GOVERNING BODY MINUTES – AUTUMN TERM 2015 (17 November 2015)

NEVILL ROAD JUNIOR SCHOOL GOVERNING BODY MINUTES

AUTUMN TERM 2015

Date: 17th November 2015
Time: 7pm
Venue: The School

GOVERNORS PRESENT

Mr R Reece (Chairperson), Miss S Harrison (Headteacher), Cllr L Weekes-Holt, Mr G Madeley, Mrs H Walters, Ms J Bell, Mrs S Cusack, Mr M Bush, Ms L Perry, Mrs G Simm, Miss C Wilson.

IN ATTENDANCE

Mrs N Jordan Associate Member
Mrs J Castledine Governor Support Officer

1. WELCOME AND APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Governors were welcomed to the meeting. Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Mrs Foster-Grime and Mrs Kreitzman, and from Ms Perry and Mrs Walters for late arrival.

2. ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRPERSON

It was noted that no interest had been declared in the position of Vice Chairperson. Governors were encouraged to consider the position and contact the Chair for further information about the role.

CONSIDERATION OF VACANCIES

Mrs Walters entered the meeting 7.05pm

Co Opted Governor Vacancies

Governors noted and discussed the individual merits of Mrs Gillian Simm, prospective candidate for co-option to the Co Opted vacancy on the Governing Body.

A vote was taken and it was duly RESOLVED that Mrs Simm be appointed to the governing body for a four year term of office with effect from 17.11.15.

Associate Member

Governors discussed the appointment of Mrs Nicola Jordan to the position of Associate Member.

It was duly RESOLVED that Mrs Jordan be appointed for a four year term of office, with voting rights at committee level, with effect from 17.11.15.

Ms Perry entered the meeting 7.09pm.

3. DECLARATION OF BUSINESS INTERESTS

Governors were asked to declare a personal interest in any agenda items; there were not any declarations of interest. Governors were reminded that they should declare any interest should it arise during the meeting.

Governors were requested to complete and sign the previously circulated declaration forms and return them to the Headteacher for retention in school.

4. BUSINESS

a) Discussion and Review of Committee Membership/ Appointment of Linked Governors/ Remits

Governors discussed and reviewed committee membership and linked governors as per Appendix I. Ms Perry stated that she would be happy to meet with anybody who would like further information regarding one of her previously held roles.

It was AGREED that no changes would be made to the committee remits.

b) Election of Committee Chairpersons

Chairpersons to be elected within committee meetings.

c) Review of Policies

The Governing Body AGREED that a review of their existing policy portfolio would take place throughout the academic year as required at the relevant committee.
The following policies were recommended to the governing body for approval:-

  • Updated Safeguarding policy – APPROVED in principle, subject to personalisation by the Headteacher.
  • Fire Drill policy – APPROVED by the governing body. Governors questioned the Headteacher, who confirmed that fire drills took place when the children were not in their classrooms (eg. in the school hall, computer room).
  • Behaviour and Discipline policy – governors were informed that the policy had been discussed with the children, and dovetailed into the school’s code of conduct; the policy was APPROVED by the governing body.
  • Marking policy – governors discussed whether the marking of homework should be included within the policy, and whether spelling and punctuation should be corrected every time. Miss Wilson explained the school’s approach to correcting spellings and punctuation, which had been developed to ensure that children were not afraid to express themselves or experiment with language. The policy was APPROVED by the governing body.
  • Flexible Working policy – The Chair undertook to circulate the policy. [ACTION]
  • Discipline & Grievance policy – The Chair undertook to circulate the policy. [ACTION]
  • Model Pay policy – The Chair informed the meeting that the policy had been considered in detail by the Pay committee, and was recommended for approval; the policy was duly APPROVED by the governing body.

d) Review of Open Government

Governors RESOLVED that they would continue to adopt the Open Government policy; Governing Body meetings would be open to the public, subject to the exclusion of observers for confidential items.

e) Review of Governing Body Code of Conduct

Governors were referred to the previously circulated document and it was AGREED that they would adopt the new Governing Body Code of Conduct 2015.

f) Previous Governing Body Minutes

RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 7.7.15, copies circulated previously, be approved and signed by the Chairperson and authorised for publication.

g) Matters Arising from Previous Governing Body Minutes

  • 10(iv) Publication of governor details on the school website – Mr Madeley confirmed that he would upload the information. Governors were requested to forward updated pen portraits, where necessary, to Mr Madeley. The Clerk undertook to forward governor meeting attendance data to Mr Madeley for the same purpose. [ACTION]

There were no further matters arising.

h) Action Points from Previous Governing Body Minutes

The actions raised at the summer term meeting were duly reviewed as follows:-

AGENDA ITEM ACTION BY WHOM UPDATE
3(iv) Contact Mrs Marshall re: purchase of school’s website domain name HW Completed
5(iii) Confirmation of School Fund Auditor Headteacher Mr Middleton for the interim period.
8(iv) Circulate governing body membership & terms of office Clerk Completed
8(iv) Consider vacancies on the GB All governors Completed

i) Committee minutes

It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the following meetings:-

Resources 15.10.15
Pupil Progress 4.11.15
Joint Committee 30.9.15
copies circulated previously, be approved and signed by the Chairperson and authorised for publication.

j) Matters Arising from Previous Committee Meetings

Resources

Mr Bush invited questions from the governors:-

Has our projected surplus decreased due to additional staffing requirements? Mr Bush confirmed that this was the case. It was noted that staff had been urged to spend cautiously; the budget was being carefully monitored.

Pupil Progress

The following key points were highlighted:-

  • The meeting noted that progress in writing was to be a key focus for the half term; no pupils had achieved SATS Level 6 in writing in 2015. A detailed discussion ensued around how the levels of writing could be improved.
  • The format of writing books and use of ‘response time’ was discussed with the governors.
  • Quality of teaching – the Headteacher commented that teaching within the school could be inconsistent in places, although the Monitoring committee had identified consistency in the majority of year groups and good quality marking. There was a need for a clear understanding of the school’s way of working, which could be easily conveyed and adopted when classes were being covered due to illness. Governors heard that the English Action Plan had been given a very sharp focus, and would be updated every half term.  Mrs Jordan confirmed that the Senior Leadership Team had clearly identified where the inconsistencies were; an approach to rectify these had been agreed upon.

Joint Committee

Mrs Walters updated the meeting:-

  • The committee had discussed transition – looking at which elements worked well, and what could be developed.
  • Building work – it was confirmed that the outstanding work had now been completed.
  • The parking issue is ongoing.

Monitoring Committee

Governors were informed that the Monitoring committee had met on 21.7.15; Mr Madeley undertook to circulate the minutes [ACTION]

Governors heard that the committee had scrutinised data and documentation relating to elements of the School Development Plan in detail.

Mr Madeley updated the meeting upon the reasons for the formation of the Monitoring committee:

The committee had been formed on a temporary basis in May 2015, in response to the Ofsted ‘good’ judgement received in June 2014 and a subsequent report written by Clive Taylor (School Improvement Adviser). It was believed that the ‘good’ judgement was narrowly achieved, and the governing body sought to ensure the school progressed in the right direction post inspection. The Monitoring committee has met on three occasions since its formation, and aims to see that mechanisms are in place to ensure pupils’ progress.

Do you feel that the work of the committee is now integrated into other areas? Do you still have work to do?  Mr Madeley confirmed that the committee had noted sustained progress. The committee’s final meeting is scheduled for 1st December 2015; Ms Perry stated an opinion that the committee should meet for one final time after this date, to revisit the Action Plan and ensure documented evidence that strategies and recommendations have remained embedded.

The Chair invited comments from the governors; a brief discussion ensued. It was AGREED that the Monitoring committee would decide within the December meeting whether a Spring term meeting was also required, at which the final checks recommended by Ms Perry could be carried out.

There were no further matters arising.

5. TEACHING AND LEARNING

Governors were informed of the following key matters for the term:-

  • The development in the quality of writing across the school
  • The further development of Middle Leaders

6. RESOURCES

Budget Update

Governors were referred to the minutes of the Resources committee. It was noted that a surplus was still predicted for the end of the current financial year.

7. HEADTEACHER’S TERMLY REPORT

The Headteacher’s Report had been circulated to the governors prior to the meeting and questions were invited:-

Achievement of Pupils

  • It was noted that Pupil Progress meetings had been slightly postponed; they would all take place before 1st December.

Quality of Teaching

  • Governors were referred to the current staffing update within the Resources committee minutes.
  • Why was the response to the advertised post so poor? The Headteacher stated that the response had been poor as the post was for maternity leave cover. The Chair informed the meeting that further discussions had been held; it had been decided that an experienced supply teacher should be engaged for the duration of the maternity leave.

Behaviour and Safety of Pupils

  • Governors queried the two physical interventions recorded for the Summer term. The Headteacher briefly gave the background to the incidents.

Leadership and Management

  • Can you outline the support you receive from the Headteacher at Norbury Hall Primary School? The Headteacher updated upon the support received; governors were informed that the Headteacher at Thorn Grove Primary School is currently acting as Miss Harrison’s challenge partner.

School Development Plan

  • The Monitoring committee’s Action Plan was noted as being the key priority, followed by progress in writing, and development of Middle Leaders.
  • The Headteacher undertook to circulate the Plan. [ACTION]

Staff Training

  • Safeguarding training will be undertaken by all school staff in January. The Headteacher undertook to confirm that the training would include the Prevent Duty. [ACTION]

The Headteacher was thanked for her report and there not being any further questions it was RESOLVED that the Headteacher’s report be received.

8. STANDING ITEMS

a) School Improvement Plan (SIP) Update

Governors were referred to the relevant sections within the Headteacher’s report and noted that the school was working towards meeting the objectives set.

b) Performance Management and Pay (Headteacher and Staff)

The Headteacher confirmed that all appraisals had taken place. The Headteacher’s performance management meeting would take place before the end of term.

c) Report on Incidents of Racism, Bullying, Homophobia

The Headteacher reported that there had not been any incidents in school during the summer term.

The Clerk provided a nil return form, which was completed and signed by the Headteacher and Chair; the Clerk then undertook to return the form to the appropriate section within Services to People.

The Headteacher reported that there had not been any incidents of bullying or homophobic behaviour during the summer term.

d) Report on Physical Incidents (Summer 2015)

The Headteacher reported that there had been two incidents during the summer term where the use of physical intervention procedures had been necessary; these had been reported to Services to People using the approved recording methods.

e) Young Carers Update

One pupil currently receives support from Stockport Young Carers.

f) Stage on LA School Protocol and School Improvement Adviser’s Annual Report (ANOV)

The ANOV had not yet been received by the school; the Headteacher undertook to circulate the document when available. [ACTION]

Governors were informed that Howard Bousefield would be the School’s Improvement Adviser with effect from 1st January.

9. GOVERNOR DEVELOPMENT

a) Development Plan

Ms Bell informed the meeting that a Development Plan had been drafted. In response to a governor request, Ms Bell undertook to resend the NGA’s list of Twenty Questions for Governing Bodies. [ACTION]

b) Succession Planning

Ms Bell highlighted a requirement for the governing body to consider and discuss succession.
Ms Bell stated her intention to meet with Ms Perry in the near future so that handover work could take place.

10. BRIEFING PAPERS FROM STOCKPORT LOCAL AUTHORITY

a) Stockport Family and Restorative Approaches

  • Governors were made aware that Mrs Curzon had given a whole school staff presentation upon Restorative Approaches. The Chair confirmed that he had attended a Restorative Approaches training session; the Headteacher and SENCO had attended the conference.

b) The Prevent Duty

c) Safeguarding Update

d) Coasting Schools

e) Common Inspection Framework for Education, Skills and Early Years

  • Governors noted the guidance within the above noted papers.

11. DATES

a) Full Governing Body

22nd March, 7pm

b) Committee Meetings

Resources: 11th February, 6pm
Pupil Progress: 1st March, 6pm
Monitoring: 1st December

12. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

a) GOVAS – Sharing E Mail Addresses

The Clerk explained that the annual request to share their email information was made to ensure that GOVAS had up to date records; this information would not be used or shared outside GOVAS.

Governors duly AGREED the request to pass contact details to GOVAS.

b) End of Terms of Office

The meeting was informed that the following parent governors’ terms of office would end on the 31st December 2015: Mr Madeley, Mrs Walters.  It was noted that they would be eligible for re-election.

The Clerk undertook to send an election pack to the school. [ACTION]

c) Funding

Governors heard that a discussion had taken place at the Primary Heads Consortium regarding the low funding of schools in Stockport in comparison with other parts of the country. Schools were considering asking local MPs to raise the issue in parliament; the Headteacher determined to discuss the matter further at the local cluster meeting. Governors recorded support to the Headteacher on this issue.

d) Governor Resignation

Ms Perry had indicated her intention to resign from the governing body post meeting, due to work commitments.

Ms Perry was presented with a card and a gift; heartfelt thanks were expressed by the Headteacher and Chair for Ms Perry’s hard work, support and commitment over her long period of service on the governing body.

There not being any other business to discuss, the Chairperson thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 9.05 pm.