CORPORATION BOARD - abingdon- ?· QIP; differentiation in ... Project ICE (inspire, challenge, engage)…
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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.
STRATEGIC PLAN: CHANGING LIVES & COMMUNITIES
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.
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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?
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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 judge that it had addressed the reason behind Ofsted not grading High Level Needs as Outstanding. Is the College overall now very good? For 16-18 students, apart from GCSE achievement and possibly destinations, the College is outstanding, though that is not so yet for 19+ students. By December 2018, what is expected? That High Needs and 16-19 study programmes will both be outstanding. In December 2016 the College was on the cusp of outstanding. Much has been done since. Yet we are still on the cusp. Why is that? Ofsteds inspection regime has changed.
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To what extent do we accept that Ofsted is capricious? How much is the judgement internally driven? The 2014/15 and 2016/17 Common Inspection Frameworks (CIF) differ. The only audience for this document, other than governors, is Ofsted. The SAR covers 70% of what the College does. The College does not slavishly follow Ofsted. The College knew aspects of the Adult Education work needed to be improved when it was brought into the College. Granular work goes on at Curriculum level to form the judgements. The direction of travel is positive on many of the measures presented. The CIF is likely to change by 2019, when the next inspection is due.
Given the specialisation in Special Needs work, and the distinctiveness of the College because of that, should the College have anticipated better what Ofsted was looking for? In 2014/15, the College was judged based on students with Special Educational Needs in a discrete curriculum area; in 2016/17 the focus was on students with High Level Needs throughout the College. Ofsted wanted to see longitudinal data on careers progression on leaving the College.
The Board approved the judgements proposed for the SAR, and the areas for quality improvement identified. Members recognised and applauded all that had been achieved, and continued to aspire to achieve outstanding from Ofsted.
Action By Whom Deadline
Add adult education prevent material to the Governor portal
Vice Principal, Student Engagement, Clerk
As soon as possible
Submit SAR to Ofsted Vice Principal, Curriculum & Quality As soon as possible
REGULATORY AND COMPLIANCE MATTERS 6. Management Accounts to 31 October 2017 The Finance Director introduced the report. The Finance & General Purposes Committee had seen data to 30 September 2017. He drew attention to the apparent underspend on the year to date Income & Expenditure account, explained as a timing matter. Student numbers submitted to the ESFA in a key report in November indicated approximately 30 more 16-18 students than in 2016/17. The lagged funding method meant that income for 2018/19 was expected to be 8.1million, rather than 8.0million as a result. That all student loans had been taken up was good; the College would submit a request for further funding in January 2018 when the portal re-opened, which would take the income to well above target. These enhanced income streams would help to offset under recruitment on HE (an exposure of approximately 100,000). Whilst Apprenticeship Levy income broadly reflected the national trend in underperformance, non-levy income for January 2018 March 2019 was expected to be 750,000, which would offset the underperformance.
Should the College concentrate more on non-levy work? The Deputy Principal would use a Keeping in Touch day in December to work with the finance team on reforecasting levy and non-levy income. A high level reforecast would be ready for January 2018.
The adverse figure for payroll YTD reflected higher than projected absenteeism, and the cost of cover staff.
Is absenteeism significant? Some managers are expected to be off work for a significant period.
The Board noted the report. 7. Agri-tech Capital Project Governors noted the reasons for an increase in costs of 0.3million beyond the budget approved July 2017 of 1.4million (including a 0.4million contribution from the College). The
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plan to fund the difference was noted, and that there was no adverse impact on ESFA financial health grade.
Are SMT members confident of District Council Planning approval? Full advantage had been taken of pre-application consultations. Plans had been revised. The application would be submitted in January 2018.
Is there an adverse impact on bank covenants? No, there was not.
Where does this take the College in terms of unique offering? The Principal reprised discussion which had taken place in July 2018. The development allowed the College to offer courses which reflected the growing use of technology in agriculture. The Head of Faculty had visited a number of larger land-based Colleges, all out of the College catchment, prior to initial scoping.
If this additional funding were provided, what does it prevent the College from doing, in relation to future LEP offers? That was impossible to judge. Recent tranches of investment had been used at the Witney and Abingdon Campuses. Common Leys Campus was ripe for investment. The College has an effective relationship with the LEP. In the past, the LEP has accepted the argument that prior investment could be incorporated into capital bids.
If the Boards capital expenditure on the project were...