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Blossomfield

Infant and Nursery School

'Blossom at Blossomfield'

Minutes of statutory board meeting 15.3.17

 Minutes of the Statutory Meeting of The Board Of Governors at Blossomfield

Infant & Nursery School on Wednesday 15 March 2017 

 

Present:                Mrs L Bosley (Chair of Governing Body) (LB), Mrs B Farkas

(Headteacher) (BF), Mr T Tiwana (TT), Mr D Flavell (DF), Mrs S Church

(SC) , Mrs D Rothwell (DR), Mrs C Bywater (CB), Mr J Shaw (JS)

Apologies:            Mrs K Morrison

Absent without 

Apologies:            Mr S Trivedi (ST), 

In Attendance:      Mrs P Atkinson (Business Manager) (PA), Ms Deborah Yardley (Clerk to

The Governing Body) (DY)

 

The meeting opened at 6.35pm and was quorate throughout (8 governors)

 

 

 

Agenda Item

 

Supporting Documents

2

Amended Governors Code of Conduct for approval

 

4

Minutes from the previous meeting – 23 November 2016

 

6

Draft Minutes of Resources Committee Meeting of 1 March 2017

 

Draft Budget & Plan 2017/18

 

Budget Notes

 

Notional SEN Budget2017/18

 

Draft Pupil Support Budget 2017/18

 

School Fund Accounts 2015/16

 

Out-turn Statement as at January 2017 

 

School Development Plan

 

Draft Schools Financial Value Statement

 

7

Training records

 

SMBC Governor Training programme details

 

8

Child Protection Policy, Disclosure Policy, Safer Recruitment Policy & Pay Policy Guidance

 

11

Report of the Head Teacher

 

Child Protection / SEN report

 

CPD

 

Staff List

 

Curriculum Reports

 

12

Minutes of Teaching and Learning Committee Meeting of 8 February 2017

 

14

Chairman’s Actions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minute Item

Outcomes

1

 

 

 

DF was unanimously elected as Vice Chair of the Board of Governors.

 

Minute ref: BFGB150317.1

 

2.1

Governors unanimously approved the amendment to the Code of Conduct.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM150317.2

 

4

The minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2016 were approved and signed by the Chair as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM150317.3

 

5

JS to undertake Prevent online training and print off the certificate and send to the Headteacher.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM150317.4

 

 

6

Governors formally approved permission for the Chair to sign off the 2017/18 budget which had been presented to governors.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM150317.5

 

Governors approved the SFVS which the Chair would sign.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM150317.6

 

7

The Clerk has booked governors on the agreed courses for the Summer term.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM150317.7

 

8

The Child Protection Policy, the Disclosure Policy, the Safer Recruitment Policy and the Pay Policy Guidance were all accepted by governors.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM150317.8

 

9

All governors must read the summary of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM150317.9

 

The Clerk to update the website to reflect the changes to linked governors.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM150317.10

 

12

The Clerk to arrange for the website to be updated to reflect the resignation of RJ and the up to date allocation of link governors.

 

Minute ref: BFGBM150317.11

 

 

 

 

 

1

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

 

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and particularly JS who was attending his first Full Governing Body meeting as a parent governor.  Apologies had been received for KM who was attending her son’s parents evening.  No apologies had been received for ST. 

 

The Chair confirmed that she had received an email from RJ on Monday 13th March tendering his resignation as a governor with immediate effect.  RJ has been a governor for the last 14 years but for personal and professional reasons had found it increasingly difficult to devote the time to governorship.  RJ’s resignation means there is a vacancy for Vice Chair.  DF indicated he was interested in standing and his appointment as Vice Chair was unanimously approved by governors.

 

1.1

Declaration of Pecuniary Interests 

 

 

A hard copy form had been completed by JS.  There were no changes to any declared interests or new declared interests.

 

2.1

 

 

Update & Agreement to amended Governors’ Code of Conduct

 

Governors unanimously approved the amendment to the Code of Conduct.  A hard copy form has been completed by JS.

 

3.1

Governing Body Structure 2016/17

 

There are now 3 co-opted vacancies.  Governors were also mindful that ST had not yet attended a governing body meeting and therefore the governing body may be 4 co-opted governors short.  The Headteacher has been in contact with SGOSS, who are a voluntary organisation which finds suitable volunteers to match the skills required by governing bodies.  Unfortunately there is currently no one in the local area with the skills required but SGOSS will review again every 6 weeks.

 

Governors discussed other suggestions for identifying potential co-opted governors.

 

The Chair advised that she would write to the 4 main banks locally; Lloyds, Barclays, NatWest and HSBC and would also approach National Grid and Enterprise Inns who both have large local workforces.

 

Governors also discussed advertising for volunteers on the church noticeboards and this was agreed.

 

4

Minutes of Meeting held on 23 November 2016

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 23 November 2016 were approved by governors as a true and accurate record of the meeting and were signed by the Chair.

 

5

 

Matters Arising from the Minutes

 

 

 

The Code of Conduct for parent partnership has been issued and sent to parents.

 

The police have returned to monitor car parking on several occasions and will be attending on 16 March.

 

TT has drafted the letter to SMBC and is awaiting comments from the Business Manager.

 

All governors with the exception of JS who is a newly elected parent governor, have completed Prevent training.  JS will complete the training using the link in the Headteacher report and provide a copy of the certificate to the Headteacher.

 

Knowle Primary Academy – contact has taken place and they will visit once the relocation to the new build has taken place.

 

Access to The Key will be available to the end of March.  Membership of the NGA will continue for another year.

 

6

 

 

Resources Committee Report

 

The draft minutes of the Resources Committee meeting held on 1 March 2017 had been circulated together with various budget reports and notes that the Business Manager had prepared.

 

Governors noted that the cost of purchasing the agreed 13 desktops had reduced to £7,389 due to the number ordered.  The desktops have arrived but will not be installed until the new build is available.

 

6.1  January outturn statement

 

The Business Manager reported that the forecast underspend for the current financial year would increase and a substantial reserve would be transferred to the next financial year.

 

Governors discussed the draft accounts for the school fund for the year 2015/16.  It had been agreed that Peter Bosley would sign off the accounts as a ‘friend’ and qualified accountant as per SMBC guidelines.  The Business Manager confirmed that the SMBC audit team were content with this course of action.

 

6.2  Budget 2017/18

 

Governors are aware that with effect from April 2017 half of one percent of the school’s salary bill needs to be paid into the apprenticeship levy. This totals £3.5k.  (School staff are employed by SMBC whose total payroll is in excess of £3.5m).  It is unlikely that the school will benefit from the apprenticeship scheme in the immediate future.  Governors were concerned that there was no opportunity to plan to mitigate the impact of this change as the announcement was only made in January 2017.

 

The Business Manager confirmed, in response to a question from the Chair, that the percentage of budget spent on staffing was 84% for 2017/18.

 

Governors were advised that SMBC would no longer fund ParentPay charges and therefore the school budget had to fund the 1.29% additional charge as well as the £330 annual usage charge.

 

 

 

Governors discussed the relief caretaking package which at £2k pa is a substantial amount.  Discussions have taken place at Synergy but no decision has yet been made.  The Business Manager suggested that at the time the cleaning package is reviewed in the summer term, the opportunity could be taken to build in relief caretaking.  Governors agreed to continue with the package as now until an alternative can be identified in the summer term.

 

The Business Manager reported a change to MS licensing.  Microsoft has moved from a licensing charge when the IT equipment is first purchased to an annual charge.  In the long term, Education ICT has advised this will provide better value but in the short term there will be a cost impact.

 

Governors were advised that there had been a change to the absence management package.  This is no longer provided by the local authority but by a private company.  On a like for like basis, for the forthcoming year, there would be no increase in costs but the increased staff, including Blossomfield Childcare Unit as well as staff associated with the expansion of the school, would impact on the cost of the insurance.  The Business Manager would revert to the private company with details of the increased staff and ask for a revised charge.

 

Governors agreed to the recommended purchase of the Redcare 24 hour monitoring.  The Business Manager also advised that £915 would be added to the 2017/18 budget as the replacement of the garden room window would take place in the next financial year.

 

Governors discussed the potential construction of the new path around the site; Resources Committee is awaiting further details and the costs would be funded by the £12.5k in the devolved capital budget.

 

The Business Manager reported that the school would receive increased nursery funding from the local authority from September 2017 in relation to the 30 hours free nursery provision. Governors were pleased to note that full pupil growth figures had been secured from September 2017.  Furthermore, within the Blossomfield Childcare budget, a management charge of £15k relating to the time and effort spent, had been applied.

 

Governors were advised that approximately £20k would be taken from Reserves with a corresponding contribution from the current financial year offsetting this.  The Business Manager will send a return to Schools Finance outlining the breakdown of reserves and the plans to spend it.

 

Governors formally approved permission for the Chair to sign off the 2017/18 budget which had been presented to governors.

 

6.3  SFVS

 

Governors approved the action plans and formally approved the SFVS which the Chair would sign.

 

The Headteacher commented that the review of the SFVS timeline had worked well and recommended adopting the same next year.

 

The Chair thanked the Business Manager for her support on the budget and the detailed work she had completed.  Governors noted that all school staff have input into the budget which helps understanding of the school’s finances.  Governors

 

 

referenced last year’s SMBC financial audit which saw the school receive an outstanding rating.

 

7

 

Governance

 

The following governor training was agreed:-

New Governors Training Programme (27 April, 4 May and 11 May) - John Shaw

Freedom of Information - 10 May - Lorna Bosley and Dan Flavell

SEN Briefing Session - 15 June - Debbie Rothwell

Relationships & Sex Education - 20 June- Charlotte Bywater

Briefing Session - Mathematics - 28 June - Tally Tiwana

Clerks Briefing Session - 6 July - Deborah Yardley

The Clerk has booked governors on the above courses.

 

8

Adoption of Policies

 

The Child Protection Policy, Discloure Policy, Safer Recruitment Policy and Pay Policy Guidance were all adopted by governors.

 

9

Headteacher’s Report

 

The comprehensive report had been circulated with the agenda.

 

Governors noted the following points:-

 

Blossomfield Childcare continues to have strong numbers.

 

Attendance within school is outstanding.  There are high levels of unauthorised absence in Year 1 which relates to a handful of persistent offenders.  A governor asked for details of the action which is taken.  The Headteacher confirmed that all absence is followed up including lateness and using the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) as relevant.  A range of different letters are sent to parents from the EWO.

 

9.1 Sites and Buildings

 

The Headteacher had undertaken a site walk with the Site Manager and agreed housekeeping and ad hoc jobs to be completed during half term.

 

The Headteacher has a Building Design Group meeting scheduled for 16 March and hoped that a date for access to the new build would be provided.

 

Parking continued to be a challenge, particularly given the disruption caused by National Grid who had had to dig up the pavements to access the gas mains.  A governor asked whether parking should be a standing agenda item.  The

Headteacher confirmed that the school maintains a file with details of complaints, emails and photos.  This is a condition of the planning authority.  Governors agreed that they would review this after the build completion.  The Headteacher confirmed

 

 

she was awaiting confirmation on the monies available to fund the proposed walking bus which forms part of the school travel plan, prior to recruitment of staff.

 

9.2  Staffing

 

The Headteacher reported that she had shortlisted for the NQT position and had had informal interviews with 4 candidates.  All 4 had been impressive and had been invited to interview.

 

17 applicants for the new Finance / Admin post had been received and 4 had been shortlisted.

 

Once these positions have been filled, recruitment for a Band B teaching assistant for the new class and a lunchtime supervisor would take place during the first half of the summer term.

 

Mrs Mace had returned from maternity leave and is job sharing with Mrs Hazel in Year 1.

 

At fire safety drill on 8 March it took 2.5 minutes to evacuate the school.

 

Governors were reminded that if they had not done so already, they needed to read the summary of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’.  A link to this document is available in the Headteacher’s Report.  Governors are aware that the requirement for safeguarding when using social media extends to governors and staff.

 

Reports from subject leaders had been circulated with the agenda.  The Chair commented that they were excellent.  The Chair had been in school to discuss the music curriculum and had a visit planned on 29 March to hear recorder groups.  The Chair had also met with KM and Rachael Lee and discussed SEN.

 

For those governors who had not been able to meet with their linked subject area teacher, it was suggested to think flexibly and given that meeting rooms at the school are scarce, consider meeting at home or in a coffee shop.

 

Governors agreed the following links for subject matters:-

 

CB – Foundation Stage and English

JS – Computing and D&T

DF – Science and PE

 

The Clerk would update the website to reflect the changes to linked governors.

 

Govenors reviewed the current attainment data as at the end of the Autumn term contained within the Headteacher’s Report and were pleased to note that performance is on track.

 

The Headteacher reported that attendance at the Parent Partnership continued to be poor.  The change of time to 9am for the last meeting did not see any increased participation but it had been more productive due to taking place earlier in the day.

 

Educational funding reforms – a governor thanked the Headteacher for drafting the letter to parents.  This was a collaborative exercise and worked well.

 

 

Governors then discussed the move towards academisation and the latest plan for MATS to comprise 10-20 schools.  It is clear that smaller MATS are not financially viable.  MATS such as Tudor Grange and Nine Stiles were referenced as the models to follow.

 

Governors were advised that Catholic schools are being encouraged by the Diocese to form a MAT with other Catholic schools.  If Catholic schools move away, this may be the tipping point for the viability for the local authority.  It is possible that the local authority may set up its own MAT.

 

Governors discussed how savings could be made within a large MAT such as replacement of Headteachers by Heads of Schools and centralisation of financial management.  

 

Governors reviewed the SEN report which had been circulated with the agenda.

 

The Chair confirmed she had reviewed and signed the safeguarding and bullying registers.

 

10

Teaching & Learning Committee

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 2 February had been sent to governors with the agenda.  Governors had no comments on the minutes of the meeting. 

 

11

Chairman’s Action

 

The report had been circulated to governors with the agenda.  There were no questions.

 

12

Website

 

The Clerk will arrange for the website to be updated to reflect the resignation of RJ and the up to date allocation of link governors.

 

13

Publication of Minutes and Papers

 

It was agreed that there were no confidential items.

 

14

Date of Summer Statutory Meeting

 

Wednesday 21 June 2017 at 6.30pm.

 

15

Termination of Meeting

 

The meeting closed at 7.50pm

 

 

 

 

 

School Values

Below are our core values.

Happiness

Respect

Caring

Responsibility

Perseverance

Independence

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