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  • Corporation Board 2017-18 Page 7

    CORPORATION BOARD Minutes of a meeting of the Corporation Board held on Thursday 14 December 2017 at Abingdon Campus at 6pm Present Di Batchelor (Principal) Barry Jenner (Chair) Tim Lincoln Gavin Maitland-Smith Tony Petruso

    John Revis Sean Wellington Stephen Vickers

    In attendance Mark Lay, Finance Director Jenny Craig, Vice Principal, Curriculum & Quality Maureen Boyle, Vice Principal, Student Engagement Ruth Reavley, Clerk

    Governor questions are represented with bullet points, and management responses are italicized.

    1. Opening comments, apologies for absence and new declarations of interest All those expected being present, the meeting opened at 5.50pm. Apologies had been accepted from Mark Johnstone, Kath Parker, Fay Croft, Vicky Field, Roger File and Nick Handy. The meeting was quorate. The Deputy Principal was on maternity leave. The Chair updated members on the situation regarding Student Governors: two nominations had been received, and an election process was planned for early in Spring Term. Confirmation of appointment by written resolution would allow those elected to participate in Committees prior to the March Board meeting. There were no new declarations of interest. The Chair reported highlights from the Association of Colleges Annual Conference. 2. Minutes of the meeting held on 12 October 2017 All minutes were approved and signed. 3. Matters arising from the Minutes not covered elsewhere on the agenda

    The report was noted.


    4. Principals Update

    The new Health & Safety high level report was discussed.

    What distinguishes an incident from an accident? Within the College an accident is distinguished by an injury having occurred. The definitions are standard across all campuses. There is no consensus across Landex Colleges on definitions, which makes benchmarking a challenge. Given the higher probability of accidents occurring on the Farm Campus, benchmarking with Landex is appropriate. The College has therefore sought and achieved external badging, for instance RoSPA.

    Welcoming the data on staff wellbeing and mental health, is it the case that a small number of people account for a high number of the days absent? Yes, that is so.

    What was being done to address the relatively low levels of compliance on greyfleet? Further information is being provided to enable staff who only commute to opt out of the greyfleet. The default is to opt all staff in. Status is refreshed annually.

    The Board welcomed the format, which will be used for future reports. The Balanced Score Card (BSC) was discussed.

    Should governors be concerned that cumulative apprenticeship income was behind budget? The budget for this line was profiled wrongly. This is the first year for accessing this type of apprenticeship funding. Nationally there has been a 60% drop in take-up of apprenticeships since the current system was set up.

  • Corporation Board 2017-18 Page 8

    How does the attendance target compare with 2016-17? This years target is higher. 92% is what was achieved last year.

    How are action points arising from the 2017 Ofsted inspection covered in the BSC? Three key areas are not included in the BSC: English & Maths qualification achievement information will be available in August 2018; Prevent agenda actions are addressed in the QIP; differentiation in the classroom is addressed as an aspect of staff progress towards the leadership pathway. The Quality variables are of greatest value in considering the Ofsted agenda. Of those, no FE or HE courses are yet complete. Ofsteds focus on progress into careers is not reflected in the BSC.

    How is the Quality Improvement Plan arising from the Self Assessment Report monitored? Six-weekly Key Performance Indicator meetings are held by the Vice Principal, Curriculum & Quality, with Heads of Departments. Some real-time dashboard data is available for Curriculum Managers and Course Leaders. A range of mechanisms are used by lecturers to monitor individual students.

    Governors noted that the BSC built on previous iterations, and this years format had been debated and approved by the Governance & Strategy Committee. Where asterisked, they relate to the Strategy.

    As the year-end target of 29% of teaching staff in the leadership pathway has already been exceeded, is the target ambitious enough? Given the turnover of staff, the target is stretching. 26-27% has been steadily achieved in recent years. By the end of 2016/17, 27% had been achieved, but with great variability between faculties. There remained work to do. One single staff member change can have significant impact at faculty level. The Leadership category reflects not only excellent teaching, but also sharing good practice and research; excellent teaching is delivered by many more than 29% of teaching staff.

    How was 29% set? It is an ambitious target, and a stretch on recent years achievements.

    The Board noted the BSC. The Principals response to points raised in a recent letter from the outgoing CEO of the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) was discussed. The target audience for the letter was governing bodies of Colleges in financial difficulty, or at risk of becoming so. The College was not of concern to the ESFA.

    Was the absence of International activity in the College profile a positive or negative factor? Peter Lauener viewed international work as high risk. Its absence in the College portfolio was therefore a strength.

    The Board received the report. Governors noted the four news highlights: Beacon Award, runner-up Student of the Year, ISO 14001 and attaining 6th place in the national survey on employer satisfaction. Governors reported that the Principals interim updates circulated between meetings were valuable in keeping them abreast of developments in the College and sector.

    5. College Self Assessment Report 2016-17 and draft Quality Improvement Plan 2017-18

    The Vice Principal, Curriculum & Quality drew attention to the detailed discussion reported in the Curriculum & Quality Committee minutes. Internal and external moderation was now complete. Judgements made internally had been confirmed in external moderation. Governors welcomed the new format and infographics, as being clear, accessible and useful. Governors considered a presentation which covered the following points:

    What progress did we make in 2016-17?

  • Corporation Board 2017-18 Page 9

    Key highlights

    What we still need to work on

    How are we going to effect improvement?

    Proposed Curriculum SAR grades

    Proposed Summary Judgements In discussion:

    What is the marking turn-round target? What defines a prompt turn-round? Prompt is defined by the College as within two weeks. 80% of students work is marked in a timely manner, which meets Ofsted minimum thresholds. An improvement and visible tracking system for English and Maths helps staff and students to monitor performance. Attendance has improved since the new tracking system was introduced.

    Project ICE (inspire, challenge, engage) is encouraging creativity and the sharing of best practice. Are less able, and less creative teachers open to improvement? Is their attitude based in cynicism, or a lack of creativity? Naturally motivation will vary within a group of teachers. The College has invested in technology to allow teachers to video their lessons as a tool for professional reflection. It is to be expected that truly inspiring teaching will be achieved by only some of the entire cohort of teachers. Yes, but the College hopes that those joining the teaching staff love their subject and want to inspire. The College does not want clones, but is ambitious that all teachers inspire their students?

    How is the impact of Project ICE measured? Indicators include student feedback and peer observers judging ICE.

    Could governors see the material now used with adult students on the risks of radicalism and extremism? Yes, they can be made available on the Governor Portal. They have been discussed with the Designated Governor for Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare.

    Would there be any benefit to grading English separately from maths for 16-18 and 19+? The College has achieved national average in both 16-18 and 19+ at GCSE. If that is so, why is 16-18 English and Maths graded at 3? The national average is very low, hence level 3. Does that mean that levels 2 and 1 are unattainable for English & maths at GCSE? If the College achieved 30%, which is significantly above national average, that would be graded as a 2. Our job is to support students to achieve a grade of C or above. Should English and maths be separated? Given current data, the results would not differ. Separate teams deliver to 16-18 and 19+ student groups studying for GCSE English and Maths. Functional Skills English and maths are, by contrast, embedded in the Curriculum areas. The Ofsted Chief Inspectors Annual Report 2016-17 includes a comment that the national policy on English and maths is possibly not the best it could be.

    Why, given the data, has Accounting been graded 1? The national pass rate for the new AAT qualification has dropped significantly. The grade reflects teaching and learning, and quality in the whole curriculum area. The judgement that the College is grade 1 in this curriculum area was verified by external moderators. The CEO of AAT has written to Colleges apologising for the negative impact of the changed qualifications.

    Has the College made any progress since Ofsted reported in March? The College did not ju