GOVERNING BODY MINUTES – SUMMER TERM 2014 (22 July 2014)

NEVILL ROAD JUNIOR SCHOOL GOVERNING BODY MINUTES

SUMMER TERM 2014

Date: 22 July 2014
Time: 7.00 pm
Venue: The School

GOVERNORS PRESENT

Ms H Foster-Grime, Mrs P Banham, Cllr L Weekes-Holt (Authority Governors), Mr Gary Madeley, Mrs H Walters, Mr M Bush (Parent Governors), Ms C Roberts, Ms Sharon Kyne, Ms S Harrison (Headteacher) (Staff Governors), Ms Janet Bell, Ms A Carolan (Chair), Mr R Reece, Ms S Kreitzman (Community Governors)

IN ATTENDANCE

Ms Hilary van Deursen – Governor Support Officer
Ms Pam Dunham – Governor Support Service, attended to update Governors regarding the reconstitution of Governing Bodies (minute point 9. iv). This was discussed first, and Ms Dunham and left the meeting at 7.15pm

1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies were received and accepted from Dr Lynn Perry and Ms N Jordan.

2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Governors were asked to declare any personal interest in any agenda items.  There were no declarations of interest.

3. (i) PREVIOUS GOVERNING BODY MINUTES

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 6 March 2014, copies circulated previously, be approved by the Chairperson and authorised for publication.

A Governor wanted clarification over where on the school website the authorised minutes should be published. It was discussed that they should appear on the public part of the website under the Governors heading. It was agreed that Mr Madeley would do this. ACTION

(ii) MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS GOVERNING BODY MINUTES

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

4. (ii) Carried forward from autumn term 8. (ii) Development Governor to update Governor visit document to list ‘feedback’ arrangements and protocol – it was noted that the last meeting had been scheduled, however Ofsted come into school, so was postponed.  The visit document is available, however needs more work
4. (ii) Carried forward from the autumn term 13. H&S link Governor (SK) and Head to meet- completed
4. (ii) Carried forward from the autumn term 14. (v) Development Governor to update code of practice as per discussions – carried forward to autumn term
4. (ii) Clerk to re-send Parent Election pack to Head- completed
4. (ii) Carried forward from autumn term 15. (v) Head to undertake school dinner survey with the children and to discuss results of parent survey with the school dinner provider – outstandingschool council have discussed, nothing done with parents. Alison is planning on doing taster sessions with new parents – ongoing
10. (iii) Add Pupil Premium to subcommittee agenda – completed
16. Website – Governors to send photos and pen portraits to GM – completed

There were no other matters arising.

4. (i) PREVIOUS COMMITTEE MINUTES

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the following meetings:

  • Steering Committee – 8 May 2014
  • Resources Committee – 19 May 2014
  • Pupil Progress Committee – 14 July 2014
  • Joint Committee – 11 March 2014 – (included in despatch)

Copies circulated previously, be approved by the Chairperson and authorised for publication;

Finance minutes

It had been requested that the Local Authority provide a timeline for the building work.

The Headteacher stated that the cranes will be on site on 04.08.14 to lift the mobile over the school and there will be no access to the school for staff for 3 weeks from this date. The Head stated she had spoken with the architect this morning and there will be an update by the end of term. It was noted that the Carillion manager will be able to contact the Head over the summer if there are any issues.

The Head stated that the mobiles in the year 3 and 4 playground need to be available for September, the year 5 mobiles will not be available by then, but the originals will be available.

The Chair commented that there have been a number of delays with the Local Authority and she has spoken to Stephen Bell regarding their disappointment with this. There is nothing extra the Head can do and it just has to be hoped that all is ready for September.

A Governor urged the Chair to put a complaint in writing to the Local Authority, as the delays have not been acceptable and they are affecting the school.

A Governor asked how realistic the timescales were. The Head stated that she had been told today that the builders were 99% certain they would complete on time. She added that there is a plan in place should this not happen

There was a discussion around Carillion being major players in schools building and why they are being allocated the work if they can’t deliver on time. The Head said that she had been assured by Carillion that the mobile will be available in September and she could get this confirmed in writing.

A Governor was concerned that the building work was another issue that the Head was having to deal with over the summer and she did not have any support with this. It was questioned whether someone would volunteer to help with this. The Chair asked if someone could meet with the project manager from Carillion once a week to ensure that things were on track. The Head said she would contact them and ask that regular meetings could be held and would copy the Chair into this correspondence.

Staffing Issues

It was noted that the high levels of pupil absence will be raised in the Headteacher’s report.

It was explained to Governors that there has been a change of cleaners and following a meeting with Solutions SK, there has been an improvement in the quality of cleaning. It was noted that the staff themselves were fine, the issues were down to the staff not being effectively managed.

Pupil Progress meetings

The Head stated that Dr Perry had circulated two sets of minutes to Governors from the pupil progress meetings. No one had anything to add regarding these, and they were approved.

Joint Committee Minutes

It was noted that the original date of the meeting had been 20.05.14, this had been altered to 19.06.14 and then postponed to 11.09.14. There was a discussion about transition and how this can be improved. It was noted however that there had been lots of positive comments this year and the current year 2 pupils do not appear apprehensive about moving from infants to juniors. Staff also commented that they found it valuable to meet their new classes beforehand too.

(ii) MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS COMMITTEE MINUTES

There were no other matters arising.

5. (i) HEADTEACHER’S TERMLY REPORT

The Headteacher’s report had been circulated to Governors and questions from Governors had been invited and received prior to the meeting:

The Head stated she had not received any questions or comments prior to the meeting.

The Chair commented that it would be helpful for there to be a summary document of the school development plan on the website available for parents, as the more done to inform parents about what the school is doing would be valuable. The Head said she would provide Governors with the updated plan in the Autumn term. ACTION

Results

A Governor commented that the initial results indicate that level 4 children were down, but level 5 children were up, and was interested if there was any reason for this. The Head explained to Governors that it was just down to the cohort. Last year’s cohort was quite even, however the current year 6 has a large amount of pupils at both the top and bottom ends and not many in the middle. The Head added that great emphasis was placed on points progress and those who did not make level 4, did make their 14 points progress. There is the need to look behind the levels actually achieved and see what progress the children have made. There is still the need to challenge the more able pupils.

Staffing

The Head gave Governors an update on staffing and that the school required good quality teachers. The school disputes the financial implications of covering long term absence of staff and the Governing Body supports the Headteacher.

Pupil Absence

A Governor asked whether pupils on the year 6 residential course were represented on the absence figures? The Head explained to Governors that they are classed as authorised absences (approved educational activity) as the pupils were not actually in school.

A Governor noted that unauthorised absences appear to be increasing. The Head agreed, saying that they were and that parents were putting in holiday requests expecting them to be approved, but they are not.

A Governor asked if the school was fining parents for holidays in term time? The Head said that at the moment they are not, although the majority of schools in Bramhall do fine parents.

A Governor asked if there had been an increase in sickness? The Head said there had not really been an increase. She explained that they have a monthly visit from Educational Welfare who check the registers and send out letters to parents of pupils who’s attendance has dropped. They get warnings before Services for Young People get involved. Letters are also sent out to pupils who are constantly late, stating that they will be recorded as unauthorised absences. The Head noted that it was a small group of regular offenders

Healthy Eating

The Chair asked if the melon and strawberries had been popular at tuckshop? The Head said they had been very popular, and explained that the school council had surveyed the children in class and a request had been made for melon and strawberries, despite these costing more. Other food offered at the tuckshop was breadsticks, popcorn, raisins and apples.

A Governor stated that work was meant to be done on healthy eating and apologised that this had not been taken forward, she added that it was very important to get the message through regarding healthy eating. The Chair commented that it was a shame that pupils were not allowed to bring their own snacks in. The Head agreed, but stated that when she came to the school, this was what was in place and it would be very contentious to change it. She added that lots of work was being done about healthy eating, and the school council had been involved and there is regular keeping healthy PHSE work. The Head stated that they had tried to buy the fruit from the company who supplies the infant school, however the uptake of the fruit dropped off and there was wastage. A Governor suggested giving housepoints to pupils who eat the fruit. The Head agreed to a suggestion that they meet in September to discuss this further. ACTION

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

(ii) MATTERS ARISING FROM THE HEADTEACHER’S TERMLY REPORT

There were no matters arising.

6. UPDATE ON STATUTORY ITEMS

(i) Appraisal Update (Head and Staff)

Governors were advised that mid-year appraisals have been done apart from the Headteacher. The Head will be doing performance appraising in September in time for the Pay Committee on 23.09.14. The Chair to speak to Dr L Perry about doing an appraisal in mid-September. ACTION

(ii) Report on Physical Interventions (Spring Term 2014)

The Headteacher reported that there had been no incidents during the spring term where the use of physical intervention procedures had been necessary.

(iii) Stage on the LA School Protocol – School Improvement Adviser Annual Report

The Headteacher gave a brief overview of this information.

Copies of the report were circulated for information and Governors were reminded that the document remained confidential.

7. REPORT ON RACIST INCIDENTS (Spring Term 2014)

The Headteacher reported that there had been no racist incidents during the spring term; the Clerk provided a nil return form, which was completed and signed by the Headteacher and Chairperson. The Clerk then undertook to return the form to the appropriate section within Services to People at the LA.

8. MONITORING OF THE SCHOOL BUDGET

(i) Budget Update

The Headteacher/Chair of the Resources Committee outlined the Budget Plan and explained the various allocations to budget headings. It was noted that the budget was proceeding according to plan and on track to remain within allocation. It was also noted that the Resources Committee had considered and agreed the budget. It was advised that the Budget Plan was continually updated throughout the financial year as income had to be recorded and allocated a budget heading.

The Budget was agreed at the last finance meeting and submitted to the Local Authority. The staffing issues and the financial implications of this were discussed, which will be looked at in the Autumn term when more is known about staffing.

The Chair commented that due to the free school meals for all infants, there are changes required to the junior school kitchens and the school has been asked to contribute £4k towards this. The Head stated that she did not know when this work will be completed.

The Head informed Governors that Stephen Bell had contacted her last week regarding Phase 2 of the Schools Building Programme, which involves Local Authorities bidding for either a re-build of the school, partial re-build or a refurbishment where there are concerns. Based on the property survey done earlier this year, the Local Authority has stated that they will put a bid in for this programme. The Head stated that it is unclear if the school will be accepted and whether it will be for a full re-build or partial. The decision will be made in January 2015.

The Head stated that because of this, it is not feasible to refurbish the staff area and spend money on internal building works, if they are going to completely rebuild the school. The programme runs from 2015 – 2021.

The Head commented that the school was due to have a new roof and boiler at some point soon, so it might be more cost effective to rebuild a new school

A Governor asked if the extra amount of money expected is due to the number of children on roll on that day? The Head said it was, stating that the total estimate of pupils on roll for September was 312. Currently there are 271. The Head stated that Admissions know that the school has capacity, and that we would take extra pupils if necessary.

A Governor asked if the school would be able to cope with the projected numbers going forward? The Head said that they would, as they know how many will be coming up from infants, adding that most pupils from infants transfer to the junior school, and not elsewhere.

A Governor asked if the notice for the new building was based on the number of classes required? The Head said that this was the case, with the school needing 12 classes for the next few years, maybe dropping down to 11.

(ii) Approval of the 2014/2015 Budget

It was duly RESOLVED to approve the proposed budget for 2014/2015.

(iii) School Fund Audit Arrangements

It was reported that the School Fund account is audited by Pete Middleton who will be invited to undertake the audit.

(v) Scheme of Delegation Form 2014/2015

Governors discussed and agreed a continuation of the existing spending limits, and RESOLVED to approve the Delegation Form 2014/2015.

9. GOVERNOR DEVELOPMENT

(i) To Consider the Development Needs of the Governing Body

This will be discussed further in September.

(ii) Induction of New Governors

Governors were encouraged to work with the school and put together an induction pack for new governors. It was also suggested that perhaps a mentor or buddy system should be considered as part of the induction process.

(iii) Feedback from Governor Conference and Training Courses attended

There was no feedback.

(iv) Reconstitution of Governing Bodies

Pam Dunham (Governor Support) stated that this was a statutory requirement for all schools, and that the Governing Body needs to be reconstituted based on the skills set. Ms Dunham suggested that it should be thought about in two phases – what the Governing Body should look like, and then who should populate it.

Ms Dunham clarified the error in the information schools will have received which states that ‘surplus Governors’ should be dealt with on a first in, last out basis. This is not the case.

The aim is to make the Governing Body no bigger than it needs to be, with a minimum of 7 Governors (no maximum). This needs to be done by Summer 2015. There cannot be more than a third of the total number of Governors who are paid for by the school. There are no restrictions on where the co-opted Governors come from.

Ms Dunham suggested meeting in the Autumn term to decide members who will form the spine of the Governing Body and then co-opt at the next meeting. She added that the decisions can be left as late as possible, however it needs managing by Governor Support and it would be helpful if it was not left too late

A Governor asked if there were more people than posts, would an election be required? Ms Dunham said that if they were parent Governor vacancies then it would require an election as this is a democratic process, however if there was 1 parent Governor and 2 co-opted vacancies, then they could all get a position if they wanted. The additional parents would be classed as a co-opted Governor (not a parent Governor) even though they were parents.

Ms Dunham suggested a working party meets to discuss what the Governing Body should consist of, however what decisions come from the working party need to be agreed by the full Governing Body and minuted.

Ms Dunham said she was happy to come back again to discuss the process again if necessary, although stressed that she could not advise on what the Governing Body should look like.

Ms Dunham was thanked for her advice and for attending the meeting and she left at 7.15 pm

10. BRIEFING PAPERS FROM STOCKPORT LA

Governors were referred to the reports booklet circulated with the agenda papers.

(i) Health and Safety Update

Governors were informed of the 18 month programme for Health and Safety training which has been commissioned and funded by the Schools Forum. Governors duly noted the training courses available and list of dates. Further information is available via Office Online or by contacting schools.services@stockport.gov.uk.

(ii) Safeguarding Update

There were no new safeguarding updates.

(iii) Childcare Update

There were no new childcare updates.

(iv) Delivering Neighbourhood Management

There were no updates.

(v) Model Policy for Monitoring and Evaluation

It was formally agreed that the Governing Body adopt this policy. This is to be put onto the agendas of the sub-committees and then review at the next full Governing Body Meeting. ACTION

11. SAFEGUARDING

There are no new safeguarding issues.

12. YOUNG CARERS

There is no update on young carers.

13. CORRESPONDENCE

There were no items of correspondence for consideration.

14. DATES

(i) Full Governing Body

Autumn term 2014 meeting – Thursday 20 November 2014 at 7.00 pm.
Spring term 2015 meeting – Chair to contact Clerk to arrange this at the start of next term.
Summer term 2015 meeting – TBA

(ii) Committee Meetings

Steering Committee – 9th October 2014 at 6.00 pm
Resources Committee – 11th November 2014 at 6.00 pm
Pupil Progress Committee – 6th November 2014 at 6.30 pm
Joint Committee – 11th September 2014 at 8.00 am
Pay committee meeting – 23rd October 2014 at 6.30 pm
Reconstitution working party – 2nd October 2014 at 7.00 pm (venue to be agreed)

15. TERMS OF OFFICE TO END 31 AUGUST 2014

The meeting was informed that the following Governor’s term of office will end on the 31st August 2014:

  • Mrs Helen Foster-Grime – LA Governor – It was thought that this term of office may have longer to run. To be checked. ACTION
  • Mr Martin Bush – Parent Governor – Apologies were given that this had not been spotted sooner, as it would be a risk not to have a Chair of the Finance committee. It was agreed that Mr M Bush should continue as Chair of Finance, as the vacant Parent Governor position had not been filled. This has been checked with Governor Support Services who advise that he can have this position from 1 April.

It was discussed that Dr L Perry’s Parent Governor term was up at the end of December 2015 and as she had lead on many committees, it is important to have someone in place for when she leaves. It was mentioned that Dr Perry might want to be a co-opted Governor once her Parent Governor term ends, however the school could not guarantee that this will be the case. It was also noted that since Dr Perry started as Governor, her day to day role has changed, and she is extremely busy. Currently Dr Perry chairs the pupil premium meetings and minutes them. It has been agreed that she no longer has to write her own minutes

A Governor questioned whether a Parent Governor has to give up their post if their child leaves the school. Governors were informed that this was not the case, they only need to have a child in the school when they are elected, which does not actually need to be the school they are wanting to be a Governor in.

16. CHAIRPERSON /VICE-CHAIRPERSON /CHAIRS OF COMMITTEES 2014/2015

(i) Terms of Office for Chairperson/Vice-Chairperson

Due to the changes in the Schools Governance (Roles, Procedures and Allowances) (England) Regulations 2013 the Clerk advised Governors that they would need to approve the date of the end of the term of office for the Chair and Vice-Chair. It was agreed that the Chair would remain in office until the autumn term 2015 meeting date [insert meeting date if known in advance]. Governors duly AGREED a continuation of the current arrangements and terms of office would remain at 1 year from the date of the autumn term meeting.

It was discussed that it needs to be agreed on who will be Vice Chair of the Governing Body. This is to be discussed at the next Full Governing Body meeting. ACTION

(ii) Expressions of Interest for Chairperson / Vice-Chairperson

Governors were asked to consider the posts and forward their declaration of interest to the Clerk at least 3 weeks prior to the autumn term Governing Body meeting.

(iii) Expressions of Interest for Chairs of Committees

Governors were asked to consider the posts and again forward their declaration of interest to the Clerk at least 3 weeks prior to the autumn term Governing Body meeting.

17. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

It was discussed that the SAI Ofsted session was not held, as it fell on the same day the Ofsted inspectors came into school. The Chair expressed her thanks to the Head and all the school staff for their hard work during the three days of inspection. All Governors agreed with this.

A Governor mentioned that the paragraph from Ofsted regarding Governance was pleasing, and the school would not be in the position it was now without the hard work of the Governing Body. She added that it would be helpful to have a de-brief of what people had been asked and how they handled it in September. This was agreed. ACTION

The Chair commented that she hoped Governors understood why the meetings with the inspectors were limited to a certain number of Governors. The Chair expressed her thanks and well done to all involved.

Health & Safety

Ms S Kreitzman provided Governors with a health and safety update, following a walk around the school last month. She stated that lots of things had come from this, which were to be acted on. The Head confirmed that she meets with the caretaker regularly and he will be updated about items which need moving.

Ms Kreitzman stated that she will be leaving on maternity leave soon, so asked for a volunteer to monitor the building work and any issues arising. Cllr L Weekes-Holt volunteered to do this.

A Governor referred to the report stating that the school gates being open all the time. The Head commented that the gates are left open so that staff can come in and out, although they are closed just before 3.00pm to 3.30pm to stop vehicle movement while the children are leaving school

A Governor asked if the bike racks were for the infant or junior school? The Head stated that technically they were for the infants, but they have requested additional bike racks

The Chair commented that the report done by Ms Kreitzman was extremely comprehensive, and asked it some of the actions needed to be done immediately? The Head said that it would need to be assessed which actions could be done cheaply and then look at building these into the school plan, incorporating the actions from this into the resources committee.

There was a discussion regarding the spiky fence put up between the school and St Vincent’s church. It was thought to be a hazard, as if a ball went over and a pupil attempted to climb over the fence, they could get severely injured. A Governor commented that this has been an ongoing situation for a while, however they would try to liaise with the church about this again. The Chair agreed, stating that something needed to be done, even if it was just a warning notice. ACTION

There being no other business to discuss, the Chairperson thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 9.00pm.