Spring Full Governing Body

NEVILL ROAD INFANT SCHOOL GOVERNING BOARD MINUTES

SPRING TERM 2017

Date: 9th March 2017
Time: 2PM
Venue: The School 

GOVERNORS PRESENT

Mrs M Joyce (Chairperson), Mrs A Marshall (Headteacher), Mrs M Robinson, Mrs J Garnett, Mr J Smith, Ms V North, Ms C Wilke, Mr M Khalid, Ms B Tulloch, Ms J Webster

 

 

IN ATTENDANCE

 

Mrs C Davies              Governor Support Officer

 

 

  1. WELCOME AND APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Governors were welcomed to the meeting.  Apologies for absence were received from Mrs E Duckworth and accepted by the governing board.

 

  1. DECLARATION OF BUSINESS INTERESTS

Governors were asked to declare any business, financial or personal interests; Mrs M Robinson declared her role as an MP and Mrs C Wilke declared her husband’s construction business interest. Governors were reminded that they should declare any interest which arose during the meeting.

 

  1. BUSINESS
    1. Previous Governing Board Minutes

It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 17th November, copies circulated previously, be approved and signed by the Chairperson and authorised for publication.

  1. Matters Arising from Previous Governing Board Minutes

See “Amalgamation” below.

  1. Action Points from Previous Governing Board Minutes

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

MINUTE POINT

ACTION REQUIRED ACTION FOR STATUS
4a Consider committee remit and inform Clerk of any changes PP Chair Not completed–ACTION
4c Consider policy portfolio and produce timetable of review Chair and HT Ongoing–ACTION
7a Send new SDP to Clerk for distribution to governors HT Completed
8a Upload NGA Skills Audit Clerk Completed
8a Complete NGA Skills Audit and return to B Tulloch Governors Completed
8a Upload Governor Development Plan E Duckworth Not completed–ACTION
9e Ensure that the school’s safeguarding arrangements take into account the procedures and practice of the L.A. as part of the inter-agency safeguarding procedures set up by the Local Safeguarding Children Board. Headteacher Completed
9e Note the requirement to ensure that school staff have read and understood Part One of the document Keeping Children Safe in Education. Chair and Headteacher Completed
11e Contact the Chair at NRJ regarding fact-finding about amalgamation Chair Completed
11e Ensure staff are consulted as to discussions Chair and Headteacher Completed
  1. Amalgamation

The Chairperson informed the meeting that the governing boards of both the Infant and Junior Schools had decided not to proceed any further with discussions exploring the amalgamation of the two schools. She explained that the decision had been driven by two major factors:-

  1. The lack of funding available to achieve a full amalgamation, resulting in the continued use of two separate buildings rather than a single purpose-built school on the site, and
  2. The timescale for consultation was lengthy and would result in huge disruption to the education of pupils at both schools.

The Chairperson reported she had met several times with the Chair of Governors at the Junior School and they shared a strong desire to improve coordination between the two schools, as the benefits for the children’s education of collaboration were obvious. It had also been suggested that the governing boards find ways to work more closely together.  One way to achieve this would be for some governors to sit on the boards of both schools; governors AGREED to this proposal. The Chairperson informed the meeting that she had volunteered to join the Junior School’s board but unfortunately there were no vacancies at the moment. The vacancy for a co-opted governor on this board was noted.

The Chairperson had also agreed to sit on the recruitment panel for a new Headteacher at the Junior School; she explained that the job description and person specification for that role included developing the partnership between the two schools. The Chairperson reported that it might be possible for questions from the School Council and/or governors to be included in the interview process. Governors were asked to send any possible questions to the Chairperson for consideration.                                                                                      ACTION

A governor asked if the Junior School hoped to recruit a new Headteacher to start in September. The Chairperson confirmed this. A governor asked if the Joint Committee of the two schools would continue. The Chairperson replied it would and that both she and the Chair of Governors at the Junior School wanted its discussions to be more purposeful in the future.

  1. Matters Arising from Previous Committee Meetings

Governors considered the minutes of the following committee meetings:-

  • Finance and Premises on 2nd February
  • Pupil Progress on 9th February

These were noted and there were no matters arising     .

  1. Attendance Policy

The draft policy had been circulated prior to the meeting. A governor queried how parents could report an absence via the school’s app; the Headteacher explained the process. A governor asked if referrals to the Education Welfare Officer were still made. The Headteacher confirmed this, noting however that the scope of the role had changed in recent times. Governors discussed the policy’s reference to allowing leave of absence for up to ten days during term time in “exceptional circumstances”. A governor asked the Headteacher if she authorised such absences; she confirmed that she did, in circumstances where she felt it appropriate, making it clear to the child’s parents that this authorisation would be given only once during the child’s time at the school. Accordingly, governors APPROVED the policy. A governor asked if this was a matter suitable for discussion by the Joint Committee; the Chairperson confirmed it was.                    ACTION

Mr Khalid left the meeting at 2.25pm

  1. Behaviour and Discipline Policy

The Headteacher informed the meeting that the draft policy made only minor changes to the previous policy. A governor asked if the policy mentioned RA. The Headteacher replied that it did not but could be included in the future.

Mr Khalid returned at 2.29pm

The Headteacher explained that the policy would be shared with parents to demonstrate how the school encouraged good behaviour and would deal with any poor behaviour (which was rare). Governors APPROVED the policy, subject to the proviso that it be reviewed in September with the new Headteacher of the Junior School.                                              ACTION

 

  1. RESOURCES
    1. Budget Update

The Headteacher distributed copies of the latest budget monitoring report and which had been discussed with the LA’s finance officer. She reported that the in-year deficit (-£37,107) and cumulative surplus carry forward (£45,811) had changed from those reported previously to the Finance & Premises committee.   She explained that the change resulted from a change to the income received for two year olds, which was always cautiously calculated due to difficulties in accurately predicting the eventual amount received. She reported that the budget for the next financial year looked healthy but the carry forward figure into the following year would reduce. She noted that the income received from Little Bears allowed the school to stay in credit.

  1. Approval of the Budget 2017/18

Governors noted that the budget was not yet available for approval.

Mr Khalid left the meeting at 2.41pm

Governors noted that the school estimated conservatively that 60 pupils would start in Reception in September. Should final numbers be higher, the budget would be revised accordingly.

Mr Khalid returned to the meeting at 2.42pm

Governors were informed the Budget would be reviewed by the Finance & Premises committee at its first meeting in the summer term and presented to the full governing board thereafter.

  1. Approval of School Fund Audit/ Audit Arrangements

Governors were informed that the arrangements for the audit of the School Fund would remain the same as in previous years.

  1. To Consider and Approve any Changes to the Buyback of L.A. Services

The Headteacher reported that the buyback of Speech & Language therapy was under consideration, as the school had bought the service during the last year but staffing issues had prevented a therapist from attending. A governor asked how the needs of the children who required the service were being addressed instead. The Headteacher replied that there were a number of pupils with complex S&L needs and staff were doing what they could by re-using old plans and sharing suggestions. However, this was not ideal as staff were not specialists. Governors discussed how they could assist with improving this situation and it was AGREED that they would write to the S&L service demanding action, if a start date was not provided shortly for the therapist to visit school.                          ACTION

 

The Headteacher informed governors that a number of small buybacks relating to building services were being reassessed due to their cost-effectiveness. A new buyback for Educational Psychology services was under consideration.

  1. Scheme of Delegation Form 2017/18

The current limits were considered and were felt to be appropriate.

 

  1. HEADTEACHER’S TERMLY REPORT

The Headteacher’s Report had been circulated to the governors prior to the meeting and questions were invited.

The Headteacher discussed the issues impacting on the likelihood of Reception pupils achieving GLD by the end of the year. She outlined why the figures for children working at a greater depth were very cautious at this stage and it was noted that the spring term data should demonstrate an increase.

Governors discussed attendance and the Headteacher outlined the measures in place for those families where persistently poor attendance had been identified.

The Headteacher explained the low level of involvement to date with the Team Around the School due to the lack of contact from the assigned social worker.

The Headteacher was thanked for her report and there being no further questions it was RESOLVED that the Headteacher’s report be received.

 

  1. STANDING ITEMS
    1. School Improvement Plan (SIP) / School Development Plan (SDP) Update

The Headteacher reported no changes to the current SDP and that a number of actions were still outstanding.

 

Mr Khalid left the meeting at 2.59pm

 

A governor asked when the assemblies for parents would start. The Headteacher replied this would be after Easter. A governor asked how questions from Ofsted during an inspection regarding the number of children working at greater depth should be answered.

 

Mr Khalid returned to the meeting at 3.01pm

 

Governors were reminded of the previous discussions on this topic and the school’s robust approach to evidencing the genuine achievement of working at greater depth. The Headteacher explained the school’s belief that it challenged all pupils, including the more able, and that it continued to do so but now also included a bigger emphasis on achieving greater depth in all subjects.

 

  1. Appraisal Update

The Headteacher confirmed the appraisal schedule was on track. A governor asked what sources of information for assessment were used apart from lesson observation. The Headteacher replied that methods such as a book scrutiny, a review of class data and footage from IRIS were also included. A governor suggested that parent and/or pupil voice might be included and agreed to provide copies of surveys used in other settings. ACTION

 

  1. Report on Racist, Bullying, Homophobic Incidents

The Headteacher reported that there had not been any racist incidents in school during the autumn 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.

ALSO

The Headteacher reported that there had not been any incidents of bullying or homophobic behaviour during the autumn term.

  1. Report on Physical Interventions

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

  1. Young Carers Update

There were no identified young carers in the school.

 

  1. GOVERNOR DEVELOPMENT
    1. Co-opted governor vacancy

This was discussed earlier in the meeting.

  1. Governing Board Development Plan

The Development Governor distributed hard copies of the skills audit forms, which governors completed before leaving the meeting. The Development Governor agreed to collate the responses and to update the Plan for the next meeting.                             ACTION

  1. Induction Plan and Process
  2. Succession Planning
  3. Training Feedback

Governors were encouraged to attend training courses made available by Governor Services.

  1. Governor Conference

It was noted that this year’s conference would take place at Marple Hall School on Saturday 11thMarch 2017.  Governors were encouraged to attend and to feedback information from the sessions they attended. Governors noted that registration was now open via the GOVAS Website – www.govas.org.uk.

Mr Khalid left the meeting at 3.17pm

 

  1. BRIEFING PAPERS FROM STOCKPORT LOCAL AUTHORITY
    1. Schools’ Finance Update

 

  • Guidance upon the completion of the SFVS was noted. The return is to be submitted to the L.A. by 31.3.17.                                                                            ACTION
  • The Chairperson confirmed that the return was nearly complete and would be returned before the deadline.
  • Governors were updated upon the key drivers informing the school budget 2017/18.

 

Mr Khalid returned to the meeting at 3.20pm

 

  1. Capacity Issues in Stockport Schools
  • Governors noted the guidance.
    1. Safeguarding
  • Governors noted the guidance.
    1. Early Years Update
  • Governors noted the guidance.
  1. e) Governance Issues
  • The Headteacher confirmed that DBS checks were in place for all governors.
  • The Headteacher reported that the required governor information had not yet been uploaded to the Edubase website. The Clerk agreed to assist with providing further information in this regard.             ACTION
  1. DATES
    1. Full Governing Board

Thursday 6th July at 6pm (after Governor Open Day at 9.30am)

  1. Committee Meetings

Pay committee: Thursday 18th May at 5.30pm

Finance & Premises: Thursday 18th May at 6pm

Pupil Progress: Thursday 15th June at 5.30pm (after a book scrutiny at 10am)

Joint committee—TBA

Headteacher Performance Management: immediately after this meeting (at which time a date for the summer term meeting would be set)

 

  1. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
  • End of Term of Office

No governor’s term of office was due to expire before 31st March 2017.

 

  • Residential Trips

Not applicable in this setting

 

  • Safety of pedestrian access

Governors discussed the issue of pedestrian safety when entering the school premises via the main entrance. It was noted that the back entrance provided safe pedestrian access at all times, but this was not convenient for many parents. This issue was raised by Ofsted in a previous inspection and had been noted during the Health & Safety walk round. Governors AGREED that the Headteacher should contact the LA to obtain advice on potential solutions to this issue.                                                                                                  ACTION

Governors also AGREED that this issue should be brought before the Joint Committee at its next meeting.                                                                                                                                       ACTION

  • Amalgamation

This item was discussed earlier and no further questions were put to the Chairperson.

 

  • NFFF

Governors discussed the impact of the draft NFFF on the school and noted the consultation closing date. Mrs Robinson updated governors on her recent discussions with the Minister of State for Schools.

 

With no further business to discuss, the Chairperson thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 3.49 pm.

MINUTE POINT

ACTION REQUIRED ACTION FOR DATE ACTION TO BE COMPLETED
3 (c) Consider committee remit and inform Clerk of any changes PP Chair Next PP committee meeting
3 (c) Consider policy portfolio and produce timetable of review Chair and HT Post meeting
3 (c)/7 (b) Update and circulate Governor Development Plan Development Governor Prior to next full GB meeting
3 (d) Send questions to Chair for possible use in recruitment of Junior School’s HT All governors ASAP
3 (f) Discuss Attendance Policy at next Joint Committee meeting Chair Post meeting
3 (g) Discuss Behaviour & Discipline Policy with incoming Junior School HT HT Autumn term
4 (d) If necessary, write to LA regarding lack of visits by S&L therapist Chair Post meeting
6 (b) Provide sample parent and/or pupil voice surveys to Chair Development Governor Post meeting
8 (a) Submit completed SFVS return Chair By 31.03.17
8 (e) Provide Edubase assistance and information Clerk Post meeting
10 (c) Contact LA for advice on solutions to pedestrian access safety issue HT Post meeting
10 (c) Discuss safe pedestrian access at next Joint Committee meeting Chair Post meeting

 

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