The NLAGB Executive Committee has decided to publish our committee meeting minutes.
Please see below:



North Lincolnshire Association of Governing Bodies

Minutes of the Committee meeting 12th December 2018

Present

Apologies

Angela Dunkerley (Chair)

Barbara Spencer

Peter Raspin

Pam Hodge (LA)

                  Rob Smith

                  John Speyer

                  Eleanor Wasley

                  Denise West

 

1. Apologies

Barbara Spencer and Pam Hodge

2. Minutes of the meeting held on 19th September

These were approved but it was noted the meeting between Peter Raspin and Denise West planned for 25th September had to be cancelled. A new date will be fixed by Peter.

3. Minutes of AGM held on 7th November at Melior Community Academy

It was a good meeting although turnout was disappointing. Dai Durbridge was an excellent speaker and governors found his input useful and informative. The minutes were approved and will be available on the NLAGB website and a copy sent to the LA. 

The committee thank the LA for all their support in publicising the meeting and sending out fliers.

Governors at the AGM had asked if there would be another Governor Conference and it was agreed that NLAGB will pursue this with officers.

4. Treasurer’s Report

Denise has banked £1400 in fees and 56 schools have paid. As more schools federate, income is dropping although we pay NGA less due to the fact that our affiliation cost to them is based on the number of establishments affiliated to us.

Several schools have not replied, despite being sent reminders. Denise will send a letter to the chair of governors of these schools with a self-addressed envelope after Christmas.

It is hoped in future that the LA, through Pam Hodge, may send out letters direct to the chair of governors of all schools as it appears from discussions with individual governors at schools that have not paid, that the governors themselves have not been aware and it may therefore be the head or member of the administrative staff making the decision on whether to pay.

Denise reported that none of the Catholic schools had joined this year and 6 other schools have not joined as yet. Two of these did not join last year either, one has left after joining a MAT, 2 have simply not responded and only one has actually said they do not wish to affiliate this year.

Epworth Primary who are federated with South Axholme have re-joined this year, and Coritani have joined this year.

5. Working with the LA

It was agreed NLAGB needed to stay independent of the LA (as advocated by NGA and stated in the NLAGB Constitution) but work in close partnership with officers whenever possible. Executive members look forward to building positive relationships with the newly restructured governance team at the authority.

Executive members were unanimously concerned about changes that had been made over the last two years to the purpose and format of Governance Matters and the Leadership Briefing sessions. It was agreed that it would be useful to discuss and clarify the function and purpose of these with officers so that they provide mutually beneficial forums for developing support for all governors.

Governors are still reporting problems with MOVEIT although IT support is responding much quicker now.

6. SEND

Funding is an increasing problem with more pressure being put on schools/academies and the LA to fund children with special needs and particularly those with health problems. Very often there is little or no funding for children who may have severe health problems.

NLAGB are funding travelling expenses for Pet Whittaker and Shelley Thomas, who are governors at special schools in North Lincolnshire, to attend meetings of the National Governors’ Association SEND Advisory Group. This will provide an opportunity to raise issues about problems in North Lincolnshire, learn about developments nationally and contribute to influencing policy. They are also finding out what other LAs are doing and can feed back ideas and information to both the LA and NLAGB. They have written a brief article to highlight the focus of their discussions at these meetings for Governor’s News (but the detail that can be included has to be balanced against the need for confidentiality when discussing sensitive issues).

it was agreed that this was an appropriate use of NLAGB funds as it is an area of considerable concern for governors. The executive wish to express their thanks to Pet and Shelley for their time and commitment to this task on behalf of all governors.

7. Schools Forum

There was nothing of significance to report.                   

8, Education Standards Board

This now has a Moderating Panel with Denise West sitting on it to represent governors. They are responsible for deciding which schools should come to the Education Standards Board. Criteria are now much more transparent and focus on identifying schools that have a downward trend in performance over several years rather than a one-year dip.

9. Governance Matters

The group was originally set up for NLAGB and the LA to meet to discuss issues and concerns raised with them by governors. Without consultation with NLAGB this group has been opened up to all governors, and its remit is no longer as clear. It is much more of an informal chat session, with the LA putting a focus on the Locality Meetings.

10. Leadership Briefings and Locality Meetings

The format of these has also changed. It is no longer an update of what is happening over the term, focussing on clarifying issues to be discussed in the termly Governing Body meeting. Darren Chaplin gives a brief SEND report but meetings can include a lot of general information of varying relevance to governors. There is now little advice on what chairs and governors are being asked to do with the various papers they are sent each term from the authority.

Attendance at Locality Meetings is variable. The town groups have a few regular attendees, although there is a feeling that many governors regard these as another unnecessary meeting.

 

11. Website

There had been an email from Parentkind, an organisation wanting exposure on the website. As no-one knew anything about the group, it was agreed we pass this to Pam Hodge to investigate with the possibility of asking them to do an article for Governor News.

12. NGA

Angela had unfortunately been unable to attend the conference in Birmingham and hasn’t had any feedback from it as yet.

The NGA development programmes for chairs, clerks and MAT’s are proving very popular. These are highlighting some of the difficulties in establishing agreed governance structures and accountability within Multi-Academy Trusts. 

The clerking programmes are highlighting how important it is to have professionally trained clerks who can advise governing bodies and boards. MATs are now thinking about this too.

NGA are increasingly moving to the use of Webinars to bring consultants covering the entire country together to discuss support for governors through the NGA programmes without consultants having to travel to Birmingham

13. AOB

Angela thanked Peter (and Jane) for hosting the executive meetings this year which means that costs for running the association are minimised.

14 Date of Next meeting

Wednesday 3rd April at 7pm


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