GOVERNING BODY MINUTES – SPRING TERM 2015 (31 March 2015)

NEVILL ROAD JUNIOR SCHOOL GOVERNING BODY MINUTES

SPRING TERM 2015

Date: 31 March 2015
Time: 7.00 pm
Venue: The School

GOVERNORS PRESENT

Mr R Reece (Chairperson), Miss S Harrison (Headteacher), Ms L Perry, Mr G Madeley, Mrs H Waters, Mr M Bush, Miss C Wilson, Mrs A Carolan, Mrs S Kreitzman, Mrs H Foster-Grime, Ms J Bell, Cllr L Holt.

IN ATTENDANCE

Mrs J Castledine – Governor Support Officer

The meeting was convened at 7.10pm; governors were invited to read through the minutes of the Pupil Progress committee meeting which had been tabled.

1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Mrs P Banham, Mrs S Kyne, Mrs N Jordan and from Cllr L Holt, Ms J Bell for late arrival.

2. APPOINTMENTS TO OFFICE AND RECONSTITUTION

(i) The Chair thanked the governors for taking the time to consider their roles within the governing body and the issue of reconstitution.

The governing body duly APPROVED the appointment of the following governors to the position of Co Opted governor:

Ms J Bell (1.4.14 – 31.3.18)

Mr M Bush (1.4.14 – 31.3.18)

Mrs A Carolan (1.4.14 – 31.3.18)

Mrs H Foster-Grime (1.9.14 – 31.8.18)

Mrs S Kreitzman (1.4.13 – 31.8.17)

Ms L Perry (1.1.12 – 31.12.15)

Mr R Reece (1.4.13 – 31.8.17)

It was noted that there were two vacant Co Opted governor positions.  The governing body unanimously AGREED that the Co Opted governors could retain their original terms of office (as shown in brackets).  The Clerk undertook to check that this could be done. ACTION

(ii) Election of Chair

Mr Reece indicated interest in the role of Chair; there were no further declarations of interest.   Mr Reece was unanimously APPROVED as Chair of the governing body until the date of the Autumn term meeting 2016.

Mrs Carolan indicated her intention to step down from the governing body with effect from 30.8.15.  Governors were invited to consider the position of Vice Chair and indicate an interest in the position to the Chair; a Vice Chair appointment would be made at the Autumn term meeting 2015. ACTION

3. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS

Governors were asked to declare a personal interest in any agenda items; there were no declarations of interest. Governors were reminded that they should declare any interest should it arise during the meeting.

Ms Bell entered the meeting 7.20pm.

4. BUSINESS

(i) Structure of Governing Body and Committees

Governors AGREED that there should be no change to the structure of the governing body and committees.

(ii) Committee Membership

  • Membership of the Finance and Pupil Progress committees to remain unchanged.
  • School Partnership committee to be renamed Joint Committee.  Members of the committee (from the Junior school) are Mrs H Waters, Mr M Bush, Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher.

(iii) Appointment of Linked Governors

It was noted that there would be a vacancy for a Numeracy governor with effect from 1.9.15, following Mrs Carolan’s departure from the governing body.

A vacancy for a Community Cohesion and Diversity governor was also noted.  ACTION

(iv) Review of Committee Remits and Policies

(v) Governor Code of Conduct

(vi) Open Government Policy

It was AGREED that the above three items would remain as approved at the autumn term meeting 2014 until the date of the autumn term meeting 2015.

(vii) Previous Governing Body Minutes

RESOLVED – that the minutes of the meeting held on 20.11.14, copies circulated previously, be approved and signed by the Chairperson and authorised for publication.

(viii) Matters Arising from Previous Governing Body Meeting

 MINUTEPOINT  ACTION REQUIRED  ACTION FOR  UPDATE
2 Clerk to forward GB mins (after Chair and HT approval) to Pam Dunham to enable IOG to be drawn up. Clerk Completed
2 Clerk to forward Staff election pack to school Clerk Completed
4i Any updated committee remits to be forwarded to the Clerk Committee Chairs Completed
4v(ii) Development governor to update Code of Practice JB Completed
4v(ii) Complete work on dinner surveys with parents and children Headteacher JB to carry forward & co-ordinate volunteers –update below ACTION
4v(ii) Healthy eating discussions Headteacher & JB Ongoing- Carry forward
4v(ii) Forward monitoring & evaluation policy  to HT and JB Clerk Completed
4v(ii) Clive Taylor to be asked to lead a governor session on new curriculum and framework Headteacher Completed – thanks to all who attended.  LA led review in school April 23rd to look at teaching standards.
4v(ii) Liaison with St Vincent’s re: fence SK Ongoing – Carry forward
4 HT and MB to meet with HT and Jason Smith to discuss non payment of rent by the After School Club Headteacher & MB Completed – within Resources committee

Dinner Surveys

  • The school has received lots of completed surveys; Mrs Bell undertook to brief and co-ordinate a team of volunteers to work on the healthy eating project.  It was noted that one parent and one member of staff have volunteered to assist with the initiative.  Miss Wilson volunteered to support the project as needed; Mrs Banham had also previously indicated that she would like to assist.

(ix) Previous Committee Meeting Minutes

RESOLVED – that the minutes of the following meetings, copies circulated previously, be approved and signed by the Chairperson and authorised for publication:

Resources: 24.2.15

Pupil Progress: 3.3.15

Joint Committee: 25.2.15

(x) Matters Arising From Previous Committee Minutes

  • A replacement crossing warden is now in place.
  • Mrs Walters informed governors that, following discussions at the Joint Committee, a letter would be sent out to all parents reminding them to park considerately near the school, and also to inform them that the introduction of a ‘No Waiting’ zone at the front of the school is out to consultation at the moment.

(xi) Pay Appeals Arrangements

Nevill Road Infant School has indicated that they would be willing to enter a ‘buddy’ arrangement for pay appeals meetings.

Following a brief discussion, it was AGREED that the governing body was happy to enter into this arrangement.

Cllr Holt entered the meeting 8.03pm.

5. TEACHING AND LEARNING

Governors were referred to the Self Evaluation Form (SEF), previously circulated, and informed of the following key matters:

Achievement of Pupils

  • The Headteacher noted that the SEF update demonstrated how the school was moving forward from the disappointing SATS results of 2014.
  • An increase in Level 5+ for reading, writing and maths was noted.
  • A great deal of work has been done on the school’s marking policy since the Ofsted inspection.  The Literacy Lead from another local school has carried out book moderation and commented positively on the marking in place – next steps were clearly identified, pupils understood the pink and green pen concept.
  • Year 6 are preparing for SATS assessments; the Headteacher stated confidence in teacher predictions and the practice assessment data.

Quality of Teaching

  • Last year was acknowledged to have been ‘turbulent’ in terms of staffing.  The Headteacher noted that there was outstanding teaching within the school, but still a degree of inconsistency – three members of staff have improvement plans in place to develop certain areas of their practice.
  • The school is currently advertising for one permanent member of staff and one temporary member.

Behaviour and Safety

  • The school’s code of conduct will be relaunched in the summer term – it is a joint code shared with the Infant school.  A Pupil Voice day in relation to this initiative will be held after the Easter holidays.  Parents will also be involved in the development of the Code, to ensure that the school’s expectations of behaviour are clearly understood and adhered to.

Leadership and Management

  • The Headteacher noted that the leadership team was still relatively inexperienced.

Questions and comments from the governors were invited by the Headteacher:

I think the SEF is a fair reflection of where we are, your judgements were backed up in the meeting we had with Clive Taylor (School Improvement Adviser).  We need to carry on moving in the right direction. 

Is there a correlation between the teachers on improvement plans and the attitude to learning of the children in their classes?  The Headteacher reflected upon this – two staff required improvement in their challenge to more able pupils, the other was on a plan as a result of inexperience.  The Headteacher agreed that pupils could be ‘switching off’ in classes where challenge to more able pupils was weak.

Can you expand upon the expectations of the Year 6 cohort in SATS?  Miss Wilson stated that around 10 pupils were expected to achieve a Level 6 in Maths, 17 in Reading, and 14 in SPAG.  How confident are you, given that last year there was such a difference between the predicted levels and the actual results?   The Headteacher informed governors that a lot of work had been carried out on levelling, moderating writing, focussing on grammar and punctuation.  A relatively small cohort had been split into three classes, which gave each pupil more individual attention.  Miss Wilson added that the 2014 papers had been in a different format to previous years; this year’s cohort would be prepared for the new format, whereas it was unforeseen for last year’s Year 6 cohort.

6. RESOURCES

(i) Budget Update

It was noted that the Resources Committee had considered the current budget in detail.  Mr Bush informed the meeting that the current budget was in a healthy state.  Funds had recently been used to purchase touch screens for every classroom.

The Headteacher updated on building works:

  • Part of the roof will be replaced during the Whit half term holiday.  The other part of the roof will be replaced during the summer holidays.
  • Classroom and IT corridors will be painted during the Easter holidays.
  • The whole school building is scheduled to be rewired during the summer holidays in 2016; it is hoped that work on the lighting system can be carried out at the same time.
  • Quotes are being obtained for the conversion of two rooms within the school:
  • Staff room to be converted into a cookery/music room
  • Resource room to be split into two rooms – a staff room, and a meeting room with network points

Carillion have visited the school to take measurements, and will put the job out to tender once quotes have been received.  A total cost of £13,500 has been estimated.  When would the work be carried out?  Governors were informed that this would take place during the summer holidays; it was noted that Carillion would project manage this work and also the roofing job at the same time.

(ii) Approval of Provisional Budget 2015/16

Figures for the provisional budget 2015/16 had not yet been received; the budget would therefore be considered at the summer term Resources meeting.

(iii) Service Level Agreements

The Headteacher noted no plans to change service providers.  Are you happy with the H.R. service provision?  The Headteacher stated that she was happy with the service provided.

(iv) School Fund Audit Certificate

The governors noted receipt of the certificate, which was signed by the Chair.

7. HEADTEACHER’S TERMLY REPORT

The Headteacher was invited to highlight key points from her report to the meeting:

  • Training on the new assessment and planning system had been booked for staff.
  • The Headteacher requested an amendment to be made to the contract of a member of staff; governors were fully updated on the situation.  The governing body duly APPROVED the contract amendment from term time hours to full time; it was AGREED that this amendment would not be automatically applied to any other staff recruited into the same role.
  • A governor drew attention to the attendance figures.  The Headteacher stated that there had been unusually high absence figures this term due to the prevalence of sickness bugs.  It was confirmed that pupils arriving after 9am received a mark of ‘unauthorised absence’ for the session; holidays in term time were also unauthorised.
  • The Headteacher outlined a merit system which had been recently implemented with the Year 6 cohort.  It was noted that the pupils had been very motivated by the new system and it was felt that there had been a positive impact upon behaviour at school.

The Headteacher was thanked for her report and there being no further questions it was RESOLVED that the Headteacher’s report be received.

8. UPDATE ON STANDING ITEMS

(i) School Improvement Plan (SIP) Update

The Headteacher informed governors that the SIP was in the process of being updated.  The Plan focusses upon the issues highlighted by Ofsted:

  • developing the quality of teaching and learning
  • challenging the most able pupils
  • supporting the less able pupils
  • employing quality marking to move learning forward
  • developing writing across a range of genres

(ii) Appraisal

It was noted that the Headteacher’s Performance Management meeting had taken place.

Teachers’ mid-cycle reviews would take place in the Summer term.

(iii) Report on Racist Incidents

The Headteacher reported that there had been one racist incident during the autumn term; this had been reported to Services to People using the approved recording methods.

The Chair and Headteacher completed and signed a Governors’ Monitoring form; the Clerk then undertook to return the form to the appropriate section within Services to People.

(iv) Report on Physical Incidents

The Headteacher reported that there had been one incident  during the autumn term where the use of physical intervention procedures had been necessary; this had been reported to Services to People using the approved recording methods.

The Headteacher noted that the school was supporting the pupil and parents following the incident; the child was now calmer within school.  It was noted that the Headteacher is Team Teach trained; the May INSET day will focus on the Team Teach approach for all staff.

9. GOVERNOR DEVELOPMENT

(i) Governing Body Development Plan

Ms Bell made governors aware of the need to prepare for the next Ofsted inspection.  The following issues were highlighted:

  • Governors to discuss governing body vacancies and skills requirements by email.  It was noted that Mrs Carolan was very knowledgeable about Pupil Premium; her resignation would leave a ‘gap’ in this important area of knowledge.  ACTION
  • Succession planning – Mrs Carolan is to resign at the end of the summer term, the Chair has spoken to other governors to ascertain their longer term intentions.
  • Clive Taylor to be asked for guidance on the format of Pupil Progress meeting.

(ii) Induction Procedure for New Governors

This was not discussed at the meeting.

(iii) Training

Governors highlighted a need for the L.A. to offer training on Assessment without Levels, to enable governing bodies to support their schools.  The Clerk undertook to pass this request on to the appropriate L.A. personnel.  ACTION

It was noted that Ms Perry had attended a Safeguarding training course.

(iv) Succession Planning

This was not discussed at the meeting.

10. L.A. BRIEFING PAPERS

The updates were reported to the governors and responses were noted:

(i) Safeguarding

  • The Clerk undertook to circulate the Self Harm Policy.  ACTION
  • Childcare Disqualification Checks have all been completed.
  • The anti-bullying policy is up to date and has been uploaded to the school website.
  • The Clerk undertook to email the document L.A. Code of Conduct for School Staff to the Headteacher.  ACTION

(ii) Health and Safety

  • The Headteacher confirmed that the school has a supply of inhalers for emergency use by any pupil.

(iii) What Maintained Schools Must Publish Online

  • The school’s website is compliant; the Pupil Premium statement is to be uploaded.

(iv) SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)

  • It was confirmed that the School Offer is on the website
  • Accessibility Plan to be uploaded to the website and reviewed annually.  ACTION

(v) Assessment Without Levels (Primary)

  • The guidance was noted.

11. DATES

(i) Full Governing Body

7th July, 7pm

(ii) Committee Meetings

Joint committee: May 20th, 8am

Steering committee: June 9th, 5pm

Pay committee: June 9th, 6pm

Resources committee: June 23rd, 6pm

Pupil progress committee: June 25th, 6pm

12. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

(i) INSET dates

The Headteacher requested governing body approval of the following INSET dates for the academic year 2015/16:

Tuesday, 1st September, 2015

Monday, 2nd November, 2015

Monday, 4th January, 2016

Thursday, 5th May, 2016

Thursday, 28th July, 2016

Why can the Parkside Social Club not be used as a polling station rather than the school?  The Headteacher said that this had been suggested in the past but the local authority had issued a letter saying that this was not feasible.

The governing body duly AGREED the INSET dates as above.

(ii) Governors’ Section – School Website

Mr Madeley invited Miss Wilson, new staff governor, to provide a short pen portrait to be uploaded to the school website; all governors were invited to update their portrait if required.

(iii) Red Nose Day Video

Governors acknowledged the excellent performances of all the school staff on the Red Nose Day video; the Headteacher reported that £4,000 had been raised for charity between the Infant and Junior schools.

(iv) Presentation to Governors

The Chair thanked Mrs Carolan for all her hard work and commitment to the governing body.  Mrs Carolan was presented with a bunch of flowers as a token of the governing body’s appreciation.

Mrs Kyne was thanked in her absence for all her hard work as a governor.  A present was received by the Headteacher on her behalf..

There being no other business to discuss, the Chairperson thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 9pm.