Resources Minutes 30th Apr 2015




Thursday 30th April 2015

Present: Chair - Sarah Speed (SS), Nicki Brown (NB), Julia Slocombe (JS), Chris Noble (CN), Wendy Mason (WM), Andy Guy (AG), Gillian Knight (GK), Ian Howard (IH) Cath Robertson (CR), Julie Wallace (JW), Mary Page (MP)

Clerk: Becky Atkinson (BA)

Meeting Commenced:       19.00

1.    Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Pecuniary Interest

Apologies were received from Clare Quinlisk; this was accepted by the Committee. No declarations of pecuniary interest were made.

2.    Close down 14/15 budget and approve 15/16 budget

Handouts provided

CR talked through the 14/15 budget, some areas of overspend were highlighted for the Governor’s attention;

§  Clerical Staff, slight overspend due to salaries and recommended an increase in next year’s budget to cover.

§  Gas, there has been a discrepancy with the meter readings, which WSCC are investigating. The governors asked a number of questions regarding the process and how meters are read and provided to County. It was noted by one governor that the overall Premises spend was within budget.

§  School Trips, overspend of £942. This follows the recommendation by Schools Finance to set the budget at £1k for 14/15, but CR recommends it is £2k for 15/16. The governors asked a number of questions to ensure they understood what is covered within the School Trips budget.

There is a carry forward of £44,047 (6%), which is within the allowed carry forward of 8%.

A discussion followed regarding the carry forward, and the governors recognised that this is a good thing given that budgets for next year may well be tightened. A governor asked whether CR is able to benchmark Castlewood’s budget and costs against other Locality schools, CR replied that this is done with St Mary’s and St John’s who are of a similar size and have similar budgets.

The governors thanked CR for a well-managed budget.

DECISION – The governors approved the close down of the 14/15 school budget.

CR moved on to discuss the 15/16 budget, key points are;

§  There is an increase in allocations for Clerical, Premises and Support Staff. CR explained what Doc 33s are and how these will be reduced (by moving staff onto set hours contacts). The governors asked a number of questions to confirm their understanding of allocations in this area.

§  The Buildings budget has been reduced as there is no significant work being undertaken for the next academic year. A governor asked if there was any impact as a result of the PDP (Premises Development Plan), and it was confirmed that there isn’t.

§  CR explained the reasons for changes to the budget under Curriculum, in particular increases to Support Staff and Teacher salaries, and Pupil Premium budget.

A governor asked if the school was still able to go ahead with the additional window canopies, and CR/JS informed the Committee that they would still like to do this and assuming the Premises budget is not needed elsewhere, it may be completed in the Spring Term 2016.

The governors asked questions regarding how school budgets were allocated, and it was explained that this is based on the January census of pupil numbers. A discussion followed regarding this.

If any governors have additional questions regarding the School Budget, CR is always happy to answer any questions. CR complimented the Schools Finance team on their support and help.

DECISION – The governors approved the 15/16 school budget.

3.    Best Value and Statement of Internal Control to be signed

Some changes were requested to both of these documents, and subject to those being made, the governors approved both statements (DECISION).

CR made the changes during the meeting, and amended documents were provided for the relevant Chairs and HT to sign.

CR left the meeting at 7.40pm.

4.    Dedicated Schools Grant

JS explained what this is, and how funding is provided. A discussion was held regarding the forthcoming General Election and how this may affect the schools grant. JS informed the governors that a meeting is being held on 9th June regarding funding, and JS and JW are attending.

A discussion followed, and a governor asked some questions regarding the potential changes.

ACTION – an update at the next Resources Meeting (11th June) will be provided following the June meeting. SS/BA to include on the agenda. 

ACTION – BA will forward a copy of the Briefing Papers that were provided by WSCC regarding the Dedicated Schools Grant.

5.    Approval of Minutes from previous meeting 5th March 2015

All Governors present approved the minutes as a true record of the meeting.

6.    Matters arising from previous meeting 5th March 2015





JS to report on the website being updated with Sports and Pupil premium data. ACTIONED – the website will be updated towards the Summer.



SFVS to be signed by JW and sent to County. ACTIONED



Health and Safety report would be circulated to Governors - ACTIONED



JS to attend a meeting on pupil numbers and report back at the next meeting ACTIONED – see below*



JS and SS to report at Full Governors Meeting the details of the John Yates Leadership Course. ACTIONED



Plan to be formulated to take succession planning forward. ACTIONED


* JS provided an update following a recent meeting she attended with WSCC regarding pupil numbers. A discussion followed regarding a potential new secondary school in Horsham, and potential building developments around Southwater. WSCC are keen for the West Horsham Network HTs to be involved in discussions and decisions. A further discussion followed regarding a recent Parish Council newsletter and neighbourhood survey. 

7.    Admissions Update

JS advised the Committee that 30 children are confirmed to start in Reception in September 2015; all of these families had chosen Castlewood as their 1st choice.

A discussion followed regarding appeals, and the success of the Open Mornings and how the format of these might change this autumn.

8.    Staffing Update 

JS provided an update regarding forthcoming staff changes. One teacher has recently been successful in securing a post at another school, and is expected to leave at the end of the Summer Term.

An update was provided on staff returning from maternity leave and requests for part time working. One request for a 4 days a week working pattern has been accepted, and the governors were comfortable with this. 

Another request for a 2 days a week working pattern prompted a long discussion amongst the governors. JS advised the governors that it was her intention to approve the request given that there is another teacher who is happy to do 3 days a week. Comparisons were made with the current Yr 6 job share, which is working well. JS reassured the governors that accountability and responsibilities would be made clear with any job share/part time working, e.g. both teachers expected at parents evening.

The governors asked JS to consider if a trial period is possible for the 2/3 day job share request – the governors were eager to ensure that whilst the decision needs to be right for the staff member, it also needs to be the right decision for the school.

ACTION, JS to speak with WSCC about options for a trial period. 

9.    New model complaints procedure

JW updated the Committee on recent changes to the Complaints procedure; there are two new models, one for Internal complaints within the Governing Body and the other for General Complaints.

JW asked to defer the approval of the new policies until FGB in July, which will allow time for the policies to be reviewed and compared to our existing ones.

Actions – 1. JW to send BA copies of the new model policies to be sent out to all Governors, and 2. JW/BA to ensure new model Complaints Policy is on the agenda for approval at next FGB.

10.  National Standards of Excellence for Headteachers 

A discussion was held about the recently amended standards for Headteachers, which all governors have been sent. 

11.  AOB

WM has recently attended Link Governor training, and Wendy provided some suggestions of tasks that she could undertake which other Link Governors are currently doing, this included Governor Newsletters, and New Governor Induction packs. The other Governors were pleased that Wendy has agreed to take these tasks on.

No other items of AOB.

Meeting ended at 8.35 pm

Next Meetings:

Thurs 7th May – Q&S Committee 7pm

Thurs 11th June – Resources Committee 7pm

Thurs 18th June – Q&S Committee 7pm

Thurs 2nd July – FGB – All Day 

Summary of Actions:





Ensure Dedicated Schools Grant update is on the agenda for 11/6 Resources Meeting



Circulate a copy of the briefing papers from WSCC regarding the DSG



Speak with WSCC about trial period for job share request for 2 days a week.



Update Reconstitution model in respect of the 1 Staff Governor who moves into the Core model – WM to replace CN.



Send BA new model complaints policy, to be sent on to all Governors.



Ensure New Model Complaints Policy is on the agenda for FGB in July, for approval.


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