4: Reconstitution of Governing Body, including succession planning
JW talked through a slide presentation that provided a recap on the background to Reconstitution, and the implications for the Governing Body of Castlewood. A lengthy discussion followed, with the governors asking a variety of questions regarding the Reconstitution, summarised here:-
- Is it 9 or 12 as a minimum size if we have 3 staff governors? BA to confirm – ACTION
- JW asked if 13 felt OK for the GB, thereby a reduction of 1 governor, which is currently a vacant position. Another governor asked if we had the flexibility to reconstitute again in the future if we felt the membership number of governors wasn’t right? JW confirmed yes.
- There was a discussion about adding Associate Members if needed in the future.
- It was pointed out that CQ is a LA governor, and not Community as stated on the slides.
- A discussion was held regarding the Term of Office and the fact that we could end up with a situation where the majority of governors have the same end of term date once they have become Co-Opted governors. BA to confirm this with County, and consider options for avoiding this – ACTION
- A governor asked why are all GBs having to reconstitute – a response followed.
- A governor asked if parents have to re-elect parent governors who are moving into a Co-Opted governor role – the general feeling was no, elections would not need to take place but BA to confirm - ACTION
- JS talked about a recent John Yates Leadership event that she attended whereby Reconstitution was discussed. JS advised that John Yates was happy to hold a talk for governors regarding Reconstitution – this has been arranged at Southwater Infant Academy, on Tuesday 10th Feb 2015 from 2.45pm – 4.15pm. All governors are welcome to attend if they wish to do so. Governors to confirm to BA in Spring Term if they are attending - ACTION
- A question was raised regarding the ‘core membership’, which says a minimum of 7 governors can be included – as this is a minimum, could we therefore have all 13 governors as our core membership? BA to confirm
The discussion then led onto succession planning, and SS discussed with the governors the need to think ahead given that JW will not be standing again as Chair for the next academic year. A good discussion followed regarding this – key points were:-
- The governors discussed different models for Chairs and Vice Chairs,
- Options for communicating between Chair and HT (i.e. this does not have to be Face to Face),
- There is a course titled Taking the Chair which any governor can attend to understand more about the role (but you are not then committed to do the role),
- Our current skills base and the need for a skills audit,
- The need to have greater delegation across all governors so that everyone shares the load as it was recognised and appreciated that our current Chair, JW, does a great deal of work.
BA will ask WSCC (Jackie Gatenby) for guidance regarding any other options/models for Chair and Vice Chair positions. ACTION
5: Update on Teaching Schools
JS provided an update regarding the proposal to join a new Teaching Alliance with SIA, SJA, Trafalgar, St. Mary’s and Arunside. Given that this proposal had already been recently discussed at the Q&S Committee meeting in November, JS provided a brief background for those governors not present at that meeting.
The governors recognise the need for schools to align themselves closer together, and are supportive of the HT’s proposals.
A governor asked whether Tanbridge House School would join but JS advised that their plans are not yet known.
SIA will be submitting an application in January 2015 – the governors asked when we will know if it has been successful. JS advised that as there are not many Teaching Schools in this area, it was hopeful that our application would be successful. Timescales for a decision are not yet known but the Governors will be kept updated accordingly.
6. Discuss Multi Academy Trust
JS provided an update following a recent meeting held between SIA, SJA and Castlewood – the meeting was initiated by the Academies and was concerning a move to becoming an Academy Trust.
A robustdiscussion was had amongst the governors regarding Academies and their success. It was felt that Castlewood is working well as a community school, and the decision to convert to academy is still under review. There was no appetite or strategic reasonin moving to an academy at this stage.
A discussion followed regarding political versus educational reasons to become an academy, about sponsored academies and areas where academies are not successful.
7: Reporting to the Governing Body
a) The Heads Report had been provided to the governors prior to the meeting, and the governors had been asked to raise any questions or comments beforehand. JS discussed each point/question in turn; key points were:-
- Miss Allan’s MA is in Education (Mathematics, Pre-School to Secondary). It is being part funded by the school in as much as the school are allowing Miss Allan to take time off to attend university, and therefore the cover is funded.
- A discussion was held regarding the low intake numbers in Reception of 22 – JS advised the Southwater is lower than the rest of Horsham currently. The governors discussed projections and how County project intake numbers for the future.
- A question had been raised regarding the comparison between boys and girls and their achievements. JS advised that the school chooses topics to ensure boys are engaged and interested, such as Dinosaurs, in order to bridge the gap.
- JS explained the Attendance figures for FSM; medical conditions have been the reason for the high absence.
- JS has carried out the formal observations herself.
- There was a good uptake of recent workshops – in the KS2 Maths workshop, 30 parents were expected but 47 attended. JS is going to canvass opinion of parents as to the best time for workshops to be held.
- Weekly team meetings have been useful and feedback from the staff is positive.
- Swimming update – JS advised that the Sports Premium funds have been used to provide free swimming for Yr 3 children. The aim is that no child should reach Yr 6 without being able to swim.
- JS confirmed that she is completing all of the Performance Management for staff. There may be an opportunity for Mrs Dedman to support this in the Spring Term.
b) Safeguarding Report – JS talked through this. A discussion followed regarding the Safer Recruitment Training.
c) RG provided a Link Governor update.
d) The governors provided updates on their Monitoring Visits for this term:-
- NB is booked to visit next Thursday.
- IH has visited Yr 4, and he provided feedback following this visit.
- RG has completed a visit to Yr 5 with CN – RG is aware that he still needs to complete his form following this visit – ACTION
GK asked the governors if the updated form was useful, and they confirmed it was.
GK and CQ are due to visit Yr 6, but with the recent staff changes, they will book their visit for the Spring Term.
8: Staffing Update
JS was pleased to report that the school’s staffing is at its full complement. JS praised the way in which Mrs Anstee-Brown and Mrs Burchett are conducting their handovers.
JS thanked Mrs A-B for her hard work, and CN for the Maths Workshops.
The governors approved the following policies:-
- General Complaints to School – there is a section to remove, BA will action this.
- Staff & Governor Rights and Responsibilities
- Medicines Policy(supporting children with medical conditions)
10: Training and Development
SS and NB attended the Locality training session – Ensuring the future strategic leadership of the school.
GK, WM and JW have attended the Locality training session – Developing Good Practice in Self Evaluation.
RG has attended a Link Governor Liaison Meeting.
IH has completed an online Safeguarding Children course.
CQ is due to attend her Governor Induction training on 13th Jan 2015.
GK asked whether a letter has been sent to parents regarding Topics that the children will study – JS advised that this information is on the website under Curriculum. GK offered her help (and resources) with any topics as necessary. JS thanked GK for this offer.
Staff Governors left the meeting, and JS left the room whilst the remaining governors discussed the HT Performance Management – documented as Confidential Minutes separately.
Meeting ended at 9.10pm
Dates for Next Meetings:-
Resources Meeting – Thursday 15th January 2015 - 7pm
Q&S meeting – Thursday 22nd January 2015 – 7pm
Summary of Actions