Pm ( 1.30-4Pm) Trustees to Cover Self- Evaluation and Trust Improvement Plan

Pm ( 1.30-4Pm) Trustees to Cover Self- Evaluation and Trust Improvement Plan

Engage Board Meeting
14th March 2016 @ 1700
Locksley School, Locksley Road, NR4 6LG
Phil Harris(PH)- Chair
Member and Director / Sue Cooke( SC)- Vice Chair
Member and Director / Roger Stephenson (RS)-
Member and Director
Chris Spencer (CS)
Director / Gill Wardlow (GW)
Director / Dennis Freeman (DF)
Trevor Cockburn (TC)-Director / Des Reynolds (DR)- Director and CEO / Andriana Sneddon - TA/Clerk
Meeting commenced at 17.00
No / Item / Action
1.0 / Apologies and Absences
1.1 / Apologies were received and accepted fromClive Evans - Directorwho had requested sabbatical leave until September 2016
2.0 / Declarations of Interest
2.0 / RS declared standing interest in Childhood First.
PH and DR declared standing interest in EES.
3.0 / Minutes of Previous Meeting
3.1 / The Minutes of previous meeting on 30/11/16 were accepted as a true and accurate record and signed off by Chair.
4.0 / Matters arising.
4.2 / There were none.
The Ongoing Action list was updated and can be found at the end of these Minutes.
5.0 / Director re-election rotation
5.3 / TA advised as per Articles 66, all Directors shall have a term of office for four years; except that this shall not apply to any post held ex officio. Re-election rotation will be as follows;
Y1 2016; Sue Cooke and Christopher Spencer- reelect 2020
Y2 2017; Clive Evans and Dennis Freeman- reelect 2021
Y3 2018; Phil Harris and Trevor Cockburn- reelect 2022
PH queried the process for removal of CEO and Business Director.
Subsequent to the meeting and having taken advice from NGLS,IOD, Companies Act 2006(Part 10 Chp1.168 Resolution to remove Director) and HR, the procedure would be to initially tackle issues through performance management and capability if needs be. Ongoing if unresolved a negotiation may be made and once decided, written request to clerk for agenda item, voted by Trustees.
Further to receipt of resignation of Mike Stonnard- Member, this was unanimously accepted by Board with effect from date of letter. GW to ensure all notifications have been made. / CHALLENGE
6.0 / Scheme of Delegation
6.2 / TA advised of alteration to clarify Governor recruitment to LGB’s (4.2.1) and addition of Appendix B Governor recruitment procedure, effective April 2016.
Proposed for acceptance by SC, seconded by DR; unanimously voted for acceptance.
Directors requested clarification to that;
‘The Local Governing Body shall carry out the performance management of all staff (including the Head Teacher) by proxy……’
Proposed for acceptance by RS, seconded by PH; unanimously voted for acceptance. TA to adjust effective April 2016 / REQUEST
7.0 / Trust Development Plan
7.2 / Priority 5; Challenge and support The Pinetree School to move rapidly from Inadequate to Good judged against Ofsted criteria.
CS advised of recent positive Ofsted monitoring report which confirmed that planned progress was on track; DR advised that this was good evidence of positive impact that would aid the Trust’s Free School Bid with RSC.
PH to visit The Pinetree School to carry out audit.
Away Day planned for 18th June 2016-
  • am (9-12.30pm) for Governance both academies to cover; year planner, succession, improvement planning and links to SDP, Risk Register and BCP, holding leaders to account.
  • pm ( 1.30-4pm) Trustees to cover Self- evaluation and Trust Improvement Plan
TA to confirm details and venue and distribute invitations / PH
8.0 / Reports
8.4 / CEO; DR gave a verbal report on Trust developments as follows:
  • Compass Recommissioning; DR confirmed that papers had been acknowledged and all outstanding issues resolved; contract to be delegated to F&P committee for approval. Once approved 2nd stage of contract with NSFT to be confirmed. DR advised that this would equate to @£600pa therapy costs.
  • Free School application had been submitted for 60place KS1-KS4 base in West Suffolk September 2017 and receipt acknowledged. DR advised that if application successful an invitation would be received to present to DfE May –July 2016. DR was confident that application was strong but cautioned that letter of support from Suffolk CC was nonspecific with fewer places and was a weakness. DF queried other likely competitors; DR advised 2 other possible bidders.
  • SEMH Specialist Academy in Lowestoft Suffolk application for 50 places to be submitted. Despite initial unattractiveness of building use, some scope for negotiation has been indicated. Possibly 2-3 other bidders with decision by May 2016 for opening January 2018 or sooner.
  • Response to letters to Suffolk PRU’s to join Engage MAT. DR had visited First Base Bury St Edmunds who were unlikely to join and spoken with Acting Head of Alderwood PRU Ipswich who were actively considering academisation and subsequent joining; DR also advised of possible invitation to Lowestoft PRU. DR was pleased to advise Directors that The Engage MAT is one of two preferred sponsors for Suffolk PRU’s, the other being Olive.
  • DR had attended a pre tender meeting for Primary provision but tender not yet launched. PH requested timetable of dates be compiled for all bids and tenders- DR/TA to compile
  • Recent Ofsted monitoring inspection at The Pinetree School was very positive with Head teacher making good inroads.
  • SSSfN remains alert for Ofsted visit and remains over capacity.
  • New Trust staff roles in place with preparations for Network Manager
  • Lease agreement being investigated to replace 150 PC’s across Trust
  • Broadband contract due for renewal and after comparative quotes InTouch offered the most competitive price.PH queried whether 3 quotes had been achieved; DR confirmed that quotes had been tendered from Breakwater, CompuLease and InTouch. Plans to build a single network across 9 sites during summer break with facility to expand to incorporate newcomers DR advised of his intention to convene a project board to avoid glitches in Autumn Term
  • SC queried whether any progress had been made with Norfolk Special Schools joining MAT. DR advised that this would be unlikely due to little interest and awareness of academisation process
  • Negotiations with DBS Residential Caretaker for vacating on- site bungalow.
The Pinetree IEB; (report previously circulated and attached.) CS advised that recent Ofsted monitoring inspection had confirmed that Statement of Action and Action plan was fit for purpose and that the school had sufficient leadership capacity whilst also highlighting ongoing areas of concern of behaviour, attendance and lenient marking. Directors recognised that there was still work to be done but that strategies to address these concerns were being put in place. Overall, Directors were pleased on what has been achieved to date and extended thanks to Sue Kirrage, Interim Head and staff for their work.
PH queried site security and CS confirmed that this was now satisfactory and that internally, progress was being made for unlocked doors during the school day. DR confirmed that there was still some building work outstanding
CS advised that lesson should be taken in terms of timing of sponsorship of site in special measures where sponsorship should commence after Ofsted inspection. DR/TA/Bus Dir to build due diligence checklist.
NOR remained goodwith many referrals; DR confirmed that base place funding DfE had been confirmed for next academic year as 40.
DR confirmed that staffing restructure Support Staff was on hold TY to avoid demoralisation after recent hard work and positivity. DR advised that many contracts would need to be adjusted for hours and rates.
EES (report previously circulated and attached.); Directors advised that EES now VAT registered and payment system resolved with NCC. GW proposed that investigation as to whether The Engage MAT should be registered for VAT from Sept 2016- delegated to F&P with PH and SC.
Staffing restructure has now gone out to staff with only 2 responses to date that FSW role removed as improved Early Help Hub offer from NCC now available and to recruit in house social worker alongside current numbers of TL’s. Directors to review and revert within timescales.
SSSfN (report previously circulated and attached.); SC highlighted the main issue of increased pupil numbers and subsequent impact on physical space and staff wellbeing; capacity had been exceeded in October 2015 and numbers were already at previous Summer term levels. Recent Annual Conversation confirmed change in ratio split reducing medical needs places from 80 to 60 and the 20 places moved to main school places; DR assured Directors that this split did more closely reflect actual spending. / CHALLENGE
9.0 / Trust Committee Reports
9.3 / PHS (report previously circulated and attached.); no queries raised
Imp and Policy; ToR were proposed for ratification by SC, seconded by DF and unanimously voted. SC/TA to review annually.
F&P (report previously circulated and attached.); DF advised that cash flow for the Trust continues to be a problem but this could be alleviated partly by income from NCC; however, further savings will still need to be made.
DR proposed reappointment of Lovewell Blake as External Audit partners for The Engage MAT, seconded by SC and unanimously approved.
DF proposed the increase in Top Slicing from £350 to £1100 per head backdate to Sept 2015, seconded by TC and unanimously approved.
CS proposed the delegation to F&P Committee of approval of Compass contract, seconded by SC and unanimously approved.
10.0 / Review Trust Office Space
10.1 / GW advised that some short term changes would take place at Drayton to accommodate CST team and that contracts for both offices had been aligned to terminate July 2016.
DR advised that other locations are being actively explored including Harford Community Centre availability. / GW/DR
11.0 / Expansion of MAT
11.1 / See CEO report ( point 8.1) above
12.0 / Confidential Items
12.1 / There were none
13.0 / AOB
13.1 / CS confirmed that Performance Management of CEO had been completed satisfactorily, date tbc for Business Director and objectives set for TA.
GW requested consistency of practice for the cost of providing light refreshments at LGB and Board meetings. Whilst Directors appreciated that Governors and Directors gave their time voluntarily it was also appreciated that funds spent on refreshments were not being spent on pupils.
Vote was taken with results in favour 2, against 4 and 2 abstentions. GW to advise schools accordingly.
DR confirmed that refreshments would be provided at Away Day events.
DR advised that he would be interviewing a prospective new Director with PH and SC; adverts remain out for additional directors.
SC requested that Changes to School Funding become a standing agenda item. / GW
Next meeting date; 27/06/16 at 5pm
Meeting finished at 19.00




Engage MAT

Board Meeting


Date-Item No / Action / ACTION
5.5 / Business Contingency Plan-formulate ongoing plan after initial emergency dealt with / PHS/F&P
May 2015
8.0 / DR to distribute guidelines on how and where the brand should be used.
All external signage to be updated and a roll out programme developed; new company to be trialed. / DR
11.1 / Apply to The New Schools Network. / DR
11.8 / DR will continue to investigate the possible expansion of Earthsea; awaiting answer from LA by Easter 2016 / DR
July 2015
7.4 / DR will formulate method of LGB standardised format for presentation of information to MAT Board, possibly modifying the HT’s report. / DR
11.2 / Focus on how to mitigate High Risk areas; F&P.
15.3 / Invite all Norfolk MP’s / C/F
Nov 2015
6.3 / Review Trust office space and align any new contracts / GW
9.1 / Revitalise Stakeholders forum / TA
10.1 / Distribute Skills Audit; return to TA / TA/ALL
13.1 / Electronic Trust Newsletter / TA
14.1 / Co-operative values refresher / PH
6.2 / Amend SoD Perf Mgmt. / TA
7,2 / TA to confirm details and venue for Away Day and distribute invitations / TA
8.1 / Timetable of dates be compiled for all bids and tenders
Convene a project board to avoid glitches in Autumn Term
Negotiations with DBS Residential Caretaker for vacating on- site bungalow / DR/TA
8.2 / Build due diligence checklist. / DR/GW/TA
8.3 / Investigation as to whether The Engage MAT should be registered for VAT
Staffing restructure / GW/PH/SC
10.0 / Review Trust Office Space / DR/GW
13.1 / GW to advise schools re refreshments
Changes to School Funding become a standing agenda item / GW

Engage MAT Board Meeting614th March 2016

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