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Meeting 5 - 16th May 2016

Minutes of the Full Governing Body

FOXHILLS JUNIOR SCHOOL

Held on Monday 16th May 2016 – commenced 6pm

 

Present:                 Mrs. Arscott – Local Authority Governor and Chair

                             Mrs. Thornley – Co-opted Governor and Vice Chair

                             Mr. Shore – Headteacher

                             Miss Sired – Staff Governor

                             Mrs. Datlen - Co-opted plus Development and Training Governor

                             Ms. Scevity – Co-opted Governor

                             Revd. Holley – Co-opted Governor

                             Mr. Marchetti – Co-opted Governor

                             Mr. Fillis – Co-opted Governor    

                             Mr. Monk - Co-opted Governor

                             Dr. Wiley – Co-opted Governor

                             Mr. White – Co-opted Governor

                             Mrs. Baker – Parent Governor

                             Mrs. Weatherdon – Parent Governor

                            

Apologies:              Mrs. Dulieu – Clerk

                                                         

 

 

Signed:                A. Arscott                                              Date:   05/07/16

 

 

 

1. Apologies

Were received and accepted from Mrs. Dulieu. In her absence, Mrs. Datlen agreed to take the minutes. Mrs. Datlen confirmed that the meeting was quorate.

 

Mrs. Weatherdon was welcomed, following her successful election held on 12th May, and introductions made. A copy of the agenda pack was passed to her.

2. Declaration of pecuniary interests

None were declared.

3. Minutes of last meeting, 22nd March 2016                                                                             

The main and confidential minutes of the last meeting were proposed, seconded and all agreed that they were a true record. Dr. Wiley thanked governors for accepting his late message of apology at the last meeting.

4. Matters arising

a) The action point list was updated, with the following noted:

1. Discharged. Mrs. Bristow has received a  brief response from HCC  to the effect that it was necessary to top slice the LAC budget to fund the Virtual Headteacher programme.  The Chair and Headteacher felt it was unlikely there would be any change to this.2. Mrs. Datlen will email details of the Performance Management training to Dr. Wiley. Mrs. Baker has completed this course already. Ongoing

3. The minibus appears as item 11 of this agenda. Discharged

6. Miss Sired and Ms. Scevity are booked on the H&S course in Cosham. Discharged

b) Membership of the GB

Revd. Holley is leaving the GB as he has been appointed to a larger parish in Bodmin, creating a Co-opted Governor vacancy. Governors were asked whether this should be filled now or whether it would be better to leave it until the Autumn term, when the constitution would be reviewed. Delaying the appointment would give time to consider the possible impact of the White Paper on GB membership. A governor asked if Revd. Holley’s replacement could be approached to fill the vacancy. Another suggested that it may be prudent to wait as, if a further reduction in size of GB was to be considered in the Autumn, it would be a shame for someone to have to step down. Following a brief discussion, it was agreed that it would be worthwhile waiting until the beginning of the new term, when more information may be available..

c) Update on planning application

The Pre School’s planning application will be presented to the Ashurst and Colbury Parish Council on Tuesday 17th May. Dr. Wiley will attend. Mrs. Arscott has written a letter of support for the proposal and was thanked by Mrs. Thornley for that. Mr. White, as a member of the Parish Council Planning Committee, will abstain from voting for transparency and possible conflict of interest as a governor on this site.

5. Headteacher’s short, verbal report

Area 1: Effectiveness of Leadership and Management

Logo – (Vision and strategic direction):  now appearing on new school uniform – the school has reiterated (on leaflet, in assemblies and in newsletters) that both new and old logos are welcome. There is no need for parents to buy new jumpers.

 

Staffing issues - Now established a permanent staff from September 2016: Mrs. Searle will be returning Dec 16 (covered by Mrs. McAllister) and Miss Moore (covered by Miss Lofthouse) until Easter 2017.

New staff: Mr. Boalch (from St Luke’s, Sway) and Mr. Williams (NQT). A governor asked if this was the same Mr. Williams who was an LSA last year. Yes and the school is very pleased to have him back as a teacher.

 

Admissions

93 allocated including two with EHCPs (Education & Health Care Plans – used to be called ‘statements.’)

Since then, two children have dropped out (Both siblings of children in school - one moving to Norway and another out of area).

There are 19 children on our waiting list. There is, as yet, no information about appeals. These usually happen late June/July. A governor asked if the school had been expecting 19 children on a waiting list. In fact, more were anticipated but perhaps parents have accepted the catchment criterion. A governor asked about the expectation for 4-form entry in September.  As far as funding is concerned, the school would break even at 23-24, with support from the LA (Local Authority) but there have not been more than 92 in the past. With the square meterage available, 93 have been allowed for this intake and the LA is aware how tight for space the school is. Mr. Shore explained the Published Admission Number (PAN) and the HCC Admission authority for the benefit of the new governor. There is a possibility that, due to appeals, an additional ten or twelve children will be allocated places although funding will not be provided for them until April 2017, following the census taken in January. A governor asked what the numbers were in the Infant School. 94 are coming into Reception in September although they are looking at reducing to a 2-form entry in the future.

 

INSETs

Monday 5th September 2016

Monday 31st October 20016

Monday 26th June 2017

Monday and Tuesday 24th and 25th July 2017 (disaggregated)

All of these dates will be shared with the Infant School. The last two dates will be disaggregated because, as agreed last year, the school will fall into line with Hounsdown’s INSET days.

 

HCC are consulting about 2017-18 dates: A similar scenario to this year - decreasing the Christmas break and increasing in summer.

 

Area 2: Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Development of T&L:

Mr. Goodchild and Mrs. Gooderidge attended Pi Corbett training and will be rolling out some of the strategies in upcoming staff meetings.

Mrs. Kealey and Miss English have attended a Developing Maths in the Classroom session.

All staff will eventually train in Real PE (Miss Bell and Miss Sired have already completed this); Miss English and Mrs. Gooderidge are currently doing the course.

 

Area 3: Personal development, Behaviour and Welfare of pupils

Safeguarding

HT completed DSL training (9th March)

 

Clarification of Childcare Disqualification Declaration: There is a query over whose responsibility it is to complete the forms. The school has the responsibility to check that all agencies/ individuals working within school have signed the document. It is a one off document – however the school is considering doing an annual declaration to state that circumstances have not changed. The MoPP is not clear on this guidance but it would be considered good practice. All agencies and individuals have now been issued the forms and are returning them. A governor asked if there was a process in place for outside agencies to inform the school when there are changes to staff. The Headteacher confirmed that, at present, the school relies on the agencies to inform them of any changes and suggested that he look into changing this.

 

Residentials

Y5 – Mill Rythe, Hayling Island: Wed 18th to 20th May

Y6 – Calais, France: Mon 6th June to 10th June

A governor asked how many children were going to France this year. 52 of the Year 6s are going. Very few Year 5s are not going to Hayling Island and alternative activities are planned for those staying behind. The Year 4 camp-out will be repeated in the future to familiarise children with staying away from home.

 

Area 4: Outcomes for Pupils

Assessment: SATs completed.

VERY challenging reading paper (it was more of a vocabulary test than reading, as children were challenged by the wording of the questions!), Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling papers (2) were manageable, Maths 1 was ok, but Maths 2 was very high pitch and Maths 3, manageable. Children are being tested on a four year curriculum that they have only been exposed to for 14 months. Exemplification of standards was only published May 2016, leaving no time for staff to plan learning around expectations.

The school is anticipating that the combined outcomes (Rd, Wr and Ma) will be significantly lower than last year. With 20% SEN, it was known that this cohort were going to attain lower than previous years. The test structure just means that it will be lower still.

The only glimmer of hope is that the rest of the country will also do poorly. Mr. Shore’s fellow colleagues all report similar experiences of the papers (Marchwood were moderated), with children (and staff) in tears. Y6 outcomes – not a clue!

 

All other assessments are being collated across the year groups. A similar issue has arisen across the country. Expectations have been raised overnight and so, less and less children are now reaching ARE (Age-Related Expectation). This is the same for all year groups in all settings: The Foxhills Infant School Headteacher has assessed all Year 2 children and is reporting that only 33% of children are at ARE.

 

A governor asked if the major problem was the first paper. Yes; there is less teaching for a reading paper because it is based on inference and meaning and the vocabulary used, was broad. In teaching, you differentiate yet the tests are the same for all. The reading and maths paper 2 were both challenging but the others were ‘easier.’ In terms of the emotional response, was this a common feeling across the school/other schools/nationally? Yes. Governors briefly discussed the reaction from other schools and that reported on the national news reports.

Although lower results than last year are anticipated, the outcome is completely unknown and will not be confirmed until the RAISEonline results are published in November. However, the school will receive the papers back and will be able to make a judgement then. Again, no comparisons to previous years can be made; Hounsdown are aware of the issues but will still be held to predicted Key Stage 2 results. A governor asked why lower results are anticipated. The current year 6 cohort is less able than last year’s and this, coupled with harder tests will mean lower scores. The Infant School is reporting that only a third of their children are at ARE; other schools are reporting that none of the children are at ARE. It will be interesting to see what is passed up with the Year 3 intake in September.

Reports.

As the format of this year’s report is very similar to last year’s (when the school ceased to report levels on children’s reports, instead giving similar assessments as this year - Working towards, Working Within, Working Beyond), the Headteacher will not be organising a main meeting with parents to explain the new assessment. He believes that the way they report to parents, as dictated by the Government, assessment gradings may well change again, in light of the SATs outcomes. Once the school has this information, Mr. Shore will then communicate with parents.

Other Matters

Garden – Still waiting for quotes

Football pitch – still in process

Glass doors - fitted

Canopies – delivered

Minibus – ordered and being refurbished (delivered 6th June). MIDAS training booked for 8th June – 3 Junior school staff and 2 from Infants (£50 per person).

Archaeologist – Mrs. Arscott reported that the Archaeologist has visited the school site, following the results of the LIDAR scans of the forest which showed incredible detail, and will be developing a project with the school.  An assessment of species, in the Nature Trail, by naturalists will take place soon.

6. To discuss LLP report from Martyn Beales

The report, included in the agenda pack, was received following the recent visit by Martyn Beales. He is pleased with the school’s progress. A governor asked if the Headteacher could clarify the paragraph detailing ‘additional adults.’  This refers to cut-away teaching, which is better in some year groups. Mr. Goodchild has recently held a training session with LSAs to improve teaching; reading will also be a focus. Could you also explain the ‘school improvement’ section? Martyn has, in the past, questioned how the school developed reading for the less able. He is content that there is more consistency in the methodology – again, some teachers are more confident than others.

7. Update on admission numbers for September 2016

This was covered under ‘admissions’ in item 5, Headteacher’s verbal report.

8. Report from Finance and Resources Committee

The minutes of 11th March were circulated with the agenda pack. The minutes of 6th May were emailed before the weekend and hard copies distributed in the meeting. Having briefly outlined the minutes of 11th March at the last FGB, hled on 22nd March, governors concentrated on the minutes of 6th May. A new member of the committee will be needed, to replace Revd. Holley. Governors were asked to consider the post and speak to Mr. Monk if they had any questions. Meetings are currently held at 12:30 on a Friday, four times a year. The dates for the next academic year are yet to be set. Mr. Monk will check the diary in time for the July FGB meeting.

ACTION: Mr. Monk

It was noted that the compilation of the asset register remains ongoing and the additional information requested to support last year’s SFVS had been submitted, proving that the system is not merely a paper exercise.

9. To approve the school budget for 2016/17

As per the minutes of 6th May 2016, Mr. Monk highlighted the following points:

  • That since the staff changes in December, when experienced teachers moved on, the drop in pay costs has had a significant impact on the budget. This, combined with good management of the finances by Mr. Shore and Mrs. Cooper, has created a surplus. Governors were directed to the summary table on page 3
  • Some of the surplus has been allocated e.g. minibus, multi-use games area, improvements to the school etc. but a strategy meeting to determine how this is best spent has been proposed. It was suggested that a Working Party be set up to drive through the spending, monitor it and report initiatives back to the FGB
  • The projected expenditure for the next three years looks great but there are things that cannot be predicted that can have a significant impact e.g. staff changes
  • A constant, high value surplus is not desirable and needs to be allocated as soon as possible – there is always the possibility that HCC will claw some back
  • Health and Safety (H&S) Committee needs to be established and should report back to the Finance Committee. Miss Sired and Ms Scevity will attend the training
  • The school boundary, including access from neighbouring gardens, will fall under the H&S audit. There is no need for immediate action but will need to be reviewed

10. To approve 3-year strategic budget plan

Emailed in advance of the meeting and hard copy tabled, the 3-year budget has been discussed, in detail, by the F&R Committee but must be formalised at the FGB. Mr. Monk talked governors through the budget report and explained that the current surplus of £132, 065 would be reduced to a projected surplus of £64,806k by the end of 2017/18 due to planned spending on current projects and the built-in 5% contingency. Mr. Monk further clarified the figures to help those not on the committee to understand the projected amounts. Factoring in planned purchases and known staff changes, the projected surplus is a great position to be in. The committee recommend this 3-year plan to the FGB for formal adoption and submission to HCC. The plan was proposed, seconded and all agreed, with no abstentions, that it be submitted by the deadline. Mr. Monk will liaise with Mrs. Arscott for it to be signed.

11. To approve expenditure in excess of 10k for a school minibus

Mr. Marchetti was commended for his negotiating skills as he secured a discount of £1000 off the price of the new minibus, which has been ordered, at the sum of £17k. It is being delivered on 6th June. Governors were asked if they would be interested in becoming a driver and attend the necessary training; Mr. Marchetti and Mrs. Weatherdon expressed their interest.

A governor asked if it would be shared with the Infant School and/or Colbury Church. It is possible to add others to the licence but it would involve a small fee, which may need to be covered by those who wish to use it. A governor asked if they would be covered under the insurance. Mr. Shore will check with the insurance company.

ACTION: Mr. Shore

The minibus has been ordered but as the delegated authority to the Headteacher is capped at £10k, needs formal approval from the FGB. It had already been discussed, at length at both FGB and F&R meetings and agreement given, this approval is a formality. The authorisation to purchase was proposed, seconded and all agreed, with no abstentions.  Mr. Shore has received an offer from a parent to service the new vehicle. He will write, to thank him and to accept his offer of assistance.

ACTION: Mr. Shore

As Mr. Shore will be in France with Year 6, when the minibus is delivered, he will arrange for someone to accept delivery in his absence.

ACTION: Mr. Shore

12. Report on meeting re the Yellow Bus 4th May 2016

The meeting took place between interested parties i.e. Mrs. Turvey (Hounsdown School), Mr. Shore and Mrs Arscott (Foxhills Junior) Mrs. Howe Foxhills Infant, Steve Hobbs (first Bus) and Colin Wright (HCC).  First Bus were adamant that the service could only run if every seat was full, and paid for in advance.  There would not be a ‘pay as you go’ facility, though given the bus was full, children could travel either mornings or afternoons. Mrs. Arscott outlined the content of a letter sent to parents, which included a link/opportunity for further information for parents who might think could be eligible for assistance with fares. In future, the fares will be paid termly, in advance and places booked.

A governor asked what happens if there are five or six places short to fill a bus. The school cannot subsidise any shortfall. The agreement will be directly between the bus company and the parent. Mr. Shore suggested that there could be the possibility of running a minibus service to ‘mop up,’ if necessary, as it would only need a few journeys to pay for the fuel.

13. To establish actions arising from the SE+ summary

See SE + summary circulated with the agenda pack, particularly the Areas for Improvement.  Mrs Arscott said there were not any surprises in the GB section.  All governors will need to contribute in order to improve our rating  however in many areas the GB performance is good. 

Although the school has signed up to a trial (at a discounted rate) and has found it an interesting exercise, the Headteacher is not convinced that it has provided any new information. It was anticipated that it would produce an action plan but it has failed to do that so far. Another wave will be released in September and that may be of more use but for the time being, it is not generating enough value for the school. Governors commented that they thought it might be a useful tool to avoid things being missed and it may be of use to new governors. Questionnaires were completed by the children, parents, governors and staff and fed into the system – Mr. Shore is uncertain of the impact of that so far. A governor asked how many parents responded. 41. Governors were surprised at the low response.

14. Governor Training and reports

The following reports were sent out with the agenda papers: The Prevent Duty and Strategic Finance.

The concept of British Values has been introduced to the children via an assembly and asked where, in the CLEAR values, links could be forged.

On the Strategic Finance course, everyone wanted to know more about surpluses and deficits. It was established that 5% was an acceptable figure for contingency and mechanisms were in place so that HCC can claw back from schools that are holding on to money unnecessarily. The Headteacher commented quoting Union advice as many Headteachers are living with budgets in deficit.

15. Pupil Voice report

Mr. White’s report was included in the agenda pack and he explained that he really enjoyed attending the Pupil Voice meetings. He also reported that the recent obstacle race went very well, run by Mrs. Normington, with the children all helping each other. A governor asked if there was evidence that could be added to the achievement portfolio. Mr. Shore agreed to check for photos, including those taken by the Echo on the day.

ACTION: Mr. Shore

Mr. White was thanked for his comprehensive report.

16. Short report on HCC meeting re government paper ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere,’ and Formula Funding changes

Everything seems to have changed again, since the meeting that was attended by Mr. Shore, Mrs Arscott and Mrs. Cooper. Educational Excellence Everywhere refers to the document produced by the Government, recommending all schools convert to academies. Governor questions/comments:

  • Is there was a chance of ‘academisation by stealth?’

Given that the paper states there will no longer be parent governors, can parents be co-opted as governors?

  • What would the impact be on the governing body e.g. what role would parent governors have if appointments were made based on a skills audit, when they may well have a lesser range of appropriate skills? 
  • Governing bodies could be smaller but there is a risk. Fewer  people joining and could make the GBs more insular
  • Governors are volunteers; academy GBs have different responsibilities

New Formula Funding

HCC are the third lowest funded Authority in the country, with a typical funding per pupil of £5k – London’s is £12k – however, Hampshire is one of the top performing Authorities in the country. Further information is available via a roadshow, the details of which were recently emailed.

17. Any other business

a) A confidential item was discussed and there is a separate, confidential minute for this item.

b) Ashurst fete will be held on Saturday 10th September. Volunteers will be needed to man the burger stall. All governors welcome. Please let Mrs. Datlen know if you are able to attend.

c) The clerk will be asked to send Mrs. Weatherdon a contact list of governors and the glossary of terms. Her log in details will be sent by Hampshire Governor Services.

18. Statement of impact of this meeting on school improvement

  • Item 6.  LLP report
  • Item 9. Funds allocated for minibus and MUGA.  Forward Strategy group to meet to discuss allocation of funds
  • Item 10.  Approval of 3 year budget
  • Item 11.  Approval of expenditure >10k for minibus
  • Item 12.  Agreement on strategy to retain the Yellow Bus.  This will be dependent on parental uptake.
  • Item 13.  Analysis of GB section of SE +, and actions to be taken.
  • Item 14. Training reports on Prevent and Strategic Finance. Review of British Values statement for school website
  • Item 15.  Report on governor participation in Pupil Voice ref. CLEAR statement of values.

 

Thanking all for attending, the meeting ended at 8pm

 

Next meeting dates:

FGB:  Monday 4th July 2016, 4:30pm;

CLA: Friday 10th June 2016, 9am – to be confirmed

F&R: TBC