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Blossomfield

Infant and Nursery School

'Blossom at Blossomfield'

Minutes of FGB Meeting - 3 July 2019 FINAL

 

Page 1 of 9 Chair’s Initials _____________

Minutes of the Statutory Meeting of The Board of Governors at Blossomfield Infant & Nursery School on Wednesday 3 July 2019

Present: Mrs L Bosley (Chair of Governing Body) (LB), Mrs B Farkas (Headteacher) (BF), Mrs S Church (SC), Mrs D Rothwell (DR), Mrs Michelle Wilson (MW), Mrs Olivia Chapman (OC), Ms Sophie Garraty (SG) – from 6.06pm, Councillor Annette Mackenzie (AM), Mr J Shaw (JS) – from 6.02pm Mr Stuart Hughes – from 6.10pm

Apologies:

Absent without

Apologies:

In Attendance: Mrs P Atkinson (Business Manager) (PA), Mrs K Morrison (KM) (Deputy Headteacher), Ms Deborah Yardley (Clerk to The Governing Body) (DY)

The meeting opened at 6pm and was quorate throughout (minimum 7 governors)

NB GOVERNOR CHALLENGE IS SHOWN BELOW IN BOLD Agenda Item

Supporting Documents

2

Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting 13 March 2019

Minutes of Full Governing Body Meeting 15 May 2019

4

3-year budget forecast from 2019/20

Outturn 2019/20 at May 2019 – Childcare

Outturn 2019/20 at May 2019 - School

Quotation Summary for Asbestos 3 July 2019

5

Instrument of Governance

Training records June 2019

Annual Training Programme 2019/20

7

Headteacher’s Report Summer 2019

CPD Summary Training Record

Childcare Report to Governors June 2019

Curriculum report

Governors SSE proforma

9

Minutes of Teaching & Learning Committee 1 May 2019

11

Chair’s Action Summer 2019

12

Governor Membership Information for website July 2019

 

Minute Item

Outcomes

7.1

The Clerk would advise Governor Services of JS’s resignation as a parent governor and remove JS from GovernorHub and email distribution lists.

Minute ref: BFGB03079.1

7.2

The minutes of the meetings held on 13 March 2019 and 15 May 2019 were approved and signed by the Chair as true and accurate records of the meetings.

Minute ref: BFGB03079.2

7.3

Governors unanimously agreed the proposal for Resources Committee to

become the Resources & Pay Committee and take responsibility for agreement of pay recommendations from 2019/20. New Terms of Reference would be required and would be discussed at the first meeting of 2019/20.

Minute ref: BFGB03079.3

Governors agreed to progress the Asbestos Abatement quote to include £350 for air monitoring.

Minute ref: BFGB03079.4

7.5

Governors agreed to reduce the board to 10 – to include 3 parent governors and 4 co-opted governors, all other categories to be unchanged. The Chair would progress paperwork with Governor Services.

Minute ref: BFGB03079.5

SG and OC agreed to progress the governors skills audit and the Chair would pass on paperwork to enable a brainstorming session and assessment of strengths and weaknesses.

Minute ref: BFGB03079.6

Governors agreed that it was important that OC attended the EAL course which was on same date as the next Full Board Meeting and the Clerk would note OC’s apologies.

Minute ref: BFGB03079.7

7.7

All governors were asked to read part 1 and 5 of KCSIE.

Minute ref: BFGB03079.8

Governors were welcome to attend the staff inset day and the Headteacher would confirm the information to all governors.

Minute ref: BFGB03079.9

The Chair would write to Lee Bennett and Mrs Sue Allso to thank them for the contribution they have made to the PTA.

Minute ref: BFGB03079.10

The Chair would find out if she could share the SIA’s report with governors.

Minute ref: BFGB03079.11

7.11

Governors agreed to purchase the Learning Link offer which the NGA offered Gold members for £70 and the SBM was asked to progress.

Minute ref: BFGB03079.12

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting. There had been no apologies for absence. SG had advised that she would be 5-10 minutes late arriving. The Chair had written to JS who was attending his last meeting as a governor as he had tendered his resignation as a parent governor. The Clerk would advise Governor Services of JS’s resignation and remove JS from GovernorHub and email distribution lists.

7.1.1

Declaration of Pecuniary Interests

There were no changes to any declared interests or new declared interests.

7.2

Minutes of the meetings held on 13 March 2019 (Statutory) and 15 May 2019 (Budget Approval)

The minutes of the meetings held on 13 March 2019 and 15 May 2019 were approved and signed by the Chair as true and accurate records of the meetings.

7.3

Matters arising from the minutes

The Chair noted that the attendance at the SGA meeting on 24 June had been worthwhile.

[JS arrived at 6.02pm.]

The Chair outlined the proposal discussed at Finance Committee for the agreement of salary recommendations to be taken into responsibilities of Finance Committee which would become the Finance & Pay Committee. A governor noted this was a decision taken to ensure that the Full Governing Body was able to discuss more strategic matters. Governors unanimously agreed to this proposal effective from 2019/20.

[SG arrived at 6.06pm.]

7.4

Finance Committee Report

Budget 2018/19 - end of financial year update

This had been discussed at Resources Committee.

Budget 2019/20 – progress v actual

The SBM advised that the 3-year budget forecast would replace the 5-year forecast. The budget forecast had updated new pupil numbers but assumed staff would remain the same and would be subject to increments. It also did not take into account the teachers’ pay and pension grants because due to the Autumn spending review there was no commitment these grants would continue.

Governors noted that under the 3-year forecast, income from Childcare would reduce as staff increments increased. The school picture showed income remaining static

with staff costs increasing. Therefore, the school would need to use reserves to fund the difference between the income and costs. There would also be the challenge of premises improvements. Resources Committee had agreed to look at the longer-term picture once the results of the spending review were announced.

The SFVS had been discussed at Resources Committee. There would be a new format for 2019/20 so a working party had been formed to agree the plans for the new format. The SFVS would be brought to the Full Board next March for agreement.

[SH arrived at 6.07pm]

3 quotes for Asbestos remedial work were reviewed.

Property Services – for encapsulation and did not include meter cupboard.

Enviro-Safe – refused to quote for water heaters in 2 cupboards

Asbestos Abatement – comprehensive quote, had previously completed work on site and were the recommended quotation

Governors were advised that the areas concerned were not areas used by staff or pupils. Encapsulation would not cause long term problems and would be sufficient for these areas.

A governor asked if there was any feedback from other customers about the 3 providers. The SBM said that Property Services were well known to the school and Asbestos Abatement had completed work on site previously. The Enviro-Safe quote had been ruled out as it was significantly higher at more than £9k for encapsulation.

A governor asked whether the recommended solution of encapsulation would cause long term issues and if the asbestos might need to be removed in the long term. The Headteacher said that current Health & Safety guidance was that asbestos should be left alone and it should be encapsulated. Some areas of the school had already been encapsulated e.g. the soffits. Asbestos was inspected every year and a register maintained. A governor questioned whether the meter cupboard could be redecorated if it was encapsulated and the Headteacher confirmed it could.

A governor suggested that the wide variation in the quotes meant the specification had been understood differently. Governors sought assurance that the very limited group of people who had access to the areas in question must know what they were allowed to do and were not permitted to do. The Headteacher confirmed this was the case and the asbestos register had to be checked prior to any work being carried out. Asbestos Abatement had previously carried out encapsulation work on site for soffits in Hazel and Rowan class.

A governor asked if air monitoring was mandatory. The SBM confirmed that it was a school decision. This would cost £350 for Asbestos Abatement. Governors agreed to progress the Asbestos Abatement quote to include £350 for air monitoring.

7.5

Governance

7.5.1 Instrument of Governance

With JS about to leave the board and the great difficulty experienced in recruiting

new governors, the Chair had asked Natasha Chamberlain (NC) from Governor Services to review the Instrument of Governance approved in 2014. NC had noted that the current board was top heavy with 4 parent governor positions. By contrast, a 790-pupil school in Solihull had only 2 parent governor positions. The Chair wanted to gain governors thoughts on the proposal not to replace JS as a parent governor and to reduce the number of parent governors to 3 from 4. In addition, owing to the difficulty in recruiting co-opted governors, the proposal was to reduce the amount from 5 to 4. Therefore, the total number of governors proposed would be 10 compared to 12 at present.

Current DfE guidance was that a smaller tighter board of governors was preferable with the DfE suggestion that 7 governors was a good working board.

Governors were asked for their thoughts. A governor questioned the thinking behind the structure in 2014. The Chair said that this was adopted based on the suggestion from the LA at that time. The Clerk provided the benefit of her experience clerking at 4 other schools and noted that secondary schools typically had 2 parent governor positions and primary schools had 3 parent governor positions.

The Chair said that any agreement would need to go to a Full Council Meeting for approval.

A governor noted that 3 parent governors had started their term of office at the same time and asked whether the start dates could be staggered. It was confirmed that the 4-year term was standard and could not be varied.

The Chair outlined 2 potential candidates for the co-opted governor position. One was a SEN qualified teacher which would fill a skill gap on the board.

A governor suggested advertising the co-opted vacancy on Facebook

Inspiring Governance.

Governors agreed the board needed to represent the school community and in particular wanted to encourage applications from males and ethnic minorities to become governors as they were currently under-represented.

Governors agreed to wait to see if the 2 potential candidates for the co-opted vacancy decided to put themselves forward before making a decision on advertisement.

Governors agreed to reduce the board to 10 – to include 3 parent governors and 4 co-opted governors, all other categories to be unchanged. The Chair would progress paperwork with Governor Services.

7.5.2 Governors Skills Audit

After the completion of the NGA skills audit last summer, governors agreed there needed to be a follow up. SG and OC agreed to take this on and the Chair would pass on paperwork to enable a brainstorming session and assessment of strengths and weaknesses.

7.5.3 Governor Training

Governors now booked training online via GovernorHub. Governors agreed that it was important that OC attended the EAL course which was on same date as

the next Full Board Meeting and the Clerk would note OC’s apologies.

7.5.4 Training records

Governors were delighted to note that the Spring Term training records showed a very comprehensive coverage of all subjects.

7.6

Adoption of policies

None.

7.7

Report of the Headteacher

The report had been made available on GovernorHub prior to the meeting.

7.7.1 School Organisation

The school was fully staffed as of September 2019.

A governor asked for more details about part time timetables and the response has been noted as a Confidential Minute to avoid any potential identification of individual children.

7.7.2 Sites and Buildings

Noted.

7.7.3 Staffing / Personnel

Governors noted that it was the Headteacher’s responsibility to appoint staff members to class. The staffing of the school had been discussed at Resources Committee to ensure staff were making the appropriate progress with their career development.

Governors agreed that children benefitted from staff working across Childcare and school.

7.7.4 Safeguarding

All governors were asked to read part 1 and 5 of KCSIE. There would be new guidance from September 2019 which will impact on safer recruitment policy.

A governor asked about the timescale for completion of the evaluation report. The Headteacher advised she would like them returned before summer holiday. There was an evaluation form on GovernorHub which governors should use as the template.

Governors noted the emerging themes for the SDP relating to subject specific improvements, curriculum review, governors, reducing staff workload, estate, EHWB staff and children.

Governors were welcome to attend the staff inset day and the Headteacher would confirm the information to all governors. The Headteacher would find it very useful to have input from governors.

There had not been any feedback from the LA on the SDP. Synergy would meet in September to discuss all their schools SDP.

OC confirmed she had very much enjoyed attending EAL and arts and crafts day. Children had felt very special and parents welcomed the benefits of languages day. The Headteacher noted that it was the intention for this to become part of culture of the school.

The Chair would write to Lee Bennett and Mrs Sue Allso to thank them for the contribution they have made to the PTA.

Governors noted that the safeguarding audit completed.

7.7.5 Blossomfield Childcare

The report was noted.

7.7.6 Community & Events

7.7.7 National & Local Updates

The Headteacher provided an update on the new Ofsted framework from September 2019. In 2008 the school had been rated as outstanding which was monitored by the LA and outlined the circumstances that might result in an Ofsted inspection. Focus on progress and personal and social opportunities for children.

The Headteacher was working on a charter to encourage all schools to take children with additional needs.

A governor asked if all governors could receive a copy of the SIA ‘s report which was sent to the Chair. The Chair confirmed she would find out if she could share the report with governors.

The Chair would sign the SCR before the end of term. The incident and bullying registers were all signed.

7.8

SENCO Report to Governors

KM provided an update. An audit of SEN had been completed.

There were currently 41 children with SEN, which was a considerable increase and the largest number ever in school. The breakdown was as follows: -

14 in Foundation and 27 in KS1

2 with EHCP

36 boys of 41 children

The number with PP and SEN is 12

A governor asked whether there were children waiting to be assessed. KM said that there were because the referral system took such a long time.

KM provided governors with details of referrals to the specialist centre autism, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and CAMS (now Solar) where it was easier for parents self-refer their children more easily than school.

All referrals were done in partnership with parents and a copy provided to parents of forms completed. Not every school did this. The school believed this was part of supporting parents along a journey of acceptance that their child had additional needs or learned differently.

The specialist autism team had delivered training to the Blossomfield childcare team to help support these children. KM had attended the SENCO Synergy meeting run by Hazel Oak and the school were looking to build links with Hazel Oak. There had been a LA SENCO day with details of changes in the LA. The school continued to purchase services from SISS and were happy with traded services but this was reviewed every year. The school had purchased a community and educational psychology service which was a new service and its success would be reviewed. 11 of the 15 Synergy schools had purchased this service.

Governors were delighted to learn that the school had received a number of positive comments from external professionals including feedback on outstanding ASD provision and the Head of the Social and Emotional Team had asked if new colleagues could spend time at Blossomfield to see outstanding practice.

A governor asked about next steps following refusal of an EHCP. KM outlined the process of reviewing and providing reports over a period of time. The request would be submitted again in September. Other schools had had refusals for children with complex needs. Both the Headteacher and KM had offered to sit on the panel.

7.9

Teaching & Learning Committee

AM provided an update on the T&L Committee meeting. The Committee had had a very interesting presentation on SRE.

7.10

Update on new parents evening (SG)

SG provided a brief update on her attendance on both evenings to outline the role of the governing body. Governors thanked SG for attending.

7.11

Chair’s Action

The Chair had submitted a report outlining actions taken. Confirmed the renewal of the NGA subscription. SG raised the issue of the Learning Link offer which the NGA offered Gold members for £70. All governors agreed this was worthwhile and the SBM was asked to progress.

The Chair outlined the housekeeping arrangement relating to governors’ arrival at meetings. The Site Manager would be on site at 5.45pm to ensure the signing in book was completed and governors shown to the meeting room. Refreshments including hot and cold drinks were provided on a ‘help yourself’ basis to support the governors. The Clerk now had the code to the door to enable simpler arrival. A governor thanked the Chair for the new arrangements. The Chair also welcomed questions from governors. The walk around school for new governors was outstanding but the Headteacher noted that all staff now recognised parent governors and it was probably not required.

A governor asked whether invites to events could be advised earlier. The Headteacher said that dates were confirmed on a termly basis. Governors were

warmly invited to all events. SG would attend the Fit4Life assembly.

Governors thanked JS for his 3 years’ service as a governor and his service to the school.

7.12

Website

The IT Technician would continue to update the governor page and the Clerk noted that he was in school on Monday morning. This might mean there was a delay in updating the website for any items sent from Monday afternoon.

7.13

Agree Confidential Items

It was agreed the information about reduced timetables would be noted as a Confidential Minute. The Clerk would ensure the Confidential Minute was sent to KM for comment.

7.14

Date of Autumn Statutory Meeting

Wednesday 20 November 2019 at 6pm. Apologies were received from SG as she would be on maternity leave. Governors passed on their best wishes.

7.15

Ratification of Single Status & Deputy Headteacher Pay Decisions

All staff including the Clerk to Governors left the meeting prior to this item.

Notes of the discussions were taken by the Chair of Governors.

7.16

Termination of Meeting

The meeting closed at 8.45pm.

School Values

Below are our core values.

Happiness

Respect

Caring

Responsibility

Perseverance

Independence

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