10 July 2013 - East Kent College

Full Governing Body Minutes
Full Governing Body
10th July 2013
The Board Room First Floor Inspire
Michael Wright, Beverley Aitken, Sarah Kemp, Liz Langton-Way, Stephanie Martin, Revd David Roper, Pauline Solley, Hilary Askew,
Charles Buchanan, Patrick Hollis, Graham Razey (Principal)
Officers in
Anne Leese, Andrew Gower, Chris Legg
Sandy Foster as Clerk
The Chair welcomed Governors to the meeting and offered a particular welcome back to Patrick Hollis.
Apologies were received from Sue Kendall-Seatter, Leyland Ridings, Daniel Levey, Carly Tickner, Tim Kent, Sue
Mc Gonigal (who had sent her apologies during the meeting).
None apart from the standing declarations of members.
The minutes from the meeting held on 17th April 2013 were approved and signed as an accurate record
including confidential minutes.
 Membership, Strategic Options for Shepway and Governing Body Self Assessment will be discussed during
the meeting.
The Chairs’ Committee had met in their Search function on 17th April 2013 and the following
recommendations were made:
5.1 Membership – the Committee had discussed :
the appointment of a new Assistant Principal for Curriculum Christine Ricketts and the appointment of
Lucy McLeod as Assistant Principal for Widening Participation and Partnerships. The revised senior
management structure organisation chart was requested to be made available to the Business
It is understood that Sue Kendall-Seatter’s role within Christ Church University has changed and
therefore it may be that her continued membership for 2013/14 is to be reviewed. The Clerk will
discuss this further with SKS.
The new Student Union President for 2013/14 has been confirmed as Reuben King.
The term of office for Beverley Aitken is coming to an end on 31st August 2013. The Committee
recommend that BA be reappointed for a further three year term from 1st September 2013.
Staff Governors term of office ends 31st August 2013. An election will be held in early September to
appoint two further members from the staffing body. The Chair thanked Pauline Solley and Carly
Tickner (who was not present at the meeting) for their contribution to the Governing Body.
Patrick Hollis was returning from family leave and will resume chairship of the Education Committee
from September 2013, SM was thanked again for acting as Chair in 2012/13
Succession Planning –BA has been nominated by the Committee as Chair Elect in preparation for when
the Chair retires from the Governing Body in July 2014. The formal election process will take place
during the next academic year.
RESOLVED – the proposal to appoint BA for a further two year term and accept as Chair Elect under the
current succession plan, pending the retirement of the current Chair in July 2014; the Chair’s
appointment will be formalised during the next academic year.
NOTED – the position in relation to other membership.
5.2 Staff Acknowledgments –
Lana Allen and Kim Gallagher for their support in the recent student trip to Uganda trip.
Alison Gray who was acknowledged personally by the Chair for her conscientious upkeep of the estate.
AGREED -the Clerk will write on behalf of the Governing Body to College staff members.
See Clerk’s Report at item 14 below for the other items of discussion.
Questions were invited on the Chairs’ Committee report.
The Principal had provided Governors with a report prior to the meeting.
Education policy is changing the landscape with for example work placement traineeships for 16-24
year olds. There was discussion on this type of provision by good or outstanding colleges such as East
Kent College and the fact it despite having national focus it does not attract additional funding.
Matthew Hancock MP – the Principal had a personal audience with the Minister for Skills in June to
discuss government support of further education in the UK; this was unfortunately cancelled due to
early paternity leave. This will happen in the near future hopefully.
Ofsted – there was discussion on the approach being taken by Sir Michael Wilshaw on his critical
approach to further education in a recent report entitled ‘Unseen Children: access and achievement
20 years on’.
Kent County Council – the funding negotiations continue on a protracted basis, with their being a
shortfall of £170,000.
Beacon Awards – five bids have been submitted in total. The Principal commented that the rationale
for seeking the awards is to gain national recognition on the quality of work that staff of the College
is producing. The College was nominated for the first time last year and the Principal looks forward
to achieving the award in the near future.
HR- this item was considered confidential and will form Part B minutes
The College Reward Strategy continues to be implemented with staff moved over to a fixed salary
point after the necessary consultation. Teaching staff will follow in the next two years to a three
point scale to reflect levels of experience. This is to control the reward structure to focus on
organisation performance rather than individual performance and will no longer see individuals
automatically progressing through the pay scale.
Questions were invited. The Chair thanked the Principal for his report.
NOTED – the Principal’s Report.
The Chairs of the committees were invited to give a summary of matters from the last cycle of meetings:
Audit Committee – LR was not present at the meeting but CL confirmed that the committee were
recommending the continued appointment of the external audit service as Buzzacotts (dealt with under
item 8 below). There was discussion on the internal audit service and restructuring the level of external
days we currently have and providing a partial internal service to achieve better added value for the
organisation. The Principal will provide a further report to the next committee meeting with a proposal.
Business Committee – BA reported that the committee had received April’s management accounts. The
Chair advised that the Property Strategy Committee is a sub-committee of the Business Committee and
so the feedback will be given under this item. BA advised that the Yarrow plans were discussed – the
business incubation unit’s development has been abandoned due to the state aid funding regulations.
The Chair asked if the building incurred insurance costs and AL replied that it does. The Chair
commented that it was essential to do something with the building to maximise the estate and avoid it
deteriorating as an asset. BA replied that there is a plan to start place early years provision in there
which will create both vocational curriculum and commercial opportunities. The Centre for
Environmental Technologies is subject to an architect design issue which is currently subject to
independent legal advice on the best course of action. The actual completion of the building will now
be early September 2013. The contingency fund has already been utilised for delays due to the Dene
demolition issue and it will be further utilised for the latest design issue. The Hub was successfully
refurbished and had a formal opening by Paul Carter of KCC in June. The Centre for Creative Industries
appointment of consultants has started, with Davis Langdon as the Project Manager. There was
discussion on the loan structure for the project and the potential Capital Investment Fund for the
Yarrow/Horizon and Enterprise buildings for £10 million, the result of which will be known on 19 July
2013. The Committee recommend progression to Stage Two full application.
The Dreamland project has been reinstated now the land title issue has been resolved by Thanet District
Council. A bid has been put in to the Coastal Communities Fund for a restaurant on the site providing
vocational and commercial opportunities for the College. The Chair asked who was responsible for the
business case and CL replied that he is and would commence drafting one. The Chair urged caution
based on the available financial resources the College have and the size of the organisation which
should dictate the level of ambitiousness of any plans. The cleaning contract had recently been out for
tender and a successful contractor in the process of being appointed for the value of £144,716 which
may vary once the final specification is agreed. The existing merchant agreement the College has with
Streamline has been agreed to be extended to include on line payments.
Education Committee- in the absence of PH, SM had been acting as interim Chair. SM advised that the
Committee had received an excellent curriculum and teaching and learning update from AG.
Safeguarding report had been received from JW regarding the issue of ‘sexting’.
NOTED: the Governing Body noted the Committee updates. The extension of the Streamline Merchant
Agreement was noted. The internal audit service proposals were noted. The Chair thanked the committee
Chairs for their reports.
RESOLVED: To accept the recommendation by the Business Committee to progress to stage two full
application under the Capital Investment Fund for £10 million bid for the Yarrow/Horizon and Enterprise
Financial Report
CL guided Governors through his report – the Management Accounts were presented for May 2013 (Business
Committee had seen April’s 2013):
8.1 Income –There was discussion on additional core funding in March from the SFA and the payment
profile variation. ESF contracts continue to under-perform as does higher education recruitment.
Overall the income is forecast to be ahead of the original budget still. Questions were invited.
Pay Expenditure- in line with the budget – to note some restructuring costs to follow such as pay in lieu
of notice.
Non-Pay Expenditure – well controlled apart from equipment costs and energy costs which have been
difficult to control given the inclement weather earlier this year. Late sub-contracting activity has
impacted on reducing the positive variance position. In terms of capital projects, the demolition of the
Dene in the CET project created a write-off book value of £62,000 which was not included in the
original budget. Questions were invited. The Chair asked about the ratio between categories of support
and teaching staff and there was discussion on pay costs against sector benchmarks and categorisation
issues such as assessor posts being included in teaching pay costs and not support as they should be. The
Chair commented that governors wanted to be assured that pay expenditure was on the right people for
the role and there was discussion on the staffing profile of the College. The Principal advised that the
staffing profile was developed from curriculum plans but there are some areas where there is an
overlap such as management undertaking teaching where SFA guidance on staff profiling is not
completely explicit. The Chair prompted the governors to consider staffing policy and it was agreed that
CL would provide the next Business Committee in November 2013 with a staffing profile utilising
national benchmark statistics. Questions were invited.
[SK left the room 1830]
Balance Sheet – the position is stable with slow draw down on the loan where possible. Governors
commented that they liked the format of the balance sheet reporting.
8.2 Draft Budget 2013/14 – this item was considered confidential and will form Part B to these
Contract Updates - was considered confidential and will form Part B confidential minutes.
NOTED – the Management Accounts for May 2013 and the overall financial position.
RESOLVED – the draft budget for 2013/14 was unanimously approved.
The Chair thanked the Strategic Director of Finance and Commercial Development for his report.
Governor Link
AG advised the Governing Body that during 2012/13 17 governor visits had taken place throughout most areas
of the College, including Student Services and Finance. The response from the individual governors has been
very positive in that it has developed their own knowledge of the College core activity. AG asked that the
Governing Body thank Alison Stanbury for her work in administering the scheme and also thanked governors for
participating. There was discussion on how additional contact time with the students during the visits could be
of benefit and AG agreed to build this in to the schedule as well as look at how flexibility on access to the
scheme could be implemented for 2013/14.
A governor raised the issue of invitations to College events being inconsistent. The Clerk advised that there had
been one or two issues with particular events but that generally the invites do go to governors. In addition the
governors receive the Principal’s Bulletin on College life every term. The Community Day invite for governors
will commence 2013/14 as agreed. The Chair reminded the Governing Body that the role of governor is
strategic and although events are good for networking opportunities for staff and governors, are not strictly
necessary to carry out their strategic role.
The Chair thanked AG for his report.
NOTED – the Governor Link Scheme for 2012/13 report.
Strategic Options
Review (Folkestone
& Dover)
Indicators and Risk
This item was considered confidential and will form Part B confidential minutes.
The Principal guided governors through the latest set of CPI’s and reported that as they could see there had
not been much substantive change. Employer satisfaction (14) has dipped and it is being monitored to see if
this is a systemic change. Health & safety (25) has gone to green. Governor attendance has slipped during
2012/13 and is now red. This CPI is of course the responsibility of the Governing Body to achieve the target.
There was discussion on membership and the need to consider how this could be improved during 2013/14. The
Principal confirmed that he was further developing the CPI’s by creating a methodology to demonstrate the
impact of the financial risk caused by the particular indicator and which can forecast the future performance
trend. It is anticipated to roll these out at the next cycle of meetings in October 2013.
Further questions were invited. The Chair thanked the Principal for his report.
NOTED: the latest version of CPI’s and the Risk Register.
Public Value
Policy Reviews
Governors had considered the form of statement during their strategic development session earlier in the day.
The Chair questioned the value of the statement and it was agreed that it would assist in supporting the bid
work of the College and is in accordance with good practice in the sector which the Governing Body are always
keen to implement. The Governing Body agreed that AG should draft a final version for their approval at the
next meeting in September 2013.
The Clerk reminded the Governing Body of the delegated authority the Policy Group has been vested and
explained the process of review as being a robust and thorough one. The policies had all been through a
Governing Body Committee and were now being presented for note.
NOTED: the polices as presented in particular the Financial Regulations, Fees, Health & Safety and Equality &
Diversity policies.
Clerk’s Report
14.1 The Clerk explained that in order to reflect Education Act reforms, the Instrument & Articles of
Government are to be changed to allow electronic decision making and to reflect reduction of the student
membership. Governors were asked to approve the new form.
14.2 The Governance Development Programme has been discussed by the Chairs’ Committee due to the poor
attendance by governors. Further to sector research by the Clerk it is proposed that the new programme should
be based on development sessions being prior to all meetings (30 minutes for committees and 45 minutes for
Full Governing Body). The Clerk will draft a new programme in accordance with this proposal for distribution
during August.
14.3 and 14.4 The Terms of Reference for the committees and the Standing Orders for the Governing Body
had been revised to reflect current and agreed practice for 2013/14. Governors were asked to approve the new
14.5 Governing Body Procedures had been reviewed and updated to reflect current practice for 2013/14 and
governors were asked to approve the new form.
14.6 Meeting Dates – To note all on a Wednesday apart from Business Committee which will be on a Tuesday
evening. All meetings earlier at 5pm to facilitate training and development sessions. The timings of the
meetings would be reviewed during 2013/14 to ensure they reflect governor availability adequately.
RESOLVED: Governors resolved to approve the i) Instrument & Articles of Government ii) the Standing Orders
iii) the Terms of Reference iv) Governing Body Procedures and 2013/14 dates in line with the recommendation
of the Chairs Committee.
Matters considered
Item 6 – Principal’s Report (HR)
Item 8 - Draft Budget 2013/14 and Contract Renewals
Item 9 – Strategic Options for Shepway
These matters will be reported under Part B confidential minutes.
Date of next
25th September 2013 at 5.00pm the Board Room.
Meeting closed 7.30pm
Approved by the Full Governing Body and signed by: