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Minutes of a meeting of the School Governors

Brenchley & Matfield Church of England (Aided) Primary School


Wednesday 11th March 2009 at 7.30pm

Present : Mrs M Gailey - Chair


Mrs T Cunningham - Vice Chair
Mrs S Cockroft - Head Teacher
Mrs A Cunningham
Mr A Dottridge
Mrs G Hughes Ms C Reade
Mr D Izzard Mr J Underdown
Mrs L Hauff
Mrs A Layton

Mrs J Izzard - Clerk

Also Present :
Mr M McKenzie - Community Link

The meeting opened with prayers.

1. Apologies for absence : Governors approved the absence of Rev C Paget, Rev M Carr, Ms A Chapman and
Mrs S Ashoka. The Clerk informed Governors that a small gift and card had been arranged for Rev Paget
following his recent operation.

2. Declaration of Pecuniary Interests :


Mr Dottridge declared an interest regarding agenda item 8 and will abstain himself from discussion and any
subsequent vote at that time.

3. Minutes of the Full Governing Body Meeting 14th January 2009 :


The minutes of the meeting held 14.1.09 had previously been circulated. Governors approved the minutes as an
accurate record.

4. Matters Arising not covered by Agenda :


9.1 Finance – Mrs Naish has accepted a full time *5 role, with year 5/6 pupils, funded by the Local Authority
until the end of July.
7 Raise-online – Data has now been published, Mrs Cockroft will supply Governors with the necessary
password to enable electronic access.
.
5. School Plan/SEF Update :
The revised Single Plan, which forms the basis of the School Plan, had previously been circulated for Governor
information and priorities explained. The updated School Plan, which will be circulated for Governor information
in the near future, based on Ofsted’s Key Issues 2007, will be shared with the Leadership Team for discussion
before wider distribution to all staff.

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6. Head Teachers Report :
The Head Teachers Report Term 4 2008/09 had previously been circulated, (see attached). The following issues
were highlighted.
1. Characteristics of our School
Long term sick leave – It was confirmed that adequate steps have been taken to ensure continuity of teaching
for year 5/6.
Canteen – Additional repairs to the canteen will be investigated.
3. Achievements & Standards
Pupil Progress Data was circulated for Governor information and discussed in detail. Mrs Cockroft detailed
measures in place to give targeted learning support for all pupils.
The School competes in a Cross Country Running League against other local state schools and preparatory
schools pupils have achieved impressive results. At the end of the season the following individual rankings
have been gained.
U 9 Girls 1st & 18th
U 11 Girls 7th & 14th
U 9 Boys 3rd
U 11 Boys 14th
The Governing Body extended congratulations to our athletes.
The School Ensemble won the recent Tunbridge Wells Arts Festival and have been invited to perform at a
festival on 25th April 2009. Congratulations to all who took part and particular thanks to Mrs E Sparkhall
and Mrs K Hodgson for their commitment.

7. Standards Monitoring :
Covered in Head Teachers Report (see attached). It was noted that the Single Plan milestones for December can
now be completed.

8. Planned Admission Number :


The proposed resolution to adopt the Admissions Policy for September 2010 (as attached) including a reduction in
the schools PAN to 30 had previously been circulated for Governor comment.
The school has been consulting since January 2009 and during this time has :
• Written to existing families within the school to outline the proposal.
• Been included in the Kent system for public consultation.
• Arranged two occasions after school when governors and LA advisors were available to answer any queries
or concerns from families.
• Had informal conversations with local Chairs of Governing Bodies.
The consultation process ended on 1st March 2009 and there has been no formal negative feedback, one parent
had asked that governors consider a temporary amendment to the prioritisation of the categories to elevate
siblings of children in attendance up to and including the academic year 2009/10 above churchgoers and those
living in the villages of Brenchley & Matfield, as a reflection of those parents’ expectations at the time their
older children entered the school. Whilst Governors were sympathetic to the point of view expressed they felt
unable to agree to the request. The LA has critiqued the proposed new Admissions Policy and asked for the
following additions to be made.
• ‘”Applicants are advised to consult ‘Admission to Primary School 2010’ which is available from Kent
County Council.”
• (cat 6 – Children who have a parent or guardian who has worshipped at least twice a month on average in a
parish church of the Church of England) – “for the last twelve months”.
• (cat 7 - Children of practising members of other Christian denominations affiliated to ‘Churches
Together in England ) – “with the same pattern of worship as above”.

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• Note 6. “If necessary, the Governors will operate a waiting list system in which children will be
prioritised in line with the oversubscription criteria above until the end of the relevant academic
year”.

• Note 7. “Where applications are received from parents or guardians of children who are from
multiple births, places will be offered individually to each child, prioritised in alphabetical order
according to the forename on the birth certificate”.

The Admissions Policy was adopted, subject to the alterations detailed above, unanimously by those present
eligible to vote.

9. Swimming Provision :
The Swimming Pool Working Party had met recently and their report had previously been circulated for Governor
information. The issue was discussed in detail and Governors are keeping an open mind, a decision will be taken
at a later date. Meanwhile arrangements have been put in place to ensure statutory provision this year.

10. Committee Reports and Working Party Updates :


1. Admissions Committee, 24th February 2009 - The minutes of the meeting had previously been
circulated.
2. Resources Committee, 20th January 2009 (Finance) – The minutes of the meeting had previously been
circulated.
3. Resources Committee, 10th March 2009 (Personnel) – discussed general staffing issues, specifically
advertising for a new Inclusion Manager and the Performance Management process. Detailed minutes will be
circulated soon.
4. Strategy Committee, 3rd March 2009 – The minutes of the meeting had previously been circulated
5. Teaching & Learning Committee, 3rd March 2009 – A brief overview of the items discussed was given,
detailed minutes will be circulated as soon as possible.
6. Parent Council Inaugural Meeting, 5th March 2009 – The meeting had been very positive with common
understandings, it was agreed to rename the council Parents Forum. Parents are keen to use the forum as a
communication route to the Governing Body and will be encouraged to welcome all stakeholders to share
views. Initially Mr Dottridge and Ms Reade, as Parent Governors, will represent the Governing Body. The
next meeting, April 1st, 2009 will discuss the Travel Plan and Parking Issues. It was agreed that ‘Parents
Forum’ would appear as an Agenda items at future meetings of the Full Governing Body.

11. Policy Reviews :


A number of policies had previously been circulated for review and individual Governors were thanked for
their hard work.
Pay & Reward – Reviewed in line with the Reward & Incentives Group Model that has been agreed with all
Unions, ratified by Governing Body.
Staff Leave & Absence – Standard LA recommended policy that is approved by all Unions, reviewed and re-
adopted by Governing Body.
Staff Discipline & Capability – Standard LA recommended policy that is approved by all Unions, reviewed and
re-adopted by Governing Body.
Freedom of Information Publication Scheme – carried forward due to new guidelines.
Charging - reviewed and updated by the Finance Team, ratified by Governing Body.
Lettings – reviewed by the Finance Team, ratified by Governing Body.
AEN (Additional Educational Needs) – reviewed in conjunction with all interested parties to reflect updated
legislation, ratified by Governing Body.
Health & Safety – reviewed to reflect updated legislation, ratified by Governing Body.
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12. Training & Development/Governor Visits :
Bespoke Training has been arranged to look at ‘Monitoring Standards in the Curriculum’, the possibility of
using live data will be investigated.

13. Correspondence :
A letter, previously received has been dealt with in conjunction with the LA and is no longer ongoing with
the school. Other letters concerning data and the PAN have been dealt with by Mrs Cockroft and
Mrs Gailey. Governors were reminded that specific content of individual letters received remain
confidential to The Chair of Governors.

14. Any other Business :


1. Secondary Transfers – a number of parents are appealing against their allocation, the school will
offer support in what can be an arduous process where possible.
2. Administrative Support will be made available to Mrs Cockroft and will be factored into the budget.

14. Confidentiality:
Governors are reminded that all discussion and documents remain confidential until formal approval is given.

16. Meeting dates for 2008/2009:

Wednesday 13th May 2009


Wednesday 8th July 2009

The meeting closed with The Grace.

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