
  • Traffic/parking issues – governors discussed ongoing parking issues with inconsiderate parking still occurring in roads surrounding the school. PCSOs feedback to school and school alerts PCSOs of issues. There are still many dangerous manoeuvres by drivers especially by the underpass leading from Ashurst Bridge and a mention was made of the possibility of the road being closed off to cars but no more has been heard on this. It was felt that the Gate Warden was doing a great job in keeping the site safe. Governors also discussed the provision and appropriate use of the disabled parking spaces on site.

 

16) Impact statement

  • GB SSE statement in progress
  • Governors have completed Hayes Safeguarding training
  • Election of Chair and Vice Chair, committee membership defined
  • Review of GB constitution
  • Adoption of Code of Conduct and MoPP
  • Discussion on SATS results, governors updated on outcomes
  • Safeguarding audit in hand

 

Dates of meetings for 2017/18:

 

FGB

Tuesday 27th March 2018

Tuesday 28th November 2017 Monday 14th May 2018

Monday 5th February 2018 Tuesday 3rd July 2018

Monday meetings start at 6pm, Tuesdays at 4.30pm. Tuesday 14th March 2017

 

Finances and Resources Committee Children’s Learning and Achievement

3rd November 2017 Committee

12th January 2018 17th November 2017

9th March 2018 2nd March 2018

4th May 2018 8th June 2018

Fridays at 12:30 pm Fridays at 9:00am

 

Meeting closed at 8.10pm