Minutes of the Full Governing Body
FOXHILLS JUNIOR SCHOOL
Held on Tuesday 29th November 2016 – commenced 4:30pm
Present: Mrs. Arscott – Local Authority Governor and Chair
Mr. Shore – Headteacher
Mrs. Datlen - Co-opted plus Development and Training Governor
Ms. Scevity – Co-opted Governor
Dr. Wiley – Co-opted Governor
Mr. White – Co-opted Governor
Mr. Monk - Co-opted Governor
Mr. Marchetti – Co-opted Governor
Miss Sired – Staff Governor
Mrs. Baker – Parent Governor
Mrs. Weatherdon – Parent Governor
Apologies: Mrs. Dulieu – Clerk
Absent: Mrs. Thornley – Co-opted Governor and Vice Chair
Signed: A. Arscott Date: 30/01/17
Apologies were received and accepted from Mrs. Dulieu. Mrs. Datlen agreed to minute the meeting in the absence of the clerk. She confirmed that the meeting was quorate. Although no apologies had been received from Mrs. Thornley, due to recent family circumstances, her absence had been anticipated.
2. Declaration of pecuniary interests
Completed forms were returned for the clerk to add to the file. No interests were declared for this agenda.
3. Minutes of last meeting, 3rd October 2016
With one amendment, on page 3 of the main minutes, to correct the statement as follows:
‘He observed that this may suggest the test was generally not a good assessment of reading standards and the pass mark had to be i
ncreased decreased to compensate for unexpectedly poor performance,’ the main and confidential minutes of the last meeting were proposed, seconded and all agreed that they were a true record.
4. Matters arising
a) Suitability of Hays package for Governors
Having trialled the package, Mrs. Arscott advised Governors that it was more appropriate to staff. A governor asked if it was for self-evaluation. It is an online Safeguarding training programme, which is covered by Governor Services training both online and courses that Governors can attend.
b) Update on action points. The action point list was updated with the following noted:
6. Health and Safety training will be organised by Mrs. Datlen next term. Ongoing
5. To review membership of the Board of Governors
a) Co-opted Governors and b) Nomination of Mrs. Arscott by Cllr Mans
Keith Mans has nominated Mrs. Arscott for a further term as Local Authority Governor. A transcript of his email had been included in the agenda pack. Mrs. Arscott outlined how it was generated. A governor asked if there was any advantage in co-opting Mrs. Arscott. The posts hold equivalent status and if she were to be co-opted, Councillor Mans would have to nominate a replacement LA Governor. A governor suggested that Mrs. Arscott ask Cllr Mans if there was anybody else that he could recommend as this could bring the number of co-opted vacancies down to just one. Mrs. Arscott agreed.
ACTION: Mrs. Arscott
The appointment of Mrs. Arscott was proposed, seconded and all agreed with none against and no abstentions.
6. Headteacher’s written report
Included in the agenda pack, Mr. Shore apologised for being unable to respond in time to the advance questions. He invited governors to raise their questions at the meeting.
- Thank you for your detailed report, which provides governors with such a comprehensive assessment of the school
- Thank you. It has been a challenge for the leadership of the school, as we have had a turbulent start to the year (staffing and parent issues). I think the school now has a very stable and settled staff, who all share the strategic vision.
- Please could you outline why some vulnerable groups are not progressing as well as similar non-vulnerable groups in some classes? What steps are you able to take to improve this outcome, given that only some classes are in this situation?
- PP children are not exposed to a word-rich language, which creates an education barrier. The Foxhills catchment is changing. A lot of work is being done by the SLT of both schools to address gaps in the children’s learning journeys, and close them.
- RAISEonline says that the low performers show low attainment.
- There is a trend, based on last year’s KS2 results, so the school’s role is to overcome this now. There should be no reason for children, who are not SEN, to not achieve A.R.E.
- Governors discussed the positive impact of additional LSAs in Yr 3 and asked if this could be rolled out across all year groups. There is a cost implication. The bar has been raised and there has been a culture of ‘chasing the gaps.’ Reading interventions have now been put in place for Year 3s and some children have made significant progress since September. From the end of this Year 3 it is anticipated that, from Year 4 onwards, there will be no need to continue chasing gaps and catching up by Year 6. Maths interventions have also been put in place. A governor commented that a teacher from Hounsdown School visited today and was very impressed with the methods in class; cutaway, next steps etc. Mr. Shore came back to enriching the children’s vocabulary and explained that they are introduced to four words every week, to embed, enrich and extend their vocabulary range. Home Learning is also evolving to make it more appealing e.g. watching the news then sitting under a tree to write ten words about it.
- The role of Parent helpers is also under development.
- It has been noted that there had been no detrimental impact from the loss of the bus service.
5:04pm Ms Scevity arrived
- A governor commented that it was an excellent report, recognising where the school needs to improve outcomes.
- A governor informed the Board that there had been excellent feedback from parents regarding the recent Open Day. Comments were made on how well the children presented themselves to the visitors. It was also noted that more parents from Lydlynch and Hazel Wood attended this time. A number of these open day sessions have been held and they are proving to be very popular.
- Improvements to door security are being made over the Christmas holiday, which will take three days to complete. They will make the school highly secure. The system can even be tailored to specific days. A governor asked how this would fit in with a ‘lockdown’ procedure. This has been discussed at Cluster meetings. The Infant School carries out a ‘hide and seek’ game so as not to alarm the children unduly. The Headteachers do not want to create a culture of fear. Do you still do ‘Tiger on the Loose?’ No, but additional security measures are being installed e.g. fencing as well as door security improvements. A situation likely to harm is the only time that Teachers make a judgement call, for safety, without having to take direction from the Headteacher. A governor commented that this is being discussed by GBs everywhere. The Headteacher assured governors that the school is taking all reasonable precautions possible.
Mr. Shore was thanked for his report. His full response to the questions raised in advance will be distributed to governors with these minutes.
7. LLP report from Martyn Beales
The report was included in the agenda pack. Mr. Shore explained that it is self-explanatory and that Martyn conducted a whistle-stop tour of classes during his visit, followed by time spent with the SLT unpicking details about accountability. A governor commented that he seemed dubious about the SLT structure on his last visit but appears to be reassured this time. Another governor asked if he gave a judgement, following his visit. No, the purpose is to determine whether the school is in need of support from the Local Authority. One aspect of the conversation with the SLT was how their role impacts on school improvement.
Governors noted that Martyn used the word ‘imperative’ with regard to pupils with additional needs - that this is the first time it has been seen and that there seems to be a recurring theme. The impact for each child is already being recorded, with a file of each child’s story; results are not just about SATs. A governor also commented that it is Martyn wanting to know that the school is monitoring, evaluating and addressing issues, rather than just ‘throwing money’ at the problem.
8. Report from Finance and Resources and Teachers’ Pay Committees
Mr. Marchetti, Acting Chair for the Committee, drew governors’ attention to the minutes which had been included in the agenda pack. Some changes had been approved in the budget e.g. apprenticeship levy, staff etc. A governor asked if the school had been aware of the levy. No – Mrs. Cooper had raised it as an issue as £5k had just been taken. SFVS is due for completion by the end of March 2017; Mr. Monk will contact the clerk before the deadline.
ACTION: Mr. Monk
a) Terms of Reference
The Terms of Reference must be adopted by the FGB. Changes had been highlighted in yellow. Mr. Marchetti explained the changes to the wording, which had been requested by a committee member. Mr. Shore stated that there remains a surplus but a governor pointed out that this was not the case annually, although it is cumulatively. One further amendment was agreed to point 5.f.iii – to insert ‘cumulative’ i.e. ‘Do not move the overall budget from a surplus into deficit for the year or in the case of a budgeted cumulative deficit, to an overall greater deficit.’
With this amendment, governors who were not members of the F&R Committee, proposed, seconded and all agreed that the ToR be adopted.
9. Report from Children’s Learning and Achievement Committee
The minutes of the meeting held on 11th November have been drafted, are with Dr. Wiley and are yet to be circulated. Mrs. Thornley and Dr. Wiley have swapped roles – Dr. Wiley was voted in as Chair, Mrs. Thornley, as Vice Chair. A training feedback report was included in the agenda pack on Understanding the Primary Curriculum. Dr. Wiley explained that he found it very useful and will bring elements of it into the CLA. His recommendations are contained in the report.
a) Terms of Reference
Included in the agenda pack and recommended for adoption, the Terms have been clarified. They were proposed, seconded and all agreed that they be adopted.
b) Child Protection Policy
A stand-alone policy, included in the MoPP, is based on the Keeping Children Safe in Education document. A governor asked if this was written by HCC. Yes – if it is not adopted, the school must write its own. The Policy was proposed, seconded and all agreed that it be adopted.
c) Role of HLTA
Mrs. Arscott reminded governors of the reason this had been raised. The document, included in the agenda pack, detailed the role and the Headteacher described Mrs. Datlen’s much valued status in school.
10. School website review
A number of governors had been asked to look at specific areas of the school website. The culmination of this review had been detailed in a report which was included in the agenda pack. Since then, things have moved on. The Maths Curriculum is already outlined and Subject Leaders have been tasked to add theirs to the website by the end of the year. A governor asked if the school had a Mission Statement. There is an Aims and Values Statement which a governor asked to be clearly signposted, possibly under its own heading. A few policies need to be updated e.g. Behaviour, Child Protection and SEN Statement. The Accessibility Plan is under review by Mr. Shore and Dr. Wiley. The Lettings Policy, which has been updated, was requested by the Headteacher. Mrs. Dulieu will be asked to email it.
Governors discussed the policies and why some were not in place. It was concluded that a clearer and more accurate way of keeping policies up to date on the website was required. Governors briefly discussed who could be tasked with this and it was suggested and agreed that the Clerk will update the policies on the website as soon as they are approved by the Governing Body. She will also be asked to review those on the website that are still in date but require the new logo to be added.
Ms Scevity agreed to update the staff list.
ACTION: Ms Scevity
A governor asked how staff were informed of policy changes/reviews and whether there was a staff handbook that the Clerk could keep updated as changes occur. It would be more efficient for staff to be encouraged to look on the website.
11. Governor Training
a) WGBT for 2016/17
Mrs. Datlen outlined the content of the WGBT booked for 16th January at 7pm and will email details again. Governors were asked to confirm their attendance.
ACTION: Mrs. Datlen
b) To approve Full Access Training package for 2017
The GB is required to approve the payment to Governor Services for a training package for 2017. E-Learning is available and governors were encouraged to complete as many modules as possible. Full Access Training was unanimously agreed. Mrs. Datlen will inform GS of the decision.
ACTION: Mrs. Datlen
12. Safeguarding report
The report was included in the agenda pack. Mrs. Arscott informed the Board that more governors were needed to attend Safeguarding and Safer Recruitment training. The Safeguarding Audit has been completed and took less time to prepare this year.
13. Confidential item
A confidential item was discussed and there is a separate, confidential minute for this item.
14. Any other business
a) Following the recent Parent Governor election, held last week, Tonmoy Kumar has been elected unopposed. He will be a valuable addition to the Finance and Resources Committee. Mrs. Datlen will ask for details of training that he has completed as a governor of the Infant School.
ACTION: Mrs. Datlen
b) Mrs. Baker’s term comes to an end on 31st December 2016. She was thanked for her contribution to the team over the last four years.
c) Mr. Monk was thanked for his committed support as a governor over the last eight years and as a parent throughout the last fourteen; he resigns from his post with effect from 1st January 2017.
15. Additional information
(c) Training report – Primary Curriculum
Thanking all for attending, the meeting ended at 6.20 pm
Statement of impact of this meeting on school improvement
Item 04 – training requirements for Governors to establish and maintain effective GB
Item 02 – pecuniary interests register updated
Item 05 – reappointment of Mrs. Arscott as Local Authority Governor
Item 06 – Headteacher’s report –
Progress of vulnerable groups
Impact of LSAs in Year 3 and possibility of extending initiative across the school
Parental feedback on children’s behaviour
Improvement to building security
LLP report on school performance and vulnerable groups’ progress
Report from Finance Committee on budget approval and Pay Committee’s completion of Performance Management
Report from Children’s Learning and Achievement Committee, including a review of their aims
Review of school website content and responsibilities assigned for updates
Training reports shared; whole GB training booked and annual training package approved
Report from Safeguarding Governor
Changes to GB membership reported
Next meeting dates:
FGB - Monday 30th Jan, Tuesday 14th March, Monday 15th May, Tuesday 4th July.
Monday meetings start at 6:00pm; Tuesdays at 4:30pm
CLA – 3rd March (to be rescheduled), 9th June; Fridays at 9:00am
F&R - 13th January, 10th March, 5th May; Fridays at 12:30 pm