Preston College Board Meeting18 October 2012 27 July 2011

Preston College Board Meeting18 October 2012 27 July 2011

Preston College – Board Meeting18 October 2012 27 July 2011




MINUTES of the meeting held on 18 October 2012


GovernorsMr D S ConnollyChair

Mrs A J Barton

Mr E Bassa

Cllr R Boswell

Miss S Johnson

Mr P Kennedy

Mr M Mallam

Mr C Speight

Mr P Williams

Dr E H SmithPrincipal and Chief Executive

Ms J Costello-SmithStaff Governor – Business Support

Mr D BlandStaff Governor – Academic

Mrs R ThomasStudent Governor

Observer:Mr J DayStudent

ClerkMr F Lee

Assistant ClerkMrs S Wignall

OfficersMr C SmithExecutive Director - Resources

Mr C WoodVice Principal – Excellence and Learning

Mrs A RitchieDevelopment Director

Dr J ThompsonDevelopment Director

Mrs J E HewittHead of Facilities Management

Ms G ThorntonHead of Human Resources

Unable to AttendMrs S Atherton

Mr S McManamon

Also attending:Mr P GreenRSM Tenon, Internal Auditors (item 12/33)



DECISIONthat Mr D S Connolly be appointed Chair of the Corporation Board until the first meeting of the Board in the next academic year.


There were no declarations of interest made at this meeting.


The Minutes of the meeting of the Board held on 30 July 2012 were accepted as a true record and were signed by the Chairman.


DECISIONthat Miss S Johnson be appointed Vice Chair of the Corporation Board until the first meeting of the Board in the next academic year.



The Board noted the following resignations since the last meeting:

Mr R Bamford

Mr R Rawkins

Mrs A Ritchie – Staff Governor

Mr S Cumming – Student Governor

b)Staff Governors - Appointments

The Board noted the nomination of two staff governors following an election in College.

DECISIONthat the following Staff Governors be appointed for a period expiring on 31 July 2014:

Ms J Costello-SmithBusiness Support

Mr D BlandAcademic

The Chairman welcomed Ms Costello-Smith and Mr Bland to the meeting, and Mr Day as an observer for this meeting.

Board Membership as at 18 October 2012 is set out in Appendix 1 to these Minutes.


A report informed the Board on a number of issues that were important to the College and provided Governors with current information on the financial year-end return summary, 16-18 Learner Responsive, Adult Skills Budget, success rates and performance monitoring. The report also set out a change of focus on Teaching plans, learner support and the Preston Vocational Centre. A new prospectus had been developed and the result of the ERG bid was awaited.

The Board expressed thanks to the Finance Team for securing end of year figures on budget for the second year running. The Principal reported that the future funding formula for 16 to 18 and post 19 students was to be radically changed which would impact upon the curriculum for the College and the cohort of learners. . She also reported that the SFA were under spent in the year and had provided a further £600k for adult skills fund which was an opportunity for the College but would require much endeavour to deliver.

Discussion ensued on the ATA which the College was progressing as a mechanism to offer apprenticeships to a wider range of small companies. The Principal explained that this was complimentary to the way in which the College attracted apprentices through mainstream provision. The ATA target for recruitment of apprenticeships is 20 in the first year but if that grew then the College would need to invest to support development. There was concern that the Board had not seen the Business Case for the ATA and it was agreed that that would be submitted to the next meeting of the Finance and Property Committee.

The Board noted the work of the Marketing Working Group which had now completed its task and thanks were recorded for the work done. A presentation would be made to the next Board meeting on the findings of the research into the branding of the College.


The publication of the new Common Inspection Framework and 2012 Inspection Handbook by Ofsted had established a change in the way that the College would be inspected in the future. The Board noted the changes to the process and the judgements that would be placed on the College which affected preparation for inspection. Inspectors would, amongst other issues,focus on how wellgovernors:direct the College,measure its performance andrequire improvements.

Emphasis in the new frameworkwould target 'Teaching, Learning and Assessment', with less scrutiny around financial performance and value for money. The new process would require much more governor involvement thanpreviously experienced, and it was accompanied by a very short notice period of an Inspection happening, i.e. 48 hours notice. The frameworkwould assess overall effectiveness, outcome for learners, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and the effectiveness of leadership and management.Appendices to the report set out the range of issues that would need to be addressed at any inspection.

The Vice Principal, Excellence and Learning gave a presentation on the implications of the new procedure for the College and how the scoring system would operate if the future together with a changing nature of Governorinvolvement in the process. The new process would require the Board to re-visit its governance processes to ensure even greater emphasis on teaching and learning and the curriculum. Within the College systems were improving at a fast rate to ensure that the College was Ofsted ready.

The Board welcomed the new focus on teaching, learning and assessment and was pleased with the progress made in focussing on what really mattered to learners. There was recognition that there had been a significant change by senior management in allowing Governors to be involved in the progress of the College and members expressed thanks for such a major move forward.

DECISIONthat the changes within the Common Inspection Framework be noted.


A report provided an update on the progress made in addressing the areas for improvement identified in the College Improvement Plan which underpinned the Strategic Plan. The CIP had been developed, not only to address matters raised in the last Ofsted report, but also to move the College forward in a much wider sense. The Executive Leadership Team hadmonitored and evaluated the existing milestones and provided explanations as to why certain milestones were not progressing to the original timescales. One key element that had impacted was the need to address the required changes in the Common Inspection Framework. Changes were proposed to the milestonecompletion dates andchanges made to milestones.


a)that the progress made in the delivery of the Plan to date and the milestones that had a new date proposed for completion be noted:

b)that new milestones set out in the report be approved along with the changes to milestone G6 and H3.


(Mr P Green, RSM Tenon, Internal Auditors)

Areportwaspresentedon a proposed revision to the Risk Management Policy and the contents of the current Risk Management Plan, and also sought the Board’s 'appetite' towards risk.

Since being appointed the Board’s Internal Auditors, RSM Tenon were of the view that there was a need for the Board to improve its approach to risk management, there was a need for a more robust governor involvement, with the Audit Committee being a tool to secure that the processes were working. Governors were questioned as to whether they understood the risks associated with each matter presented to the Board and whether risks were in line with strategy. It was fundamental to a good business to have a good approach to risk management and governors expressed concern as to how that operated within the College.

Members felt that they did not understand the risk implications of decisions taken and that there was a need to radically improve risk reporting and monitoring to all Committees.

The Board was not prepared at this stage to approve the Risk Management Policy and requested that further thought be given to its contentsto ensure that it was geared to address the risks faced by the College today. The Board noted the content of the Risk Management Plan but felt that it was important to be able to identify the outcomes from the actions proposed in the Plan and for each Committee to give detailed consideration to the risks identified.


a)to defer consideration of the Risk Management Policy;

b)that the policy and the approach to risk management be discussed in detail with RSM Tenon and a further report be submitted to the next Board meeting..


Targets had previous been set in May for the following academic year. This year the Students, Quality and Standards Committee had agreed that the targets should be set in October when the results of the last academic year were known and which would help better shape the targets for the current year. Because of the timing of meetings it was proposed that the Board delegate authority to the Students, Quality and Standards Committee to establish targets for the 2012/13 academic year.

The Board also reviewed the way the College set targets. It was proposed that a discussion paper be submitted for consideration by the Students, Quality and Standards Committee with a view to the creation of a policy for 2013/14 along with the methods of monitoring such a policy.


a)that authority be delegate to the Students Quality and Standards Committee to set the targets in relation to Retention, Achievement and Success rates for 2012/13;

b)that the Students, Quality and Standards Committee consider a discussion paperon a Target Setting Policy for 2013/14 and the methods of monitoring such a policy.


The Board was required to appoint the Chair of the Committees listed below to hold office until the first Board meeting in the next academic year. The terms of reference of the Search and Governance Committee and the Remuneration Committee required the Chair of those two Committees to be the Chair of the Board and therefore Mr D S Connolly would Chair those two Committees.

DECISIONthat the following appointments be made until the first meeting of the Board in the next academic year:

i)Audit Committee Mrs A J Barton

ii)Employment Policy Committee Miss S Johnson

iii)Finance and Property Committee Mr E Bassa

iv)Students, Quality and Standards Committee Cllr R Boswell


The Board noted that since the last meeting the Chairman had appointed Mrs Atherton to be a member of the Audit Committee.




The Minutes of the following Committees were submitted to the meeting and the respective Chairs presented those Minutes and drew attention to the Recommendations in respect of those matters which required approval by the Board.

As each set of Minutes were presented the Chairman of the Board secured a decision on each Recommendation individually.

a)Audit Committee 6 September 2012

The Board confirmed the two recommendations made by the Committee and copies of those documents had been submitted to the meeting:

  • Internal Audit Report 2011-2012
  • Internal Audit Plan 2012-2013

b)Finance and Property Committee 27 September 2012

The Board confirmed the recommendation of the Committee (Minute12/30) in respect ofCapital Projects spend in 2011-2012 and the carryover of monies into 2012-2013, namely:

  • Fire Alarm System£65k
  • Finance System£28k
  • General under-spend£7k

In considering the Minutes the Board agreed that the capital costs of the brand launch be the subject of report in the autumn budget review presented to the next meeting of the Committee.


Following the resignation of the Executive Director – Resources the Board was required under the Articles of Government to put into place the process for recruiting a replacement.


a)that a Selection Panel be appointed consisting of the Principal and 6 other members of the Corporation Board;

b)that the following members be appointed to the Selection Panel;

Mr D S Connolly

Miss S Johnson

Mr E Bassa

Mr D Bland

Mr C Speight

Mr P Williams

c)that the quorum for a meeting of the Panel be the Principal and any three of the six other members so appointed in (b) above;

d)that the Selection Panel be authorised to:

  • advertise the vacancy nationally
  • decide on the arrangements for selecting the applicants for interview
  • interview the applicants, and
  • where the Selection Panel consider it appropriate to do so, recommend to the Corporation Board for appointment one of the applicants that they have interviewed;

e)that if the Corporation Board approves the recommendation of the Selection Panel the final details of the contractual arrangements with the successful candidate be delegated to the Chairman of the Board.



The use of the College Seal was noted.

(the meeting finished at 8.40 pm)



BOARD MEMBERSHIP (as at 18 October 2012)

Sector / Number of Sector places on the Board / Number of Sector vacancies as at
18 October 2012 / Current Membership
Members / 14 / 3 / Mrs S Atherton
Mrs A J Barton
Mr E Bassa
Cllr R Boswell
Mr D S Connolly (Chair)
Miss S Johnson (Vice Chair)
Mr P Kennedy
Mr M Mallam
Mr S J McManamon
Mr C Speight
Mr P Williams
Vacancy - 3
Principal / 1 / Nil / Dr E H Smith
Staff / 2 / Nil / Ms J Costello-Smith (Business Support)
Mr D Bland (Academic)
Students / 2 / 1 / Mrs R Thomas
Co-opted / Audit Committee / Mrs C Wilson – till 31 December 2012