Meeting 6 - 4th July 2017
FOXHILLS JUNIOR SCHOOL
Held on Monday 4th July 2017 – commenced 4:30pm
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
Mrs. Stockbridge – Co-opted Governor
Miss Sired – Staff Governor
Mr. T. Kumar – Parent Governor
Mrs. Weatherdon – Parent Governor
Apologies: Mr. Marchetti – Co-opted Governor
Mr. White – Co-opted Governor
Mr. Cooper – Co-opted Governor
In attendance: Mrs. Dulieu – Clerk
- received and accepted from Mr. Marchetti, Mr. White and Mr. Cooper. The clerk confirmed that the meeting was quorate.
2. Declaration of pecuniary interests
No interests were declared for this agenda.
3. Minutes of last meeting, 15th May 2017
Circulated in advance, the minutes of the last meeting were proposed, seconded and all agreed that they were a true record.
4. Matters arising
a) Update on action points. The action point list was updated with the following noted:
1. Miss Sired stepped down from H&S responsibility. Discharged
2. Mrs. Thornley will meet Miss Sired after the French trip to discuss planning trips in advance and offering parents the option of paying in instalments from Year 3 for residential visits. A letter has gone out to the current Year 4 parents, regarding residentials in Years 5 and 6 for their children, to Mill Rythe and France; there has been a lot of interest shown in both trips – 70 children are interested in Mill Rythe and 40 for France. This is encouraging at this stage. Ongoing
3 & 8. Governors are invited to ‘Strawberries, Scones and Songs’ on Monday 17th July, 11am. Mrs. Arscott, Mrs. Weatherdon, Mrs. Datlen and Mrs. Stockbridge have confirmed their attendance so far. Discharged
4. The school has a backdrop now, which includes a green-screen option. Mr. Shore will organise governor photos to be taken. Ongoing
5. The skills audit is under way. See item 4c of this agenda. Ongoing
6. Mrs. Weatherdon is booked on the Safer Recruitment course in January 2018. Discharged
10. Mr. Shore will send updated CP Policy to Mrs. Dulieu. Ongoing
b) Staff/Governor meeting covered above under point 4 (3&8)
c) Skills Audit
Mrs. Datlen has now received all completed skills audits and will complete the analysis before discussions take place over the summer with Mrs. Arscott. The results will be communicated at the next FGB meeting. Mrs. Dulieu will add an agenda item for this.
ACTION: Mrs. Datlen/Clerk
Governors were thanked for taking the time to complete them.
5. Headteacher’s report
4:39pm Mr. Kumar arrived
The SATs results were released at midnight last night, with Miss Sired looking at them as soon as they came out! Mr. Shore joined her in conversation at around 3am and they have been analysing the data ever since! At this point, there were no national comparisons to be made but this was released at 11am today. They were very pleased to report the following at this date:
Foxhills Foxhills County Nationally
2016 2017 2017 2017
Maths 72% 93% 75% 75%
Reading 59% 85% 76% 71%
- assessed) 73% 83% 80% 76%
Combined 54% 80% 65% 61%
SPaG 69% 80% 77% 77%
These results may change as Miss Sired intends challenging the results of two children’s papers as two children achieved 99 points in Reading.
For those achieving ‘At Greater Depth’ (110+ points), 42% for Reading, 45% for Maths, giving a combined 14% of Year 6 accomplishing this. A governor commented that this is three times last year’s attainment. Further analysis will be conducted on this as Mr. Shore thought that this may be below target.
Progress also appears to be as good:
Maths Nationally: 104 Foxhills: 108.4 (110 = greater depth of knowledge)
Reading Nationally: 104 Foxhills: 107
Update post meeting, 11th July 2017:
The progress measures have just been released by the DfE:
Miss Sired was keen to point out that though last year’s results were not as good as this year’s than this year’s, they were nevertheless good for that cohort.
Other schools in the area appear to have slightly lower combined scores of 61%, 71%, 66% and 63%.
It was noted that PP children appear to have underperformed, when compared to non-PP, but the gap has greatly reduced between those and non-PP children’s results. This data has not yet been published nationally.
Mr. Shore commented on the super effort from all of the team. It was noted that there is no great discrepancy between attainments in the three subjects i.e. those who achieve ARE in Reading have also achieved it in Maths and Writing. This suggests that the barriers are related to learning and are not subject specific.
Further discussion included the following points/questions:
- The tracking provided in Headteacher reports this year has been almost spot on with Teacher Assessment
- Governors have challenged the tracking all along, asking how staff know how accurate it is; this set of data proves teacher’s knowledge of the children – it’s the only way they can be this exact
- It is true to say that these results have been anticipated since Christmas. In January, staff anticipated 72-76% combined, rising to 76-81% by Easter
- The children have had some SATs preparation but staff avoided introducing this until January 2017. There was a Project up until Christmas. They had not been subjected to test practice throughout Year 5 and 6, as other schools may do
Mrs. Arscott asked that it be noted that the Governors formally congratulate the Year 6 staff and others involved in helping the children ready themselves for the tests this year, avoiding the upsets of last year. A governor also commented that the whole experience, from early morning breakfast to end of tests was brilliant – children were smiling at the end of it all!
In addition to the SATs excitement, UNICEF visited the school today to assess progress towards an accreditation for Rights Respecting Education, Level 1. Mr. Shore took great delight in announcing that it was achieved! Mrs. Normington, who has led the initiative, has run a very professional operation. The Assessor was clearly impressed with the school – the children, staff and governors, how RRE is embedded in the school values and he also gave some pointers for progress towards Level 2, aspects of which have already been attained. Mr. White has been involved throughout the process so it was a shame that he is away and therefore was unable to be there for the inspection; Mrs. Arscott will email him with the result.
Responses to questions raised on the Headteacher’s report in advance of the meeting, had been emailed this afternoon and hard copies distributed at the meeting. One of the referred to the impact of the Supreme Court ruling on absence and what was meant by authorised and unauthorised absence; Mr. Shore further explained that since the appeal was made, absence had been negatively affected and consequently impacted attendance data. He had attached a letter that will be sent to parents, explaining why absences could not be authorised, the impact on children if they miss school and the possibility of a resulting fixed penalty if they choose to go ahead. He also reported that attendance is on track for 97.2% by the end of the year, which should be above the national target.
A governor asked whether Ofsted should be invited in. As stated in the report, Mr. Shore reiterated that there is still work to do on assessment and added that PP performance is as yet unknown. He believes that the school is ‘flirting’ with excellence but this may not be quite graded as ‘Outstanding’ yet! He also emphasised that the Foxhills journey is about the learning, not just data; this must be accelerating and demonstrated across the whole school, and not just in Year 6 SATs outcomes.
Staff and governors enjoyed a great INSET day on 26th June, organised and run by Mrs. Stockbridge. The weather was amazing and insightful feedback was given on all of the teams by email the following day. The aim was to improve performance and it certainly brought everyone together. A governor commented that they were a little nervous at the beginning of the day as they were not staff but by the end of the day, very much felt part of one team. Mr. Shore reported that it had cost £600 for the day, for 48 people. This is comparable to the cost of an education consultant working with the school. A governor remarked that although £600, in terms of staff well-being, it was priceless. Other ideas are being considered for next year. Governors are invited to attend the INSET planned for 9th February 2018, which will be a joint day with Foxhills Infant, Calmore Infant and Junior schools, on Gorilla learning – apparently an inspirational day to be had.
Mr. Shore was thanked for his comprehensive report.
6. Report from Children’s Learning & Achievement Committee
The draft minutes were circulated with the agenda pack of a meeting that covered a huge amount of ground. The learning walk, held on 14th June, was very useful. Governors saw interventions being delivered and witnessed varying levels of LSA support, showing the value that they add to the learning.
The Equality Policy and Accessibility Plan had been reviewed and the Committee recommend it to the FGB for adoption. Governors proposed, seconded and unanimously adopted the documents.
7. Review of the FGB Standing Orders
With one change of title for the DTG and one amendment, which was to reflect the F&R agreed Delegation of Authority to the Headteacher, the document was proposed, seconded and all agreed to adopt it.
A governor asked if this document should detail governor types and numbers of. Mrs. Arscott explained that this information is given in the Instrument of Government
8. Report on meeting to consider governor section of the School Self Evaluation (SSE)
The minutes of the SSE meeting were emailed today and hard copies tabled at the meeting. A modified template will be available from Mr. Shore but the original document had been circulated with the agenda pack. The revised document is a simplified form of the original. The idea is that governors will build in visits to complete the tasks set on the form and work backwards this year to complete it and learn lessons for the next academic year. The following points were noted:
- Safeguarding report will be completed following Mrs. Arscott and Mrs. Weatherdon’s participation in the annual audit
- Learning Walk Reports are held electronically by the clerk
- A strategic approach is needed – perhaps include an impact statement on the Learning Walk Reports too as this will aid the provision of evidence without ploughing through whole documents
- Do impact statements capture the impact of the GB or how they hold the school to account?
- The impact of the GB should be to hold the school to account
- The Headteacher has been challenged through the tracking system and actions recorded as impact – this should include what evidence has been recorded
- This would be shown in the ‘observations’ column
- Governors discussed evidencing the balance of the triangle of evidence from their view and the value of the current impact statements
- The impact statements should bullet point the evidence that can be found in the minutes or report – this gives more value to the statements now
- Information should not be duplicated, where possible
- Learning Walks can be planned around the document
It was agreed that, over the summer, governors would look back over their minutes and reports to see how the form can be completed for this academic year. Mrs. Arscott will complete the Safeguarding part; Dr. Wiley will look at the CLA evidence and Mr. Kumar will take the F&R view (in conversation with Mr. Marchetti if necessary). It was agreed that they would complete what they could.
ACTION: Dr. Wiley/Mr. Kumar/Mrs. Arscott
- Parent Questionnaires can be used
- Safeguarding evidence can include observations that governors pick up during routine visits e.g. where a door had been left unsecured recently
- The completion of this document for 2016/17 may highlight blank areas for the next year
- Discussion on what headings should be used and where the list came from. Staff Development is considered an operational area and should be changed to Performance Management
- This shows the link between Governors and the SDP
5:38 Mrs. Weatherdon left the meeting
Mrs. Arscott will agree a date for a meeting to discuss what evidence has been found and how the form has been completed, in the autumn term.
ACTION: Mrs. Arscott
9. Report on meeting with the Infant School re campus development
This was initiated by the Infant School and Catherine Eldred, HCC Architect, is involved in the consultation.
5:40 Mrs. Weatherdon returned
The Infant School will be developing the area of the back playground. The cost of the consultation is £850 per school and will give weight to fundraising efforts if a report of proposed developments is in place. Although the Infant School is planning to remove the separate classroom and make changes to the climbing frame area, governors felt that there was no need for a plan for the Junior School area at this time. A governor asked who owned the field. It is shared and although the Junior School, being bigger, would have the greater share this is irrelevant and would remain so unless consideration to change to an Academy was being considered. The conversation about this came up because of the involvement of Hampshire Biodiversity Centre in the school meadow. This area has been designated a site of importance for nature conservation, being a herb-rich fen meadow. There are many areas in the County that have this status and it doesn’t limit or prevent development. Governors briefly discussed the improvements that would benefit the area regarding access, including the provision of a decking path.
10. Report on meeting with HCC re tenders for Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA)
Mr. Shore attended a meeting held with Mr. Marchetti and the HCC team regarding the MUGA development. Four tenders have been received, varying in costs from the cheapest: £68k, £73k and two at £83k. There is £52k reserved for the project. HCC offered a generous £5k in addition to this but following discussions, increased the offer to £10k. Mr. Marchetti has written to thank Paul Best for their support. This leaves approximately £11k short (including fees) but Mr. Best is keen for the project to move forward. Costs may be reduced by around £2k by using a new carpet-type ‘turf.’ HCC upped their contribution to £15k, leaving around £6k shortfall. More savings have been made by making the boundary of the fence, the edge of the court (with no standing room) and HCC will negotiate with the successful contractors on the school’s behalf. A governor asked if Mr. Marchetti could negotiate instead. Mr. Shore is pleased that HCC will conduct negotiations and is confident that they will further reduce costs in order to achieve success. It is even anticipated that work may start over the summer holidays. Discussions have taken place regarding the construction as the field regularly floods – the solution may involve digging up the playground, resolving the drainage issues by replacing the drains, avoiding the need to raise the ground level of the MUGA. A governor asked if the sports funding could be used to make up part or all of the shortfall. There are options, including Friends of Foxhills, but it is hoped that this will not be necessary. He will keep governors updated.
In addition, Mrs. Arscott mentioned that Barker Mill had granted £1500 towards the 50th Anniversary Art Project. Miss Jones has worked tirelessly and even mounted the children’s cardboard templates for the clay tiles onto boards, which will be displayed on the stair walls near the Barker Mill mosaics. Hounsdown have been approached to allow Miss Jones more time with the school to complete the project as there is still much to be done. This is looking positive for the autumn term.
11. Governor Training
Bookings for courses have been made into 2018. Fortnightly updates are emailed to governors, giving details of upcoming availability for courses. The latest training booklet has been released; governors were asked to use the e-learning whenever possible. Certificates for the courses should be sent to Mrs. Datlen, on completion so that they can be kept as evidence in her training file.
The Hayes Safeguarding training should be completed as soon as possible. Mrs. Cooper will be reminding those who have yet to finish. Mr. Kumar asked for the link to be emailed to him again.
ACTION: Mrs. Datlen and all who have not completed the training
The topic for the next WGBT was agreed as ‘Working Together as a Team,’ building on the recent INSET ethos. Mrs. Datlen will inform governors of the date for 2018, when available.
The six areas of competency will be revisited in the new term and will be emailed with the minutes. All courses are colour-coded in linked areas to the competency framework, which shows that governors are meeting the needs of the GB.
The annual audit should be completed by the set deadline of 30th September by which time it should have been reviewed by governors. This is a month earlier than previously and is not a practical timeline. As reported in the Governor Newsletter, the Safeguarding Unit have recognised that the dates are not suitable for governor review before submission and have now changed the deadline to the end of October to allow for this. The audit will be available for the first meeting in October. Mrs. Arscott explained what was involved and how it has impacted the signing-in procedure for visitors to the school. Safeguarding consistently forms part of any Ofsted inspection – they usually take a small group of children for a walk around the school; their observations from this are fed into the report.
13. Ashurst & Colbury Village in the Park 9th September 2017
The fete is now a village affair, with stalls from the W.I. etc. and no outside businesses; the school will be running the burger stall and the governors will hold the usual stall, displaying children’s work. A bit of a shame as there was huge profit from people attracted by the outside stalls. The Infant School are interested in joining in and more information will come over the summer. The date is 9th September, which clashes with the New Forest Marathon again.
14. Hampshire Governor Spring 2017
It is suggested that GBs review their working practices and consider those of others e.g. having no set committees but meeting monthly. Benefits may include being better informed and the ability to react faster as discussions can take place sooner. The current structure held by this GB is the most common but the Chair asked governors if they thought it effective. It was agreed that the SSE should be completed before an informed decision could be taken on this.
15. Any other business
a) A letter to the Parish Council, drafted by Mrs. Arscott, had been circulated to governors in response to the perception of some residents that the traffic issues are caused by the Headteacher accepting children from outside the school’s catchment area, which in some cases, was perceived to be Ashurst only i.e. people from out of the school’s catchment area when the school is for the children of Ashurst. Governors agreed that the letter was on point and factual, pointing out the admissions process, and that the school has no jurisdiction on roadside parking. They discussed the Travel Plan and responsibilities, parking issues, the story so far and solutions considered. Governors agreed that the letter was suitable and explained the school’s position regarding its catchment area and responsibilities.
b) Orchard School have recently attained ‘Good’ in their Ofsted inspection, Abbotswood have also been inspected but no result is available as yet.
c) It is Parents’ Evening for new parents tomorrow evening (5th July).
d) The appeals panel has been held. None of the four cases on appeal were upheld. Information will be included in the next Headteacher’s report.
e) Mrs. Dulieu will be starting a new job in September and the advert, which was included in the agenda pack, for a replacement has gone out to parents. Governors briefly discussed options for replacing her with either a Local Authority Clerk or direct employment, where costs were considered.
16. Statement of impact of this meeting on school improvement
- Item 04 - Forward planning of trips and costs to inform parents
- Item 04 – Skills audit undertaken to ensure GB effectiveness
- Item 05 – Headteacher’s report
- SATs results for Summer 2017 reported
- Holding the Headteacher to account for accurate tracking system
- UNICEF RRE Level 1 achievement reported
- Item 06 – CLA report
- Ensuring that the school is compliant with the Equality Act and completing the Accessibility Plan
- Interventions and LSA support observed
- Item 07 – Evaluating Governors’ performance within guidelines set by reviewing Standing Orders
- Item 08 – SSE planning to review practices and consider the triangle of evidence
- Item 09 – Planning to improve site and nature area for education
- Item 10 – MUGA approved and backed by HCC going ahead
- Item 11 – Establishing training requirements for Governors to maintain effective GB
- Item 12 – Safeguarding improvements made for visitors
- Item 15 – Appeals declined
- Item 15 – Clerk replacement planning in hand
Thanking all for attending, the meeting ended at 6:28pm
Next meeting dates:
Dates of meetings for 2017/18:
Monday 2nd October 2017 Tuesday 27th March 2018
Tuesday 28th November 2017 Monday 14th May 2018
Monday 5th February 2018 Tuesday 3rd July 2018
Monday meetings start at 6pm, Tuesdays at 4.30pm. Tuesday 14th March 2017
Finances and Resources Committee Children’s Learning and Achievement
3rd November 2017 Committee
12th January 2018 17th November 2017
9th March 2018 2nd March 2018
4th May 2018 8th June 2018
Fridays at 12:30 pm Fridays at 9:00am