Minutes of Full Board of Governors
FOXHILLS JUNIOR SCHOOL
Held on Monday 1st October 2012 - commenced 7pm
Present: Mrs. Arscott – Chair
Mr. Shore – Headteacher
Mr. Fillis – LEA Governor
Mr. Thomas – LEA Governor
Mr. Morris- Community Governor
Mr. Monk - Parent Governor
Mr. Gray – Parent Governor
Mrs. Turner – Parent Governor
Ms. Scevity – Parent Governor
Mrs. Reader – Staff Governor
Mrs. Thomson – Staff Governor
Mrs. Datlen - Staff Governor & Training Liaison
Apologies: Mrs. Armitage-Smith – Parent Governor
In Attendance: Mrs. Dulieu – Clerk
Signed: A. Arscott Date: 27/11/12
Apologies were received and accepted from Mrs. Armitage-Smith. The clerk confirmed that the meeting was quorate.2. Declaration of pecuniary interests
None were declared for this agenda. Governors returned their forms for this academic year.3. Minutes of last meeting
The minute of 4th September to agree to the change of signatories on the school bank account were proposed, seconded and all agreed that they were a true record.
4. Matters arising
Governors agreed on a password for documents emailed in the future.
Both Don Monk and Ann Arscott are now certificated Safer Recruitment governors.
The clerk will pass a list of governors that have completed the safeguarding training to Andrew Shore.
Action Point: Clerk
Action Point: TLG, Clerk and Governors
Action Point: Clerk to distribute committee list with named Chairs6. SATs results for 2011/12
Andrew Shore distributed a document produced by the DfE giving a breakdown of the last Year 6’s SATs results which won’t be ratified until the publication of the RAISEonline statistics due in November this year.
Mr. Shore explained the key points and invited questions:
The children who entered Foxhills Junior as high attainers didn’t do so well, but the low attainers made really good progress.
The school has purchased a new tracking system that will enable the Headteacher and teachers to focus on those in need of extra help in achieving at the correct level. These figures are just indicators and show the Y6 cohort who have just left the school, however, having looked at last year’s RAISEonline results, there were some concerns regarding the medium attainers then.
A governor asked if there were any significant differences in this cohort. The Headteacher explained that he had not had a chance as yet to fully analyse the results, but as SEN is fairly low, it is imperative that he look at children moving through the school now so that these issues are signposted earlier.
A governor asked what was meant by non-mobile pupils. The Headteacher explained that this is the turnover of pupils from KS1 to KS2 and shows that 89% of pupils in Foxhills Juniors remain the same from beginning to end.
Governors asked how confident the school is in the accuracy of the KS1 results. The Headteacher responded that there is moderation between the schools and KS1 teachers collaborate with Year 3 teachers giving samples of work. The new Headteacher of the Infant School is very aware of how results affect KS2, having worked in a Primary school before. The Headteacher stated that the school has to work with the data, no matter its accuracy, as the school’s success and results are measured against them. Headteachers at both schools are discussing how this can best be managed. A Staff Governor explained that the children are re-tested on entry into Y3 with the same SATs paper as an indicator, much as they do in secondary school. A governor asked how the children react to the re-test. A staff governor explained that the children just take it in their stride. The Headteacher commented that there are many successful junior schools who inherit their KS1 results and it’s his intention that Foxhills be among them.
A governor asked the staff if the figures reflected their experience of the children and whether they were happy with their progress through the school. A Staff Governor commented that the results showed insufficient progress but, reading is good (at 81%), writing needs extra work (at 64%, giving an average of 76%) and this is being addressed.
A governor commented that the Maths results were good and asked if there was a significant difference between boys and girls. The Headteacher noted that there is nationally. The high attainers need more attention which will come from redesigning the curriculum to engage children – that’s where curriculum development comes in.
A staff governor noted that the results were still above average although there was room for improvement and the Learning and Leadership Partner (LLP) considers this a good school.
The Headteacher was asked how he was going to work differently. Results are consistently around the 70% for level 4 in English and Maths. Through use of the new tracking system and termly pupil progress meetings between Head and individual Teachers, the school will begin targeting those children who are not on course to achieve a level 4 in either subject. Last year there was the potential to achieve 76% if specific children had been targeted.
Governors thanked the Headteacher and look forward to hearing more in November.
7. To receive a report on Funding in Hampshire Schools briefing
Mr. Monk attended the recent briefing. He distributed his summary of the regulations (see attached) and highlighted the key points:
A governor asked if the Pupil Premium would be graduated by age group, but this is not yet known. Funding will be higher for Early Years and KS3/4 is different again. With the potential to model this new budgetary arrangement now, it would be a useful exercise to know what the school may be heading for as it will affect the budget from April 2013.
Governors were most impressed with this comprehensive report and thanked Mr. Monk. This new system is not something that governors need to adopt – it is just going to be implemented.
8. Report on the Annual Conference of Governors
The report was distributed with the agenda, but page 2 was missing and distributed at the meeting. The clerk apologised for the photocopying error!
Mrs. Turner and Ms Scevity highlighted key points and invited questions:
The conference was inspirational and covered a variety of issues including understanding how children learn, improving SATs results, Ofsted and the Sutton Trust research.
The Headteacher commented that the Sutton Trust research is huge e.g. school uniform and a good behaviour policy will impact more effectively than changes to the school uniform alone.
Ofsted framework, a subject that was discussed at the last meeting, is also included in the report noting the new bandings and notice given etc. Future inspections will have a greater emphasis on governance.
Mrs. Turner and Ms Scevity were thanked for attending the conference and presenting their comprehensive report.
9. To adopt the Manual of Personnel Practice
This is a standard Hampshire County Council manual of approximately three volumes which governs everything the school does and if it is not adopted then a school’s own version should be written. Its adoption was proposed, seconded and all agreed.
The Headteacher explained that HCC HR in consultation with the legal department recently revised the Performance Management and Capability policy and procedures that run from October to October. The main change is the appraisal process. All Teachers have objectives and must demonstrate evidence to support them. The new regulations restrict observations to a 3 hour limit. Teachers are usually observed three times per year – or more if there are concerns – but this process aims to support Teachers and raise capability. Previously there were 32 standards for Teachers to achieve; this has been reduced to 8 key standards with sub-areas to form part of the appraisal process. Headteachers are able to informally ‘drop-in’ to lessons to get an impression of teaching standards. The new teaching standards were included in the Headteacher’s report at the end of last term. Changes to the Capability process include the removal of the informal stage and now there will be a first warning, followed by a 10-week supportive process of improvement. It had been suggested that governors form a working party to look at this policy in detail, but, if these new procedures are not adopted, it entails writing your own and this must be in place for this term. On this basis, the policy was proposed, seconded and all agreed to adopt it.
10. To adopt the Manual of Financial Practice and Procedure
Much like the MoPP above, this must be formally adopted by the Governing Body annually. It was proposed, seconded and all agreed.
11. To discuss the revised Access to Campus Policy
The policy was distributed at the meeting although it had been previously circulated. It was written five years ago and agreed that it should be revised to include elements of the Gate Warden’s job description and the sentence as advised by the legal department with regard to permits being revoked as a result of dangerous driving. The car park and drive are private property so those driving in without permission are effectively trespassing, although this is obviously not a course that governors are prepared to take. When parents are issued with an access permit, they are given a copy of the rules governing its issue e.g. driving the correct way around the ‘roundabout’ at the front of school and inconsiderate parking etc.
Governors discussed the rules, how people drive around the site and the recent accident involving a parent and a member of staff. It was agreed that:
Action Point: Mr. Shore
Action Point: Mrs. Arscott
Action Point: Mrs. Arscott
Action Point: Mr. Shore
Action Point: Mr. Shore
12. School uniform
The Headteacher has spoken to the children about the current school uniform as they were dressed in an array of colours (blues, greys and black) and wrote to parents who responded that they had bought uniform according to the school policy. There is no separate uniform policy and only guidance held in the school Prospectus which is ambiguous. As it seems to be mainly Year 6 children who wear black jumpers/cardigans, he proposed that the policy be clarified and enforced from next September to have blue as the school colour and has written a Prospectus amendment to this effect.
A governor asked if it would stipulate that they have the school logo. This will not be enforced although it may be possible to ask the manufacturers to produce logos separately that can be sewn or ironed on to clothing to help keep costs down for parents.
Governors agreed to the proposed change and asked that the Headteacher produce a school policy for uniform.
Action Point: Mr. Shore
13. To approve the Safeguarding Report
This report was distributed to governors and the Headteacher explained that it had been simplified from last year and was now down to just 2 sides of A4! It is submitted to County and shows that the school has clear policies, management strategies with regard to safeguarding in place. It was proposed, seconded and agreed by all.
14. Governor training
The TLG reminded governors that all training is included in the sum paid annually to Governor Services and asked that they make use of it as much as possible to keep abreast of new issues and changes. Courses can be booked direct or through Mrs. Datlen. The new Parent Governors’ initial training is free but further courses will be covered by the Full Access training agreement.
The Understanding Finance course is being held on 9th October for those on the Finance Committee – a place will be booked for Ms Scevity. Committee members are asked to attend this course so please book a convenient date as soon as possible.
Mrs. Arscott recently attended the Personnel and Employment Practices course and found it useful.
There has been a change of venue for courses held in Cosham so please check the location before heading out.
Ofsted is the suggested subject for this year’s WGBT which should benefit everyone. The Infant School may be interested in this too and it has not been forgotten that they owe us after the shared session 2 years ago! Mrs. Datlen will contact the Infant School governors before arranging the training.
Action Point: Mrs. Datlen15. Any Other Business
a) Three or four parents have expressed an interest in becoming Parent Governors. Preparations have been made for an election if that proves necessary.
Action Point: Clerk
16. To agree dates of next meetings
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 27th November at 4.30pm. The following dates were proposed for the Spring and Summer terms:
Monday 21st January – 7-9pm
Tuesday 19th March – 4.30-6.30pm (Mr. Thomas gave his apologies for this date)
Monday 20th May – 7-9pm
Tuesday 9th July – 4.30-6.30pm
The date for the WGBT will be booked for some time in the Spring term.
All agreed the dates. The Chair thanked governors and the meeting closed at 9.10pm.