Governing Body Meeting
14th May 2013
Part One
Item 1.3
Minutes of the Meeting of the Governing Body of
THE CITY LITERARY INSTITUTE held on 19th March 2013 at
Keeley Street, London WC2
Present:
GOVERNORS
Ms. P. Allen*
Mr. K. Moffitt*
Mr. J. Armour+
Ms. A. Bennett+
Ms. J. Cooper*
Mr. J. Flowers+
Mrs. B. Foulds+
Mr. C. Galleymore+
Dame M. Gibb+
Key:
+ Present
*Apologies tendered
In Attendance:
Nick Moore (Deputy Principal)
Joe Manifold (Vice Principal)
Brian Watts (Director of People & Development)
Colin Gibson (Director of Business Planning and
Services) for Item 13/05
Clerk:
Denise Gill
PART ONE:
13/03
Mr. T. Hope+
Mr. M. Macchitella+
Mr. M. Malcomson+
Mr. T. Mitchell+
Mr. S. Pfeifer+
Mr. R. Parkash*
Ms. J. Reynolds*
Mr. W. Stokoe+ (Deputy Chair)
Ms. C. Stott+ (Chair)
STANDING ITEMS
Welcome
Members welcomed Dame Moira to her first meeting of the Governing Body.
13/04
Declarations of Interest
Declarations of Interest were received from Annita Bennett and Christopher
Galleymore in relation to Item 13/14. They were not asked to leave the meeting but
did not participate in the discussion or decision.
13/05
Presentation
Colin Gibson gave a presentation on Game Change. He reminded Governors that
its key purpose was to put in investment to drive enrolments and fee profit. It
encouraged staff to think differently, review current practices and remove barriers,
adapt and respond and shout louder. Colin advised that there were five strands to
Game Change: increasing market awareness, connecting with City Lit’s existing
customers, curriculum analysis and balanced offer, new product development and
developing e-commerce capability. The level of investment was outlined together
with the anticipated return over three years.
The Board was then informed of the progress that had been made to date and the
next stages which included the continuation of departmental strategic planning,
longer term financial planning, phasing of the e-commerce project and trialling of staff
advocacy. Other initiatives planned for May were ensuring an outstanding
experience for students, driving repeat business, building brand awareness and new
product development and innovation.
Governors welcomed the update and asked how staff advocacy was being trialled.
Colin advised that the priority was engaging part-time staff and persuading them to
encourage students to continue learning at City Lit and to recommend it to their
friends. Staff development sessions were being arranged to support this objective.
Colin was also asked what the biggest challenge was. He responded that it was the
website which currently did not have a shopping basket system and discounting and
bundling could not be taken through the it at the current time.
Members thanked Colin for a very interesting presentation and asked to be kept
informed of developments.
13/06
Minutes of Previous Meeting
The Minutes of the meeting held on 11th December 2012 were approved and signed.
13/07
Matters Arising Not Appearing Elsewhere
There were no matters arising not appearing elsewhere.
13/08
Principal’s and Chair’s Report December 2012 to March 2013
Members received a report from the Principal outlining achievements against the
Institute’s Vision, Mission and Strategic Objectives. Amongst items highlighted were:
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The award of Investors in People Gold which was enhanced to Champion
status.
The visit from Sir Michael Wilshaw HM Chief Inspector and Matthew Coffey,
National Director, Learning and Skills at Ofsted.
Continued discussions about a potential merger with Kensington & Chelsea
College and with Blackheath Conservatoire with regard to collaboration.
Strategic Department Reviews with Music, Health & Movement going though
significant management of change with the aim of reducing the number of
unprofitable courses.
The new teaching and learning strategy had been widely consulted on and
was nearing completion in preparation for full implementation from
September.
The new student experience strategy had been developed and a new student
experience manager post created.
The new Transfer and Refund policy has been implemented to be more
student/customer friendly and flexible.
The self-assessment (SAR) process was completed, peer review was
introduced and a number of Governors joined the discussions.
A classroom renovation and improvement project had been launched.
Bid made to Kensington and Chelsea Borough to deliver an enterprise
project working with disadvantaged learners to develop products to sell on
Portobello Market.
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Successful delivery of the community learning project for Lambeth Borough
had led to City Lit being invited to bid for further work.
New apprenticeship programme started with a homeless charity in South
London.
6th floor was refurbished and incorporated Deaf Education staff. Reaction
was positive, with most staff agreeing that the changes improve the working
environment. Bringing Deaf Education staff physically into the mainstream of
the College has been overwhelmingly welcomed by Deaf and non-Deaf staff
alike.
The refurbishment of the 6th floor allowed for an enlarged part-time teachers’
room that will seat up to 11 staff. Two just-in-time print stations were also set
up in the photocopying room.
The College received an extra £1.4m from the SFA as a result of overperformance in the last academic year.
Enrolments had rebounded in term two with over 1,000 more enrolments
than this time last year.
Summer School is being revamped and extended into mid August with over
400 courses added to the summer offer.
Risk management has been revised to reflect the new strategic plan.
The Chair of Governors then presented her report. She advised that she had
attended two consultation events on the development of an FE Guild and having
taken on board comments from staff, she prepared a formal response as Chair of
City Lit, a copy of which was appended to the report. She informed members that
the response had been largely supportive but had addressed issues of funding,
purpose, practitioner engagement and governance for the new organisation. An
implementation plan for the Guild was expected by the end March subject to
consultation responses.
Members were also informed that in January she had attended a reception at
Lancaster House for college governors. The reception had been organised to
recognise and mark the work and contribution of college governors and had been
very well attended. It had included a substantial and robust Q&A session with the
Minister, Matthew Hancock. As a result, BIS were establishing a Ministerial Advisory
Group on College Governance focusing on Board composition and diversity; models
of governance; and approaches to incentives. She had been asked to join this group
which would work between March and May and produce a report for the Minister by
end May. The group would also establish processes for wider consultation across the
governance community.
The Chair then advised that she had met Matthew Hancock and officials again in
February with members of AoC’s Governors’ Council and he had asked the Council
to undertake work on future support for College Governors after LSIS ceased to
operate in August 2013. An initial project from April – July would undertake research
and consultation to scope needs and models. It was expected that the Council would
direct and oversee support initially from August but that the role would eventually be
taken on by the Guild.
The Board was then informed that the Chair had joined the FE Working Group of the
Skills Taskforce which had been set up by the Labour Party (with non-political
membership) to inform policy development on Skills ahead of the next election. The
group had met twice and to date had largely focused on the “Tec Bach” and
qualifications, a topic which seemed to remain a primary focus for politicians. Given
the continuing economic situation, the imminent comprehensive spending review and
the limited scope within BIS to make cuts elsewhere, it was more important than ever
that Governors continue to lobby on the importance of City Lit and adult education in
contributing to economic and social progress.
Finally, members were informed that she had attended the LSIS Governance
Conference 14th & 15th March along with the Clerk and Dame Moira Gibb for part of
the event. This was the last such conference to be organised by LSIS.
The Principal and Chair were thanked for their report.
13/09
Date of Next Meeting
Members noted that the next meeting would be held on 14th May. The Review
Session would commence at 2.30 pm and the Ordinary General Meeting would
commence at 5.00 pm.
PART TWO:
13/10
MATTERS FOR DECISION
Self Assessment Report 2012
The Board received a summary of the Self Assessment Report 2012. Members were
advised that the full SAR had been discussed in detail by the Quality and Standards
Committee at a dedicated meeting in January 2013. The summary did not contain all
the individual programme and service area SARs but included a table of all grades.
The Deputy Principal advised that grade changes from 2011 were:
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Music from 1 to 2 due to difficulties with change in management.
Psychology and Counselling from 1 to 2 due to some late portfolio
submissions lowering the accredited success rate.
Progress from 1 to 2 in light of feedback from a mock-inspection.
Members were informed that overall effectiveness remained outstanding, despite
reductions in some departments’ overall grades as a result of applying the refocused
criteria in the new Common Inspection Framework. 37% of departments were graded
as outstanding, 63% good and none ‘in need of improvement’ or poor.
Governors discussed the report and it was suggested that where there had been a
downgrade from Grade 1 to 2 then the action plans should be brought to the Board
so that they could be monitored. The Chair stated that the Quality and Standards
Committee would be scrutinizing progress and was encouraging more Governors to
participate in the SAR meetings.
The Board approved the Self Assessment Report 2012.
13/11
College Refurbishments
The Deputy Principal introduced a paper about classroom refurbishment that had
been circulated with the agenda. Nick explained that there had been no significant
refurbishment or redecoration of classrooms in Keeley Street since their original
completion eight years ago in 2005. He advised that classroom and studio utilisation
was extremely high with most of the 77 spaces in use 12 hours per day, 7 days per
week. He added that a classroom could be used by as many as 7 classes each day,
possibly by as many different teachers.
Members were informed that the creation of new classrooms, most recently the five
on the 1st floor, had highlighted how shabby the older rooms have become.
However, it was more than a cosmetic issue remedied by a coat of paint and the
disposal of unsightly clutter. Most classrooms now lacked satisfactory ILT resources
and many of the ‘general classrooms’ had inadequate furniture, some brought from
Stukeley Street. Additionally, recent mock inspections had recommended
reconsidering room layouts in relation to ILT and furniture – in more than one case
pointing out that it had prevented teaching and learning being ‘outstanding’. One
Inspector had pointed out that the attempt by a teacher to fully exploit the learning
opportunities afforded by the Smartboard in itself raised health and safety trip hazard
concerns because of overcrowding and room layout.
Nick stated that a ’quality audit’ was currently being conducted of all classrooms to
determine, room by room, what needed to be done. This entailed visiting every room,
asking for teachers’ and departments’ feedback and checking inventories. The
process had already highlighted the poor state of the cleanliness of rooms (and
toilets and landings) particularly at the end of the afternoon prior to the start of
evening classes. Even when teachers arrived early to set up and tidy the room they
were confronted by over-spilling waste bins. City Lit was not therefore providing an
outstanding teaching and learning experience.
The report then set out in detail the work to be done in the areas of ILT, electrics,
furniture replacement, carpeting, IT/computer teaching rooms and cleaning.
Members were advised that the costs would be:
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40 classrooms/studios need ILT and PC replacement, at a total cost of £115k.
This would be capitalised and written off over 3 years.
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23 classrooms required full refurbishment at a further cost of £7k each, a cost
of £161k.
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3 IT/computer teaching rooms needed reconfiguring at a total cost of
approximately £30k.
Nick stated that a total capital investment of £306k was being requested and an
additional spend of £72k over two years was being requested to increase the
frequency of classroom and toilet cleaning. In accord with the Financial Regulations,
the Finance and Employment Committee had approved the proposed £115k funding
for essential ILT and PC replacement in 40 classrooms and studios so that orders
could be placed immediately to expedite installation and benefit from current
discounts. The Committee was also recommended to the Governing Body the
further refurbishment expenditure of £191k and cleaning expenditure of £72k.
The Governing Body discussed the report and welcomed the refurbishment plan. It
approved the proposed refurbishment expenditure of £191k and cleaning expenditure
of £72k.
13/12
Treasury Policy
The Vice Principal presented a report containing a recommendation from the Finance
and Employment Committee that a revised Treasure Policy be approved. Joe
advised that City Lit’s internal auditors, Parkhill, had made some recommendations
relating to the policy which were that:
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The policy should be reviewed on a regular basis.
The rating requirements in the policy were taken from two different agencies
with differing indices. Parkhill had suggested that this should be clarified.
Investment limits were currently expressed as a percentage of total
investments. Parkhill suggested a monetary limit should also be included.
The full text of the recommendations, with City Lit’s Management response, was
attached to the report. In the light of the recommendations, it was proposed that:
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The Treasury Policy should be reviewed every 2 years or earlier if
circumstances changed.
The rating requirement in the policy should be amended to refer to the Fitch
ratings scale.
Investment limits should be maintained as a percentage of total deposits with
no monetary limit.
Attached to the report were:
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A proposed revised Treasury policy,
A list of current funds held, with interest rates and maturity dates.
A 3 year cash flow forecast. This provided an indication of likely balances
available for deposit.
Members discussed the report and recommendation from the Finance and
Employment Committee and queried whether 18 months cash reserves was too
cautious. The Vice Principal stated that the timetable would enable City Lit to
optimise financial planning as some of the various elements would be already known.
The Board approved the revised Treasury Policy.
13/13
Risk Management Policy
The Deputy Principal presented a revised Risk Management Policy to the Board. He
explained that it was reviewed annually by the Audit Committee and that some
revisions had been recommended at the March meeting. A copy of the revised policy
was included in the report and Nick advised that:
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The policy had been fully reviewed, including the risk rating values.
Risk ownership was further clarified in the policy.
The risk escalation process was better clarified.
The role of the risk register and risk radar was now described in the policy.
The Board approved the revised Risk Management Policy.
13/14
Election of Deputy Chair and Appointment of Chair of the
Finance and Employment Committee
The Clerk presented a report advising that the Deputy Chair of Governors, Bill
Stokoe, was retiring from the Board in April 2013 and that the Search and
Governance Committee was recommending that Annita Bennett be elected as
Deputy Chair of Governors for a period of two years wef 26th April 2013 and that
Christopher Galleymore be appointed Chair of the Finance and Employment
Committee to ensure continuity to the Board and Committee.
Following this recommendation Annita Bennett was nominated as Deputy Chair and
this was unanimously supported. The Board also appointed Christopher Galleymore
as Chair of the Finance and Employment Committee.
PART THREE
13/15
MATTERS FOR REPORT
Management Accounts to 31st January 2013
Members received the management accounts which showed the position for the six
months ended 31st January 2013, and included a forecast for the year to 31st July
2013. Governors were advised that in November 2012 it had been reported that
student fees shortfall was £810k. This has turned into a forecast fee shortfall for the
whole year of £548k. Whilst this would still be significantly below budget it would still
account for a 14% growth of fee income compared with the previous year. It was
believed that there was still room to improve on this number over the next few
months.
This improvement in performance had been achieved by the following actions:
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Increased promotion and marketing both at a micro and macro level e.g. the
Evening Standard, Time Out, Guardian, etc.
Significantly changing staffing and support patterns to ensure the maximum
access for students to enrol.
Use of incentives and offers, which appears to have had significant financial
benefit as well as creating goodwill with our students.
More than doubling this year’s Summer School offer.
Members were informed that the other significant change was that student numbers
had made good progress. Whilst Term One student numbers were down by 300
(November) compared with the previous year, Term Two had seen a large increase
of 750 (January) and that had meant that City Lit was now growing student numbers
for the whole academic year.
There was one significant unknown for the year, around funding. In the forecast
used, the level of funding that City Lit was capped at had been budgeted. A
preliminary return for the year to the SFA had been submitted and City Lit was
overachieving by £1.8m, up on last year. There was a fair chance that last year’s
precedent of paying out part or all of the overfunded amount might take place again
this year. It would not be known until much later in the academic year but it was
something to be aware of.
It was forecast that there would be a favourable variance of £147k on grants and
contracts, mainly due to strong performance of Community Outreach and Deaf &
Disabled Support income. This was the result of several new funded projects being
undertaken.
It was also expected that there would be an under spend on sessional pay costs of
£125k which was mainly related to the shortfall in fee income. However, these were
expected to be offset by permanent pay and restructuring costs. A sessional pay
under spend of £125k was expected, with pay in total to be on budget.
Overall, it was forecast that there would be an accounting deficit for the year of
£290k. However, this would still result in an operating cash surplus of over £300k,
due to non-cash items (e.g. depreciation) included in the forecast accounting deficit.
The total cash surplus was forecast to be £1.4m. This was after taking into account
capital items and the additional £1.4m funding payment relating to 2011/12 over
performance which was received from the Skills Funding Agency in January. These
figures did not include potential additional funding for 2012/13 over performance.
Governors discussed the report and further information was requested on why
Community Outreach was performing so well. The use of reserves was also
discussed and members advised that the Finance and Employment Committee
would be considering the best investment strategy for safeguarding reserves.
The Board noted the management accounts.
13/16
Investors in People
The Director of People and Development presented a report informing members that
City Lit had held the IIP standard since 1998 and at the last reassessment in July
2010 City Lit was accredited to the silver level. At the review meeting in August 2011
the assessor encouraged the Institute to consider aiming for gold accreditation before
the expiry of the current accreditation as she considered that this would support its
development post-inspection, stretch it and enhance its reputation.
The full report was appended to the report and Governors were informed that as part
of the assessment, nearly 10% of staff were interviewed or observed in meetings
over 12 days in December 2012. ‘Gold’ accreditation was achieved, with all 39 core
standards being met and a further 135 standards met from the wider framework.
For the assessment to support the development of City Lit, it was agreed that the IIP
standards would be mapped against our post-inspection action plans. The assessors
sought to understand:
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how well staff understood and connected with the Vision and Mission
launched in September 2012, the departmental strategic planning process
and the reasons for these changes;
whether people understood that the improvement of teaching and learning
was a strategic objective; how they related this to their own individual
performance and contribution and how well equipped and supported people
felt to achieve this;
whether people believed City Lit to be an excellent employer; attracting,
developing and retaining the best and most creative employees.
The response to all three areas had been very positive, with significant areas of
excellence and good practice identified which was described in the report. Key
achievements noted include the commitment to ‘giving staff a voice’, involving staff at
a variety of levels in strategy development and developing a strategic long-term
approach to the development of the programme, so that staff at all levels felt they
had a stake in City Lit’s future success. The high level of commitment to quality
improvement was highlighted through the wide staff involvement in the ongoing
review of the teaching and learning strategy and the broad agreement to develop
OTL processes further. The introduction of the management competencies were
shown to have had a beneficial impact on the performance of managers with
enthusiasm shown for the ongoing leadership and innovation programme for
managers. Assessors identified that people feel supported and overwhelmingly rated
City Lit as an excellent employer, with fairness, flexibility and collaboration
throughout the organisation.
The report noted that ‘the sense of commitment for City Lit and for continuous
improvement was overwhelming’ and ‘City Lit was quite obviously and outstanding
employer’.
Brian advised that as was to be expected, there were development areas highlighted
in the report that, while not weaknesses, could be further improved. As 90% of staff
work part-time, effective internal communication was important and a number of
targeted actions were suggested to improve performance. Previous IIP reports had
recorded improvements to internal communication; however, progress had been
incremental and was in danger of reaching a plateau. Brian stated that if we are
going to move this one forward significantly, a substantial reconfiguration of effort
may be necessary. There was a suggestion that the management competencies
should be re-communicated and that the work of the leadership and innovation
programme for managers be further embedded.
Members were then advised that the report would inform the teaching and learning
strategy, the student experience strategy and the tactical plan of the people strategy
and, already, a number of specific actions were planned or under review. To enable
the work of the staff development function to expand and to support the game
change project, the Institute was currently recruiting a fractional Staff Development
Coordinator to support the work of the Staff Development Manager. It was also being
considered whether an internal communications specialist located within the Human
Resources function would support a step change to communication with City Lit’s
workforce. Work had already started on the re-communication of a reward and
recognition achievement; with new ‘outstanding achievement’ awards for staff
launched this term. A number of other actions were planned, including:
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The editorship, content and frequency of issue of the staff newsletter would
be reviewed to see if it could support strategic and developmental objectives
more effectively.
The management competencies would be updated and reissued.
The management training offer would be reviewed, cross-referenced to our
management competencies and re-communicated.
The consideration of integrating learning styles into the management training
offer.
Short-term recruitment would be reviewed and made more consistent.
Undertake a staff satisfaction survey around Easter.
Subsequent to the gold assessment ‘Inspiring Business Performance’, the IIP centre
for London, invited City Lit to apply to become an IIP ‘Champion’. This accolade is by
invitation only and reserved for gold accredited organisations that commit to sharing
best IIP practice and supporting other organisations. There was no cost to City Lit
other than the time staff spend on these activities; which will enhance its reputation
and provide external insights that may be applicable to City Lit and support its own
development. Already, the Staff Development Manager has presented to staff
development managers of London colleges and the Director for People and
Development has presented at the Association of Colleges annual Human
Resources Conference.
Governors congratulated all the staff, and Brian Watts and Brenda Foulds in
particular, on the excellent achievement of the Gold Award and for being selected as
an IIP Champion.
13/17
IT Contract Outsourcing
The Board received a report informing members that City Lit had originally
outsourced its information technology (“IT”) support service in 2000 and the contract
was renewed in 2006. The present contract would be coming to a close in September
2013 and the support was now being re-tendered.
City Lit, through the OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) Contract Notice
mechanism had approached the marketplace to seek expressions of interest from
appropriate potential suppliers under a restricted procedure. City Lit was happy with
the service being provided by Getronics and because they are not presently in an IT
Support Framework, had to OJEU the requirement so that they could be included.
In order to participate in the selection process, suppliers had been invited to
complete a Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ). The information to be provided is
intended to assist City Lit in the assessment of supplier’s capabilities and suitability.
Suitable candidates would be taken to the next stage of the process and be invited to
reply to an Invitation to Tender. The service of an independent consultant was being
used to help with drawing up the paper work and carrying out the response
evaluations. A report would be compiled with recommendations following receipt of
tenders.
City Lit will again be seeking a 5 year contract with 2 x 1 year extensions built in.
The current yearly cost is £221k, however given the increase in kit of 49% over the
last 7 years and the current requirement to cover most weekends along with the
weekly extension of provision, it was expected that the winning bid would be in the
region of £250k - £270k, costs exclude VAT (£1.25m - £1.35 for the 5 years). A
timetable for the procurement process was outlined with approval from Governors
being sought on 9th July.
The Board noted the report.
13/18
Risk Management Annual Report
Nick Moore presented the Risk Management Annual Report which had been
recommended by the Audit Committee. The report summarised the risk
management process, changes to risks on the register, the movement of the principal
risks and the risk radar from each monitoring point in 2012 showing the direction of
travel and changes during the year. Members were advised that for 2013 the register
and radar had been redesigned to reflect the new strategic plan. Also attached to the
report was the first risk radar for 2013 together with the accompanying action plan.
Members discussed the report and queried who owned the risks. The Deputy
Principal advised that the risk register listed responsibilities against risks and this had
been updated and would be submitted to the next meeting of the Audit Committee.
The Board noted the report.
13/19
Minutes of Meetings
The Board received and noted the unconfirmed minutes of the meetings of:
Health, Safety & Safeguarding Committee held on 24th January 2013.
Quality & Standards Committee held on 29th January 2013.
Search & Governance Committee held on 26th February 2013.
Finance & Employment Committee held on 26th February 2013.
Audit Committee held on 5th March 2013.
13/20
Bill Stokoe
The Board paid tribute to the Deputy Chair, Bill Stokoe, who would be retiring from
the Governing Body on 26th April 2013. He was thanked for the huge contribution he
had made over the last eight years and for the support and commitment he had
showed in Chairing the Finance and Employment and Remuneration Committees
and membership of the Search and Governance Committee and Principal
Appointment Panel. His attendance at City Lit events had been commendable.
Bill thanked the Governors for their gracious words and wished City Lit luck for the
future.
Chair………………………………………………
Date………………….
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Minutes of the Meeting of the Governing Body of