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FGB Minutes 2nd July 2015

Full Governing Body – Meeting Minutes

Thursday 2nd July 2015

Present:Julie Wallace (JW), Sarah Speed (SS), Gillian Knight (GK), Nicki Brown (NB), Clare Quinlisk (CQ), Maria Roberts (MR), Julia Slocombe (JS), Mary Page (MP), Ian Howard (IH), Wendy Mason (WM)

Clerk: Becky Atkinson (BA)

Meeting Commenced: 9.30am                                                                                                                                              

1.       Apologies for absence and Declarations of Pecuniary Interests

Apologies were received from Chris Noble. No apologies were received from Andy Guy. The governors accepted these. No pecuniary interests noted.            

2.       Reconstitution of Governing Body 

JW reminded the governors of the recent Reconstitution which came into effect on 1st July 2015.

DECISION - The Core governors approved the appointment of the Co-Opted governors; Gillian Knight, Ian Howard, Wendy Mason and Mary Page.

The Governing Body currently has one vacancy for a Co-Opted governor.                               

3.       Approval of Minutes from 25th March 2015 

All governors present approved the minutes of the Full Governors meeting held on 25th March 2015.

4.       Matters arising from meeting on 25th March 2015                                  

No.

Action detail

Responsibility

1

Obtain updated Spring Term visit form from IH following his visit to Year 4 ACTIONED

BA

2

Send Summer Term monitoring visit template to all governors along with a reminder for visits to be booked in. ACTIONED

BA

3

Put a copy of the Spring Term overview paperwork into the Governor visit folder. ACTIONED

BA

4

Finalise policies as approved in the meeting, and send to the school office - ACTIONED

BA

5

Confirm how many of the Core governors are required to be present in order to be quorate for the FGB in July – ACTIONED. This is the same as for normal FGB and Committees (50%), so 4 of the Core governors would be required in order to be quorate for 2/7/15 and for the Co-Opted governors to be appointed.

BA

6

Prepare new instrument of government following agreement to new Reconstitution model and send to WSCC - ACTIONED

BA

7

Inform School Office and governors that the FGB in July is proposed for Thursday 2nd July - ACTIONED

BA

8

Discuss structure of the day for FGB in July - ACTIONED

JW/SS/MR/JS

5.       Reporting to the Governing Body   

 

a)      Head Teacher’s report

The governors had been asked to read the HT report prior to the meeting, and raise questions accordingly. JS proceeded to respond to the questions raised. Key points are summarised below:-

-        In classes with low numbers, e.g. current Reception year with 23 children, every child therefore counts as a higher percentage in terms of data. So it may only take one or two children who are not meeting expectations to bring the percentages down. It was also noted that the current Reception year group is two-thirds boys. A governor asked whether there was anything that the governors need to keep an eye on - JS assured the governors that whilst you have to be careful not to be alarmed for the reasons outlined above, moving into Year 1, there are 2 pupils who will work with Sue Parkins to support them further.

-        A discussion followed regarding the school’s priority to engage with ‘hard to reach parents’ and the governors asked questions regarding progress made in this respect.  This was also discussed in more detail under section 6 and the addendum (part 2) minutes.

-        A governor challenged the HT regarding the need to have SPAG on the HT report for the next academic year – JS confirmed that she would report on this from now on as it is measureable data.

-        A long discussion followed regarding joint observations, and the school’s target to move Teaching and Learning from Good to Outstanding including methods on how this could be achieved.

-        The governors discussed whether or not monitoring visits for next year should include time spent in classroom observing teachers. Currently, governors meet with staff away from the class.A discussion about Maths Book monitoring followed. A governor recommended that it might be useful for governors to see how the monitoring of booksprocess works, just as a fly on the wall.

-        Singapore Maths was discussedand how this method can enhance the good practice already being carried out.

-        The importance of TAs was recognised and discussed.

-        A governor asked whether the school has enough Learning Mentors – it was appreciated that whilst more would be great, there is not enough funding to support this.

-        The governors discussed a recent Locality talk given by Will Ryan (ex Teacher and now inspirational speaker).

-        JS confirmed that PM reviews were currently in hand, and would be completed during the last two weeks of term when Mrs Brown and Mrs Lucas were available to cover.

-        An active discussion followed regarding Absence, and the governors discussed in some length whether or not to introduce fines for unauthorised absence.

ACTION – (1a). Further analysis needs to be done to understand the impact – this will be done based on past unauthorised absence to ascertain how many families would have been affected. (1b). A paragraph will also be included in a future school newsletter to advise parents that the governing body are considering fines for unauthorised absence. JS will decide which newsletter to put this into. (JS)

ACTION – (1c). JS to discuss Absence at the next West Horsham heads meeting to see what is being done regarding absence in the locality. (JS)

ACTION – (2). Ensure this is on the agenda for Resources in the Autumn term, with a view to making a final decision at FGB in Dec 2015. (BA)

 

 

b)      Link Governor Report

-        WM confirmed that she has drafted the content for the next governor newsletter.

-        A discussion followed regarding forthcoming training courses. ACTION - (3). A full list of courses available will be sent to all governors (WM/BA).

-        It was noted that as well as discussing what training governors have completed during our meetings as regular agenda items, it was also important to discuss what training can and needs to be done in the future across the governing body.

ACTION – (4). As of Sept 2015, governors should use the training and development section of the meetings to discuss upcoming courses /CPD requirements for governors. (BA/WM)

 

6.       Governor Visits and Individual Reports                                                                        

-        GK provided a summary of the term’s visits – a discussion followed and the governors highlighted the exceptional effort that staff are putting in, in order to engage with the ‘hard to reach’ parents.

-        A governor challenged the group as to whether this was having impact, and whether those parents are becoming ‘easier to reach’.

-        JS provided an example of a recent meeting with parents where the engagement has noticeably improved as a result of the extra effort by her and other staff members. A discussion followed regarding how we are tracking and logging this achievement.

 

A discussion followed about visits with TAs and office staff in addition to teachers. Some governors pointed out that the TA is often present during their visits and provides input to the meetings. The quality of the TAs is always recognised by the governors and the teaching staff.

 

The governors then proceeded to provide summaries of their time spent in class that morning; all of the governors who visited classes were impressed by the level of teaching that they saw, and by the engagement of the children. The governors agreed that the objectives of their visits were met. See addendum (part 2) minutes. 

7.       SIP 14/15 review of the year

The governors agreed to discuss the review of the SIP at the session planned later on in the day – minutes of this session will be provided as an addendum to these minutes.                                                                         

8.       Confirm HT PM panel for 15/16

GK confirmed that she was stepping down from the panel at the end of this school year. SS and MP would continue but a third governor is required; a brief overview was provided of the responsibilities and time requirements for this role.

ACTION – (5). Governors were asked to consider whether they would like to move into this position, and it will be discussed again at the first Resources Committee of the Autumn Term (BA).                                              

9.       To discuss procedure for Heatwave alert part of Emergency Plan                    

JW informed the governors that whilst the Emergency Plan was previously agreed in November 2014, there have been additional guidelines recently provided by WSCC regarding heatwaves.

A discussion followed regarding a recent spell of hot weather, and how the school deals with this.

DECISION – the governors agreed to adopt the Heatwave procedures as part of the Emergency Plan.

10.   Policies                                                                                                                       

a)      General Complaints to School policy

JW discussed the changes to the model WSCC policy, with the current 3 stage process now becoming 4 stages which makes the policy more robust.

DECISION – the governors approved the policy. Next review Autumn 2016.

b)      How to deal with Complaints within your own GB procedures

The governors discussed the new model policy that has been provided by the NGA, they were comfortable that they have a robust induction process that discusses complaints within the GB and were therefore happy to adopt the policy.

DECISION – the governors approved the policy. Next review Spring 2017.

ACTION – (6). Tidy up the policies and send to the school office. Let the office know the new review dates and that ‘Complaints within the GB’ is a new policy (BA).

11.   Training and Development                

A wide range of training and development courses and initiatives have been completed, these are listed below – the governors were reminded that any training which has been completed outside of their governor roles is equally as important to note and acknowledge.

JS – O-Track

IH – Safeguarding Children

NB – Fraud

CQ - Competency Based Interviewing

SS – Coaching (refresher)

MP – Organisational Development, and Talent & Succession Planning

MR – Mock Ofsted

ACTION – (7) Ensure the Training Plan is updated, and provide WM with a copy of the latest version (BA). 

12.   AOB

A discussion was held regarding after school clubs, and in particular the Girls and Boys football that is offered.

A governor asked about a leaving present for CN – JW advised this is in hand. 

Meeting ended at 11.40am.

The governors remained in school and were present for additional sessions throughout the day – minutes from these sessions are documented separately as Part 2 minutes.  

Date of next meeting:

Thursday 17th September 2015, 7pm – Housekeeping Meeting

Summary of Actions

No.

Action detail

Responsibility

1

a) Confirm how many families would have been affected by a possible fine for unauthorised absence – for discussion at Resources in the Autumn Term.

b) Draft a paragraph to be included in a future school newsletter to advise parents that the governing body are considering fines for unauthorised absence.

c) Discuss Absence at the next West Horsham heads meeting to see what procedures are in place in other local schools.

JS

2

Ensure unauthorised absence and fines is on the agenda for Resources in the Autumn term, with a view to making a final decision at FGB in Dec 2015.

BA

3

Provide governors with a full list of training courses available

WM/BA

4

As of Sept 2015, governors should use the training and development section of the meetings to discuss upcoming courses /CPD requirements for governors.

WM/BA

5

Ensure that HT Performance Management panel is on the agenda for Resources (Autumn Term), a governor is needed to replace GK, and will join SS and MP on the new panel for 15/16.

BA

6

Tidy up the 3 policies and send to the school office. Let the office know the new review dates and that ‘Complaints within the GB’ is a new policy (BA).

BA

7

Update the Training Plan with recent training completed, and provide WM with a copy of the latest version.

BA

Priorities 2014/15 

Raise standards in English - 100% of able pupils make expected progress and 45% make more than expected progress

Teaching and Learning increasingly moving from Good to Outstanding

Greater Engagement with hard to reach parents 

What difference have we made to the school through what we have discussed today?  

Full Governing Body – addendum to main Meeting Minutes

Additional sessions held following main FGB meeting - Thursday 2nd July 2015

Present:Julie Wallace (JW), Sarah Speed (SS), Gillian Knight (GK), Nicki Brown (NB), Clare Quinlisk (CQ), Maria Roberts (MR), Julia Slocombe (JS), Mary Page (MP), Ian Howard (IH), Wendy Mason (WM)

Clerk: Becky Atkinson (BA)

Meeting Commenced: 11.50am

1. Governors discussion of session in class 8.45-9.15am

Engagement of Pupils - questions to consider:

-        What is the learning purpose during this time?

-        Do pupils understand what they are learning?

-        Can pupils explain their learning?

Governors discussed what they had seen during their time in class.  Governors were in the Reception class up to Year 4.  Year 5 had a water sports day at the Country Park and Year 6 had their Secondary School induction day.  Paperwork will be put in the governor visits folder.

Governors felt that the children could explain what they were doing across each class.  Some classes were doing ‘cold activities’ which were done in a specific book where they worked independently.  There was a carousel of activities, which the children moved around throughout the week.  One class had handwriting practice that was differentiated.  Children could explain how they had to adapt their handwriting due to the electronic marking of tests being introduced.

All governors felt that the children had a strong understanding of the routines during this time.  The children understood what they were learning, and they could explain their learning to the governors.  The learning purpose varied across the key stages.

Governors felt that this time in class was worthwhile as it gave them contact with the children during the school day.

 

2. Governors Review of the Year

Prior to the session, the governors had all been provided with a self review of the year document and had been asked to complete this ahead of the meeting. A summary of the completed responses is provided as a separate document in addition to this summary.

JW led the session, and the group focused on the review and achievements of the school improvement priorities for the 2014/15 academic year.                

ACTION – (1). A governor pointed out that the language used on the HT Performance Management plan and reviews should now match the language used as per the new curriculum (JS/SS).

 

Priority 1

Raise standards in English – 100% of able pupils make expected progress and 45% make more than expected progress

 

A discussion followed regarding this priority, and in particular the school’s focus on parent workshops and reading diaries. The governors were in agreement that the school has worked hard to improve standards in English, and this has been evidenced during the governor’s monitoring visits and through in-house data monitoring throughout the year.  Test data will be reviewed in November 2015 in the Q&S Committee meeting.

 

Priority 2

Teaching and Learning increasingly moving from Good to Outstanding

It was noted that a good discussion had already been held regarding lesson observations during the FGB meeting in the morning.

A governor asked about external validation of lesson observations – JS discussed the partnership with St Johns primary school. A long and challenging discussion followed regarding whether or not the governors felt this was enough, with references made to the previous Ofsted inspection where the importance of external validation was highlighted. It was discussed that the LA can provide further validation of the quality of teaching.

MR pointed out that this was her role within WSCC – and this is something she undertakes for other Horsham schools. Following a healthy discussion, it was agreed that MR would conduct a formal visit to Castlewood in the Spring Term but with a ‘LA hat’ on, not a ‘Parent Governor hat’.

The focus of the visit(s) will be Data Review, Teaching and Leadership, and will involve a Book Look, Learning Walk, and interviews with key staff and governors.

NB also offered to come in and do an external validation of the school’s Finance.

DECISION - MR to conduct a formal LA visit Spring 2016.

DECISION - NB to conduct a visit to look at the school finances.

 

Priority 3

Greater engagement with hard to reach parents

The governors agreed that this was discussed in some depth during the morning meeting. It is felt that this has been a strong area for the school this year, and a lot of extra effort has been evidenced.

To conclude this session, it was agreed that the overall summary of comments received would be collated and circulated by BA – ACTION (2).

There is a Heads and Chairs meeting being held on Thursday 16th July to discuss structures and agendas for the forthcoming academic year – some of the comments received in the Even Better If section of the self review will be discussed further then. 

ACTION (3) - BA to collate all comments of good/even better if ready for discussion at meeting on 16th July.

Governors adjourned for lunch at 12.30pm.

Child Protection Training

The meeting resumed at 1pm and JS led the session on Child Protection. The purpose of this was to update governors on most recent CP training. Key points:-

-        A robust discussion was held regarding the new Prevent strategy that had just come through and the implications this would have on the school and governors.

-        Governors discussed which areas of abuse the school is most likely to see (physical, emotional).

-        Governors were made aware of changes to the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) which is now Holistix. 

-        A discussion was held about barriers to sharing problems at home and how staff are supported by SLT and JS as the CP officer if a situation arises.

ACTION (4) - JS to send the slides to BA for onward circulation to the governors

ACTION (5) - BA to add all attendees to the governor training record

ACTION (6) - Prevent toolkit and child protection policy to be reviewed in Autumn 2015 (JS/BA)

New Governor’s Website

SS provided an overview of the new governor website – this will be accessed via the main school website, but will only be accessible with a username and password. The structure, layout and content were all discussed. Key points were:-

-        Policies, and the management of policies, will be included on the website and BA will take this on from JW.

-        Confidential minutes (from Pay Committees and regarding HT performance management) will not be put on the website, and will be kept separate as they are now.

-        All governors will receive individual usernames and passwords.

-        Governors discussed how the new system could be used to support them, and queried whether a guest user could be given a log on.

AOB

A governor asked about meeting dates for the next academic year – these will be discussed in the meeting on 16th July and will be circulated to all governors once confirmed. ACTION (7) BA to send out dates once confirmed.

Meeting ended at 2.30pm

Summary of Actions

No.

Action detail

Responsibility

1

Ensure the language on the HT’s Performance Management plan and subsequent review documents match the new language as per the new curriculum

JS/SS

2

Collate all comments received from governors, and circulate the Review of the Year summary

BA

3

Collate all comments of good/even better if ready for discussion at meeting on 16th July

BA

4

Send the slides from the Child Protection session to Becky, for circulation to the governors

JS/BA

5

Add all attendees to the governor training record

BA

6

The Prevent Toolkit, and Child Protection Policy to be reviewed in the Autumn Term 2015.

JS/BA

7

Advise governors of meeting dates for 2015/16 academic year

BA

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