Minutes of the Full Governing Body
FOXHILLS JUNIOR SCHOOL
Held on Monday 5th October 2015 - commenced 6:00pm
Present: Mrs. Arscott – Chair
Mr. Shore – Headteacher
Mrs. Thomson – Staff Governor
Mr. Monk - Co-opted Governor
Mrs. Datlen - Co-opted & Training Liaison Governor
Mr. Fillis – Co-opted Governor
Ms. Scevity – Co-opted Governor
Revd. Holley – Co-opted Governor
Mrs. Thornley - Parent Governor
Mrs. Baker – Parent Governor
Mr. Taylor – Parent Governor
In Attendance: Mrs. Dulieu – Clerk
Signed: A. Arscott Date: 01/12/15
None were received. The clerk confirmed that the meeting was quorate.
2. Declaration of pecuniary interests
None were declared. A new form was included in the agenda pack and all attending returned it to the clerk. A register will be included on the school website.
3. Reconstitution of the Board of Governors
The new Instrument of Government was emailed to governors in addition to the agenda pack, in advance of the meeting. This showed the new structure of:
Two elected parent governors
One local authority governor
One elected staff governor
Nine co-opted governors
As three parent governors are currently in post a discussion was necessary to decide which one should be co-opted and who would remain in their current category. These governors left the meeting for the discussion at 6.03pm.
6.04pm Mr. Fillis arrived.
The clerk explained that the GB did not need to lose a member. Governors should bear in mind the need to appoint according to skills offered by individuals, and governor designations could be changed. After a short discussion, governors decided that Mrs. Thornley be co-opted as her wealth of experience as a governor and skills as the Pre-School Manager would be a valuable asset with long-term benefits to the Board. All agreed, with none against and no abstentions. Mrs. Baker and Mr. Taylor would continue as parent governors.
The parent governors returned to the meeting at 6.06pm. The Chair explained the decision to the returning governors. The clerk explained that under the rules of the reconstitution, the only current members of the Board remained the local authority governor, staff governor, Headteacher and parent governors. The co-opted governors should be appointed at this meeting. Therefore, the appointment of the five existing and one transferring governor was proposed, seconded and all agreed; with none against and no abstentions.
4. To review length of term of office for Chair and Vice Chair
The term of office was set at two years by the Governing Body on advice from Governor Services. Recently, this advice has changed back to one year although it remains the decision of individual Boards. Governors felt that one year was too frequent for change in a major role and voted to retain the two-year term. All agreed with none against and no abstentions.
5. To elect a Chair and Vice Chair
The clerk took the meeting and explained that it had been two years since the appointment of Chair and Vice-Chair and that Mrs. Arscott had stated her willingness to continue for another two years in advance of the meeting. No other nominations were received. Governors unanimously re-elected Mrs. Arscott to the position of Chair. She was duly congratulated.
Mr. Monk had expressed his wish to step down as Vice Chair in advance of the meeting. A nomination was received for Mrs. Thornley to fill this post. With no other nominations offered, Mrs. Thornley was proposed as Vice Chair. This was seconded and all agreed with none against and no abstentions. Mrs. Thornley was congratulated and deep gratitude expressed to Mr. Monk for his hard work and support over the years.
6. To co-opt governors to fill existing vacancies
Applications from two governors were included in the agenda pack and a third tabled at the meeting. Some governors had met the applicants, who had been invited into school last Friday for a tour and celebration assembly. It was noted that although one applicant is currently a member of the Parish Council, he would not be representing that body on the Board. The applications and statements were read and carefully considered before deciding to appoint all three, on the basis of the skills and experience they offered. Mrs. Arscott will write to Mr. Charles Marchetti, Mr. Adrian Wiley and Mr. Clive White and inform them of their successful appointment. They will be invited back for an ‘induction’ on what is involved in governance.
ACTION: Mrs. Arscott
7. Minutes of last meeting, 7th July 2015
The minutes of the last meeting were proposed, seconded and all agreed that they were a true record.
8. Matters arising
a) The zig zag lines have been re-painted at the school entrance and hedges have been cut (although they have re-grown since!)
b) The Action Point list was updated with the following noted:
1. Mrs. Thornley is undertaking a Level 4 Safeguarding qualification at work but has been advised to attend governor training in addition to this, to gain the governor view. She will attend the next convenient course. Discharged
2. Mrs. Arscott agreed to look at the HCC website for an update on the hedge trim and raise another request if necessary
3. A new pay policy has been released and the option to include the additional paragraph regarding M12 pay scale accepted. With new regulations and policy, there is online training available for the Pay Committee. This model policy is still to be updated to personalise it for the school, but on the recommendation of the Pay Committee, governors agreed to adopt it for the year. The policy was proposed, seconded and all agreed, with none against and no abstentions. Mr. Shore agreed to email it to the clerk for formatting.
ACTION: Mr. Shore
7. The Travel Plan has been included on the school website. Discharged. It was noted that in the pursuit of reduction of car use, a letter was sent to parents with regards to car sharing and a ‘park in my drive’ initiative. A meeting/coffee morning scheduled by Jade Searle for 8th October has been postponed due to lack of interest, but will be rescheduled after seeking advice from Ellie Bolton, Travel Advisor
9. To adopt policies and procedures for 2015/16
a) Manual of Personnel Practice and Procedure (MoPP)
The Chair explained that this is an annual adoption of the procedures followed in all circumstances in school and accessible on the Hampshire website. Its adoption was proposed, seconded and all agreed, with none against and no abstentions.
Statement of Financial Expectations
A similar manual to the MoPP but applicable to the management of school finances; Its adoption was proposed, seconded and all agreed, with none against and no abstentions.
b) Standing Orders for the Board of Governors
Included in the agenda pack, it has been a year since the last review of this document. An amendment to paragraph 2 that the unrestricted minutes of FGB meetings would no longer be held in the school office was agreed. Governors discussed the need to publish them on the school website and agreed that, in the interests of openness and transparency, this should continue. The adoption of the revised Standing Orders document was proposed, seconded and all agreed, with none against and no abstentions. The clerk will update the document.
The Chair suggested that the FGB review and objectives should be published on the website, asking for governors’ opinions. It was agreed that they should be included so that parents are able to see what the Board are involved in and achieve. See item 12 for further discussion on this.
10. Headteacher’s verbal report
To include a) Report from Martyn Beales, Leadership and Learning Partner (LLP) and
b) Update on School Development Plan (SDP)
Admission for September 2015
HIAS/ SACRE – Wed 14th October (am – 2.5 hrs) will be visiting the school to see good practice in the teaching of RE. Jennie Bailey leads RE and has compiled a comprehensive portfolio of evidence to share, including skills progression. Year 4’s Project is based around Divali so the visitors will see aspects of teaching. They will also meet with Mr. Shore, to discuss provision – discrete and through projects. A governor asked if they would be attending an assembly as this would be further evidence of SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) delivery. There is no plan to do this but there are slide shows and documents shared through assemblies to provide such evidence, if necessary.
ASSESSMENT: The school is now well on the way to developing their approach to assessment. Following on from the early work done last year, to identify age-related National Standards (NS), these have now been adapted to include more guidance from the DfE, NAHT and Hampshire, as well as liaising with other local schools. Staff now believe that they have a much clearer understanding of year-group standards. The next piece of work will be to 1) standardise these across the local cluster both with fellow Junior schools but, more importantly, with the feeder Infant schools, so that all are in total agreement about what a child working in line with Year 2 standards looks like. This could, potentially, be the greatest challenge.
TRACKING: The school are continuing to use the Target Tracker ‘steps’ system. All children’s work in school has been assimilated from ‘levels’ to ‘steps’. Last year’s end of year assessments are currently being converted to ‘steps’ but judgments will need to be moderated, as there is no clear correlation between the two systems. There will be an element of trial and error, and children’s books from last year (which were kept back) will be used as a reference to ensure that the assessments are accurate and consistent across the school. This will take place during a twilight session in November. Still to be decided is how progress within a year will be measured, what constitutes ‘expected’ and how this will be reported to parents.
REPORTING TO PARENTS: The next step will be to establish a clear way to report these assessments to parents. The school’s current thinking is ‘BELOW NS’, ‘DEVELOPING WITH NS’, ‘SECURING NS’ and ‘EXCEEDED NS’. We will also be reporting progress made, both from KS1 and also within the year (SOME, EXPECTED, GOOD, EXCELLENT). These gradings will be determined by how many ‘steps’ children have made.
LLP visit/report – a successful visit and solid report. The visit took place two weeks before the end of last term when most projects were winding up. Due to the nature of projects (More Teacher-led/less learner-led learning at the start, changing to learner-led learning at the end) Martyn Beales (Leadership and Learning Partner) didn’t have the best opportunities to see the developments made in teaching. He was able to see the progress made by the children through discussion and in their books. Results also indicate that teaching has been successful. A governor noted that the Ofsted Inspection, cited in the report, took place in 2014 and not 2015 as stated.
INSET dates for 2016-17. Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th July 2017. Hounsdown wish to make these INSET days due to likely non-attendance by pupils if they remain as the last two days of term. They are going to disaggregate the days (staff making up the time through twilight sessions). Foxhills are doing the same this year for 23rd Oct. Feedback from staff has shown that this option has been very successful and more productive than a whole day’s training. The Headteacher proposed following Hounsdown’s lead for 2017, with agreement now, there is plenty of time to plan how time will be made up. It was also noted that it would be a nice way to give a little something back to staff, even though most will come into school in the first two days. Governors discussed the suggestion of closing the school for the INSET days, noting the following points:
Governors were in agreement for the proposal but did not make a formal decision at this meeting. Mr. Shore will ask for this at a later date.
Parent meetings will take place on Monday 12th October.
SITE – All Y3 and Y4 classes were re-carpeted over the summer. The Hall, Y5 and three Y6 classes were repainted. The next job will be the Y5 shared area and remaining Y6 classroom.
A quote has been received for the replacement of the sliding, partition doors between the drama studio and Y3/4 shared area. Glass doors at an approximate cost of £6000 will totally open up the back of the school but will allow for a sound-proofed studio as well.
Storage issues: a shipping container is to be purchased and placed in the back corner, behind the P.E. shed. It will cost around £1k and a path will lead up to it. The infant school has one, which is well organised and ideal for storage. Following the success of the recent camping event in Year 4, more tents will need to be purchased and safe, dry storage needed. It would also accommodate furniture and anything else that needs to be kept dry. Governors briefly discussed the need for power and what size would be most useful. Mr. Shore will look into it and update governors at a later date.
Canopies: Quotes for canopies at the rear of the school and in the quadrant area are now in and about to be ordered.
New benches and seating for the playground have been delivered. They now just need to be constructed - a big task!
Outside environment classroom: Waiting for the Spring term before ordering.
Garden – still awaiting quotes from Fred Longman for the wood.
Governors briefly discussed a new disabled parking bay that is to be painted in front of the school (an infant school priority). There is no legal obligation to provide a bay on site.
Any other issues
The Headteacher asked who the Rights Respecting governor is. There will be a Pupil Voice meeting on 30th November 10.45 – 12.15pm. The school has achieved Rights Respecting Level 1 and are progressing to Level 2. It was agreed that both Mrs. Thornley and Mrs. Baker will take on this role.
This is a work in transit, following four priorities. In the first, raising attainment and progress in Reading, Writing and Maths, this year’s Year 6 are forecasted to achieve between 72 and 75% at National Standard. Interventions have been put in place as it is already known that this cohort was rated high on entry from KS1. There are also three children with EHCPs in place (Education and Health Care Plan – replaced what was known as a Statement) and two more pending. Having potentially five children with EHCPs in one year group is challenging and may result in a ‘dip’ year for SATs results. The second, increasing good and outstanding teaching, the focus has been on facilitating optimum learning. 90% of lessons achieve this. The Integrated Curriculum (the third priority) is going from strength to strength. Results for writing may exceed those for reading this year. This is a direct result of the introduction of project-based, EPIC (Enquiry-led, Purposeful, Innovative and Challenging) learning and effective interventions. Finally, Leadership Capacity which covers all levels of leadership, including governors, involves a rigorous Performance Management process for staff. The Pay Committee have seen how tough it is. 2014/15 built on the previous year’s work and subject leaders continued to work towards their targets. There are no success indicators set for governors as yet but this must be linked, in line with the new Ofsted Framework. The CLA Committee will look at the SDP in more detail throughout the year.
Governors thanked the Headteacher for his verbal report.
11. Report on Safeguarding Audit and associated matters
A comprehensive report, (distributed with the agenda pack) on the audit took three sessions to complete. The form for HCC has been completed it should be minuted that it has been shared with governors. The Chair explained that it is in a new format and although it took hours to complete it should be easier next time. It is a very thorough audit underpinned by Ofsted and keeping children safe. A governor asked if ‘free CRB checks for volunteers’ meant for individuals or the school. It is a free service for the school and is now a DBS check. These are transferrable if individuals transfer to another school.
12. Review of the GB’s work for 2014/15 and Strategic Priorities for 2015/16
These documents, included in the agenda pack, will be published on the school website with governors’ agreement. It was noted that the CLA, under new leadership, is more effective now and that item numbers 4 and 11 should read 2014, not 2015. The barbecue stand at the recent fete was a success and a great community event. It raised around £400 for Friends of Foxhills after £100 of that was donated to the Parish Council’s chosen charities. Strategic priorities include the school values and life without levels. Training on this will be attended by four governors in the next two weeks. Mrs. Bristow has been on training for Pupil Premium children and wishes to do a presentation to governors. Mrs. Arscott will organise a date with her.
ACTION: Mrs. Arscott
A governor suggested that the intended spend of the surplus budget should be made clear and what plans are in place. Mrs. Arscott agreed to include this with the amended dates before emailing to the clerk for publishing. All agreed.
ACTION: Mrs. Arscott
13. Draft committee structure for 2015/16 and appointment of Link Governors
Included in the agenda pack, distributed in advance of the meeting, this draft document allocated governors to committees and responsibilities based on their skills and availability.
Mrs. Thomson noted that she had been removed from the Health and Safety Committee. This was briefly discussed as H&S has become more of an audit and would be more suited to a single governor role. After a brief discussion, it was agreed that Mrs. Datlen will remain on the committee and work with one of the new governors for this year. Mr. Wiley has been allocated to the CLA and Ms Scevity wished to change to the CLA from Finance, with her involvement in school being more appropriate to that committee. Governors considered the CLA should be the larger committee as Link and Learning Walk Governors would be drawn from it.
Mr. Taylor has proposed that governors should be linked with curriculum subjects and Mr. Shore had written a draft schedule. Link governors for Safeguarding and H and S had already been established, and Mrs Thornley offered to work with Mr. Fillis as the link inclusion governor. Mr. Taylor felt that there should be link governors who would meet with the twelve subject leaders, and offered to fulfil this role. Some concerns were raised that this large role was being undertaken by one governor and it may be more appropriate to appoint a second. This is likely to be one of the new governors and organised at the next CLA meeting. Mr. Taylor was appointed as Curriculum Link Governor.
Update 8th October 2015 from C.o.G. A review of emails, and notes of a meeting between Mr. Taylor, Mrs. Arscott and Mr. Shore in June 2015 indicated that Mr. Taylor’s view was that link governors should be appointed for H and S (1), Safeguarding,(1) PP, AEN, vulnerable groups (2) , English and Maths (2) .
All subject leaders should submit written reports to the GB, but due to practical and manpower constraints (release time for teachers and governor availability) governors would not meet with other subject leaders. This was not accurately reflected in the schedule produced by Mr. Shore, and circulated at the meeting. On reflection, Mr. Shore felt that he would like to discuss this further with Mr. Taylor and Mrs. Arscott before going ahead with the Link Governor proposal. Mrs. Arscott will arrange a meeting.
The reduced size of the F&R Committee was discussed and although Mr. Shore is a governor, it is best practice to have a quorum of three in addition to him. In addition to two of the new governors, Mr. Holley agreed to join this Committee but will leave the CLA. Advice at a recent Performance Management Training session attended by Mrs. Arscott suggested that the Chair of Governors should not be involved in the HT Performance Management because of their close working relationship with the Headteacher. As this is a governor decision, the Board unanimously agreed that Mrs. Arscott should remain on this committee as she is most qualified to see what the Headteacher does day to day. Mrs. Baker will remain on the Performance Management Committee for this term, then it will be reviewed, in view of her possible full time work precluding her from attending daytime meetings.
The Pay Committee is chaired by Mr. Monk and will include two other governors from the F&R Committee. It meets once a year, barring changes to the Pay Policy. Governors will be appointed at the next F&R meeting.
Appeals and Disciplinary committees. It is essential that governors on these committees do not have prior knowledge of the matter under discussion, however it is ‘best practice’ to establish a named core group in advance. This may be changed at the time, depending on the situation, but will allow those governors to attend the appropriate training courses.
Please see updated Committee schedule for the complete list of governor allocation.
14. School Travel Plan
The Plan is now on the school website. The local action group have proposed that a path alongside the allotments should be considered, as this would provide a safer access to the school. Mrs. Arscott and Mr. Shore, with the Travel Team, had reviewed this and felt it would not adequately fulfil our needs, however Mrs. Arscott had contacted the Parish Council to clarify whether or not they would be prepared to release land for this purpose prior to discussions on access with HCC. Barker Mill gifted the allotment land to the parish with a covenant that the land was to be used only for allotments, therefore the Council cannot agree to a cycleway/footpath being constructed on it. A cycleway/footpath across the field adjacent to the school is the only option which will offer safer access and a second entrance. TBME are agreeable in principle to selling land for a footpath to HCC if funding can be identified, however they are currently negotiating the possible sale of this land to a housing developer. Governors discussed the new developments at Durley Farm and Eling Wharf, both of which will likely affect the pupil intake in the future. It was agreed the Chair should arrange some discussion with HCC to establish whether there might be funding from these developments to improve access to school.
ACTION: Mrs. Arscott
It was noted that there is huge pressure for the provision of more affordable housing in the local area.
15. To note delay for the Headteacher’s interim Appraisal meeting
This item is to inform governors of the reason for the delay in the Headteacher’s Appraisal meeting. Mr. Shore was due to meet with the Performance Management Committee at the beginning of the summer term but was unfortunately absent following his accident in Italy. The interim Performance Review took place on September 30th.
16. Governor training
Mrs. Datlen, DTG, reported the following:
17. Any other business
a) Foxy Fireworks is being held on 6th November. Alastair Dineen is always looking for helpers on the night. The risk assessment will be completed after a site walk on 12th October
b) Meeting dates for GB committees were distributed
c) Mr. Shore does not have any involvement with the Infant School. The two Deputy Heads are Acting Heads until such time as a new headteacher is appointed.
d) Mrs. Thomson will ensure all staff know about the tea with governors on 10th December at 4pm
Thanking all for attending, the meeting ended at 8:08pm.
Next meeting dates:
Tuesday 1st December 2015
Invitation to tea with the staff – Thurs 10th December at 4:00pm
Monday 1st February 2016
Monday 29th February 7pm – WGBT Details to be confirmed
Tuesday 22nd March 2016
Monday 16th May 2016
Tuesday 5th July 2016 - Monday meetings start at 6pm, Tuesdays at 4.30pm.