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FGB Minutes 25th March 2015


Full Governing Body

Meeting Minutes – Wednesday 25th March 2015

Present: Chair: Julie Wallace (JW), Vice Chair: Sarah Speed (SS), Gillian Knight (GK), Nicki Brown (NB), Clare Quinlisk (CQ), Andy Guy (AG), Chris Noble (CN), Maria Roberts (MR), Julia Slocombe (JS)

Clerk: Becky Atkinson (BA)

Meeting Commenced: 7pm


1: Apologies for Absence and Declaration of Pecuniary Interest

Apologies for absence were received from Mary Page and Wendy Mason. No apologies were received from Ian Howard. The governors present accepted these. No pecuniary interests noted.

 2: Approval of Minutes from 4th Dec 2014

All Governors present approved the minutes of the Full Governors meeting held on 4th December 2014. 

All Governors required approved the Private & Confidential minutes from the Full Governors meeting held on 4th December 2014.

3: Matters arising from meeting on 4th Dec 2014


Action detail



Invite Yr R teacher (Miss Allan) to Autumn Term meeting to discuss the 17 goals that are used for EYFS assessment – Carry forward to Spring Term Q&SACTIONED 22/1/15



Confirm questions regarding Reconstitution: -

- Is it 9 or 12 minimum size if 3 staff governors?

- Discuss options with County regarding all Co-Opted governors having the same end of Term of Office date

- Parent Governors who are moving into a Co-Opted role; does a vote need to take place?

- Governors to confirm to BA if they are attending the John Yates talk on Reconstitution being held

- Core membership, as this is a minimum of 7 could we therefore have all 13 as core members?

Actioned - On Agenda tonight



Ask JG/County for guidance regarding different models and options for Chair and VC positions

Actioned - Succession Planning on the Agenda tonight



Complete Monitoring Visit form following recent visit to Yr 5




Remove section as discussed from the General Complaints to School policy



4: Reporting to the Governing Body;

i)             Head Teacher report

Ahead of the meeting, governors had been asked to raise questions regarding the HT report which had been circulated. JS took each question in turn and responded accordingly. Key areas were: -

-       JS advised that one of the successes of the school’s focus on monitoring regular reading at home is that expectations have been raised in terms of what the school expects. Sessions have been carried out to support parents, including modelling how to read with your child at home.   

-       The school is heavily focused on moving pupils forward in order to raise their individual achievements. Additional SPAG lessons have been provided as data showed that middle attainers did less well in L5 SPAG test.

-       Governors asked why there appeared to be a dip in attendance for Spring 2015.JS talked through attendance and sickness levels and provided comparisons to the same period for previous years.   

-       JS conducted the lesson observations for the Spring Term with the focus on English. When asked about any external involvement, JS responded that another Head Teacher from the Locality is going to observe next term with JS doing the same at their school.

-       JS provided handouts in response to a question raised regarding the monitoring of planning and marking. A discussion was held about how these were used and how books are monitored across the school.The governors agreed that the pro-formas that were provided display excellent rigour of the process.

-       In response to a question raised regarding the number of pupils in Reception (22), (which is due to a low birth rate in the locality for the year), a discussion followed regarding future predictions, and pupil numbers in Southwater schools generally. 

-       A governor had noticed a variation in the number of PP children monitored for attendance versus data/progress – and JS advised that attendance is tracking ‘current’ PP rather than the ‘forever 6’.

-       A discussion followed regarding the recent visits undertaken by Castlewood teachers to another Locality school, and plans for a similar activity in the next academic year. The governors discussed which schools might be beneficial for staff to visit and learn from. Governors felt it was useful for staff to see different approaches to education, see what works well and discuss ideas for ‘even better if’ at Castlewood.


ii)            Link Governor report


-       Wendy Mason has recently agreed to become the Link Governor replacing Rev’d Godfrey who stepped down from his governor role last month. WM was not present at this meeting as she was attending her Link Governor training. An update will be provided at the next FGB.  Governors were reminded to book on to courses for their own CPD.

iii)          Governor Visits and individual reports

-       JW thanked GK for her recent summary of the Governor Visits for the Spring Term which gave a very comprehensive overview of the area focussed on this term related to the SIP for 14-15.

‘Teaching and Learning: increasingly moving from good to outstanding to achieve 100% good or better 75% good with outstanding features.’

-       It was noted that the form completed by IH following his visit was not properly documented or saved electronically; BA will chase IH for a completed copy.ACTION

-       GK advised that the Spring Term visits went well.

-       There is a gap for the Year 5 visit following RG leaving, CQ kindly agreed to conduct this visit for the Summer Term, with GK completing the Yr 6 visit.

-       GK requested that the Summer Term template is sent to all governors along with a reminder for visits to be booked in – ACTION: BA to send Summer term visit pro forma to all governors.

-       ACTION: BA to put Spring Term overview paperwork into the Governor visit folder.

The Governing Body agreed to move to Agenda Item 7, as SS had been delayed.

7: Regional School Commissioners (RSC)

JS started by asking the governors what they knew about Regional School Commissioners. She went on to advise that 8 had been appointed, with 1 RSC being assigned to the South East and South London. A good discussion followed regarding these appointments, and possible implications longer term on the role of the LA in respect of academies, free schools and maintained schools. This led to a discussion regarding a potential new secondary school in Southwater/Horsham.

8: Policies for approval;

i)             Confidentiality. Decision -the policy was approved.

ii)            Governors Code of Practice policy, red wording to be removed.Decision -the policy was approved.

iii)          Equalities Policy, some dates have been amended. The governors queried if the key objectiveswere still relevant, JS confirmed they were.Decision -the policy was approved.

ACTION: BA to finalise policies and send to the school office.

9: New Governor Handbook

JW advised that a new version of the Governors Handbook has recently been sent to all governors via email. Attention was drawn to the main changes that are mentioned in the appendix.

10: Proposed Staffing Structure 15-16

JS advised that there are no changes expected to the staffing structure for 2015/16. The governors asked about teachers currently on Maternity Leave; Lauren Brown is due to return in July, and Becky Lucas is still on maternity leave also.

11: Training and Development

MR recently ran the Locality Training session (Raising the Achievement of Disadvantaged Children) which was attended by governors from Locality schools, as well as several Castlewood governors; JS, JW, SS, CQ, WM and NB. Discussion followed regarding the course, how important it is that schools use pupil premium money to overcome barriers to learning and that schools are held to account with the impact that the spending has had on the pupils.

JS, JW, SS and MR also attended the John Yates Leadership Sessionwhere head teachers and governors discussed the changes to education and the challenges currently facing schools. Attendees found it extremely useful.  JS attended an Assessment morning with other heads and representatives from other localities. A discussion followed regarding the changes to assessment, which is still relatively unclear.

12: AOB

No items raised under AOB.

The governors were asked to complete and hand in the relevant annual forms regarding Code of Conduct, Membership of the GB and Declarations of Business and Pecuniary Interests.

The Governing Body then returned to the earlier agenda items:

5: Reconstitution of Governing Body

JW talked through the changes to the proposal following the last meeting. Governors had a robust conversation regarding the new instrument and the skill set of the current GB.  Governors reviewed the papers and discussed the core and co-opted membership.  Decision – the Governors approved the new Instrument of Government in respect of the Reconstitution. 

A governor raised a question regarding how many of the ‘Core’ governors are required to be present in order to be quorate at the FGB meeting in July when the governing body will co-opt other governors. ACTION - BA to confirm   

ACTION - BA will prepare the new Instrument and send this to WSCC for approval along with these minutes

A discussion followed regarding the FGB meeting in July, it was noted that the proposed date of Friday 3rd July clashes with District Sports, and it was therefore proposed that the meeting be moved to Thursday 2nd July instead.

All governors to be aware that the FGB in July has been moved to 2nd July, BA will advise all of the governors and the school office – Action

A discussion followed regarding the structure of the day – JW to discuss with MR, SS and JS – Action

JW advised that there is still a vacancy for a Community Governor to replace Rev’d Godfrey, JW is making enquiries.

6. Succession Planning

SS provided an update regarding progress made following completion of the recent Governor Skills Audit, and the preferences that governors were asked to indicate regarding potential roles they might be interested in. This is in line with JW stepping down as Chair at the end of this academic year. 

SS advised that the following new positions have been suggested; these positions will follow the due process for nominations and elections at the Housekeeping meeting in September: - 


Resources Committee

Chair – Nicki Brown

Vice Chair – Clare Quinlisk


Full Governing Body

Chair – Sarah Speed

Vice Chair – Discussions being held


Q&S Committee



Meeting ended at 8.30pm 


Dates for Next Meetings: -


30th April – 7pm Resources Committee

7th May – 7pm Q&S Committee

11th June – 7pm Resources Committee

18th June  - 7pm Q&S Committee

Thursday 2nd July – start time TBC, Full Governing Body Board Day in school


Summary of Actions


Action detail



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



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



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



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



Confirm how many of the Core governors are required to be present in order to be quorate for the FGB in July



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



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



Discuss structure of the day for FGB in July


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