Meeting 1 - 3rd October 2016
Minutes of the Full Governing Body
FOXHILLS JUNIOR SCHOOL
Held on Monday 3rd October 2016 – commenced 6:00pm
Present: Mrs. Arscott – Local Authority Governor and Chair
Mrs. Thornley – Co-opted Governor and Vice Chair
Mr. Shore – Headteacher
Mrs. Datlen - Co-opted plus Development and Training Governor
Ms. Scevity – Co-opted Governor
Dr. Wiley – Co-opted Governor
Mr. White – Co-opted Governor
Mrs. Baker – Parent Governor
Mrs. Weatherdon – Parent Governor
Apologies: Mr. Monk - Co-opted Governor
Mr. Marchetti – Co-opted Governor
Miss Sired – Staff Governor
In attendance: Mrs. Dulieu – Clerk
Signed: A. Arscott Date: 29/11/16
- Apologies were received and accepted from Mr. Monk, Mr. Marchetti and Miss Sired. The clerk confirmed that the meeting was quorate.
2. Declaration of pecuniary interests
Completed forms were returned to the clerk by most of those in attendance. Interests declared included those of staff employed at the school, a Treasurer of a Preschool charity and a member of the local Parish Council. The clerk will chase the return of the remaining forms.
3. Minutes of last meeting, 4th July 2016
With minor amendments to typos, the minutes of the last meeting were proposed, seconded and all agreed that they were a true record.
6:03pm Mrs. Weatherdon arrived
4. Matters arising
a) Item 9, Minutes of 04/07/16 – Hays package Governor access
Mr. Shore was unsure whether the package would be appropriate for Governor use as it’s designed as a staff safeguarding training package. Mrs. Arscott will obtain a user ID from Mrs. Cooper and trial it on behalf of the Board, to check its suitability.
ACTION: Mrs. Arscott
b) Update on action points. The action point list was updated with the following noted:
7. Gazebo purchased for use at Ashurst and Colbury fete. A wet day was had by all that attended! Only 200 burgers were sold on the day but Brian Pass, from Longdown Dairy Farm, has purchased the leftovers and paid around £60 to the Friends of Foxhills. The burgers are being kept by Mrs. Arscott and will be used at the Foxy Fireworks event. Mrs. Arscott has written to thank Mr. Pass for his generosity.
5. To consider membership of the Governing Body
Mr. Fillis, has decided to step down as a governor. He has moved house into Totton, but would like to continue coming into school. Mrs. Arscott has written to him, thanking him for his contribution and long service (it is thought that he has been a governor for approximately 25 years – post meeting note – Governor Services confirmed that Mr. Fillis received a 20-year long service as well as an Outstanding Service award in January 2015) and would like to organise a small tea party to wish him farewell. . Mrs. Datlen will organise the tea, with Mrs. Arscott and Mr. Shore.
ACTION: Mrs. Datlen/Mrs. Arscott/Mr. Shore
This leaves a second vacancy for a co-opted governor. The Board discussed the options of appointing replacements or reducing the size of the GB by reconstitution. Governors considered that there would be an increase in workload per head if the Board reduced in number and were concerned that people would be unable to absorb the additional work. A governor asked if the right people with the desired skills were in place. There is currently a gap in the Finance skills area.
It is recommended that potential governors should be interviewed now and approaching local businesses was also suggested. There is no replacement for Revd. Paul Holley as vicar of Colbury in place as yet; perhaps when the new Vicar arrives, they can be approached. Eventually, it was agreed that an editorial on the role of governors (directing attention to skills required) should be placed in the Ashurst Parish Magazine, to increase interest and that advertising should be looked into.
ACTION: Mrs. Datlen/Mrs. Arscott
The majority of pupils come from the Totton side of the catchment area so advertising in that area should be explored. The clerk explained the desirability of a variety of people serving on a GB, for their varying skills, biases and views, and the old guidance of a maximum of a third for parent, co-opted and staff governors. Mrs. Thornley and the two parent governors have children in school at present. And Dr. Wiley’s son joins next September, so the parent third is already almost at capacity. All agreed that the current size should remain unchanged and recruitment of new governors, preferably without a direct connection to school, should be attempted.
Concern was also raised regarding membership of the Finance and Resources Committee. There are currently five governors serving on this committee and, with a quorum of three (preferably excluding the Headteacher), availability could be an issue at meetings; for example, Mr. Monk, current Chair of the committee, has been unable to make as many meetings recently due to work pressures. Mrs. Arscott is the Safeguarding Governor and, following a recent Ofsted of a local school where governors were grilled on Safeguarding, it would be prudent to have more governors trained in this area. Mrs. Weatherdon is currently shadowing Mrs. Arscott but will need to undertake the various safeguarding courses. Mrs. Baker has indicated that she will not be standing for a further term when hers ends in December so there will need to be a Parent Governor election in November. This will allow the process to conclude in time for a new appointment to commence on 1st January 2017.
6. To adopt/review the following for the Academic Year 2016-17:
a) Manual of Personnel Practice and Procedure (MoPP)
Mrs. Arscott explained the purpose and outlined examples of the content in the MoPP, for the benefit of those governors unfamiliar with the Manual, adding that it was also negotiated with Unions.
b) Standing Orders for the Board of Governors (included in agenda pack)
Updated last year, the content remains valid. The clerk agreed to check the document for punctuation errors and to update TLG to DTG, in line with changes to the title of the Training Governor.
c) Statement of Financial Expectations
As with the MoPP, this document is the Finance version of the practice and procedures.
d) Access Policy (sent by email in advance of the meeting)
This Policy has been agreed by all three schools on site and adopted by the Infant School Governors. Common to the whole campus, the only changes were to blue badge holders’ access times and the removal of ‘failure to comply’ within the body of the document. A separate section on revoking access permits has been added. A governor asked how many blue badge holders drove on to the site. Four in the Junior School, one in Preschool and the Infant School number is unknown.
With the minor amendments detailed above, all were individually proposed, seconded and all agreed that they be adopted, with none against and no abstentions.
7. SATs results
Emailed with the Access Policy, in advance of the meeting, the document showed three tables and an explanation showing the results of the last cohort that left in July. The Headteacher explained that they were a lower attaining cohort than the previous year who attained slightly higher results than those anticipated. The staff were delighted with the outcome, although disappointed with the Reading results, which lowered the final score. Two papers’ results were queried, one upheld and the other rejected. The appeal board would not accept ‘spooky’ as a synonym for ‘creepy.’ This changed the combined Reading, Writing, and Maths outcome to 57%, where HCC were at 59% and nationally 53%. The Headteacher was satisfied with this result.
It was noted that there was diversity in the results published by some other schools, who scored around 50% passes in exam-assessed Maths and Grammar, yet 90% in Writing that is teacher assessed. Foxhills felt it remained in their interests to assess children as accurately as possible to give a clear view of expectations. The DfE say that they are not going to change the tests. It was noted that children next year are likely to be better prepared for the tests nationally (for example, expecting what are perceived to be ‘trick’ questions).
The Reading result showed 62% met ARE – nine points under the Hampshire average and four points under national average. A Reading Plan has already been prepared and shared. Mr. White and Mrs. Weatherdon, as Literacy Link Governors, will monitor progress against this going forward. It was noted that there were areas in which the children could have been more prepared for the reading test. For example, it exposes children to different styles of text and this year there was an article from The Independent in the exam. Staff will be monitoring the new Year 6 cohort carefully in the coming year and issues will be flagged early through use of Target Tracker.
RAISEonline data (expected to be available late October 2016) will be generated from the DfE performance tables and will benchmark the scores nationally. Mrs. Cooper will manually prepare a local comparison, much as she prepares the financial benchmarking data.
Dr. Wiley, responsible for looking at data for the governors, commented that he had reviewed the FFT and DfE summary data published so far and this had been discussed with the Headteacher and CoG. The reading test in particular had unusual results nationally with a very low raw score required to meet ARE (much lower than the other subjects). He observed that this may suggest the test was generally not a good assessment of reading standards and the pass mark had to be decreased to compensate for unexpectedly poor performance. Interestingly the school had a high proportion of high performers (by comparison to the other subjects). The results were consistent with the Headteacher’s feedback earlier in the year that many children were disrupted by the nature of the test, with several having to leave the classroom.
Dr. Wiley presented a written summary of his observations to the other governors, noting that this will be expanded once RAISEonline data is available and discussed at greater length at the next CLA meeting.
A governor asked about the current Year 3’s attainment on coming up to the school. They were all given the SATs papers to re-sit and Mr. Shore is working very closely with the new Headteacher in Foxhills Infants. The children have come up with all their phonics papers, and questions analysis is being carried out to identify gaps in teaching and understanding. 66% of the children were marked as A.R.E. at KS1.
8. Verbal report from the Headteacher
A confidential item was discussed and there is a separate, confidential minute for this item.
Two LSAs (one, an ex-teacher) have been employed in Year 3 to ensure that the target of every Year 3 child being able to read by the end of the year is achievable. Some children still struggle by Year 6 and Mr. Shore is in discussions with Lucy Howe, Headteacher of Foxhills Infant School, regarding their Year 2s’ reading strategies.
SDP – Priorities for AUTUMN 2016
Autumn term priorities include the Assessment Policy, Reading, spelling, Closing the Gap (Becky Lovell is delivering interventions in Year 6) and evaluating the effectiveness of SE +.
Admission for September 2017
There is an increased number (five) of parent days planned – 19th October 2016 (2pm), 8th Nov (2pm), 9th Nov (2pm), 17th November 2016 (9:00am) and 22nd Nov (2pm). There will also be an open afternoon on Friday 11th November (1:30pm) where Maths and Science activities will be conducted by all year groups to show progression across the school. Year 2 parents will be invited to this. All welcome to any of these dates.
- Next stage of classes decorated in Year 3, 5, Drama room and hall
- Canopies: One up, one to go
- Front entrance canopy being explored – some nice designs to choose from
- Outside environment classroom: Waiting for spring term to order
- Garden – Completed but amendments being made in half term to raise the beds
- MUGA – planning approved. £68k quote. New £50k to £55k budget. Start date anticipated for next summer. 7 contractors are tendering for the work
Any other issues
- One complaint at stage 3 which may go to a complaints panel
- Yellow Bus cessation has had no dire impact. The level of parents at the gate, meeting children, has calmed and Year 5 children are turning 10 and walking home alone. Attendance has improved with fewer children late; parking appears to be no worse although there may be more cars further along Knellers Lane now.
- Walktober Wednesday starts this week with Basil the Bird meeting children at the Recreation Ground in Whartons Lane and walking into school.
- A governor asked about site security improvements. New, 1.8m high fences will be installed across the front of the playground near the bike sheds to include a new gate. Portuguese Laurel will be planted in front of the current Year 5 classes to the school office. This grows densely and will close off the front of the school. A higher fence may be possible between the gate to the Infant School and the staff room which would secure the school from the front.
The Headteacher was thanked for his report.
9. Review of GB’s work for 2015/16 and Priorities for 2016/17
Mrs. Arscott keeps a record of work that the GB carries out over the course of the year, which includes the Governor Newsletter to parents and points noted in the Impact Statement at the end of all minutes. She has created a Statement of Achievement for the last year, which highlighted the need for further governors to be trained in the Prevent, Child Protection and Safeguarding roles. The issue with this is that most of the training available at present involves travelling a fair distance. The GB has developed its expertise for data interpretation with Dr. Wiley but this needs a backup, possibly by one of the new governors who are yet to be appointed. Learning Walk dates will be organised for the year and will be agreed with Mrs. Bristow. Pupil Voice has been attended by Mr. White, who has reported back to the GB. The Pupil Voice representatives have been appointed in class today; Helen Normington leads this and will be in touch with Mr. White to arrange the first meeting. Mrs. Thornley wishes to continue her link with Pupil Voice too. The SEF has been streamlined, with thirteen points instead of the previous twenty six.
10. To consider the committee structure for 2016/17
Included in the agenda pack was the committee membership structure and membership that had been agreed last year. The Chair asked governors if they were happy with the current set up and membership of committees. All agreed that they were. The Finance and Resources Committee needs further members as it is only just quorate plus the Headteacher. The clerk explained that ideally, there should be three governors plus Mr. Shore at any meeting although he does count towards the quorum. Mr. White volunteered to join the committee and was thanked.
The Children’s Learning and Achievement Committee have discussed appointing a Science Link Governor and there are two governors sharing the Literacy Link role. Governors discussed the role of Literacy Link and the temporary lack of a staff Subject Lead. It was agreed that Mrs. Datlen will work with Mrs. Weatherdon on Literacy, as it is such a large subject area, and Mr. White volunteered to take on Science. Miss Sired and Miss English are leading Science in school. Mrs. Thornley will continue with the SEN Link; Ms Scevity has tried to liaise with John to organise a walk around the school for H&S but he has been unavailable so far. Governor Services show Ms Scevity as having attended H&S training in Cosham on 20th September but she had not received any confirmation and did not attend. Mrs. Datlen will contact Governor Services about this error. It was noted that there are notes on the GS website with regard to H&S.
ACTION: Mrs. Datlen
The Headteacher Performance Management committee consists of Mrs. Arscott, Dr. Wiley and Mrs. Baker. One of the new co-opted governors will be invited to join when Mrs. Baker finishes her term. Mr. Monk is organising a meeting of the Pay Committee.
The grievances, appeals and disciplinary procedures committee memberships remain unnamed as each situation will depend on prior knowledge of individual cases. Staff are not able to form part of some committees. The reciprocal agreement with Bartley School Governors will be due for review in March, the process for which started last January. Governors unanimously agreed to continue the arrangement now, to bring the review in line with the other Autumn responsibilities. Mrs. Arscott will write to Bartley to check that they are in agreement. Mr. White expressed an interest in being involved with this area due to his experience in this field.
The Safeguarding Audit must be completed by 31st October. Mrs. Arscott is working on this with Mr. Shore, with Mrs. Weatherdon shadowing Mrs. Arscott. As so much work was put into this last year, they will be starting at the end and working backwards.
ACTION: Mrs. Arscott/Mr. Shore
Mrs. Arscott is meeting Mrs. Cooper on Thursday to check the DBS register etc. in school.
Mrs. Dulieu informed governors that she is currently seeking to change jobs and would very likely be leaving. She would give as much notice as possible. Governors appreciated the notice and would consider their steps to appoint a new clerk when the time comes.
11. School Travel Team report
The notes of the meeting were included in the agenda pack.
- A productive meeting, Mrs. Arscott reported that the Colbury Hall car park would not be available for parent parking due to the access in and out being considered unsafe
- It is hoped that the Walktober walk, From Whartons Lane park would encourage parking further away from school
- More people are walking or cycling to school – possibly a knock-on effect of the bus service stopping
- Hounsdown will continue their bus service for this term but it is likely to stop after that. Governors briefly discussed bus subsidies
- A confidential item was discussed and there is a separate, confidential minute for this item
- The Community Police have been very helpful and supportive regarding parking on double yellow lines and the zig zags but have other schools to cover. If registration numbers and photographs are taken of offenders, clearly showing the offence, the police will visit them. The double yellow lines in Foxhills are there to provide passing places but are sometimes ignored. Governors thought that the Gate Warden taking photographs could be confrontational but anyone can take pictures and send them into school. The newsletter still records registration numbers of those causing issues with parking. Governors briefly discussed the legality of inconsiderate parking outside residents’ homes, over dropped kerbs etc.
12. Governor Training
The new Governor Services (GS) booklet has been emailed to everyone but Mrs. Datlen has noticed a decline in bookings since this has gone electronic. She noted that there was no Prevent training available until 2017 and recommended that all governors attend when possible. Child Protection courses are fully booked but there is Safeguarding e-learning available on the GS website – nine modules plus a safeguarding one – which are worth doing. Mrs. Datlen passed certificates to the clerk for filing of e-learning courses she has recently completed. At the last meeting, all governors were requested to book at least one course each; no requests have been received as yet. Dr. Wiley has completed two. Mrs. Datlen acknowledged that many courses were outside the area but Ofsted look at the training that a GB has undertaken as proof of development and training feedback forms are the best way to evidence attendance and that information has been shared.
The WGBT Training will be on Understanding the Primary Curriculum; not the full course but GS are putting one together for the GB. The date is provisionally 16th January 2017, 7-9pm but will be confirmed nearer the time.
The Governor Forums are being held in Winchester or Foxhills now. The next one is 28th February in school, from 7-9pm. The hall is a business letting to GS. Mrs. Datlen explained what was involved and encouraged governors to attend if possible.
Online safety in schools is the latest focus and details are in the last bulletin.
The clerk is booked on the Clerks’ Support meeting to be held in Lyndhurst on 22nd November.
A Special Schools’ conference is being held on 9th November from 9:30-3:30 and governors should contact Mrs. Datlen if they are able to attend.
13. Any other business
a) Governors were thanked for their feedback on the school website, which has highlighted a few gaps
b) Congratulations to the Preschool for completing their extension. Mrs. Thornley is very pleased and told governors that although the outside is still to be finished, it has had a big impact already as interventions and Speech and Language Therapy have already started.
c) Copythorne School has recently had a one-day Ofsted inspection which took place on their planned Transition Day. The report is online for anyone who would like to read it
d). The NFNPA Planning Department asked local land owners to put forward sites for potential building development and a field opposite the park in Whartons Lane, which has a short common boundary with the Foxhills Campus has been allocated for this purpose. It is anticipated that there will be around 50 units, each of 100sq m each. The Parish Council plan an information evening for local residents. The development will not impact on the school, and will not be commenting on the plans. Local plans are available on the NFNPA website and comments may be posted to the New Forest Park Authority.
Update The Parish Council information evening will be held in the school hall on Tuesday 8th November at 7.30 pm. It will be made clear that hosting this event does not imply the school either supports or objects to the proposals.
e) A governor asked that the action point list be emailed out with the minutes, following a meeting. The clerk thought that she already did that but will make sure that it happens in the future
15. Statement of impact of this meeting on school improvement
- Item 5. Plans to target new governor recruitment to ensure GB has the appropriate range of skills
- Item 7. Review of SATS data by the data governor and HT to ensure all governors understand the outcomes
- Item 9. Review of GB’s impact in 2015/16 and establishing priorities for 2016/17. These include filling gaps identified in the skills audit, notably financial/accounting experience, and safeguarding/child protection.
- Item 10. Review of committee structure to ensure the GB can efficiently carry out its business
- Item 11. Report from the Foxhills Campus Travel Team
- Item 12. Highlighting training needs
Thanking all for attending, the meeting ended at 8:13 pm
Next meeting dates:
FGB - Tuesday 29th Nov, Monday 30th Jan, Tuesday 14th March, Monday 15th May, Tuesday 4th July.
Monday meetings start at 6:00pm; Tuesdays at 4:30pm
CLA – 11th November, 3rd March, 9th June; Fridays at 9:00am
F&R - 4th November, 13th January, 10th March, 5th May; Fridays at 12:30 pm