Minutes of the Full Governing Body
FOXHILLS JUNIOR SCHOOL
Held on Monday 26th January - commenced 7pm
Present: Mrs. Arscott – Chair
Mr. Shore – Headteacher
Mrs. Thomson – Staff Governor
Mrs. Datlen - Co-opted & Training Liaison Governor
Mr. Fillis – Co-opted Governor
Mr. Thomas – Co-opted Governor
Ms. Scevity – Co-opted Governor
Mrs. Thornley - Parent Governor
Mrs. Baker – Parent Governor
Mr. Webb – Parent Governor
Mrs. Sides – Parent Governor
Mr. Taylor – Parent Governor
Apologies: Mr. Monk - Co-opted Governor
Dr. McKechnie - Co-opted Governor
In Attendance: Mrs. Dulieu – Clerk
Signed: A. Arscott Date: 17/03/15
Mrs. Arscott opened the meeting by presenting Mr. Fillis with a certificate and badge for 20 years’ service as a governor at Foxhills, to 25th January 2015. Congratulations and thanks were offered to Mr. Fillis, who tirelessly comes into school weekly to hear children read and attend many events.
Apologies were received and accepted from Mr. Monk and Dr. McKechnie. The clerk confirmed that the meeting was quorate.
2. Declaration of pecuniary interests
None were declared.
3. Minutes of last meeting, 2nd December 2014
The minutes of the last meeting were proposed, seconded and all agreed that they were a true record.
4. Matters arising
a) The Action Point list was updated, with the following noted:
1. Ongoing - Consultation on updating the school logo is in progress with Pupil Voice. Class feedback is being collated on whether to keep the fox logo or otherwise and governors’ thoughts would be appreciated. A mood board has been created and will be shared with governors.
ACTION: Mr. Shore
2. Discharged – on this agenda. See item……
3. Discharged – on this agenda. See item 10.
4. Ongoing – Mrs. Datlen and Mrs. Thornley are in discussions.
5. Ongoing – Mr. Shore has delegated this task to John Tompkins, who is awaiting advice from HCC on whether he can trim the neighbour’s hedge or not.
6. Discharged – CRB issued.
8. Ongoing - Access has been organised for members of the CLA Committee and passed to Mr. Thomas. Two members of the Finance Committee have received theirs. Mr. Shore will pass access details to the remaining governors.
10. Ongoing – the Pay Policy has been updated as far as possible and a meeting with Mr. Monk will take place, as soon as he is available, to finalise it.
b) Reverend Paul Holley came into school, met Mr. Shore, Mrs. Arscott and attended an assembly. He commented that it was a lively, vibrant school and agreed to apply for the governor vacancy. Mrs. Arscott read out his application, gave some background and proposed he be co-opted. This was seconded and all agreed, with none against and no abstentions.
c) An agreement has been reached with HS3, the company who runs the school kitchen, to share employment of Lucie (one of the gate wardens). They will cover one hour, for food prep and tidying up, whilst the school covers the other hour for the hall at lunchtime. There remains a shortage of staff during the lunch period so the recruitment flyer will be sent out; thanks were offered to Mrs. Baker who has offered to distribute them around the village.
7:10pm Mrs. Sides arrived
5. Headteacher’s verbal report
Characteristics of Foxhills Junior School as at 26.01.14:
82% - 85%
2+ levels progress
3+ levels progress
(!) Denotes high expectations and an ambitious target.
The SLT has graded the school as RI for this category as SEN/PP children are not attaining in line with national expectations. Neither are they achieving as well as their peers as yet.
Year 6 target for SATs results is set at between 82 and 85%, which is ambitious considering that last year’s cohort achieved 79% although it is believed to be achievable.
Year 5 – 75% on track to achieve L4+. This is the most vulnerable year group, although they have had the highest KS1 attainment in last 5 years.
Children who attained Level 2 at KS1 who definitely were not at that level when they joined Year 3 are most vulnerable and additional support is targeted for the Summer term.
Year 4 – 86% on track to achieve L4+. They are expected to reach 90% by end of Y6.
Year 3 – 90% on track to achieve L4+. Challenge will be to keep this percentage but we are pleased with the learning so far.
Special Education Needs
With the retirement of Jan Robinson, Chris Bristow has taken over role of SENCo.
42 children are currently on the SEN register Y3 (10), Y4 (9), Y5 (14), Y6 (9)
4 children with an EHC (Education, Health and Care) plan (formerly Statemented). Over the Autumn term, Chris converted all Statements into EHC plans. There are now three distinct sections: one for pupil/ parent/ school; an arduous task, which has increased the amount of paperwork.
Looked After Children
5 children currently LAC: Y3 (2), Y4 (1), Y5 (1), Y6 (1)
This is a high proportion, when compared with other schools this may be a reflection of the surrounding affluent area. Chris Bristow is the Designated LAC teacher.
Children eligible for Pupil Premium (PP) – Ever 6 and Ever 3 pupils
46 pupils are eligible for the Pupil Premium: Y3 (13), Y4 (9), Y5 (11), Y6 (13)
Performance still is not in-line with non PP children. Targeted interventions have been put in place with two additional part-time teachers in Y6; one all day Thursday, the other in the afternoons. Jennie Bailey continues to support all PP children through 1:1 tutoring.
From Sept 2015, Chris will fully take over PP and assume the role of Inclusion Leader for AEN, LAC and PP children.
OFSTED AREA 2 – TEACHING and LEARNING (GOOD)
Matt Goodchild leads Mathematics and is developing the T&L approach. Last year, teachers began to use ‘cut-away’ groups during lessons. The school is now moving to a system where the teacher gives 4-6 individual inputs, which requires close collaboration between teacher and LSA (this will have training implications). Trialling has begun with Hayley Sired and Natalie Hogbourne before a whole-school rollout.
A governor asked how success will be evaluated. Via the progress of children – it has been shown that children can move through maths concepts quickly and teachers will be assessing as they go.
7:19pm Mr. Thomas arrived
The coaching approach to improving the quality of Teaching and Learning has been introduced across the school. This is non-judgemental, but supportive. All teachers have valuable skills and it is anticipated that everyone will be coaching each other using their area of strength. This is a big investment, both time and financial, in staff development and involves coaching release time plus subject leader time, which has been discussed at the F&R Committee meeting. Mr. Shore will present the CLA Committee with observation outcomes at the next meeting.
OFSTED AREA 3 – BEHAVIOUR and SAFETY (GOOD)
A governor asked if there had been many requests for holidays this year. No, but there has been an increase in sickness absence. Headteachers are asking for guidance from the Local Authority.
OFSTED AREA 4 – LEADERSHIP and MANAGEMENT (R.I. - GOOD)
The SLT reviewed current leadership roles as they had identified that the Deputy Head, Phase Leader and Curriculum Leader roles overlapped, particularly relating to Teaching and Learning. These have been clarified and will be shared with staff at INSET (12/13 February.
No guidance has been received on the assessment system that should replace the old levels as yet, but the Phase and Literacy Leaders have met to discuss known National Standards. They have devised an age-related point score, based on the Year 6 required measure, and applied them to each year group. It appears that the current Tracker system will no longer be suitable so alternatives will be sought and costed. This will be discussed further in CLA meetings.
INSET (12th and 13th February 2015)
Two packed days are planned, with EVOLVE training (off-site visits), First Aid (LSAs), website training on how to amend pages/ add photos; Subject Leadership with policy writing and curriculum subject overviews, as well as Project planning time.
One complaint has been received this term, related to the danger for drivers and children along Foxhills Lane. The Headteacher has responded to the parent explaining the school’s position. There have been no complaints about school matters, Mr. Shore believes that this is because communication between teachers and parents is good.
Mr. Shore attended an appeal for a Y3 place last week. The parent has a place for their reception child in Foxhills Infant School but Y3 is full (90 pupils). It has been confirmed that the school lost the appeal and will be taking an additional pupil in to Y3 (91 pupils). A governor asked how these decisions were taken. It was deemed that the inconvenience was less impacting to the school than to the parent if their child had to attend two different schools. There is no appeal to this decision.
Partnerships with Parents and the Wider Community:
Premises and Resources:
Wider aspects of the school
Samples will be sent to Governors over the next week.
ACTION: Mr. Shore
A governor asked if the new tablets had been used in school. The Headteacher is disappointed with the six that were recently purchased. They have their uses where laptops are not available, but they don’t have the power to run the programmes and apps that they were planned for. Other options are currently being explored as although iPads would be ideal, they are very expensive.
A governor, concerned about the vulnerability of the current Year 5 group, asked what plans were in place to address the progress issues. It is predominantly the PP children that are not making as much progress as their peers and interventions are already in place. In addition, once the SATs take place, the extra support currently in Year 6 will transfer to Year 5. At present, 75% of children are on track to reach level 4+ so the situation is not critical but with a target of 85% next year, additional support will be necessary. The main challenge is for individuals who were deemed to be at level 2 at the end of KS1, when they were only level 1.
A governor asked if the anticipated support from Hounsdown for Level 6s was going to take place. An email has been received, with an offer of £26 per hour plus an hour for planning. The Headteacher does not consider this good value for money. It was hoped that a small group of children could join classes in Hounsdown for some maths lesson, but it appears that this is not on offer; Mr. Shore will be talking to Mrs. Turvey tomorrow. A governor asked if Hounsdown were already involved with year 6 pupils as her child had taken part in after school activities with children from other schools. Not at this stage and Mr. Shore was unaware of this happening since he joined.
After April, an English Leader will be joining the school which is an exciting prospect. The Writing moderations don’t take place until June, so the new teacher will have the opportunity to impact results in the four weeks between SATs and the deadline.
6. Report from F&R Committee
Mrs. Arscott had chaired the meeting in Mr. Monk’s absence and the minutes were circulated in advance of the meeting, separately from the agenda pack. A governor asked if it was known whether pupil numbers were going to increase. Not yet although there is much interest from parents for the September 2016 intake, which may result in more applications. An increase of one class in Year 3 is expected for September 2016 and there are plans to decommission the IT suite to accommodate these children. Governors discussed whether this was advisable, but this was the Headteacher’s plan anyway as mobile technology improves. Governors discussed the working life of laptops, battery charging, the class moving through the school etc., seeking alternatives to this plan. None of the other classes are suitably close to be viable and the PCs in the suite can be distributed around the school for projects and integrated learning. A governor asked if the school could refuse to take the additional children but as there is space in school and HCC set the admission criteria, this would not be possible. Funding would be provided to convert the IT suite back to a classroom, which would be put to the most effective use for the school.
7. Report on updating school policies
The Chair thanked the Clerk for her time and effort in further organising the school policies for review.
Both the Data Protection Policy and Home/School Agreement were circulated with the agenda for views and adoption.
Data Protection Policy, a standard document taken from HCC, was proposed, seconded and all agreed that it should be adopted.
Home/School Agreement governors questioned the need for a note for a child returning from absence, as this has never been enforced. The Headteacher will look into this, as it was thought that this was a requirement by the Authority, and report back at the next meeting.
ACTION: Mr. Shore
It was agreed that the attendance target should be removed and office staff discretion should apply to children returning to school after D&V episodes. A governor questioned the monitoring of the collection of children after school, as they were unaware of this procedure, therefore it must be working effectively. Staff assured governors that teachers know who the children are being collected by and if that changes.
Agreed amendments were made to the wording of the document at the meeting by Mr. Shore on his tablet. With the action above noted and grammar check requested, governors proposed, seconded and all agreed to adopt the policy, which will be circulated with the minutes.
8. Review of GB Self Evaluation Form
Governors were asked how they would like to review this document as they are all required to take part. It was decided that it should be emailed to everyone and all agreed to send their comments back to Mrs. Arscott who will then organise a working group to evaluate them.
9. Safeguarding report
Following the release of guidance from the DfE, the audit is under review and due for completion by May 2015. The Clerk commented that at her Support Meeting, they were advised that the old audit should be completed even though it didn’t have to be submitted. This is not the guidance given to Headteachers so far.
Safeguarding training is up to date. Mrs. Kelly and Miss Hogbourne are attending the training to become CPLOs (Child Protection Liaison Officers) in case both Mr. Shore and Mrs. Bristow are off-site simultaneously. All CRBs for governors are up to date and there is no legal requirement to re-apply under 4 years. As part of her audit Mrs. Arscott checks CRBs annually and Mrs. Cooper has a rolling review programme in place for a 3-year review, which is considered good practice.
10. Skills Audit
Governing Bodies must now complete skills audits to ensure their membership covers the needs required. A volunteer was requested to write the audit, with support from the Chair and Clerk if required. Mr. Taylor explained that the National Governors’ Association audit was already in place, with an associated spreadsheet to make analysis easier. He volunteered to steer its completion, with the help of Mrs. Sides. Governors will be asked to complete the document in time for a report-back at the next FGB meeting in March.
ACTION: Mr. Taylor
11. Report on KAG working party meeting
Mrs. Arscott attended the meeting last week and although the minutes had been received, they have been returned for amendment as parts were not strictly correct. Mrs. Arscott explained the purpose of the meeting and gave governors some background to the situation. David Hurd, NFDC Parking Manager had noted before the meeting that the school had a very dangerous access approach and, having witnessed the situation first hand, stated that any proposal that reduces the number of vehicles and improves safety must be welcomed. Meanwhile he will continue to patrol the area.
In addition to Mrs. Arscott, those attending included: CPOs Andy White and Lisa Quinn, Jacky White of the Ashurst and Colbury Community Group, Clive White of Ashurst and Colbury Parish Council, Emma Lacey and Caroline Jenkins representing KAG.
A large spreadsheet of suggestions was shared with the following noted:
Governors commented that there is insufficient detail on any suggestion so far; and another was majorly concerned that governors’ time was once again taken up with this issue when they should be governing the school. No new suggestions have been made that haven’t been tried in the past. No real solutions are being offered.
Other ideas were suggested, including re-instating the Lollipop crossing on the corner of Knellers Lane, enforcing the 20mph limit and re-opening the road onto Hunter’s Hill (this was closed when Colbury roundabout was built due to road safety factors). None of these would solve the problems. A new crossing of Knellers Lane is included in the Barker Mill proposal.
A drop-off zone would become blocked if people stopped for too long, resulting in traffic unable to pass at all and exacerbating the situation. There is no permission to use Colbury Hall’s car park as a walking bus site and it’s too far from the school to be of any use. The suggestion that the school reduces its intake of pupils is not possible, as this is set by HCC.
The Infant School GB will be invited to offer comments on suggestions put forward Whilst appreciative of the KAG Workiong Party’s attempts to find solutions they have identified very little that hasn’t been tried already. The governors’ view was that the group had not as yet produced a workable solution to the problems of securing safe access for children and resolving traffic congestion. The next KAG working group meeting is in February.
12. Proposal to change meeting time
In consideration of the staff’s work/life balance, the Headteacher requested that governors change the Monday FGB meeting start time from 7pm to 6pm. After a short discussion and vote, the majority agreed to this request.
13. Governor Training
The purchase of the Governor Services training and support package for Full Access was proposed, seconded and all agreed.
The Governor Forum will be held at Foxhills on 24th February at 7pm. There is no agenda for this yet. Set up will be from 6pm, John Tompkins has been informed and all are welcome.
Training booklets have been distributed and Policy training has been booked for 26th February.
14. Learning Walks
Mr. Thomas will email governors with a choice of dates for the learning walks to monitor PP interventions. All are welcome. As the first date is 29th January, governors were asked to respond urgently.
ACTION: Mr. Thomas
15. Any other business
a) Matt Goodchild and Hayley Sired would like to attend the next FGB meeting as part of their middle leadership programme and professional development. They are aware that they may have to leave, should confidential items be discussed, and cannot take part in the discussions unless invited. Governors agreed that the second meeting of the term would be the most appropriate, as it starts at 4:30; an open invitation should be extended to all staff interested to any Tuesday FGB meeting. This may encourage more staff to take an interest in what the governors do and break down barriers. Mr. Shore will pass this information on.
b) Fox Tales is back in the Parish magazine. Children will also be submitting articles through the journalism group, run by Mrs. Datlen.
Thanking all for attending, the meeting ended at 9:10pm.
Next meeting dates:
Tuesday 17th March, Monday 18th May and Tuesday 7th July.
Meetings on Mondays run from 6-8pm and Tuesdays, 4.30-6.30pm.