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Local Committee November 2017

Front Lawn Primary Academy

                                                                                                                                    

Broadmere Avenue, Leigh Park, Havant, Hampshire, PO9 5HX

Telephone: 023 9247 5904

 

 

 

Minutes of the Local Governing Committee Meeting 13.11.17

 

PRESENT:                Kirsty Ballantyne (KB)

Barbara Batey (BB)

                                 Kate Couldwell (KC) – Headteacher
Geoff Conway (GC)

Lainey Franks (LF) - Chair   

Lucy Hewlett (LH)                           
 

IN ATTENDANCE:    Helen Evison – Clerk

                                 Sarah Read (SR) - Deputy Head

                                    Hilary Street (HS) – Business Manager – until 2.25pm

                                     

APOLOGIES:            Malcolm Porter (MP)

                                 Andy Sillence (AS)

                                    The meeting opened at 1pm

 

  1.  

WELCOME & APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE   

LF welcomed all and introductions were made. Apologies were received from MP and AS.

  1.  

DECLARATION OF INTERESTS              

Governors noted the standing declarations:

- HE clerks at other TKAT, SCC and HCC schools.

- GC is a TKAT employee and Chair of the LGBs of TKAT South and Bridgemary School.

- AS is owner of ‘Active Soccer’, after school club provider to the school

 No interest was declared in any specific agenda item.

  1.  

CONSTITUTION & MEMBERSHIP

Governors agreed the appointment of Lucy Hewlett as an LGC-appointed governor leaving one Parent and one LGC-appointed vacancy. 

It was acknowledged that governors had DBS clearances but it was agreed to check whether an updates or TKAT specific clearances were required. 
                                                                                                          ACTION: HS

  1.  

PAY COMMITTEE

It was noted that the PayCom met on 12th October and had reviewed the Headteacher’s recommendations for performance related pay 2016-17.

  1.  

EXECUTIVE & LGC CHAIRS’ REPORTS & CORRESPNDENCE

GC reported that he had participated in the three TKAT South PayCom meetings; all had been slightly different, target setting had been inconsistent and responsibilities needed to be adjusted to fit the TKAT South organisation.

GC proposed that the terms of reference be adjusted and documentation be standardised for 2017-18.                                                                 ACTION: GC

  1.  

2016-17 ACCOUNTS

Refer Attachment 1.

HS explained that these were the latest figures and might yet change.  The ‘Fixed Budget’ was the original budget submitted to the EFA, the ‘Current Budget’ was the latest version. Income had exceeded budget largely as a result of the Nursery; staffing was under budget due to the caretaker vacancy in the summer term.  The allowance for the cost of the outdoor gym was probably incorrect and it was possible that the 3% TKAT ‘service charge’ would not be applied to the Nursery income.

Q: LF asked whether the school met TKAT’s required level of surplus.

A: HS said that they had budgeted to reach this at the end of next year.

Q: GC asked whether the school expected to lose out under the new funding formula.

A: HS said that she had responded to the government consultation. There was expected to be a limit to adjustments; they did not expect to get less than now, just not as much as they would have done if the current system continued.

Q: LF asked what measure of deprivation was to be used in the funding formula.

A: Free school meals and 6 different IDACI indices.

Q: GC asked whether funding came from HCC.

A: HS explained that the main grant came from the EFA directly.  Her understanding was that HCC would have some funding to redistribute for the next two years but that after that all funds would come directly from the EFA.

 

KB highlighted that the link to check whether a child was eligible for free school meals (and consequently Pupil Premium funding) was not prominent on the website, that parents were reluctant to apply and that they may not understand how being eligible for free school meals could benefit the school.  KC said that his was a regular item in the newsletter and HS said that parents were encouraged to apply.

Q: LH asked whether there was anything ‘public’ about applying for free school meals that might be discouraging applications.

A: No, there was not.

  1.  

2017-18 BUDGET MONITORING & VIREMENTS

HS explained that the report, Attachment 2, covered the first two months of the financial year. Funding was greater than budgeted as split site funding had been agreed late and PE grant had increased.   Explanations for significant variations in expenditure were given in the notes on the report.

HS requested governors’ agreement to the virements set out at Attachment 3.

Governors accepted the need to spend on staffing but queried the need for additional Chromebooks and asked why this had not been planned.  Governors accepted that the Chromebooks were needed and that the 3D printer provided interesting opportunities but would be were concerned that purchases had been made before additional funding was certain.  Governors suggested that future budgets include an allowance for ‘curriculum development’ or ‘innovation’ to cover this kind of idea and that, if the budget did not allow for all ideas, a prioritised list of items to be bought if funding became available be agreed with the budget.

Q: LF observed that not all the PE grant from 2016-17 had been spent and asked whether there was plan for the balance.

A: Yes and this was on the school website.

Governors accepted the virements made.

  1.  

CAPITAL PROJECTS

HS explained that, instead of putting in documented bids for capital projects as in previous years, this year they simply had to send a list of possible projects to TKAT who would then visit all schools and identify the overall priorities.

Governors discussed ideas and agreed the priorities to be:

- upper school boys toilets (one set currently unusable, provision adequate?)

- the nursery play area (uneven with trip hazards due to tree roots, may need to
  be closed)

- replacement of the adventure playground (deteriorating and will need to be
  closed)                                                                                             ACTION: HS

In addition to project possibly funded by TKAT the school received over £7,000 from the government.  It was agreed that, if the application to TKAT was unsuccessful, this might be used to make the boys toilets usable.

Governors discussed whether the PTA might fund a project such as the adventure playground and whether suppliers, such as B&Q, might assist.

HS advised that anticipated PTA donations had already been allocated in the budget; only new funding would be available.

  1.  

BENCHMARKING

HS was not aware of any reports.  GC explained that there used to be a DfE benchmarking tool.  HE said that she believed that, in the past, TKAT compared key measures for their schools.  It was agreed to find out what was available.

ACTION: HS

  1.  

H&S AUDIT REPORT

Refer Attachment 4.

HS explained that the report and ‘initial scores’ dated from 2014; these had been updated to ‘current scores’ by HS.  The school had always been over the 90% required compliance threshold and had improved since the survey.  An update from TKAT would be welcomed.

Q: LF asked why there was a low score from H&S committee.

A: A volunteer staff member was needed.

Q: Was 78% for fire/emergency arrangements satisfactory?

A: It had been improved,

Q: Did this make use of ‘Smartlog’?

A: No.

Q: Why was ‘reviewing employees’ 0%

A: Paul had given this 100% so the zero was probably in correct.

Governors commented that no weighting was given to the various criteria; matters such as asbestos and fire precautions were perhaps more significant than staff participation in an H&S committee.

The committee discussed where the priorities lay. KB volunteered to ask her father, a Health and Safety officer, to suggest an order.

HS said that she worked with the site manager to assess priorities. Trip hazards and the disabled toilet had been addressed.  Planned improvements were lockable bin storage and improved signage of escape routes.

H&S walk around to be planned.                                                      ACTION: GC

  1.  

RISK REGISTER

HS advised that the school did not have one.  HE had provided examples but it was unclear what level of detail TKAT wanted. It was agreed that GC would establish what TKAT required.                                                          ACTION: GC

  1.  

 MINUTES OF THE LOCAL GOVERNING COMMITTEE OF 2nd OCT 2017                                                          

The minutes of the LGC meeting of 2nd October 2017 were agreed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair.

Action points and matters arising:

- DBS – see 3 above

- Model questions for governor visits.  GC advised that he was working on these; they were taking longer than expected; he was checking them with Heads before circulation to governors.  Several were to be agreed by the end of term.                                                                                                  ACTION: GC

- Governors’ Action Plan.  MP had held a preliminary meeting with HS.  Other visits planned:

H&S – GC – refer 10 above.

Safeguarding                                                                                     ACTION: AS

SEND                                                                                                 ACTION: LF

  1.  

RESIDENTIAL TRIP

BB outlined arrangement for the residential trip to Calshott. This was planned from 5-9th March 2018.  Cost was £286/pupil plus the cost of the coach, about £600. Parents had been asked to pay £150; the balance was being funded out of the Sports Premium. Board and lodging and activities with qualified instructors were all included. 32 of 51 pupils had booked to go.  There would be one adult for each 18 pupils.

Q: Was it planned to do this annually?

A: Yes.
Q: Were there water sports?

A: No, because it would be too cold.  However there was a ‘trawling’ activity organised by the RNLI.

Q: Were subsidies available for those whose parents could not afford the trip?

A: Payment could be by instalment and some community grants were available.

Q: Was any child not going because of the cost?

A: Some were not going for medical reasons; others were too timid.

Q: Was all the paperwork complete and logged in ‘Evolve’?

A: Yes.

BB explained that, in future, they hoped to extend residential opportunities to other year groups.  KC said that there was a possibility that Yr4 would go camping in the grounds of a private school in Liphook.  LF said that her school might also be able to offer an arrangement like this.

Governors thanked the staff for offering this opportunity to the children.

  1.  

GOVERNORS ACTION PLAN

Refer 12 above.

LF offered to draft a checklist for safeguarding so that governors’ compliance could be checked.  Agenda item for next LGC.                         ACTION: LF (HE)

  1.  

WEBSITE COMPLIANCE

KC distributed copies of a Website Compliance Checklist and advised that she believed the website to be compliant.  KC requested that governors check and feedback if they found anything missing.                                        ACTION: ALL

Q: GC asked whether the same checklist was being used by the other TKAT South schools.

A: KC said, yes, it was.

  1.  

TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT

• GC explained that now, rather than providing in-house training, TKAT had subscribed to the NGA ‘virtual college’ so extensive training was available on-line.  If they had not already done so all governors should complete the induction and safeguarding modules.  The next target should be modules relevant to their respective focus areas.                  Action: ALL as appropriate

• It was agreed to postpone a Skills Audit until the summer term.

• KC advised that a session on ‘Holding Leaders to Account’ was being organised at another local school. Details to be provided.               ACTION: KC

  1.  

POLICIES & REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

It was noted that all TKAT model policies had been adopted at the TKAT south LGB meeting in September and that TKAT-South wide policies could be approved at the Executive Committee; only school-specific policies required local approval.

KC explained that, other than ‘Aggressive Behaviour’ which was new, the others were established policies for routine review.

GC observed that the ‘Aggressive Behaviour’ policy offered no ‘right of appeal’; might it be appropriate to include one? Perhaps matters might be referred to governors?  KC explained that the policy related to parents and visitors and was based upon an NHS policy. Governors discussed the need for a ‘right of appeal’ and whether It might be sufficient to cross refer to the School Complaints policy.

                                                                                                          ACTION: KC

 The other policies listed:

 -  Behaviour

 -  Exclusions

 -  Charges

 -  Admissions 2019/20 (correction from 2020/21)

 -  Lettings

were agreed without change.

 
  1.  

LGC MEETING SCHEDULE 2017-18

C,T&L focus Mon 22nd Jan at 1300

F&R focus Mon 5th March at 1300

C,T&L focus Mon 30th April at 1300

F&R focus Mon 2nd July at 1300

 

The meeting closed at 3.20pm
1 8 0 8 4 Visitors
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