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Blossomfield

Infant and Nursery School

'Blossom at Blossomfield'

Minutes of Governors' Meetings

Minutes of the Meeting of The Board of Governors at Blossomfield Infant & Nursery School on Wednesday 19 May 2021 at 7pm held via Zoom

 

Present:                Mrs Michelle Wilson (Chair of Governing Body and Chair of this meeting), Mrs B Farkas (Headteacher), Mrs S Church (SC), Mr Stuart Hughes (SH), Mr Joseph Darnley (JD), Mrs Olivia Chapman (OC), Sophie Garraty (SG) – Vice Chair, Ms Rani Kaur (RK), Ross Moore (RM) - part

 

Apologies:            John Ahern (JA)

In Attendance:     Mrs K Morrison (KM) (Deputy Headteacher), Deborah Yardley (Clerk to the Governing Body), Ross Moore (RM) – (prospective co-opted governor until elected)

 

The meeting opened at 7.02pm and was quorate throughout (minimum 8 governors)

 

NB GOVERNOR CHALLENGE IS SHOWN BELOW IN BOLD

 

All supporting documents are available on GovernorHub.

 

 

Minute Item

Outcomes

22.2

Governors approved the election of RM as a co-opted governor for a term of 4 years subject to obtaining satisfactory references and a DBS check.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM190521.1

 

22.3

Governors approved the spend of £23,546 on Karndean flooring for 6 classrooms funded from the devolved capital budget with the balance from the revenue budget and which would be installed during summer holidays.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM190521.2

 

22.4

Governors approved the School and Childcare budgets for 2021-22

 

Minute ref: BFGBM190521.3

 

22.5

Governors approved the SFVS.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM190521.4

 

 

 

 

 

22.1

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

 

This meeting was chaired by MW who welcomed governors to the meeting. Apologies for absence were received from JA who was working.

 

22.1.1

Declaration of Pecuniary Interests for this meeting (Changes / Updates)

 

There were no changes to declared interests. 

 

22.1.2

Co-opted governor vote

 

RM was put into the virtual meeting room whilst this item was discussed.

 

It was confirmed that as per the new Instrument of Government there were currently 2 co-opted governor vacancies. It had been agreed at the last Full Governing Body meeting that one of these needed to have a finance skill set.

 

Governors approved the election of RM as a co-opted governor for a term of 4 years subject to obtaining satisfactory references and a DBS check. RM was re-admitted to the meeting and from this point participated in the meeting as a governor.

 

22.2

Outturn Statements 2020-21

 

School and Childcare

 

OC shared her screen whilst the SBM provided commentary. Governors noted the brought forward reserves figure for the school was more than expected as due to COVID-19, the school had not been able to progress with some projects meaning £11k had been contributed to reserves. Childcare had run at a deficit of £813, and it was noted that had the government paid the furlough grant for March by Year End as originally intended, Childcare would have broken even. This was a remarkable achievement given the extended closure period.

 

£10,552 had been carried forward into reserves, with a total of £339,278.

 

Overall, this was a very positive picture.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor asked about the current status of Childcare credits and payments and if parents were currently owed for sessions.

 

The SBM said Childcare had £4k in credit balancesFor year 2 children who would leave the school in July, there was only a £2 credit balance. It would normally be expected that there would be £2k in credit balances so the current situation was not a cause for concern.

 

A governor noted that the school had added to reserves and asked whether delayed expenditure would be brought forward to the new school year.  The Chair confirmed there was an element of catching up and later in the meeting governors would review and discuss what was planned.

 

Schedule A – Summary of Reserves

 

This document evidenced the planned use for the school’s reserves, earmarked to be spent and had been signed by the Headteacher.

 

22.3

Approval of Budget 2021-22

 

Governors reviewed the notes to budget.  It was now expected that there would be 1.5% pay award for non-teaching staff, but as this had not been confirmed at the time of drafting a 2.75% increase had been included in the budget.

 

It was not yet clear if the PE and sports grant would continue into the new academic year.

 

The budget saw a much greater use of reserves than historically had been the case. A £25k contribution from Childcare had been budgeted. The Headteacher said the overall contribution from Childcare to the school budget was £58k but because of premises and management recharge, the net contribution was £25k.

 

Governors were advised that there might be an upside to the amount, based pre pandemic results, but it was not known what the impact of parents working from home and how Childcare would be able to operate from September 2021.

 

The budget included pay awards and performance related progression.

 

Governors were asked for comments and questions.

 

School and Childcare

 

The ICT 5-year budget was noted, which included broadband, parent pay charges as well as the usual services purchased from Education ICT

 

Governors noted there was a high cost for hardware as the laptops purchased 5 years ago needed to be replaced. Overall IT costs would be £65k in the first year.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked about the increasing use of technology and whether the year 1 costs were a one-off year or a rebasing. The SBM said each teacher and admin staff now had a laptop so they could continue working from home, which had been funded from last year’s budget. The increase for next year was the replacement of existing hardware purchased 5 years ago.

 

The Headteacher clarified that the suite of 30 laptops which would be replaced were currently used by children in the computing curriculum and after 5 years went out of maintenance. The old laptops would now be used in classrooms and corridors and the new laptops to be purchased would be for teaching computing in class. A similar exercise would be required in another 5 years.

 

The SDP Costings were reviewed for those projects directly linked to SDP. The Headteacher said this had been challenging to put together as the financial year (April to April) was different to the school year (September to August). Some items relating to grounds maintenance had been delayed from last year.

 

The major expenditure of £25k for a childcare canopy was noted.

 

There was £19k in the devolved capital budget, and it was proposed to use this towards installing Karndean flooring extended to classrooms. This was a total cost of 23K so the balance would be funded from the revenue budget. Governors noted that this was part of the project to bring the old part of school up to the same standard as the new extension. The SBM advised the school would like to use the same company who had installed the flooring in the rest of the school.  Evidence of Best Value had been secured previously when three quotes were obtained to lay Karndean in the corridors, and the sensible option would be to use the same contractors as the school was very happy with the standard of their work.

Governors approved the spend of £23,546 on Karndean flooring by Premier Carpets and Flooring for 6 classrooms funded from the devolved capital budget with the balance from the revenue budget and which would be installed during summer holidays.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked about building maintenance and whether the issue with heating had been resolved. The Headteacher confirmed this was an ongoing issue and reminded governors that the school contributed towards a buildings maintenance pool which could be used for major expenditure of school systems e.g. roofing, boiler etc. This pool should fund heating issues. The new foundation stage heating was not compatible with the old part of school and the LA had advised that the school needed to be moved onto a 2 pipe system, and indeed were the only school left in the Borough with this issue. Governors would be kept updated with timescales for the LA to fund the remedial work required.

 

Governors reviewed the pupil support budget, the majority of which was spent on staffing. With a new intake of pupils in September, it was recognised that the spend on SEN could change in September and would keep governors fully appraised.

 

22.4

 

Review of 3-year Budget Forecast

 

This was reviewed, and governors noted that the format currently inflated staffing costs but kept income the same. Based on these calculations, it showed the full use of reserves by the end of the 3-year period.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor asked about a comparison with previous forecasts. The SBM said it was a fluid document and was not possible to compare with a forecast from previous years.  Expenditure on premises and ICT had been included at the request of Governors.

 

The forecast presumed that existing staffing would remain in place for the next 3 years. The Headteacher said that in practice, this would not be the case and for example should a teacher on the UPR leave, then the school would consider bringing in an NQT to replace.

 

Additionally, the estimates for income from Childcare were on lower side which would have a considerable impact on any future deficit position.

 

Governors approved the School and Childcare budgets for 2021-22.

 

Governors noted thanks to the SBM for the amount of work that has been done on the school budget. A new SBM would be recruited following the retirement of PA at the end of the school year.

 

22.5

Approval of SFVS

 

It was noted that two governors had forwarded questions on the financial health check which the school had to complete, comprising a checklist, action plan and benchmarking documentation ahead of meeting.

 

The document was shared on screen for governors to review.

 

It was noted that the areas rated red were teaching staff spend was in lowest 10% of schools and spend on other staff costs was in highest 10% of schools.

 

The SBM said spend on other staff costs related to childcare staff (other staff) which decreased the amount spent on teaching. If looked solely at school, this was green. SMBC had advised the school that they must include childcare staff in this calculation.

 

There was an amber rating for pupil teacher ratio and average class size. The SBM advised that there was a distortion on the pupil teacher ratio because there were 2 teachers on the leadership scale. It was confirmed that in class there was 1 teacher per 30 children.

 

It was agreed that the comments relating to the Finance Committee Terms of Reference and how staff were reminded about conflicts of interest would be added to the commentary on the SFVS.

 

Governors reviewed the action plan where the school needed to focus which included:

  1. Training for governors
  2. All governors to undergo financial training
  3. Targeted recruitment for a second governor with financial experience
  4. Staff register of PI to be expanded to include finance staff and teachers who hold curriculum budgets
  5. A change to SMBC’s audit department to carry out the audit of the school’s voluntary funds including the PTA audit.

 

Governors approved the SFVS.

 

22.6

Confidential Items

 

None.

 

22.7

Date of next Full Board Meeting – Wednesday 23 June 2021 (Resources focused)

 

OC advised that a date for a governor(s) to meet informally with staff to reflect on the year in person – 13 July at 4pm

 

Governor strategy day / vision / working together – pm on 2 September 2021 (inset day)

Governors welcome to attend the SDP session in the morning of 2 September 2021

 

Please remember to write up your monitoring meeting notes and arrange meeting if not already done so.

 

Apologies were received for 23 June from MW; this meeting would be chaired by SG.

Apologies for 7 July meeting were received from OC and RK.

 

22.8

Termination of Meeting

 

The meeting closed at 8pm

 

Minutes of the Meeting of The Board of Governors at Blossomfield Infant & Nursery School on Wednesday 5 May 2021 at 7pm held via Zoom

 

Present:                Mrs Michelle Wilson (Chair of Governing Body), Mrs B Farkas (Headteacher), Mrs S Church (SC), Mr Stuart Hughes (SH), Mr Joseph Darnley (JD) – Chair of this meeting, Mrs Olivia Chapman (OC), Sophie Garraty (SG) – Vice Chair, John Ahern (JA)

 

Apologies:            Ms Rani Kaur (RK)

Absent without     

Apologies:           

In Attendance:     Mrs K Morrison (KM) (Deputy Headteacher), Deborah Yardley (Clerk to the Governing Body), Mrs Lindsay Mason (LM) - part, Ross Moore (RM) – (prospective co-opted governor) - part

 

The meeting opened at 7pm and was quorate throughout (8 governors)

 

NB GOVERNOR CHALLENGE IS SHOWN BELOW IN BOLD

 

All supporting documents are available on GovernorHub.

 

 

Minute Item

Outcomes

21.2

The minutes of the Full Board meeting held on 3 March 2021 were agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting and would be signed by the Chair on GovernorHub. 

 

Minute ref: BFGBM1050521.1

 

21.4

All governors were asked to ensure that all records of monitoring meeting are written and uploaded to GovernorHub.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM1050521.2

 

OC would liaise with the Headteacher for suggested dates for a strategy day for end July or early September.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM1050521.3

 

 

 

 

 

21.1

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

 

This meeting was chaired by JD and opened with an update from OC regarding the advert for a co-opted governor.  Ross Moore (RM) had got in touch and outlined his reasons for wanting to be a governor.  The Headteacher and SG had met him virtually.

 

RM’s skill set was in managing people in different settings and handling of complaints, also HR experience. He had been invited to attend the meeting to observe. Governors had a discussion regarding the number of vacancies for co-opted governor (subsequently confirmed as 2 as per the revised Instrument of Government) and it was agreed that one of these needed to have a finance skill set.

 

Ross Moore (RM) then joined the meeting and governors introduced themselves.

 

Apologies had been received from RK.

 

21.1.1

Declaration of Pecuniary Interests for this meeting (Changes / Updates)

 

There were no changes to declared interests.  JA needed to electronically make any declarations and sign the Governor Code of Conduct.

 

21.2

Minutes of the previous meeting on 17 March 2021

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 March 2021 were agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting and would be signed by the Chair on GovernorHub. 

 

21.3

Matters arising from the Minutes

 

None.

 

21.4

 

Teaching & Learning Update

 

LM had joined the meeting to provide an update on end of spring data for KS1 which had been uploaded to GovernorHub.

 

End Spring Term data

 

LM advised these were predictions for the end of the academic year. The cohort was reviewed based on boy/girl, SEND, EAL and children entitled to PP.

 

The impact of remote learning was noted and positively that parents support had helped children progress. Pleasingly, there was also no dip in attainment for keyworker children.

 

Comparison with previous years showed that predicted attainment was lower this year. LM said that this was understandable given the disruption children had with the pandemic

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor commented on greater depth on reading and asked for the reasons for the large percentage. LM said parents had been very supportive, reading to children at home, and reading different genres. Phonics had been prioritised in the move from year 1 and additional work had been spent on this. The Headteacher said the recovery curriculum had impacted positively on all children.

 

Interventions which had been put in place included the National Tutoring Programme targeting PP children with phonics.

 

It was noted that predictions were based on what had been taught and reflected the experiences of the school, levels of infection, remote learning and the impact on families.

 

Year 1 data analysis was reviewed.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor noted that focus on children’s well-being was important but the data showed a declining pattern. The governor wanted to know if this was because of the significant disruption to learning to lockdown and if so, would this be shown in the national data. The governor questioned whether the data showed that improvements needed to be made to teaching and learning and curriculum.

 

The Headteacher said there would not be a national picture or any data provided. SATS had been cancelled. The Headteacher’s view of the local picture was that some schools did not yet have data. The data provided to governors was based on the teacher’s judgement.  During lockdown, children had lost stamina for writing and lacked independence from prolonged periods at home. This had a potential impact for year 3 at junior school.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor asked about the percentage calculations and whether tests had been conducted. LM said it had been based on day-to-day learning and moderated within school and LA.

 

Another governor wanted to know if parents would get information about their child’s expected levels in the written report at the end of the summer term. LM said reports would be written towards the end May and parents would be provided with areas of curriculum that had not been taught so parents could focus on this during school holidays. School would meet all expectations required of the DfE in report format.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor asked about resources parents had been directed to and whether parents were still accessing them. The Headteacher said it was difficult to tell. There would be an online writing workshop for parents to access.

 

[LM left the meeting.]

 

SC then provided an update on FKS2 (Reception) data. Blossomfield was an early adopter school, the major change being the move away from recording data and the assessment as to whether children were on track or off track. If children were on track, then it showed children were making progress when they were assessed.

 

Since the return to school, the focus had been on literacy (reading and writing) and maths. General data had been paused due to lockdown. It was not possible to compare data to last year as the school was an early adopter school.

 

SC outlined the interventions underway since the return to school. There had been significant benefits from the NELI programme.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor asked about interventions and how quickly the results would be evident.  The governor challenged whether this would increase the number of children who were on track. SC said 1 child out of 2 had flourished during NELI. The other child had had a lower starting point so would expect results to take longer. Phonics boost should see a strong result but very much depended on experiences of children during lockdown.

 

The Headteacher said that her latest newsletter to parents had pointed them to the catch-up statement on website and the importance of parents working in partnership with the school to support the children. The school was focused on doing the best for the children and intervention was on top of quality teaching and not missing out on subjects they would enjoy such as PE.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor asked whether all Early Years teachers had had a positive reaction to the new Early Years assessment. SC said all teachers were positive and was in constant dialogue with teachers which was assisted by interconnected classrooms. As lead, SC supported those teachers who were less experienced.

 

The Headteacher said that moderation of Early Years was no longer a statutory duty of LA and funding therefore had been removed. Conversations were ongoing with the collaborative about future moderation.

 

Monitoring plan update

 

There had been 4 virtual meetings since the last meeting and reports had been uploaded to GovernorHub. JD asked for a brief summary from each governor who had attended.

 

Link governor summaries of monitoring meetings

 

SG said she had 2 meetings which needed to be written up.

 

OC had met with KM and the Family Support Mentor regarding parental engagement. Parental engagement had been very positive during lockdown. A parent partnership meeting had run which had not been well attended.  During the meeting, different ways of communication had been discussed and would be trialling and restarting in September 2021 with a new cohort.

 

OC had also met with Tracey Rae, the English lead and Megan Kilby who was shadowing. They had discussed different levels of progress children had made during lockdown particularly on writing.

 

JD had met with Jo Hazel, recovery tutor. Children had been keen to discuss their lockdown experiences on the return to school and this had identified those children who needed additional support for SEMH.

 

Feedback from children had been positive about the return to school. The recovery tutor was liaising with teachers about gaps in learning and intervention groups, which were fluid based on need.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor asked how long recovery would continue. The Headteacher said the recovery tutor was engaged until January 2022.

 

The Headteacher provided an update on National Tutoring programme. One disadvantage was that each child was only entitled to 15 hours. Some children may only need 5 hours; others would benefit from longer. The Headteacher believed that this should have been left to leader’s professional judgement.

 

The Chair and JD had met in April meeting relating to safeguarding which needed to be written up and added to GovernorHub. There had been a discussion about the use of myconcern and the transition to junior school. It was noted that incidences were not always separate and sometimes related to the same children, logged by different staff.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor asked about data transferability of myconcern.  KM confirmed the data could be securely transferred to junior school and there was also the ability to redact if required.

 

A governor asked if parents knew that information was being transferred to the junior school. KM said it very clear in KCSIE that records that each school and other settings had a duty to pass on records and GDPR did not prevent this. The Headteacher said it was particularly important that an infant school passed on information to a junior school. There would also be a conversation with DSL at the junior school to help build a picture of a child.

 

All governors were asked to ensure that all records of meeting are written and uploaded to GovernorHub.

 

With the unlocking of restrictions, a governor asked about some governors speaking to staff and reflecting on what this year has been and thank staff for their contribution. Confirm nearer the time based on restrictions if governors were able to attend staff meeting.

 

The Chair asked for governors’ thoughts on a strategy day for governors rebasing the board and rebasing the school. Availability of senior team was a consideration.

 

It was agreed that OC would liaise with the Headteacher for suggested dates end July or early September.

 

Attainment – PP and SEN children

 

At the last meeting, a governor had raised a question about PP and SEND children. KM had uploaded a report to GovernorHub relating to progress of children entitled to PP and SEND. The school had a high proportion of children with very high needs, and there was additional funding from LA for those children with an EHCP.

 

Some children did not access national curriculum for their year group and challenge to meet needs of these children. Governors had a discussion around tracking engagement towards learning.

 

21.5

Summer Term update

 

Year 2 leavers celebration

 

These had been detailed in the Headteacher’s newsletter. 2 July would be a virtual transition to junior school. 7 July would be class swap day.

 

Year 2 leavers lunch 14 July

Sports day 15 July

Leavers party day 16 July

 

Transition to junior school

 

The Headteacher reported that the LA has advised a cautionary approach and that all transition needed to be virtual. This included year 2 infant to year 3 junior and year 6 to year 7.

 

There was a discussion around inviting parents to school and consistency of approach if transitions were virtual. Further guidance has been sought from the LA. PHE had taken a cautionary approach.

 

The Headteacher would discuss with the Headteachers of Shirley Heath and Sharmans Cross and arrange for them to come into school to meet children.

 

The LA had said a small number of exemptions would be made for high needs children to visit their junior school.

 

Reports to parents / parents evening

 

The Headteacher had consulted with synergy collaborative and no other school would offer a summer term parents evening. All parents would have an opportunity if they wished to have a conversation with their teacher. A governor asked if this would be on school cloud. The Headteacher said it may be in the outdoor classroom, ordinarily only a handful of parents would request to meet the teacher.

 

21.6

Standing Agenda Item – Adoption of policies

 

None.

 

21.7

Confidential Items

 

None.

 

21.8

Date of next Full Board Meeting – Wednesday 19 May 2021

 

The agenda would be a meeting to approve the budget and would be chaired by the Chair of Governors.

 

The Chair had scheduled a catch up with SBM on 6 July and the SFVS would be circulated to governors by the end of the week.

 

Governors thanked RM for joining the meeting and he thanked governors for the opportunity to attend the meeting.

 

21.9

Termination of Meeting

 

The meeting closed at 9.15pm

 

Minutes of the Meeting of The Board of Governors at Blossomfield Infant & Nursery School on Wednesday 17 March 2021 at 7pm held via Zoom

 

Present:                Mrs Michelle Wilson (Chair of Governing Body), Ms Rani Kaur (RK) - part, Mrs B Farkas (Headteacher), Mrs S Church (SC), Mr Stuart Hughes (SH), Mr Joseph Darnley (JD), Mrs Olivia Chapman (OC) John Ahern (JA)

 

Apologies:            Sophie Garraty (SG) – Vice Chair

Absent without     

Apologies:           

In Attendance:     Mrs K Morrison (KM) (Deputy Headteacher), Deborah Yardley (Clerk to the Governing Body)

 

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

 

NB GOVERNOR CHALLENGE IS SHOWN BELOW IN BOLD

 

All supporting documents are available on GovernorHub.

 

 

Minute Item

Outcomes

20.1

The Clerk would add JA to GovernorHub, arrange an SMBC email and JA would electronically make any declarations and sign the Governor Code of Conduct.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM170321.1

 

20.2

The minutes of the Full Board meeting held on 3 March 2021 were agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting and would be signed by the Chair on GovernorHub. 

 

Minute ref: BFGBM170321.2

 

20.3

All linked governors to arrange a virtual meeting with contact on linked subject or area in next half term. Following every meeting, the monitoring form on the website should be completed and uploaded to GovernorHub.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM170321.3

 

It was agreed that JD would become the linked governor for the recovery curriculum and a virtual meeting with Mrs Hazel would be arranged.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM170321.4

 

OC would refresh the governor monitoring plan with the focus on the summer term.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM170321.5

 

20.4

Governors noted that they were expected to read KCSIE Part 1, Part 2 and Part 5 and a Prevent course must be completed every 3 years.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM170321.6

 

Governors approved the safeguarding report.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM170321.7

 

SH noted that he had to complete monitoring reports for the maths link meeting and H&S walk throughs.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM170321.8

 

The Headteacher would seek thoughts of other schools at the next meeting of the Collaborative on an additional parents evening in the summer term.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM170321.9

 

20.5

The Clerk would add progress and attainment of PP and SEN children to the agenda for the next meeting.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM170321.10

 

20.7

Governors approved the proposal to renew the NGA and SMBC packages and MW would advise the SBM.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM170321.11

 

 

 

 

 

20.1

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

 

The Chair welcomed governors to the meeting which was held via Zoom due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  Apologies were received from SG who was unwell. Governors welcomed JA who was attending his first meeting following his election as a co-opted governor.

 

20.1.1

Declaration of Pecuniary Interests for this meeting (Changes / Updates)

 

There were no changes to declared interests.  The Clerk would add JA to GovernorHub, arrange an SMBC email and JA would electronically make any declarations and sign the Governor Code of Conduct.

 

It was noted that RK as an employee of the NGA would not participate in the discussion and decision regarding the NGA subscription.

 

20.2

Minutes of the previous meeting on 3 March 2021

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 3 March 2021 were agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting and would be signed by the Chair on GovernorHub. 

 

20.3

Matters arising from the Minutes

 

20.3.1 Governor Monitoring Activities

 

Governor monitoring had been suspended during the school closure.  Now that the school had reopened to all children, linked governors were asked to arrange a virtual meeting with contact on linked subject or area in next half term. Following every meeting, the monitoring form on the website should be completed and uploaded to GovernorHub.

 

It was agreed to allocate a linked governor to the recovery curriculum to ensure there was good focus and monitoring. Governors were asked to express interest.  JD expressed an interest in and it was agreed he would become the linked governor for the recovery curriculum.

 

OC took an action to refresh the governor monitoring plan. A governor strategy day at the end of the school year was tentatively agreed with the hopeful end of social distancing. OC would draft the 2021/22 plan with the focus on the summer term.

 

The planned H&S walk through had been completed by SH and no issues had been noted.

 

The skills questionnaire was still in progress and a further round of governor recruitment would then follow.

 

20.4

 

Headteacher Report – Spring Term

 

The report had been uploaded to GovernorHub in advance of the meeting and there were no questions from governors.

 

The Headteacher reported that the main school was full, there were 7 part time places in nursery, 1 child had been withdrawn due to the family relocating and some children joined the school.

 

There had been one exclusion for a number of days, due to a physical assault against more than one adult.  An accident form had been submitted to SMBC.

 

All vulnerable children except one had attended school during the national lockdown and the school had closely monitored the child at home.

 

Attendance was very good currently; a letter had been sent to parents to thank them for sending their child to school and a governor noted this was a good inclusive way of supporting parents. The letter included nursery parents as it was important to get into the habit of attending school every day.

 

Governors reviewed the staff absence report.  Removing COVID absences provided a better picture of normal absences. There were 206 absences for support staff or 18.8 non COVID related absences.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked about support staff and whether they were able to work from home. The Headteacher said that when staff were ill with symptoms, they were not necessarily working from home and for some it was impossible to provide tasks they could do from home e.g., lunchtime supervisors.

 

The Headteacher outlined the return-to-work interviews to ensure there were no underlying issues.

 

There had been 44.5 absences for teachers or 3 absences non COVID related.

 

All absences in Childcare were COVID related.

 

The school had had a GDPR audit with a clean bill of health and governors thanked Linda O’Malley for being so rigorous. The school was currently awaiting the report from WCC.

 

The Headteacher and SBM were looking at a 5-year plan for premises which once completed would be shared with governors for a discussion.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked about the amount of safeguarding training staff received.  The Headteacher said that staff training was every 3 years for the whole school. DSLs needed to have annual training and SMBC was providing a presentation that DSLs could access at any time.  The governor questioned if DSLs disseminated this training with the rest of the staff. The Headteacher said this was done on first day of autumn term which was an inset day.

 

Another governor asked about new members of staff and whether they completed Hays Online as part of their induction process.  KM confirmed yes and this was also available as part of their training to understand KCSIE. KM said she regularly sent round briefings and reminders to staff and in the last 6 months all online safety briefings have gone to all staff.

 

The governor queried whether safeguarding information was sent to parents for example domestic abuse, county lines gangs and signs to look for.  KM said the school received reminders from the police but did not necessarily send out this information from school. In the last 6 months the school had concentrated on online safety and tips for home learning bearing in mind the age of the children at the school. There were posters about domestic abuse in the building. The school ensured that it was addressing the issues relevant to the community and the Community Family Mentor was part of that support.

 

Governors noted that they were expected to read KCSIE Part 1, Part 2 and Part 5 and a Prevent course must be completed every 3 years.

 

Governors approved the safeguarding report.

 

SH noted that he had to complete monitoring reports for the maths link meeting and H&S walk throughs.

 

The Headteacher provided an update on staff welfare. Staff had taken on extra duties at lunchtime to support lunchtime supervisors which has been really appreciated by SLT, children and the lunchtime supervisors.

 

A fire drill had taken place that day which had been successfully completed in 3 minutes 32 seconds. A fire risk assessment was due imminently.

 

Blossomfield Childcare had a premises wish-list including a canopy and lighting. A governor asked if this would be incorporated as part of premises plan.   The Headteacher confirmed it was in the plan for the next financial year.

 

A governor asked if there had been a response to the Easter holiday club and Headteacher advised numbers would average 8 per day but 4 on a Friday so on this basis would proceed with plans.

 

The recovery curriculum was being supported by the National Tutoring Programme. Social and emotional well-being was the current focus to ensure children were ready for learning. Academic work continued as it had during lockdown.

 

The Headteacher believed that the remote curriculum had gone as well as possible and parents were happy with the offer with supportive comments received from parents which had been added to GovernorHub. 

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked if parents had provided feedback that their children had blossomed with the remote curriculum. The Headteacher said some children had benefited where they worked at a slower pace but it was still early days. Low key assessment had started. Some children had made tremendous progress. The recovery curriculum would not be a quick fix and would be part of the SDP for the next few years. Children were resilient and bounce back. Children had been very enthusiastic to get back into their learning and relationships with friends. Behaviour had been fantastic.

 

Parents’ evening had gone well. A governor asked about a parents evening in the summer term given the different circumstances this year. The Headteacher said that the summer term ‘contact’ for parents would normally be a written report to parents with request for a meeting only by exception.  The governor said some parents may be concerned about how their children were coping with school after lockdown. The Headteacher said that she would raise with the Collaborative at their next meeting and seek thoughts of other schools. It would need to be discussed with teachers as they may see it as an increase in workload. Another governor suggested a drop in afternoon using the parents evening system.

 

A governor asked how parent partnership was going.  OC advised there had been one at the end January, an evening session had been tried but had been poorly attended, with only nursery parents attending.  There would be another session next Wednesday using a teatime slot based on parents’ feedback. There would be a review after the meeting has taken place.

 

20.5

Teaching & Learning Update to include SEN report

 

KM and SG had met and SG had completed the governor monitoring report. The report had been uploaded to GovernorHub in advance of the meeting. PP was included on the report.

 

KM outlined details of children attending school during lockdown.

 

55 children were entitled to PP which was an increase, and the school was signposting parents to the differing systems for FSM which were available.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked about 20 children who were SEN and how much of SEN budget was used on the children. KM said that the notional SEN budget was spent and there was no additional money.  The school spent up to £6k on each child, some had more than £6k and some had less depending on individual need.  There was also a layer of children below who should be on SEN support but were not as parents had not given permission for their children to be added. Therefore 20 was the identified number but others received support.

 

KM said that it was challenging to calculate what each child received because of SEN because of the crossover between SEN and PP.

 

The governor questioned if there was a breakdown between SEN and PP. KM confirmed yes and would advise the overlap of SEN and PP. A high proportion of children with an EHCP were PP children.

 

The governor asked about the curriculum and whether the school looked at progress and attainment for SEN / PP compared to those non-SEN and non-PP. KM confirmed that the school did this but it was currently more difficult as some children had been in school and some had not.

 

It was agreed to add this to the agenda for the next meeting. The Headteacher said that at the current moment, data recording was less priority than the social and emotional well-being of children.

 

A governor asked about progress and attainment of EAL children. KM confirmed that the data included where children were exposed to another language. At school, this was an advantage, with children who had EAL at higher levels of progress and attainment and was very much celebrated. A governor recounted her positive experience of how the school supported children with EAL.

 

Governors received an update on changes to SEN at SMBC, changes looking positive, early intervention was receiving more focus.

 

20.6

Standing Agenda Item – Adoption of policies

 

None.

 

20.7

Governor Services and NGA Subscriptions

 

[RK left the meeting prior to this agenda item.]

 

Governors had received a proposal which outlined the cost of the current services to SMBC and the NGA and the recommendation to take the same services as previously and overall cost.

 

Governors agreed that they found the services of huge benefit, and a ‘pay as you go’ option would cost significantly more than £1k given new governors had joined the board.

 

Governors approved the proposal to renew the NGA and SMBC packages and MW would advise the SBM.

 

20.8

Confidential Items

 

None.

 

20.9

Date of next Full Board Meeting – Wednesday 5 May 2021

 

The agenda would have a teaching and learning focus and would incorporate SFVS approval. The meeting would be chaired by JD.

 

All governors were asked to consider monitoring visits to school (virtual at present).

 

Termination of Meeting

 

The meeting closed at 8.45pm

 

Minutes of the Meeting of The Board of Governors at Blossomfield Infant & Nursery School on Wednesday 3 March 2021 at 7pm held via Zoom

 

Present:                Mrs Michelle Wilson (Chair of Governing Body), Sophie Garraty (SG) – Vice Chair, Ms Rani Kaur (RK), Mrs B Farkas (Headteacher), Mrs S Church (SC), Mr Stuart Hughes (SH), Mr Joseph Darnley (JD), Mrs Olivia Chapman (OC) – from 7.30pm

 

Apologies:           

Absent without     

Apologies:           

In Attendance:     Mrs K Morrison (KM) (Deputy Headteacher), Deborah Yardley (Clerk to the Governing Body), Mrs Pam Atkinson (PA) (School Business Manager), John Ahern (JA) (prospective new co-opted governor) – part

 

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

 

NB GOVERNOR CHALLENGE IS SHOWN BELOW IN BOLD

 

All supporting documents are available on GovernorHub.

 

 

Minute Item

Outcomes

19.2

The minutes of the Full Board meetings held on 25 November 2020 and 9 February 2021 were agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting and would be signed by the Chair on GovernorHub. 

 

Minute ref: BFGBM030321.1

 

19.3

Governors approved the appointment of RK as the LA governor for a 4-year term.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM030321.2

 

19.4

Given the current pandemic, governors agreed to proceed with the insurance option of absence insurance at an annual cost of £14k.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM030321.3

 

Governors agreed to maintain lettings fees at the same level as currently.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM030321.4

 

SBM to add in the spend on ICT and premises to the operating budget.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM030321.5

 

Governors agreed to maintain Blossomfield Childcare fees at the same level as currently.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM030321.6

 

Governors agreed to maintain the voluntary children’s fund contribution at £39 per year.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM030321.7

 

19.6

SH to liaise with the Headteacher to arrange a convenient time and date for a walk-through school.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM030321.8

 

Governors agreed to appoint JA as a co-opted governor for a 4-year term of office subject to references and a DBS check.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM030321.9

 

SG to re-run the skills questionnaire using MS Forms and once this had been analysed OC would run another round of governor recruitment.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM030321.10

 

 

 

 

 

19.1

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

 

The Chair welcomed governors to the meeting which was held via Zoom due to the Coronavirus pandemic.  OC had had a family emergency and would join the meeting when available.

 

SG advised that JA, a prospective co-opted governor would be joining the meeting at 7.15pm to observe.  Governors had a discussion regarding the requirement for references and a DBS check should both the board and JA decide to proceed with co-option.

 

19.1.1

Declaration of Pecuniary Interests for this meeting (Changes / Updates)

 

There were no changes to declared interests. 

 

19.2

Minutes of the previous meeting on 25 November 2019 and 9 February 2021

 

The minutes of the meetings held on 25 November 2019 and 9 February 2021 including the Confidential Minutes were agreed as a true and accurate record of the meeting and would be signed by the Chair on GovernorHub.  The Clerk would arrange for the minutes to be uploaded to the school website.

 

19.3

Matters arising from the Minutes

 

19.3.1 Re-constitution of the board

 

RK had offered to become the LA governor.  Governors approved the appointment of RK as the LA governor for a 4-year term. The Clerk would advise the LA and ensure that any formalities were completed.

 

JA joined the meeting at 7.15pm and introductions made to those present.

 

19.4

 

Resources / finance update

 

The SBM provided an update on staffing.  There were no vacancies at present and the SBM outlined staffing changes.  HR absences and absence insurance claims had been taking up a lot of time which was the case for all schools in Solihull.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked about 1:1 staffing and the Headteacher confirmed the school was bridging with consistent supply staff until the end of the year.

 

19.4.1 Outturn statements for School and Blossomfield Childcare

 

These had been uploaded to GovernorHub in advance and were as at 31 January 2021.  The Chair summarised the impact of COVID on finances; whilst income had not been received from Childcare, the school had not been able to go ahead with planned projects due to the impact of COVID-19 and therefore the overall impact had been minimised.  The SBM shared her screen with the details of the outturn statement. Most staffing was underspent as the school had not had to cover the additional hours that would normally be expected.  Projects had not gone ahead e.g., the refurbishment of staff toilets.  Cleaning materials were overspent due to expense on PPE etc.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked if there a COVID insurance fund to claim for cleaning costs.  The SBM said schools had been allowed to claim for the DfE but this was very specific and the school had received £1.1k but had spent far more which was not eligible for claiming. 

 

[At 7.30pm OC joined the meeting.]

 

SEND income had increased significantly following EHCP approval, the school had received £5k grant because of number of high needs pupils in school.

 

Catch up funds were able to be carried forward by the DfE; the majority had been spent on Mrs Hazel’s costs which had been ring fenced amount for catch up tutoring.  The National Tutoring Programme would also be funded by the catch-up funds.

 

In recognition of the fact that Childcare had not been able to open, a decision made by governors to reassess the Autumn recharge which had been reduced from £27k budget to £9K.

 

The school had not been able to hold clubs since the pandemic started because the school hall had been used to keep the KS1 bubble separate from Foundation stage bubble.

 

The school had expected to use £37k of reserves but would only need to use £8.7k.

 

Governors agreed that this was a very positive picture given the difficult circumstances of the last year especially as Childcare had been unable to operate.  Looking at 3 year forecast this was also positive.

 

The SBM said that the Schools Finance officer from SMBC had rated Blossomfield as a green school under the financial traffic light system.

 

19.4.2. Draft Budget 2021/22

 

The SBM shared the school budget share document on her screen.

 

This had been based on the October 2020 census, with 266 pupils in main school, 4 pupils less than previously.  FSM had also affected funding.  Teachers pay and pensions grant had been rolled into the per pupil funding which was £124 per pupil higher.

 

The Pupil Premium (PP) grant was in addition to per pupil funding and would be based on the October 2020 census which the Headteacher advised would have a negative impact for an infant school.  There had been a considerable increase for FSM due to the voucher scheme during school holidays.

 

The SBM was working on 2021/22 budget, and governors had a discussion about a potential pay increase for teachers. Teachers would receive a cost-of-living increase and support staff were unlikely to have any award, therefore Schools Finance had recommended not to include a non-teaching pay award in budget.  The SBM had included a sum as a worst-case scenario.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked what the rationale was for not including a pay award for support staff.  The SBM said a zero per cent increase advised by government.  Schools Finance could advise but the Headteacher wanted to err on side of caution.  Negotiations with unions were ongoing at the moment.

 

The governor asked if there a distinction relating to performance related pay and cost of living pay rise.  It was confirmed that PM was separate from this discussion and separate from government decision.  Pay rises linked to appraisal were unaffected.

 

Governors then discussed the absence insurance quote which the LA procured on behalf of schools and which had been in place for last 4 years.  The school had come to the end of 3-year scheme and the outlined the two offers which were available: an insurance offer and a mutual offer. The SBM recommended that governors continue with the insurance option.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked for clarification as to what both offers included.  The SBM outlined the different options including 10 day waiting period, last year governors had increased maternity leave cover for teachers and support staff.

 

A governor said the mutual offer was a gamble and not a responsible use of public money. The difference in cost was £1200 which was a significant gamble with a large staff base.

 

Given the current pandemic, the risk was higher than ever and governors agreed to proceed with the insurance option at an annual cost of £14k.

 

Three Year Forecast

 

The SBM shared her screen to provide the three-year scenario which showed a positive picture in terms of continuing income. 

 

Given that it was unlikely that reserves would decline, governors discussed ring fencing reserves to projects that important to use for the school.  It was agreed to continue the discussion in the next Full Board meeting.

 

The Headteacher said the premises plan totalled £50k based on Property Services survey of the school.  Additionally, a number of laptops and computers were coming to end of their life so there would be a significant spend for ICT and the 5-year plan for ICT would be updated during the budgeting process.

 

It was agreed that the SBM would add in the spend on ICT and premises to the operating budget.

 

A governor suggested landscaping work improvements to enable the space to be used with the children. The Headteacher said the perimeter fence had been replaced, pond project, the back of the school was a nature area, there were fund money in sports fund and looking at adding more trim trail to the field. Further improvements were always under consideration.

 

The SBM shared her screen with the benchmarking report. It was noted that the school had been not compared with infant schools. 

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked about catering as this was a huge difference with other schools at 7% of total expenditure.  The SBM said as an infant school, the school provided a hot meal for all children who were entitled to universal infant free school meals so expenditure on catering would be higher.  Primary schools probably have fewer children accessing meals.  The school used Solihull Catering Service and the kitchen met the school’s needs.  In response to a governor question, the Headteacher said that most schools used Solihull Catering in SMBC.  Staff in kitchen were employed by SMBC.

 

A governor noted that the pupil teacher ratio at 27.7 pupils per teacher was higher that some other schools and asked for the reasons.  The Headteacher said that the school was full when the benchmarking was compiled and some schools may have not be full.  In addition, some schools chose to cover for PPA with a teacher or sports coach.

 

Lettings fees

 

Governors were asked to review the lettings fees, with the recommended proposal to roll over the existing fees. 

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked whether the school was aware whether after school clubs were likely to come back when they are available.  The Headteacher said the school had good relationships with clubs who had enquired when they would be available to open, maintained contact with provider and cannot see any reason why they would not want to go back.

 

A governor asked whether the school had any community lettings.  The Headteacher said they were all clubs for the children e.g., rugby, cheerleading, dance and there were no community lettings.

 

Governors agreed to maintain lettings fees at the same level as currently.

 

19.4.3 Update on SFVS

 

The plan from 2019/20 was complete.

 

The Chair would ask Governor Services for an update on staff signing pecuniary interest forms.

 

The plan for 2020/21 would be broadly similar, and there was a May deadline for submission to SMBC.

 

The 2020/21 plan would be reviewed by a sub group on 22 March and the Chair, SBM and OC would attend.

 

Blossomfield Childcare

 

The outturn statement was shared by the SBM.  This had been impacted by COVID-19 as Childcare had not been able to open.

 

In the light of the pandemic, the SBM had reduced impact of staffing costs and looked at recharges.  Blossomfield Childcare had made a loss of £13.5k for 2020/21.  The budget had been based on £6k job retention scheme bonus and this had been removed by the government. Childcare had run a holiday club in the autumn term which had made a loss of £500.  These two factors had affected the overall figure.

 

The SBM also advised governors that Childcare was holding credit balances for sessions which had not been able to run and which would have an impact on 2021/22 as some would be carried forward into 2021/22.  SMBC did not allow individual accruals to be made under £10k.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked the SBM to quantify the credit balances. The SBM said there was £16.4k of credit balances which would reduce from 8 March when Childcare reopened.

 

Staff had been furloughed so income had been received from the furlough scheme. 

 

Childcare Fees

 

SBM presented a document which detailed the current fees and the impact of an increase of 3% and 5%.  Governors were asked for their views.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked about a comparison with other schools.  The SBM said all schools were currently going through the same process. A comparison was undertaken every 2 years so would be completed next year.

 

Another governor noted that that a 5% increase was still competitive but said that the necessary changes to after school club to reflect the COVID risk assessment meant that some parents had opted not to send children to after school club, particularly given many were working from home.  Given the impact of the pandemic, it was likely that more parents who would find an increase difficult.

 

The Headteacher said her view was that fees should remain the same, the current routine would need to remain the same and the school remained rigorous in cleaning. Parents understood that the school had had to make changes but there was a financial impact.  The governor agreed that this would be the year to maintain fees and review next year.  Another governor said that as many parents were working from home, there was less time spent commuting so potentially less demand for this service so it did not feel like an appropriate time to increase costs.

 

Governors agreed to maintain Blossomfield Childcare fees at the same level as currently.

 

The Headteacher advised that Blossomfield Childcare would run an Easter holiday club, the club would close for bank holiday and then opening hours 8am – 4pm for the rest of the Easter holidays. The site manager would not be available for one week and Childcare staff would be opening/closing the school.

 

Charging & Remissions policy

 

The current children’s fund voluntary contribution was £39 per family and governors reviewed this every year.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked about take up. The SBM said take up was very good apart from this year as children had not been in school. In a usual year, the contribution was £3k per year.

 

Governors agreed to maintain the voluntary children’s fund contribution at £39 per year.

 

A governor asked whether an email reminder should be sent out when children returned to school.  The Headteacher’s view was that it would be better to leave until September given children had not been in school.  School did not need the money given the healthy reserves.  Governors agreed with this approach.

 

A governor asked how pupil premium funding was used and if it could be used for clubs e.g., dance.  KM outlined how the PP funding was used.  It could be used for Blossomfield Childcare, supported school uniform and clothing and shoes and was always done on a very discreet basis.  A book bag had been supplied to a family today.  The school would often ask for a contribution to a football or dance class, the funding also pay for residentials.

 

The current auditor of the school fund was no longer available. The fund needed to be audited and all were asked to consider if they knew anyone with a financial background who might be able to assist.

 

19.5

Confidential Items

 

None.

 

18.6

AOB

 

The Headteacher reported that the risk assessment for the return to school had been updated.

 

Governors discussed a walk-through school after school to minimise risk.  SH would liaise with the Headteacher to arrange a convenient time and date.  JD said he would be available if required.

 

Attendance policy

 

This had been updated again and was on GovernorHub.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked about quarantine and home learning.  The Headteacher said home learning would be provided where a bubble had to isolate but if an individual child had to isolate, they would access home learning from the school website.

 

JA asked whether agency staff were consistent or different people and how this impacted with the risk assessment.  The Headteacher said the school have preferred staff list and Monarch send this. New government guidance was more relaxed than last lockdown but try as much as possible to contain staff within their bubble but sometimes logistically difficult to do.

 

The Chair thanked JA for joining the meeting and advised that governors would be in touch with him.  JA and the SBM left the meeting at 8.55pm and governors then discussed the appointment. It had been difficult to gain an insight on a Zoom call but he had asked a pertinent question.  The Headteacher, SG and OC had all spoken to him and governors agreed to appoint JA as a co-opted governor for a 4-year term of office subject to references and a DBS check.

 

A governor suggested there should be a further skills audit given the last one had been completed prior to RK and JD joining the board.

 

It was agreed that SG to re-run the skills questionnaire using MS Forms and once this had been analysed OC would run another round of governor recruitment.

 

Date of next Full Board Meeting – 17 March 2021

 

The agenda would include a Headteacher report.

 

18.7

Termination of Meeting

 

The meeting closed at 9.05pm

 

Minutes of the Statutory Meeting of The Board of Governors at Blossomfield Infant & Nursery School on Wednesday 25 November 2020 at 7pm held via Zoom

 

Present:                Mrs Michelle Wilson (Chair of Governing Body), Mrs B Farkas (Headteacher), Mrs S Church (SC), Mrs Sophie Garraty (Vice Chair), Mr Stuart Hughes (SH), Mr Joseph Darnley (JD), Ms Rani Kaur (RK), Mrs Olivia Chapman (OC)

 

Apologies:           

Absent without     

Apologies:           

In Attendance:     Mrs K Morrison (KM) (Deputy Headteacher), Deborah Yardley (Clerk to the Governing Body), Mrs Pam Atkinson (School Business Manager) - part

 

The meeting opened at 7pm and was quorate throughout (8 governors)

 

NB GOVERNOR CHALLENGE IS SHOWN BELOW IN BOLD

 

All supporting documents are available on GovernorHub.

 

 

Minute Item

Outcomes

14.3

The minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2020 including Confidential Minutes were agreed as true and accurate records of the meetings and would be signed by the Chair on GovernorHub. The Clerk would arrange for the minutes to be uploaded to the school website.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM251120.1

 

14.5

SG would amend the Pay Committee Terms of Reference to take account of the feedback and circulate for agreement via email.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM251120.2

 

14.6

Governors approved the purchasing policy.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM251120.3

 

14.7

It was agreed that SH as link H&S governor would confirm a convenient date and time for a walkaround with the Site Manager/Headteacher prior to the cessation of the autumn term.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM251120.4

 

Governors approved the School Development Plan. 

 

Minute ref: BFGBM251120.5

 

OC to discuss parent engagement with the Headteacher/DHT offline. 

 

Minute ref: BFGBM251120.6

 

 

 

14.10

It was agreed that meetings would commence at 7pm whilst meetings were virtual and then revert to 6pm when meetings were able to be face to face in school.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM251120.7

 

SH would take on the maths lead and it was noted that meetings could take place virtually via Teams and a handover from the Chair would be arranged.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM251120.8

 

14.11

Governors approved the following policies.

 

Home based working

Safer recruitment and selection

Behaviour and anti-bullying

Remote learning

Child protection

e-safety, online safety

Equal opportunities

Pay policy – option B pay portability agreed in line with SMBC recommendation

School employee code of conduct

Purchasing

Attendance

Managing Allegations against Staff

 

Minute ref: BFGBM251120.9

 

14.12

It was agreed that the Chair would write to RJ to thank him for his support as an Associate which was now at an end.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM251120.10

 

14.13

Governors had a discussion regarding the Instrument of Government and the following principles were agreed: -

Reduce parent governors from 3 to 2 so there would be no vacancies.

Increase co-opted governors from 5 to 6.  This meant there would be 2 vacancies.

There was currently a LA governor vacancy and potentially an existing governor may move to become the LA governor.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM251120.11

 

It was agreed that OC would co-ordinate a governor recruitment campaign.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM251120.12

 

 

 

 

 

14.1

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

 

The Chair welcomed governors to the meeting which was held via Zoom due to the Coronavirus pandemic. There were no apologies for absence.

 

14.2

 Declaration of Pecuniary Interests for this meeting (Changes / Updates)

 

There were no changes to declared interests. 

 

14.3

Minutes of Meeting held on 30 September 2020

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 30 September 2020 including Confidential Minutes were agreed as true and accurate records of the meetings and would be signed by the Chair on GovernorHub. The Clerk would arrange for the minutes to be uploaded to the school website.

 

14.4

 

Matters arising from the minutes

 

There were no matters arising not on the agenda.

 

14.5

Approve Pay Committee Terms of Reference

 

Governors discussed the Terms of Reference for the Pay Committee with the amended wording to clarify that only one of the Chair and Vice Chair could sit on the Committee.

 

It was agreed to clarify that the Headteacher was a member and the Clerk confirmed that the Headteacher would not form part of the quorum.

 

It was agreed the Pay Committee would review both teachers and support staff salary recommendations.

 

SG would amend the Terms of Reference and circulate for agreement via email.

 

14.6

Finance Report

 

14.6.1 Outturn statement and forward forecast for school & Blossomfield Childcare

 

The screen was shared to provide details of the reports which had been uploaded to GovernorHub.

 

The SBM advised that the job retention bonus would not be paid in February as originally advised.  Schools Finance had advised schools to err on side of caution and to remove this from the budget.

 

Governors recognised that in very uncertain times, the reserves enabled the school needs to be met and governors needed to identify the projects which could be built into the plan going forward.  This could be seen as a large level of reserves to be sitting on.

 

There was currently no long-term ICT expenditure and no building projects included in the projections and both would require significant expenditure. There is a rolling program of ICT expenditure and a sites and buildings spending plan.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor noted the importance of maintaining a balance in holding too many reserves and not delaying in projects like IT infrastructure as may cost more.  Long term plan better rather than ad hoc.

 

A governor asked about the IT cycle of renewal.  The SBM said that IT was under maintenance for 5 years, and the school had recently invested in interactive boards and laptops for teachers.  The replacement of 30 laptops would be required.  In response to a follow up question, the SBM noted that governors had approved the new server at the last meeting in September and would provide more capacity.

 

The school had invested heavily in school website 2 years ago.  A governor suggested that investment might be needed in the next couple of years.  It was agreed that possibilities, including this one of the use of the reserves would be discussed at the spring meeting when the aim would be to ensure any plans for spending were aligned with the longer term strategic aims of the school.

 

Finance update

 

Following canvassing of parents, Blossomfield Holiday Club ran in October.  Parents initially said they were interested but the reality was that the club made a £450 loss.  The decision was made to not take siblings from other schools to maintain existing ‘bubbles’.

 

Governors had a discussion about February half term and whether the school should offer a holiday club.  A governor said the school said may lose parents who would find other clubs.  Another governor felt the school had a moral obligation to provide a service to parents who had used and would use the service in the future. It was agreed that it would be a short-term loss if holiday club ran in February but it was important to take a longer term view of Childcare. The SBM said that the school would send out booking forms in the first week of January. Governors recognised the importance of the relationship with families and providing them with this much needed service.

 

Governors also reviewed the SFVS actions. One action related to succession planning for finance.  Governors noted that finance training was being run by SMBC and governors were encouraged to attend.  The Chair would follow up on PI for staff.

 

Purchasing policy – governors approved the purchasing policy

 

(The SBM left the meeting).

 

14.7

Headteacher’s Report Autumn Term to include Covid-19 update

 

This had been uploaded to GovernorHub in advance of the meeting.

 

The following governor questions were received ahead of the meeting and are noted here as governor challenge:

 

To what extent do any performance/progress assessments we have made this term suggest that our children have fallen behind as a result of the interruption in education?  Do the results thus far show a significant difference from prior years at the same stage and do we know if this is down to variables in the cohorts or have we seen children who are struggling to even get back to where they were attainment wise prior to lockdown?

 

(ii) Have we been able to ascertain whether the impact of lockdown has been any worse for our vulnerable/PP children - and do we expect the performance gap to widen as a result?

 

(iii) On the pupil premium did we actually 'use' all of this in the prior period given the timing of lockdown, for this year is it something one of the governors should look at in more detail to understand the plans for this money for the year ahead?

 

The FKS baseline assessment seems really low, please can we have context or is this a particularly low cohort at the start? I'm aware massive progress is made in the first term alone in Reception but it would be good to have a comparison with previous years.

The parental engagement seems at a particularly low ebb, given the low responses in July to the annual survey and only 1 parent attending (virtual) Parent Partnership in October. I wouldn't have expected such low take up for PP at the start of a school year. Does this need a more formal approach and strategy to actively encourage parents and carers to be more involved with the school? And given some of the feedback in the annual survey, has school responded to parents on the feedback publicly, if not, is that something they should consider? As a way of showing feedback is valuable, taken on board and acted upon.

 

The Headteacher drew governors’ attention to the use of technology for remote staff meetings which demonstrated how the school had been able to evolve.  The school had also held virtual parents’ evenings and received positive feedback from parents. 

 

A governor asked a question about children on part time timetables and KM provided details which have not been minuted to avoid identifying individual children.

 

A governor asked whether attendance had been impacted by COVID-19. The Headteacher said that attendance was very similar to a non COVID year.  This was positive as it evidenced parents felt children were safe at school.

 

A governor wanted to know why children with SEND had higher absence.  KM said one child had a significant health care issue and the school was working with the family as were other agencies.

 

A governor queried what plans were in place for persistent absence. The Headteacher said the attendance officer was rigorous in her tracking of school evidenced by LA feedback. Examples were provided of success as a result of the school working with families.

 

In terms of a health & safety visit it was agreed that SH as link governor would walkaround with school at a time when pupils were not in school (early morning or afternoon /evening) and that SH would confirm a convenient date and time with the Headteacher prior to the end of the autumn term.

 

A governor asked about teacher resignations and the Headteacher said they related to childcare requirements in the current circumstances and work/life balance.  A governor asked a follow up question about shortlisting for the class teacher role.

 

The safeguarding action plan was available on GovernorHub for governors to review and advise.

 

A governor asked about impact of COVID on learning and whether the Headteacher had data to evidence any impact.  The Headteacher said there was not sufficient data currently as it was collected once a term.  The half term data showed a very small gap of 2% between this year and last year’s cohort. The current year 2 had a bigger gap in maths.

 

Phonics would have a 3-week intensive block of tutoring for year 1.  Year 2 would have the phonics check before Christmas but the Headteacher said staff were confident that any children who did not pass then would do so by the end of the year unless there was a particular SEND impact.  Some children had thrived during lockdown.

 

SC outlined the foundation stage and the new early learning goals which were statutory from September 2021 but Blossomfield had chosen to be an early adopter.  Therefore, baseline data was completely different from last year.  In response to a governor question, SC confirmed that the baseline data could not be compared to previous years.  There was a move away from data in early years and effort should be in provision, planning and interactions with children, not in data and tracking. 

 

A governor asked about how this fitted with baseline at beginning of KS1.  The Headteacher said that it did not align as EYFS was a different curriculum.

 

SC said that the impact of lockdown had been seen in children’s gross motor skills and in particular physical skills and dressing / undressing as children had not been able to practice these skills at home.  It was suggested that this may be related to less access to parks and apparatus that had been closed during the spring.

 

Governors approved the School Development Plan.  A governor asked whether it was a working document.  The Headteacher confirmed that it was a live document.

 

A governor asked a question about the totals in the EYFS report and SC would look into and respond.

 

The Headteacher provided an update on parent partnership. Only one parent engaged on last the Teams call.  The Headteacher felt that presence on the playground each day meant that parents were already interacting with the school.  It was agreed that OC would speak to the Headteacher separately offline.  Going forward this would be part of the new Community Family Mentor’s role.  SG said she had had organised a zoom call to enable parents in her child’s class to get to know each other as normal interaction and birthday parties were not able to happen.

 

14.8

Teaching & Learning Update to include SEN report

 

SG had attended a Teams meeting with KM.  The SEN report was reviewed and governors were advised that this was a snapshot at the time the report was prepared.

 

14.9

Safeguarding update including audit actions required

 

The safeguarding report was reviewed. This had been available via GovernorHub.  Breakdown of concerns had been provided.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor wanted to understand the types of behaviours would warrant a significant incident. KM said this was where child or staff member has been physically hurt.

 

A governor asked whether there had been an improvement in behaviour as a result of lockdown. KM said the children who were vulnerable had returned to school early. Another governor wanted to know whether the school’s data was  similar to what other schools were recording.  KM said she had spoken to other schools and Blossomfield’s data was in line with theirs.  The Headteacher would sit on a working party looking at ‘Violence reduction in schools’ being run by the local authority.

 

A governor asked if school tracked whether any incidents had longer term consequences.  KM said some of the parents of the children who were hurt were upset. Children recovered quickly but when it related to adults had longer term consequences.  KM and Headteacher would step in and support the adult.

 

A different governor questioned asked whether this was a normal number of incidents for this time of year and whether there had been lots of disclosures as children returned to school in September.  KM said the number of incidents had not increased above that normally seen.  The school was using myconcern more to build pictures and tracking welfare. 

 

14.10

Governing Body roles, monitoring and meeting schedule

 

Governors reviewed the documents that OC had drafted.

 

Timings of meetings was discussed.  It was agreed that meetings would commence at 7pm whilst meetings were virtual and then revert to 6pm when meetings were able to be face to face.

 

Allocations of roles to governors was discussed and it was noted that JD should be added to safeguarding.

 

The Chair advised that Heather Delaney had joined another board as she had not had contact from Blossomfield.  Governors agreed that it was important that any governor recruited represented the local community.

 

SH would take on the maths lead and it was noted that meetings could take place virtually via Teams and a handover from the Chair would be arranged.

 

The school visit schedule linked to SDP priorities was reviewed.  Governors noted the key questions for the visit to help structure conversations with teachers and evidence governor engagement with the school.  Governors should record the meeting using the monitoring and evaluation form.

 

A governor visit folder would be set up on GovernorHub ahead of each meeting for evaluation forms to be uploaded.

 

Governors were asked to state a preference as to whether they would like to chair a meeting.  It was agreed that JD[MW1]  would chair the 3 February 2021 meeting. Meetings would last no longer than 1.5 hours.

 

14.11

Adoption of policies

 

Home based working

Safer recruitment and selection

Behaviour and anti-bullying

Remote learning

Child protection

e-safety, online safety

Equal opportunities

Pay policy – option B pay portability was agreed in line with SMBC recommendation

School employee code of conduct

Purchasing

Attendance

Managing Allegations against Staff

 

 

Governors approved the policies.

 

14.12

Confidential Items

 

It was agreed that specific discussion regarding vulnerable children that may lead to identification would not be captured in the minutes.

 

The Chair advised that RJ as an associate had not responded to any recent communication and Chair sought thoughts about whether he should be asked to continue.  It was agreed that the Chair would write to him to thank him for his support as an Associate which was now at an end.

 

14.13

AOB

 

Date of next Full Governing Body Meeting

 

Wednesday 17 March 2021

 

The Clerk would update GovernorHub with the dates of the agreed Full Board meetings and their particular focus.

 

Governors had a discussion regarding the Instrument of Government and the following principles were agreed: -

Reduce parent governors from 3 to 2 so there would be no vacancies

Increase co-opted governors from 5 to 6.  This meant there would be 2 vacancies.

There was currently a LA governor vacancy and potentially an existing governor may move to become the LA governor.

 

It was agreed that OC would co-ordinate a governor recruitment campaign.

 

A Pay Committee meeting would be organised to ratify Headteacher performance

 

14.14

Termination of Meeting

 

The meeting closed at 9.40pm

 


 [MW1]I thought this was Stuart and not Joe?

Minutes of the Statutory Meeting of The Board of Governors at Blossomfield Infant & Nursery School on Wednesday 30 September 2020 at 7pm held via Zoom

 

Present:                Mrs Michelle Wilson (interim and subsequently newly elected Chair of Governing Body), Mrs B Farkas (Headteacher), Mrs S Church (SC) – until 9.05pm, Mrs Sophie Garraty (newly elected Vice Chair), Mr Stuart Hughes (SH) – from 7.05pm, Mr Joseph Darnley (JD), Ms Rani Kaur (RK), Mrs Olivia Chapman (OC)

 

Apologies:           

Absent without     

Apologies:           

In Attendance:     Mrs K Morrison (KM) (Deputy Headteacher), Deborah Yardley (Clerk to the Governing Body)

 

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

 

NB GOVERNOR CHALLENGE IS SHOWN BELOW IN BOLD

 

All supporting documents are available on GovernorHub.

 

 

Minute Item

Outcomes

13.2

RK and OC were duly elected as co-opted governors to the board.  The Clerk would arrange for a DBS and s128 check, provide governor emails, add them both to GovernorHub and update the school website. 

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.1

 

MW was elected unanimously as Chair for a one-year term which would expire at the first meeting of the 2021/22 school year.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.2

 

SG was unanimously elected as Vice Chair for a one-year term which would expire at the first meeting of the 2021/22 school year.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.3

 

It was agreed that responsibility for the Headteacher PM would be the Chair and RK supported by the school advisor. 

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.4

 

Governors agreed that in the short term there would be 2 Full Board meetings per term.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.5

 

Governors agreed to consider aligning governor linked roles to the SDP not to individual subjects at the next meeting. 

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.6

 

OC and SG offered to be governors responsible for well-being and would liaise with the Headteacher to complete the Covid-19 recovery curriculum document.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.7

 

It was agreed to set up a Pay Committee with members Vice Chair, RK, SH and JD who would meet virtually on 11 November. SG would put together Terms of Reference to put together from Resources Committee. 

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.8

 

It was recognised that clarification from HR on pay policy and whether the pay policy was applicable for next year or current year’s staff salaries was required. RK to check with HR.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.9

 

13.3

Governors had been asked to update pecuniary interests via Governor Hub and the Clerk requested all governors to do so.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.10

 

The Clerk asked all governors to complete the Governor Code of Conduct on GovernorHub.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.11

 

13.4

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2020 including Confidential Minutes were agreed as a true and accurate records of the meetings and would be signed by the Chair on GovernorHub. The Clerk would arrange for the minutes to be uploaded to the school website.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.12

 

13.6

Governors approved £4k spend on a new IT server.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.13

 

13.9

Governors approved the Data Protection, Information Security and Safeguarding policies.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.14

 

Governors to read and confirm they had read KCSIE via the declarations tab on GovernorHub.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM300920.15

 

 

 

 

 

13.1

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

 

The Interim Chair welcomed governors to the meeting which was held via Zoom due to the Coronavirus pandemic. There were no apologies for absence.

 

13.2

Governing Body Structure 2020/21

 

13.2.2 Governor vacancies – local authority, co-opted and parent

 

This item was dealt with first. Submissions from both OC and RK who wished to join the board as co-opted governors had been uploaded to GovernorHub in advance of the meeting.

 

Natasha Chamberlain from Governor Services had asked RK to join the board to support the board’s effectiveness.  RK was currently Chair of Governors at Woodlands Infant School and Head of Advice at the NGA.  Because of her existing commitment to Woodlands, RK was unsure whether she would be able to serve the full 4-year term.  OC was already known to governors as a former parent governor.

 

RK and OC were put into the Zoom waiting room whilst the board discussed whether to co-opt them to the board. A governor asked whether RK would be joining as a LA governor.  The interim Chair confirmed not and Natasha Chamberlain had advised a different suggestion.  A governor asked why OC had stepped down as parent governor and the interim chair said it related to a board dynamic which was no longer relevant.

 

RK and OC were brought back from the waiting room and advised that they had been duly elected as co-opted governors.  The Clerk would arrange for a DBS and s128 check, provide governor emails, add them to both to GovernorHub and update the school website.  

 

Governors then went on to discuss the skill set of board and its composition with particular consideration to the balance of the board between stakeholder groups.  The Chair said that one suggestion would to be to move to 2 parent governor posts.

 

Governors also recalled a candidate who had responded to the co-opted governor role had a specific skill set in SEND.  Subsequently the recruitment process had had to be put on hold due to Covid-19.  The remainder of the discussion has been recorded as a Confidential Minute.

 

There was currently a parent governor vacancy and governors agreed to pause any election until after the governor self-assessment. 

 

13.2.1 Election of Chair and Vice Chair for 1-year term

 

The Clerk dealt with the election of Chair and advised governors that one nomination from MW had been received.  MW outlined the background and advised that following an approach from Governor Services she had agreed to become interim chair to enable the board to continue as both the Chair and Vice Chair had resigned during August.  MW was elected unanimously as Chair for a one-year term which would expire at the first meeting of the 2021/22 school year.

 

The Chair handled the election of the Vice Chair.  The Clerk advised that SG had offered herself for nomination. SG was unanimously elected as Vice Chair for a one-year term which would expire at the first meeting of the 2021/22 school year.

 

13.2.3 Allocation of linked governors

 

The following was agreed:

 

Safeguarding – Chair supported by JD

SEND – Vice Chair as a temporary role pending handover to a new governor with SEND expertise

Pupil premium

LAC – A governor questioned why a specific governor was required as it could be a whole board priority and monitored.  KM said there were a number of post LAC. It was agreed this would be MW supported by JD.

 

Governors agreed to consider how governor linked roles were allocated especially given they were unable to visit school. It was agreed to discuss aligning linked roles to the SDP not to individual subjects at the next meeting.  Governors agreed on the need to prioritise given the board was currently so small.

 

Documents had been uploaded to GovernorHub detailing the roles which governors would need to fulfil, the expectations of the role, and questions which need to be asked.  This would ensure that governors understood the role and when to report back to the board on what monitoring had taken place. 

 

A governor asked about a well-being governor relating to the challenges the school staff are undertaking.  The Headteacher said well-being was on the SDP.  OC and SG offered to be governors responsible for well-being and would liaise with the Headteacher to complete the Covid-19 recovery curriculum document.

 

13.2.4 Agreement of governors responsible for Headteacher PM

 

It was agreed that responsibility for the Headteacher PM would be the Chair and RK supported by the school advisor.  The date needed to be rescheduled and it was confirmed that it would be a virtual meeting.

 

13.2.5 Confirmation of governing body meeting dates / times

 

The Chair asked governors for their views on whether the board should continue with the committee structure in the short term.  The Chair suggested given current priorities and the small number of governors, for this year governors may wish to consider moving to more regular full board meetings which all governors attended.  Governors agreed that in the short term there would be 2 Full Board meetings per term.

 

A governor suggested the meeting agenda could be linked to the SDP.  The Chair would remain the link governor for Finance.  Governor monitoring would drive the agenda for the meetings to ensure doing all the right things at the times.  OC offered to take responsibility for progressing the monitoring schedule.

 

Another governor suggested use of working parties on specific topics to bring to Full Board.

 

Board self-assessment was scheduled for 19 November.  This would be a 2-hour session led by Natasha Chamberlain.

 

Governors had a discussion about whether to meet after self-assessment given the need to approve teacher salary proposals.  It was agreed to set up a Pay Committee with members Vice Chair, RK, SH and JD who would meet virtually on 11 November which was the original date for the Resources Committee meeting.  SG would put together Terms of Reference to put together from Resources Committee. 

 

It was recognised that clarification from HR on pay policy and whether the pay policy was applicable for next year or current year’s staff salaries was required. RK to check with HR.

 

13.22.6 Governor training

 

JD had attended new governor training online. The chat tool had been utilised to be more interactive.

 

The Chair’s briefing on 8 October.

Preparation for Ofsted – SG had attended.

Finance training for the board as a group remained an action.

 

13.3

Declaration of Pecuniary Interests for this meeting (Changes / Updates)

 

There were no changes to declared interests.  Governors had been asked to update pecuniary interests via Governor Hub and the Clerk requested all governors to do so.

 

RK declared a conflict of interest in that she was Head of Advice at NGA.

 

13.2.1 Governor Code of Conduct

 

This had been uploaded to GovernorHub and governors had been asked to sign to say they had read and would abide by it.  Changes were noted relating to the use of virtual meetings.  The Clerk asked all governors to complete the Governor Code of Conduct on GovernorHub.

 

13.4

 

Minutes of Meeting held on 8 July 2020

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2020 including Confidential Minutes were agreed as a true and accurate records of the meetings and were signed by the Chair and would be filed in school once governors were able to attend school. The Clerk would arrange for the minutes to be uploaded to the school website.

 

13.5

Matters arising from the minutes

 

There were no matters arising not on the agenda.

 

13.6

Headteacher’s Report – interim report to governors

 

This had been uploaded to GovernorHub in advance of the meeting.

 

There had been a positive return to school and also support for those families who were more reticent.

 

A recovery curriculum had been planned.  A number of parents were sending in packed lunches rather than those providing by catering during the fortnight of cold lunches.

 

Staggered starts had presented some challenges for parents but had now settled down.  This, together with lunchtimes and staggered finishes was taking up a significant amount of management time.

 

The Headteacher raised the issue of siblings whose bubble had been sent home for self-isolation and who were coming onto the playground so their sibling could attend school.  Governors recognised that there may be no alternative source of childcare and wanted to provide support for these parents.

 

It was recognised that there were no perfect solutions but suggestions included calling on other parents to help and for the school to allow a later start for such children.  The Headteacher would put information in the Friday newsletter together with details of class WhatsApp groups.

 

[9.05pm SC left the meeting.]

 

A virtual parents evening was planned.

 

Whole school attendance had improved following the return of Elm class from self-isolation.  It was noted there had been staff absence due to self-isolation where someone in the family had a positive test or had suspected Covid-19.

 

A governor asked whether staff who were at home self-isolating could be responsible for lesson planning.  The Headteacher said this was difficult where they had young children at home.  The Carers policy allowed staff 3 days’ pay and leave was then unpaid.  The Headteacher was awaiting a briefing from HR with guidance.

 

Finance update

 

The Chair had met with the SBM, and a current deficit of £21k was predicted.  This was a reduction as a result of a saving from employing an NQT compared to an experienced teacher.  Catch up funding was awaited and DfE specific requirements about how it is spent.  This would need to be tracked in terms of how it was used and linked to specific measures to support children post the school’s closure.

 

Blossomfield Childcare was tracking on budget currently. It was not known how many parents would want to use holiday club.  Children who were in Elm class who had to self-isolate had had their booked childcare sessions refunded.

 

SBM had advised that the current IT server needed to be replaced at cost of £4k which needed to be approved by governors.  The new server would be purchased from SMBC which provided ongoing maintenance and economies of scale. 

 

Governors approved £4k spend on new server.

 

The IT technicians post was vacant and given the focus on remote learning, the Headteacher would recruit after half term.  Recruitment would include asking for contacts from Synergy and other Headteachers.  A governor suggested an IT apprentice may be one option but the Headteacher said that the school would not be able to provide any support as they did not have the necessary expertise.

 

13.7

Update: planning for opening in the autumn term

 

This had been discussed earlier in the meeting.

 

13.8

Governing Body priorities / self-assessment

 

This had been discussed earlier in the meeting.

 

13.9

Adoption of policies

 

Data Protection

Information Security policy

Safeguarding policy

 

The Headteacher outlined that the data protection and information security policies had been reviewed and contained additional information required by WES.  Information security covered teachers’ laptops.

 

The Headteacher Safeguarding policy would be amended to reflect the Chair as safeguarding governor.

 

Governors approved the Data Protection, Information Security and Safeguarding policies.

 

A governor asked whether policies would be reviewed after a month to ensure the application was practical.  The Headteacher said all policies were a requirement of SMBC and in the case of data protection, included all of WES’ requirements.

 

KM asked governors to read and confirm they had read KCSIE via the declarations tab on GovernorHub.

 

13.10

Confidential Items

 

It was agreed the discussion on governor vacancies would be recorded as a Confidential Minute.

 

13.11

Date of Autumn Statutory Meeting Wednesday 25 November 2020

 

This meeting would be held via Zoom.

 

November 11th 2020 – Pay Committee – virtual meeting

November 19th 2020 – governor self-assessment with Natasha Chamberlain – virtual meeting

 

13.12

Termination of Meeting

 

The meeting closed at 9.50pm

 

Minutes of the Statutory Meeting of The Board of Governors at Blossomfield Infant & Nursery School on Wednesday 8 July 2020 at 6pm held via Zoom

 

Present:                Mrs L Bosley (Chair of Governing Body) (LB), Mrs B Farkas (Headteacher) (BF), Mrs S Church (SC), Mrs Sophie Garraty (SG), Mr Stuart Hughes (SH), Mrs Michelle Wilson (MW), Mr Joseph Darnley, Councillor Annette Mackenzie (AM), Mr Joseph Darnley (JD)

 

Apologies:           

Absent without     

Apologies:           

In Attendance:     Mrs K Morrison (KM) (Deputy Headteacher), Deborah Yardley (Clerk to the Governing Body), Mrs Pam Atkinson (School Business Manager)

 

The meeting opened at 6pm and was quorate throughout (9 governors)

 

NB GOVERNOR CHALLENGE IS SHOWN BELOW IN BOLD

 

Agenda Item

Supporting Documents

2

 

3

 

 

 

 

Minute Item

Outcomes

12.2

The minutes of the meetings held on Statutory Meeting held on 20 November 2019, Meeting held on 7 May 2020 (Extraordinary) 13 May 2020 (budget approval), Extraordinary Meeting held on 27 May 2020

including Confidential Minutes were agreed as a true and accurate records of the meetings and were signed by the Chair and would be filed in school once governors were able to attend school. The Clerk would arrange for the minutes to be uploaded to the school website.

 

Minute ref: BFGB080720.1

 

12.4

Governors agreed to fund the purchase of Purple Mash and 9 laptops for teachers at a cost of £6,734.

 

Minute ref: BFGB080720.2

 

Governors approved the Childcare budget for 2020/21.

 

Minute ref: BFGB080720.3

 

12.5

The Clerk was asked to change the agenda for future meetings and amend Chair’s actions to governors’ actions and monitoring and reviewing.

 

Minute ref: BFGB080720.4

 

It was agreed that SG would speak to Governor Services regarding the governor skills assessment.

 

Minute ref: BFGB080720.5

 

The monitoring and evaluation schedule would be in place by Christmas and SG would check her email for the latest version.

 

Minute ref: BFGB080720.6

 

The Clerk would add governor skills assessment and monitoring and evaluation to the agenda for the November meeting.

 

Minute ref: BFGB080720.7

 

12.6

Governors approved the following policies:

Complaints

Policy for managing serial and unreasonable complaints

Safer recruitment

Recruitment and selection

Schools Domestic Abuse

Manager’s Guidance Domestic Abuse

Virtual Governance

NQT

Food in School

 

Minute ref: BFGB080720.8

 

12.11

The Clerk would update school website with new committee composition and linked governors.  Minutes of the meetings which had been approved would also be added.

 

Minute ref: BFGB080720.9

 

12.12

A date for the Headteacher’s Performance management would be agreed.

 

Minute ref: BFGB080720.10

 

Governors approved the risk assessment to open the trim trail.

 

Minute ref: BFGB080720.11

 

 

 

 

 

12.1

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

 

The Chair welcomed governors to the meeting which was held via Zoom due to the Coronavirus pandemic. There were no apologies for absence.

 

12.1.1

Declaration of Pecuniary Interests for this meeting (Changes / Updates)

 

There were no changes to declared interests. 

 

12.2

Minutes of Statutory Meeting held on 20 November 2019, Meeting held on 7 May 2020 (Extraordinary) 13 May 2020 (budget approval), Extraordinary Meeting held on 27 May 2020

 

The minutes of the above meetings including Confidential Minutes were agreed as a true and accurate records of the meetings and were signed by the Chair and would be filed in school once governors were able to attend school. The Clerk would arrange for the minutes to be uploaded to the school website.

 

12.3

 

Matters arising from the minutes

 

There were no matters arising.

 

12.4

Resources Committee Report

 

There had been a meeting of the Resources Committee on 24 June 2020 and the Committee Chair noted that due to the enforced closure of Blossomfield Childcare, there remained a degree of uncertainty and impact. The childcare revenue stream was important in year and it remained unknown how quickly it could contribute revenue from September.

 

Budget 2019/20 – end of financial year update

 

This was discussed at the Resources Committee on 24 June and the minutes were available to all governors.

 

Budget 2020/21 – progress v actual

 

The SBM advised that additional guidance on the reclaim of costs associated with Covid-19 has been received.  Unfortunately, these would be minimal.  The school was able to claim for increased premises related costs including caring for keyworker children and vulnerable children over the holidays.

 

No costs could be claimed for supporting FSM children who were not attending school.

Additional cleaning over and above expected cases where there is a confirmed case of coronavirus could be claimed.  As there were no cases of confirmed coronavirus linked to the school, no additional costs of cleaning could be claimed.

The school would submit a claim for PPE and additional cleaning materials which would be reviewed.

The school was unable to claim for the loss of self-generated income e.g. Blossomfield childcare, lettings, and school photographs.

 

The school had budgeted for a full year of PE and sports grant and it had now been confirmed the grant would continue for next academic year. The specific funding amount was awaited.

 

It was confirmed that the requirement to produce a SFVS for 2020/21 had been removed.

 

The Headteacher advised that schools were required to have a remote learning platform in place by end September 2020 and provided governors with an outline of costs involved. The Headteacher suggested purchase of Purple Mash which was being used by local schools. This worked alongside Oak Academy, the online school and MS Teams and the Headteacher was confident that it could be pulled together and run successfully.  Not all staff had laptops they could take home and the concern that if they have to self-isolate, they would need to deliver online learning.  Therefore, the school needed to purchase 9 teacher laptops. Purple Match cost £750 plus set up costs of £150.  In total costs would be £6,734 for Purple Mash plus teacher laptops.  Oak Academy resources were free of charge.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor asked whether the costs of Purple Mash and teacher laptops could be funded by catch up funds.  The Headteacher said this was unlikely and outlined the training required for teachers to be able to use MS Teams.

Governors agreed to fund the purchase of Purple Mash and laptops at a cost of £6,734.

 

The Headteacher said that a survey would be issued to parents to see which households had access to technology including internet access and laptops.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor questioned whether children’s details would be kept on the teachers’ laptops.  The Headteacher said that GDPR process would be followed.  Mrs O’Malley would attend autumn term meeting to present on GDPR.  The Headteacher would take advice from LA but it was mandatory to provide an online platform.  The SBM confirmed there would be full encryption on laptops.

 

A governor said they used their own computer to get onto the network and suggested that this may be useful to review as a backup for teachers.  KM said she had a school laptop which had a VPN and encryption and can remotely access drives in school.  Such access would be restricted to SLT and teachers would have access to restricted data.  Using a school device was more secure than personal device and prevented any blurring of the lines.  Staff should use school email to ensure confidentiality.  The Headteacher said the school needed to provide staff with the tools to do their job and it was not reasonable to expect staff to provide their own hardware.

 

Governors agreed the laptops would remain the property of the school and in time would benefit the children as resources.

 

GDPR audit report

 

This had been discussed at the Resources Committee and Linda O’Malley would attend the autumn meeting. 

 

Blossomfield Childcare

 

The SBM had completed the childcare budget and provided governors with headlines, with the document available on GovernorHub.

 

It had been challenging to predict the bottom line £3k surplus which had been based on current information with the reopening in September.

 

Governors were provided with a furlough update following Resources Committee’s decision to continue the scheme through July and August with managers returning part time from 1 July issuing the booking forms and T&Cs to parents.

 

The offer was limited to 48 children in morning and afternoon (numbers of up to 64 could be accommodated using casual staff) but given the different set up with children remaining in their bubbles, it had been agreed to limit to 48. Governors agreed this was sensible.

 

If large numbers of children did not attend, there was a possibility to continue staff on furlough scheme in September and October.  For every employee who returns from furlough the school would receive £1k which was included in the budget and without which Blossomfield Childcare would be in a deficit situation.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor questioned whether the £1000 was pro rata for part time staff. The SBM said her understanding was it related to those staff who earned over £500 per month.

 

The Headteacher confirmed that the school was able to claim for furlough over summer if Blossomfield childcare was not open. Annual leave had been discussed with staff and received full co-operation to take until end of August.  Staff would come in during the final week of August on a part time basis to prepare the rooms.

 

The booking form had been changed to ensure there was sufficient time to allow hygiene and cleaning measures. The after-school club would run to 5.30pm to allow for the required levels of cleaning from 5.30pm.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor asked if additional staff had been taken on. The Headteacher said not as childcare staff had always cleaned the rooms. The governor questioned if the contract cleaners had taken on more staff and if so, had this incurred an additional cost. The Headteacher said she was not aware of an additional cost and was very satisfied with the standards of cleaning.  It may be that in September there would be more hours required.  The SBM said Site Manager was available as a backup.

 

An update on refunds and credit balances was provided to governors and the SBM confirmed that £17k has been adjusted in budget.

 

ParentPay refunds via Schools Finance had now been dealt with.  Funds for children in year would be transferred to their junior school once the child had started and been accepted in childcare unit.

 

Managers had looked at costing and trimmed back to basic expenditure pending return and would monitor via the outturn statement. 

 

Premises and management recharges had been included in the childcare budget.

The T&Cs had been reviewed and minor changes had been made and would be sent to SMBC legal team for review. The repair of the Treehouse roof was planned for summer holidays but the SBM was encountering difficulty getting information from Property Services and would escalate within SMBC.

 

Governors approved the Childcare budget for 2020/21.

 

12.5

Governance

 

Governor training

 

Governors received an update from the Headteacher.  Safeguarding training would be online. The Clerk advised that it was anticipated governor training would be online as all face to face training had been cancelled.

 

Training records

 

These were available on GovernorHub.  Governors were asked to add any online training they had attended and the Clerk would provide support if required.

 

Board evaluation

 

Governors had a discussion about the best way of taking this forward.  Governor Services offered for free; the National Leaders in Governance offer would be at a cost.

 

The Headteacher reminded governors that the monitoring and evaluation schedule that Olivia Chapman had put together a schedule needed to continue.  This could be done via Teams during the pandemic.

 

The Headteacher also stressed the importance capturing observations on a monitoring and evaluation form in line with a schedule, including from governors who were in the playground at drop off and pick up.  It was agreed that monitoring and evaluation should be added as an agenda item to review monitoring and evaluation forms.  The Clerk was asked to add governors’ actions and monitoring and reviewing.below Chair’s actions on subsequent agendas

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor asked if is everything in place we need ahead of an Ofsted visit.  The skills audit and a monitoring schedule would be useful and could feed into this and discuss at board meetings. 

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

 

A governor asked whether there should there be a separate meeting re Ofsted preparation.  The Headteacher said much of the information was in the SDP and would be a starting point.

 

It was agreed that SG would speak to Governor Services regarding the governor skills assessment.

 

The monitoring and evaluation schedule would be in place by Christmas and SG would check her email for the latest version.

 

The Clerk would add to the agenda for the November meeting.

 

Allocation of Governors to Committees

 

Governors discussed the allocation to the Resources and Teaching and Learning Committees

 

Resources

 

Chair

Vice Chair

Headteacher

SG

MW

SH

 

Teaching & Learning

 

Chair

Vice Chair

Headteacher

JD would join

SG

SC

MW attending as an observer to enhance understanding of school operation

 

The Chair then made reference to a confidential matter that was not on the agenda and which some other governors had not previously been aware of.  She continued speaking on the subject for several minutes. SH brought closure by suggesting that the subject raised should be addressed at a future meeting.

 

12.6

Adoption of policies

 

Governors approved the following policies:

Complaints

Policy for managing serial and unreasonable complaints

Safer recruitment

Recruitment and selection

Schools Domestic Abuse

Manager’s Guidance Domestic Abuse

Virtual Governance

NQT

Food in School

 

It was agreed that JD would act as link governor for NQT

 

12.7

Headteacher’s Report

 

This had been uploaded to GovernorHub in advance of the meeting.

 

School Organisation

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor wanted to know if the number of vulnerable children had increased since lockdown.

KM said the governor definition was EHCP or looked after or had a social worker (child in need or child protection plan).  No one in school.  1 LAC and number of children with EHCP.  This had increased during Covid-19 as their plan had been finalised during this period.

 

The school had seen more children added to FSM list. It was suggested said there would be more disclosures when children return to school.  KM said that FSM families taking part in a summer food programme.

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor asked about the amount of unauthorised absence.  The Headteacher said the absences were as a result of increased parental anxiety at the start of the pandemic. A governor asked whether would this go on the children’s reports as this might upset parents.  The Headteacher said attendance data went up to enforced closure.  The guidance from the DfE was received too late as the reports already produced.

 

Governors discussed the DfE messages about mandatory attendance from September and recognised that there would be parental anxiety.

 

Sites and Buildings

 

There would be a need to move furniture to get classrooms painted over the summer.

 

Staffing / Personnel

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor asked how the staff were feeling about returning to work.  The Headteacher said this had been discussed at the headteachers meeting and the suggestion was to invite staff who were at home into school to get them used to being back and following HR guidance to build up their confidence.  It had been made clear to staff they would be back into the classroom in September.  It was important to stay in touch with staff and have conversations.

 

Some staff were currently working 1:1 with high needs children.

 

The Headteacher had interviewed every day last week and was pleased with appointments made:

Appointed a year 1 teacher Mrs Leah Collins

A qualified teacher had been recruited as maternity cover for Mrs Pennington

3 members of staff had been recruited for 1:1 support

A new lunchtime supervisor had been recruited

The remaining vacancy was the CFM role and the Headteacher advised that due to changing clientele, she and KM would look at in autumn term to devise job spec that suits the role

 

GOVERNOR CHALLENGE

A governor questioned whether the school anticipated any issues with September.

The Headteacher outlined the plans for lunchtime which would be on a rota with 2 classes at any one time in the hall.  Therefore, there would be a combination of packed lunch in classroom and a hot lunch with choice in the hall on rota.  This had been agreed with the catering team. The Headteacher would add a powerpoint that had been shared with staff on 7.7.20 to the Covid folder on Governor Hub with more information about full opening in September.

 

Safeguarding

 

KM would send details of the LA plan for safeguarding awareness. All logs have been signed by the Chair and the SCR. Took guidance from SIA on this process.

 

It was agreed that SH would take on responsibility for fire safety as well as health & safety which would encompass a check to make sure actions on fire drill have been taken.

 

Blossomfield Childcare (verbal report)

 

This was covered above.

 

The SDP would look different next year e.g. remote learning and some actions would need to be carried items forward.  Governors were invited to attend the SDP session on 2 September via Teams and to advise KM if they would like to attend virtually.

 

The Headteacher advised on how the school planned to follow government guidance on staggering start and finish of school day.

 

A governor asked about school clubs.  The Headteacher said that guidance was it has to be one-year group and therefore clubs were unable to make a profit and cover their staffing bill.  The priority was for parents to return to work and the school would need to use hall for before and after school club.

 

12.8

SENCO report to governors

 

KM provided an update and the report had been uploaded to GovernorHub.  60% of children with EHCP were back in school.  The school remained in constant dialogue with parents of EHCP children who remained at home through parental choice. 

 

GOVERNOR CHALLEGNGE

A governor questioned whether additional staff would be provided if more EHCP children joined the school.  KM outlined the process with the LA.  Parental choice was very strong and LA would make representation.  The school would discuss with parents and state whether can or cannot meet their needs.

 

12.9

Teaching and Learning Committee

 

Due to the pandemic, the last Committee meeting in May had been cancelled.

 

12.10

Chair’s Action

 

None.

 

12.11

Website

 

The Clerk would update school website with new committee composition, add JD and remove OC.  Minutes of the meetings which had been approved would also be added.

 

12.12

AOB

 

A date for the Headteacher’s Performance management was to be agreed.

 

The Headteacher had tabled a risk assessment to open trim trail and continued closure of the pirate ship.  It was agreed this would form part of the responsibilities of the link governor for H&S.  Governors approved the risk assessment to open the trim trail.

 

Date of Autumn Statutory Meeting Wednesday 25 November 2020

 

The Clerk, Staff Governor, School Business Manager left the meeting at 20.37 prior to agenda item 12.13.

 

12.13

Ratify Single Status Pay Decisions

 

This has been noted in a Confidential Minute.

 

11.5

Date of Autumn Statutory Meeting – Wednesday 25 November 2020

 

It was likely that this meeting would be held via Zoom.

 

11.6

Termination of Meeting

 

 

 

School Values

Below are our core values.

Happiness

Respect

Caring

Responsibility

Perseverance

Independence

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