Carole Self Learning for Life Partnership [163] 08 September 2020
Wheelock LAB   Minutes   26/11/2019
Wheelock Primary   Tuesday, November 26, 2019  5pmChair: David Booth   Clerk: Debbie Tomkinson   
FINAL: The minutes are confirmed and locked.
Governors Attending:
Governors Apologies: >
Non Governors Attending: >
Non Governors Apologies: >
Agenda Item 1  Welcome and Apologies for Absence
MINUTE  DB welcomed all to the meeting.  There were no apologies.

Agenda Item 2  Declaration of Personal/Pecuniary Interests
MINUTE  There were no declarations of interest in relation to any of the agenda items.
Agenda Item 3  Minutes of the previous meeting

The Part One Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true and accurate record.  All agreed.

DECISION  The Part One Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true and accurate record. All agreed.
Agenda Item 4  Matters Arising
MINUTE Community Governor Vacancy 

Mr Matt Pearson community was in attendance as he had expressed an interest in joining the LAB.   All agreed Mr Peaarson would be a good addition to the LAB and agreed that a recommendation should be made to the Board that he be so appointed.  

Appointment of Vice Chair

AR agreed to become Vice Chair for a period of 12 months and this was unanimously agreed by the LAB. COMPLETE 

Annual Declarations

Governors were unsure if their declarations have been uploaded onto Trust Governor.  Clerk to check that the records have been updated.

Attendance Monitoring Visit - COMPLETE

Staff and Governor Get-together

This has been arranged for 11th December - COMPLETE

Learning Walk - MN - ONGOING

ACTION  Clerk to contact the Trust Board clerk and recommend ask for Trustees approval for the appointment of Matt Pearson.
Clerk to ensure that declared interests have been uploaded onto Trust Governor.
DECISION  Agreed that a Mr Pearson be recommended to the Board for the community governor vacancy.
AR be appointed as Vice-Chair for a period of twelve months.
Agenda Item 5  Finance Update
MINUTE  Finance to be discussed at the next meeting.  Management accounts are not produced during the first two terms of the academic year as there will not be any significant variations.  HS did state that the CFO had confirmed that the carry forward is £230k which is more than was expected and this was because of catering income, strong financial management, increased SEN funding and cheaper contracts.

ACTION  Clerk to include and agenda item on finance for the next meeting.
Agenda Item 5  Headteacher's Report
MINUTE  The headteacher’s report was sent out in advance of the meeting and HS highlighted the areas of note.

There have been two admissions appeals – one for a Y6 place and one for a Y1 place. Places had not been offered because the classes are already full.

Q: What are pupil numbers like across the school?
A: All classes are full and a decision has been made not to admit any more than 31 pupils in KS2.

Q: Why have they made the appeal?
A: They have recently moved into the area.  The school receives a lot of applications for places and but the majority of parents will not lodge an appeal.

A new teacher has been appointed to teach in Swans class. This will be announced in the school newsletter.  A decision was made to place the new teacher in Swans class because of the disruption that children in Kingfishers have faced and it is important that these children do not have any more change.

The new teacher has a child in the school but this will not be an issue and she will not be teaching her child.

A new playworker has been appointed at the Hive.


Quality of Education

All teachers have been set a target related to progress.  Children who are projected to make negative progress are identified and targeted.

The literacy leads are look at resources for spelling as this will be a focus in the current academic year.

The teaching of French is being supported by the Modern Foreign Languages lead from Leighton Academy.  An audit of resources will be completed and teaching support will be purchased to support those staff who may not be confident in teaching French.

New resources will be purchased for the outdoor area.

New books have been ordered.  There is a view that children should have access to phonics reading books.  HS was of the view that phonics was not the only way to teach reading and that providing a wide range of reading materials is in line with the school’s ethos.  Children will, however, be provided with a phonically decodeable book for them to practice their phonics.  Children will take home a reading book and a phonics book linked to their phonics band.  For those children who do have difficulty reading, the phonics books will be beneficial to them.

Leadership and Management

Performance management is being used to support the School Development Plan as all teachers are set targets which link to the SDP.  It is important that teachers know what is included in the School Development Plan so they can own it as a form of distributed leadership.  Curriculum time will be provided for subject leaders.

Some member of the LAB have accessed Ofsted training.  Not everyone could attend this session and there needs to be a review of how the information is disemminated so that all governors are confident in understanding Ofsted.

Questions raised from the Ofsted training will be circulated to governors and this will be discussed at the next meeting.

All governors were requested to complete Prevent training on Educare.

ACTION  Governors to complete Prevent training.
Ofsted training discussion to be included as an agenda item for the next meeting.
Agenda Item 6  Premises Update
MINUTE  A project to restructure the Owls classroom is taking place over the Christmas holidays.  The teaching wall will be moved to the window area and this will mean that there will be only one internal door in the classroom.  Money from last year’s carry-forward has been allocated for the project but the cost will be lower than anticipated. The remainder of the momey will be used to refurbish the ceiling and lighting in the Sandpipers clarssroom and the Hive.  There are plans to upgrade to LED lighting and this work will be completed in phases.

Children are accessing the field during lunchtime football.  It is closed for the remainder of the time because of mud.

Quotes have been obtained for artificial grass which will be used as a shoot-out to reduce the wear and tear on the field.  If children are participating in football competitions, the site team will paint the pitch.

The Trust have commissioned a company to deal with CiF bids and they want the school to re-bid for fencing and heating grants.

Q: Is this for the fencing legally obliged to have?

A: Yes, they also want the school to have electric gates on the car park and raise the height of the fencing.  Planning permission was granted for the fencing. The previous bid was not successful because it was not considered a high safeguarding priority as there have been no safeguarding concerns caused by the fencing. 

Agenda Item 7  Health and Safety Update
MINUTE  The health and safety audit will take place in January 2020.  the health and safety compliance centre report stated that there were no critical actions, no high actions and six medium priority actions. The audit is completed by the external company who provide the compliance centre software.  HS noted that it has been shown to be a very useful system and will send reminders of any actions that need to take place.

Agenda Item 8  Policy Review/Approval
MINUTE HS advised that the Admissions Policy is out for consultation.  The Trust have produced a model policy and Wheelock’s has been modified to reflect the context of the school and been sent out for consultation.  Details have been included in the newsletter and school website.

 The Complaint Policy is being reviewed and updated at Trust level.

Q: What percentage of policies are approved at Trust level?

A: All of the main policies such as safeguarding are at Trust level, school policies relating to teaching and learning and behaviour are delegated to the individual schools.

Agenda Item 9  Governor Visit Reports
MINUTE  Safeguarding Visit Report

JB completed a safeguarding visit during midday break on 25th November 2019.  Her report was tabled at the meeting.  The focus of her visit was on signage relating to safeguarding around the school and she confirmed there were appropriate signs across the school. This included posters relating to anti-bullying, Childline and indentification of fire marshals and first aiders.

JB also spoke to a new member of staff who was able to talk about safeguarding and was confident about the school’s policy.

She also spoke to several Y5 and Y6 and all said they felt safe in school.  They were very complimentary about the school and said they felt supported by staff and their peers.  This allowed them to push themselves without fearing ridicule.

JB thanked all of the staff and pupils she met during her visit. 

SEN Visit Report

AR advised governors that she had completed a SEN visit.  As she is not a specialist in SEN she wanted to learn more about the process.  What she learnt from her visit was that there is a competent group of staff who understand the issues but it is a massively time-consuming process particularly where a child does not already have an EHCP in place.  Children with special needs are welcomed into the school but it was noted that this can pose some challenges. A lot of care needs to be taken of these children and staff do a very good job in challenging circumstances.

There is little external support available for staff and AR was of the view that this was an area of provision that needs to be reviewed locally and nationally particularly given the growing number of children with additional needs.

HS advised that it is hoped that as the Trust grows this will enable schools to have direct access to an Educational Psychologist and it is hoped that this will be a strength of the Trust going forward.

Writing Visit Report

MN to organise a learning walk with a focus on writing. 

ACTION  MN to arrange a visit to focus on writing.
Agenda Item 10  Admissions
MINUTE  This was discussed under the agenda item in relation to policies.
Agenda Item 11  AOB
MINUTE  Trust Communication

DB advised he had attended a Chairs' Forum and received  an update on Trust activities.  Going forward, voluntary Direcotrs will be re-named Trustees to distinguish them from paid employees of the Trust.  New Trustees have been appointed and they have addressed gaps in the skills of the Board in relation to traching and learning and building experience.   

The main message for the LAB is a focus on training including the role of the LAB, preparing for Ofsted and Understanding school data.

DB advised that he had requested that governors be given more notice about the date of Trust training. Governors recognised the importance of training and want to attend events but do require sufficent notice in advance.

The need to share learning amongst governors was discussed so that knowledge can be disseminated amongs all members of the LAB.

There are a number of cross-site activities at all levels.  Leighton Academy hosted an open morning for governors and this was useful in in terms of getting to know other governors.  All schools in the Trust will be required to host an open morning once per half-term and governors discussed the focus of this.  It was agreed that governors from the other LABs would be invited to the school on Tuesday February 4th between 1.30pm and 3pm.  HS to email the heads of the other schools extending an invitiation to governors.

It was agreed that as the LAB meeting is also taking place that day that this should be brought forward to 3.45pm

 Q: What is the idea behind the visit?
A: So govenrors can see the other sites and meet other governors.  The Trust wants to change the mindset within the Trust tso that there is a greater sense of being part of a bigger origansiation than individual schools.  

DB discussed the Challenge Forum which discusses performance and results.  One of the newly appointed Trustees was in attendance. The aim for the Trust is to be in the top 25% of schools nationally for progress.  The Trust was of the view that some schools were not aspirational enough in terms of the focus on results.

Governors discussed the defintion of aspirational and whether the target was achievable or desirable.  The discussion at the Chairs' Forum was that if the curriculum is good then data will improve.  The LAB noted, however, that some elements of the curriculum, eg personal development, does not result in any measurable data but that it is also a very important element of the curriculum.  

MN advised that she had attended a conference on curriculum for trainee teachers and Wheelock's curriculum information was included in the pack given to the students. MN reported that the trainee teachers thought Wheelock's curriculum was wonderul.   

There being no futher business the meeting closed at 18.30.

ACTION  HS to email Principals to advise the date of the Open Day at Wheelock.
LAB meeting to take place at 3.45pm on Tuesday 4th Febraury,
   Governor Agreed Actions set during this meeting:  0
Wheelock LAB Autumn 2 Part One   dated:  26/11/2019
 Minutes approved by Carole Self