Meeting 01 1st October 2012
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 minutes of the meeting of 10th July were proposed, seconded and all agreed that they were a true record of the 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
- The action point list was updated –
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
- A meeting was held with the Infant School with regard to access to the campus followed by extensive correspondence over the summer between the two Chairs of Governors. Concern over the recent near-miss incidents resulted in an addition to the access policy that permits will be revoked if parents are considered to be driving dangerously on site - the policy will be discussed under item 11 of this agenda. Governors of the two schools have worked well together on this and all wish to continue the partnership.
- The Chair and Vice Chair terms of office were agreed to run for two years so Ann Arscott and Don Monk will continue until next Autumn – all agreed.
- Anne Marie Datlen is currently the Training Liaison Governor (TLG) and happy to continue – all agreed.
- It was suggested that instead of a dedicated Governor Forum Representative who attends all forums, a ‘liaison’ governor be appointed for correspondence purposes, then whoever is available may attend future events. Anne Marie Datlen volunteered and all agreed.
- Safer Recruitment Governors complete a course and receive a certificate that is held in school. Ann Arscott, Don Monk and Andrew Shore have completed the training but it would be useful to have more governors trained. It may be possible to do it online but the next course is March 2013 at the Holiday Inn, Winchester. The TLG will email dates of the course to the clerk for distribution; would governors contact the TLG if they can attend.
Action Point: TLG, Clerk and Governors
- Committees – there will be three new Parent Governors joining from January and there will be discussions with Andrew Shore on committee structure; so it was agreed that the current structure remain until the new governors are appointed and decisions made on how to move forward. All agreed.
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:
- Ofsted will be looking at the progress of vulnerable groups within the schools. Data shows that Foxhills has 1% of pupils as English with an Additional Language (EAL). This would not be regarded as a significant group as, because it is so small, it would be difficult to make a National comparison.
- Percentage of pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) – 4%, the national average is approximately 18-20%
- Percentage of pupils achieving level 4 in English and Maths – 73%, the floor target being 60%. This means that 27% of pupils didn’t achieve level 4 which is the national expectation for Y6 pupils.
- Percentage that achieved a level 4 in English – 84%
- Percentage that achieved a level 4 in Maths – 76%
- Level 5 data for English and Maths – 25% but there was the potential to reach 31%
- Percentage that achieved a level 5 in English – 31%
- Percentage that achieved a level 5 in Maths – 39%
- Progress measures from Key Stage (KS) 1 to KS2 where pupils are expected to achieve 2 levels higher than entry by end of KS2:
- Percentage of pupils in higher attainment band who made 2 levels of progress in English – 69%
- Percentage of pupils in higher attainment band who made 2 levels of progress in Maths – 100%
- Percentage of pupils in lower attainment band who made 2 levels of progress in English – 85%
- Percentage of pupils in higher attainment band who made 2 levels of progress in Maths – 62%
The children who entered Foxhills Junior as high attainers didn’t do so well, but the low attainers made really good progress.
- The percentage of pupils in receipt of free school meals (FSM) – 16%, slightly lower than the national average
- 50% of FSM children attained a level 4 in English and Maths – Ofsted would want to see how the school is addressing this
- The school must account for the allocation of the Pupil Premium funds which is paid to the school to support more vulnerable pupils
- Percentage of pupils achieving level 4 in English and Maths - mid-attainment – 74%
- Level 5 high attainers in English and Maths – 65%
- 36% of pupils joined this school in the high attainment band so only 65% of that 36% made 2 levels of progress between KS1 and KS2
- 74% of medium attainers achieved a level 4
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:
- The Government set out to reform the school funding system so that it is fairer, simpler, more consistent and transparent, wanting funding intended for education to reach schools and the pupils that need it most. It believes that good, popular schools should find it easier to expand in response to demand from parents and that school leaders should have greater certainty over their budgets so they can plan ahead.
- To achieve this they will introduce a national funding formula in the next Spending Review period which will ensure that schools in similar circumstances and with similar intakes receive similar levels of funding.
- Timescales have been very short - 26/3/12 being the first announcement with consultations following. Councils must submit for approval by 31st October. Implements from April 2013. Budget shares for schools Feb or early March 2013.
- There will be three blocks of funding for: Early Years, Mainstream and Other.
- The old 30 point factors permissible factors for the local formula condensed to just 12.
- Full delegation of budget responsibility to the school with three exceptions – 1. Where schools agree to de-delegate funding. 2. Historic commitments. 3. To fund the statutory functions of the Authority.
- De-delegation is possible for: contingencies, licences, ethnic minority and traveller achievement service, behaviour support teams, special staffing costs and teacher conferences.
- There will be a limit to local discretionary funding.
- A restriction between winners and losers of these changes for the next two years – no more than 1.5% per pupil if gaining and 1.2% per pupil for losses.
- A new 1-page budget, much simpler than the current system, and schools will be able to model the impact in advance of the changes.
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:
- The front sign should be changed to ‘vehicular access by permit only for the safety of the children’ rather than give times that parents may drive into school.
- Inconsiderate parking should be dealt with by a formal warning, which should be recorded against the registration number, in writing and given to the driver or put under the windscreen – it was noted that this could include staff and may be delicate.
- Check if the rules guidance was distributed to permit holders at the beginning of term – Mr. Shore will speak to Mrs. Knight in the school office.
Action Point: Mr. Shore
- There was a request for re-painting the road markings last term but this has not yet happened. Mrs. Arscott will check with Ms De Souza on progress.
Action Point: Mrs. Arscott
- Drivers ignore the cones placed out on the zigzag lines and even nudge them with their bumpers. The Gate Warden has had drivers laughing in her face and shouting at her.
- A survey by the Junior School Road Safety Officers made drivers uncomfortable in the past as children were observing them – this can be repeated.
- After the recent accident, the school considered closing the campus but that would disadvantage some children. Governors were asked for their thoughts on this.
- Only a small number of parents need to drive in to school, it is the abuse that is the problem.
- It is uncertain how many permits have been issued by the Infant School this year – Mrs. Arscott will check with Paul Quarenden, Chair of Infant Governors.
Action Point: Mrs. Arscott
- A governor asked what the protocol was for governors driving into the grounds for early morning meetings. The school invite governors in for those meetings and so Mr. Shore will organise passes to be issued to governors.
Action Point: Mr. Shore
- The Headteacher will write the warning letter, in cooperation with Chairs of Infant and Junior school Governors, to be used as soon as possible.
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.
- The new form for applications for a leave of absence was circulated to governors and has been implemented. Governors thought it expressed the process well and parents can see why holidays have been refused. The Headteacher has set out clear criteria for approval of school absences and has received positive feedback from parents.
- The INSET days have been changed for this academic year to bring them into line with the other local schools as a result of a recent cluster meeting. Eling, Abbotswood and Foxhills Infants have taken the last two days of the summer term as INSET days as they expect a high number of pupils to not attend that week and agreed that it would be beneficial to make them INSET days. Abbotswood have agreed with their staff and governors to offset those days for twilight sessions throughout the year. The Headteacher asked governors for their agreement to do the same as 12 hours over the course of a year would give six 2-hour sessions which he considered to be more effective than two full days at the end of the year. The staff have agreed as they will be preparing their class rooms for the next year and would not value training at that late stage. The children would end school on Friday 19th July. Governors agreed that it would be far more productive to have training sessions when they were needed and of no use at the end of term. Parents have been informed and there has been no comeback. All agreed. The Headteacher thanked governors for their support in this matter.
- The FJSA are holding their Fireworks event on 9th November and governors are asked to help if possible on the night. The clerk will email the latest minutes and details of the planning meetings to governors.
Action Point: Clerk
- The school Winter Fayre will be held on 14th December.
- The Ashurst and Colbury Fete was a success again this year. Thanks went to Don Monk, Alan Gray, John Morris and his daughter, Sophie for helping to set up. The school has been given a cheque by the Ashurst Co Op again this year totalling £76. This will be given to the School Council who will decide how to spend it.
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.