Minutes of the Full Governing Body
FOXHILLS JUNIOR SCHOOL
Held on Monday 30th January 2017 – commenced 6pm
Present: Mrs. Arscott – Local Authority Governor and Chair
Mr. Shore – Headteacher
Mrs. Thornley – Co-opted Governor and Vice Chair
Mrs. Datlen - Co-opted plus Development and Training Governor
Dr. Wiley – Co-opted Governor
Mr. White – Co-opted Governor
Mr. Marchetti – Co-opted Governor
Miss Sired – Staff Governor
In attendance: Mrs. Dulieu – Clerk
Apologies: Ms Scevity – Co-opted Governor
Mrs. Weatherdon – Parent Governor
Mr. T. Kumar – Parent Governor
Signed: A. Arscott Date: 14/03/17
Apologies were received and accepted from Ms Scevity, Mrs. Weatherdon and Mr. Kumar. The clerk confirmed that the meeting was quorate. The Chair reported that Ms Scevity, after careful consideration, had emailed her resignation from the Governing Body today due to pressures of work.
2. To co-opt Mrs. Victoria Stockbridge to the Board of Governors
The application form had been seen by all governors and Mr. Shore, Mrs. Arscott and Mr. White had met Mrs. Stockbridge in school. She is a former pupil of the school and brings a skill set which includes experience in staff training and appraisal. The Chair and Headteacher recommended she should fill one of the current vacancies on the Board. It was proposed, seconded and all agreed that Mrs. Stockbridge be co-opted and she was invited to join the meeting.
6:05pm Mrs. Stockbridge joined the meeting
3. Introductions and welcome to new governors
Although Mr. Kumar was unable to make the meeting, Mrs. Stockbridge was welcomed and governors gave a precis of their responsibilities.
6:07pm Mrs. Thornley arrived
4. Declaration of pecuniary interests
No interests were declared for this agenda. This item was explained and a form for completion was passed to Mrs. Stockbridge.
5. Minutes of last meeting, 29th November 2016
Circulated in advance, the main and confidential minutes of the last meeting were proposed, seconded and all agreed that they were a true record.
6. Matters arising
a) School website
This has been updated and a new website is on its way. A governor commented that they had recently looked at the website and it contained a lot of useful information.
b) Update on action points. The action point list was updated with the following noted:
2. The H&S training clashes with Parent Consultation afternoon so Miss Sired will be unable to attend. Mrs. Datlen will continue to monitor availability and venues as the training is out of area at the moment. Ongoing
3. Requests for nominations for co-opted governors from local councillors has drawn a blank. Discharged
4. Mr. Marchetti is dealing with the SFVS audit. Discharged
6 & 7. All policies on the school website have been updated by the clerk and the new logo added, where necessary. The staff list was updated by the Headteacher at the last meeting. Discharged
9 & 10. Mrs. Datlen has booked Full Access Training for the GB and has received details of Mr. Kumar’s training undertaken at the Infant School. Discharged
11. Mr. Shore will send a copy of the complaints form to the clerk tomorrow morning. Mrs. Dulieu will include a copy with these minutes. Ongoing
7. Headteacher’s short, verbal report
A confidential item was discussed and there is a separate, confidential minute for this item.
The format of reports was explained to Mrs. Stockbridge i.e. alternate written (with advance questions asked) and verbal reports.
New door security now in place - able to control all doors and passes centrally and with timers
Front canopy ordered with delivery after half term; a 7m canopy that won’t quite reach to the end of the current pathway into the main entrance. Governors briefly discussed the design of the canopy. Facia to be finalised – designs and suggested colours were tabled for governors’ comments. Governors overwhelmingly preferred the white lettering on a blue background. Discussions are taking place with a parent who works for McAlpine construction, and may be able to ‘lend’ two construction workers to erect the new canopies at the front and back of the building
1.5m playground fencing ordered (colour confirmed) – to include rear access, via locked gate. 1m fence being removed from around the playground will be re-used along the entrance driveway, around the zebra crossing. This should increase safety as it will restrict people cutting the corner and stepping out onto the drive too early
Climbing wall completed (Friends of Foxhills donations)
MUGA – the tender is going out this term. Looking at a June start date (subject to finances)
Minibus is in regular use. It is being utilised to take children swimming in the mornings, to keep costs down for parents
INSET dates for 2017-18. Monday 4th September 2017/ Monday 30th October 2017/ Monday 23rd July 2018. The latter is because it is a Monday – attendance would be very poor for just one day of the week. Staff will make up with twilights, as this year. These three dates are aligned with FIS although it is more difficult to also arrange this with Hounsdown as they have mid-week days to support the CPD of their large number of part time staff.
Update for 2016-17 - teachers had two days to make up (INSET of 23/34 July) and have now worked three lots of three hour after school twilights. Two related to Real P.E. and one for Reading (staff had the HCC literacy consultant leading a session on blended reading. Staff from Marchwood, Calmore and Abbotswood also attended.)
Parent – teacher consultations are being held on the afternoon of Monday 13th February 2017
Year 3 are going to Butser Hill (Science/ Geography); Year 6 to the Natural History Museum
Upcoming - Pupil voice to Houses of Parliament (tomorrow!)
Books at bedtime event (Harry Potter) Thursday 2nd Feb. A one-hour event to which Governors are welcome and as there is a captive audience, this time the school is running a Reading workshop for parents - 75 parents booked in so far!
A huge increase in clubs – not just at lunchtime but also before and after-school. Many child-initiated clubs. More information to share in full report at the next meeting. Just note that staff are investing a lot in the school.
Any other issues
No complaints have been received
Website meeting with Oakford (Thursday 2nd February) It is planned that the new website will run side-by-side with the old one
The funding for schools has been re-jigged and an email has been circulated to Chairs, Headteachers and clerks. It appears at present that the school will benefit from an increase of £19k in the budget although this is not the case everywhere; some schools are up to £41k down in their funding and HCC loses out over all. The clerk will circulate the email to all governors
8. School Financial Value Standards audit
Included in the agenda pack, Mr. Marchetti has found it useful to look back at the audits that have been completed over the last few years. He recently spent two hours with Mr. Shore and Mrs. Cooper going through this year’s audit, concluding that the school is very much in compliance. There are just two questions where the school is considered partly compliant and this will be discussed in more detail at the next F&R Committee meeting in March. The first is a lack of evidence demonstrating the link between setting the budget and raising standards; the second is how ‘unofficial funds’ are audited. This covers an independent audit of voluntary funds, which is not currently carried out. Mr. Marchetti will have a conversation with the HCC Finance office to clarify this – the number will be available from Mrs. Cooper.
ACTION: Mr. Marchetti
An agenda item will need to be added to the next F&R meeting to cover SFVS so that it may be approved in time for the FGB meeting, scheduled to take place four days after.
9. Report from Children’s Learning and Achievement Committee
The minutes of the last meeting were included in the agenda pack. The Committee will focus on a core subject each term; Maths was the focus at the last meeting and Science will be next. The Chair of the Committee explained how the meeting helped governors to understand how strategies are pushed into the classroom and how the Leader, Mr. Goodchild, is guiding the subject. The Committee considered their priorities and the ‘less is more’ approach so will be streamlining meetings; Dr. Wiley will update the GB on progress as this develops. He explained the view of the RAISEonline results against the information received on the Dashboard and raw data and how the school is developing the children’s resilience to the new tests, in order to minimise the distress experienced last year. This includes exposing the children to differing texts to broaden the materials used in class.
Residential visits were discussed, as detailed in the minutes, with governors being in favour of continuing the planned trip. Mr. Shore explained that they have 37 children out of 84 in the year group going this year. Governors had discussed possible reasons for this low take-up and how this has led to a discussion about planning trips far in advance and informing parents from Year 3 of potentially costly trips due in their children’s Year 6. Instalment schemes have also been discussed. Parent Governors agreed that this would be an attractive option for all concerned. Staff will be looking at the venue and content of this year’s visit before deciding if it would be suitable for future year groups. A governor commented that for some children, these trips are their first visit abroad as their parents either don’t go on holiday or can’t afford it - an invaluable experience. Mrs. Thornley volunteered to help look into this with Miss Sired.
ACTION: Mrs. Thornley
This item would need to be discussed at the F&R meeting too. The clerk agreed to add an agenda item to the next meeting.
A governor commented that the minutes of the CLA meeting were very informative. The next meeting is due on 31st March at 9:00am.
10. Update on School Travel Plan
The school has been awarded the Bronze Travel Award. A parent, Rachel Miell, has co-ordinated this and the presentation will be made by Councillor Mans at a celebration assembly on a Friday – date will be confirmed. Whilst the school is able to complete some aspects of the Silver Award, they cannot promote cycling as required for the reward on safety grounds, so may not be able to achieve this award..
Governors briefly discussed the traffic issues outside of the school and how helpful the Police have been. Traffic Wardens will also be visiting the site, following the pictures of illegal parking practices that they have been sent recently. Registration numbers continue to be quoted in the school newsletter for those who park inconsiderately. Mrs. Arscott will write a piece for the Parish Council magazine, outlining what the school is doing. It will also include a mention of the forthcoming 50th anniversary.
7:01pm Miss Sired left the room
The proposed development in Whartons Lane is still in the planning stage and it is unlikely that any news will be known about whether or not it will go ahead for about 2 years.
7:03pm Miss Sired returned
11. Governor Training
a) Feedback from WGB Training
The recent training on Accountability and the SEF was valuable and helped understanding of the SEF process and gathering evidence. There is a concise list covering key areas – simple, effective and necessary for an Ofsted inspection. The SEF feeds in to the SDP, which includes clear steps and sources of evidence. Things like the Impact Statements included at the end of governor meeting minutes are an example of this; how governors quantify what they are doing in one document is in progress.
Mr. Shore explained that his reports will follow the CLEAR aims headings in future, rather than the Ofsted headings, as the school practices and strategy decisions are being taken on the Vision and Aims, not on what Ofsted dictates.
Recent Ofsted questions from inspections were circulated with the agenda – governors considered that they had been aimed at a school which required improvement. Although they should not lead governors’ focuses, they could be useful to see if they could be answered with the evidence gathered.
b) Future Training
All governors receive the fortnightly update from Governor Services (GS) and a new Development and Training Booklet has been sent, which governors confirmed they had received. The new e-learning courses are all on the GS website – Mrs. Datlen will email out the link.
ACTION: Mrs. Datlen
She encouraged governors to look at the courses available, which generally take around twenty minutes to complete. Any problems, contact GS for help.
Mrs. Datlen thanked everyone for attending the recent training session, which was shared with the Infant School Governors.
Mrs. Stockbridge has been booked on a course.
The Governors’ Forum will be held on 28th February at Foxhills, a good opportunity to network. Held from 7 until 9pm and free to all – no need to book.
Mrs. Datlen asked everyone to advise her of any courses attended at work that may be pertinent to their role as a governor – these should also be included in the skills audit, which will be updated soon. The clerk will send her the form for everyone to complete.
ACTION: Mrs. Datlen/ Mrs. Dulieu
The Infant School GB will be organising their WGBT session and will invite the Junior school governors to attend.
c) Induction Training report
As Mrs. Weatherdon was unable to attend this meeting, this item was deferred.
12. Collaborative agreement with Bartley School Board of Governors
As discussed at the last meeting, the Agreement with Bartley is due for review. Mrs. Arscott has contacted the Chair of Bartley and they are also keen to renew it for another year. It was noted that there is no expiry or renewal date on the agreement. Mrs. Arscott will organise signatures and include an annual review clause.
ACTION: Mrs. Arscott
Post meeting note. The collaborative agreement was approved by the FGB on 01/02/16, with a proviso that it should be reviewed annually.
13. Report to Parish Council concerning travel matters
The Chair of the Parish Council had asked for clarification of some points raised by a Working Party. The response, sent by Mrs. Arscott, was included in the agenda pack. A governor commented that the response was outstanding. The origin of the request was unclear to governors but can be read in the Parish Council minutes. Mrs. Arscott has received a note of thanks from the Chair. The Travel Plan team includes a member of the Parish Council.
14. To consider appointing a governor to lead corporate sponsorship
Mr. Shore has renewed the school sports kit, which now includes the school logo, but this ‘branding’ has raised the suggestion that there is scope for someone to seek outside support. Governors agreed that everybody was responsible for this; it should not fall to one individual. Governors will bear this in mind when they are out and about. Various options were discussed and a Working Party will be set up as a driver for funding for the planned MUGA. Governors can possibly approach local companies such as Trant, Saints etc. Mrs. Datlen and Mrs. Arscott will put their heads together with Mrs. Thornley and Mrs. Cooper. Mrs. Stockbridge will share a contact in John Lewis with Mrs. Datlen. They are keen to establish relationships with local organisations.
ACTION: Mrs. Stockbridge
15. Any other business
a) The contribution of Ms Scevity, after eight years as a governor at Foxhills was marked with thanks. A card and gift will be signed by all and passed to her.
b) There are now three vacancies for co-opted governors. Staff will be approached to fill the vacancy left by Ms Scevity. Reconstitution to 12 will be considered again in the Autumn term – most local schools of this size have GBs of 12.
c) Mrs. Stockbridge volunteered to join the CLA Committee
d) A farewell tea will be held for Gordon Fillis on Thursday 9th March. Staff and governors who have worked with him will be invited. Year 6, the last year group he worked with, are making him a thank you card and the school will present him with a gift of a plant and pot for his garden.
e) A governor commented that there had been no interaction between governors and staff this year and they had missed the get-together that had been arranged for last year, around Christmas. Miss Sired agreed to organise an event in the near future.
ACTION: Miss Sired
f) Mrs. Arscott will organise a meeting for the new governors for the second part of half term, to cover any queries, explain new terminology etc. This is usually arranged for governors once they have been in post for a while.
ACTION: Mrs. Arscott
g) There used to be a photo collage of governors in the entrance of the school but has been taken down as it was out of date. A governor asked if it could be replaced. Mr. Shore will organise this in the spring.
ACTION: Mr. Shore
h) Mr. Shore suggested that the promotion of the CLEAR values ties in with how the school promotes British Values and tabled a document detailing the principles. He has prepared a five-page document on the CLEAR values which will be shared with these minutes.
ACTION: Clerk/Mr. Shore
i) Included in the agenda pack was the latest schedule of policy reviews due and two ‘policies’ that form part of the Child Protection Policy that was adopted last term. The Safeguarding Policy and Staff Code of Conduct were prepared, following GS website advice, with the CP Policy but were missed out on the adoption at the last meeting. The clerk asked governors to adopt these policies, which will be brought into line for review with the CP Policy due date. The additional documents were proposed, seconded and all agreed that they be adopted.
Thanking all for attending, the meeting ended at 7:52pm
Statement of impact of this meeting on school improvement
Item 02 Changes to GB membership – governor co-opted on skills
Item 04 – pecuniary interests register updated
Item 07 – Headteacher’s report –
Improvement to building security
School website improvements
Playground equipment installed
Plans for new games area (MUGA)
INSET days planned to coincide with Infant School
Educational trips and events
Item 08 – SFVS in progress and on track to meet deadline of 31st March 2017
Item 09 - Report from Children’s Learning and Achievement Committee, including a review of their aims – a full impact statement is recorded in the minutes of that meeting
Items 10 and 13 – School Travel plan update and safety considerations
Item 11 – Training reports shared; feedback on whole GB training held on 16th January; training requirements for Governors to establish and maintain effective GB
Item 12 – Collaborative agreement established with Bartley School Governors
Item 14 – Fundraising opportunities to be explored
Item 15 – Plans in place to support new governors
Promotion of CLEAR values
Next meeting dates:
FGB - Tuesday 14th March, Monday 15th May, Tuesday 4th July.
Monday meetings start at 6:00pm; Tuesdays at 4:30pm
CLA – 31st March; 9th June; Fridays at 9:00am
F&R - 10th March, 5th May; Fridays at 12:30 pm