WMC Corporation Minutes 18th April 2013

The Working Mens College Corporation
Draft Minutes for the Meeting of the WMC Corporation held on Thursday, 18th
April 2013 at 6.30 p.m. in Room 305, Working Men’s College 44, Crowndale Road,
London, NW1 1TR.
Members ( Appointed Governors ):
Kate Bell
Barbara Burman.
Lucy de Groot
Nigel Franklin
David Offenbach
Abdul Quadir
Paula Whittle
Tom Schuller ( Chair )
Alan Conway
Governors Attending ( Ex Officio )
Satnam Gill
Principal Ex Officio
Governors Attending ( Nominated )
Shingo Nakatani
Student Nom.
Michal Sasadeusz
Student Nom.
Staff Attended:
Stewart Cross
VP Resources
James Cupper
Head of ESOL
Theresa Hoenig
Deputy Principal
Irina Staneva
Head Stu. Support
Tighe Twomey
Head Voc.and
BC.01.13 Welcome and Introduction
The Chair welcomed Michal Sasadeusz; a newly elected Student Governor.
BC.02.13Declaration of Interests
Satnam Gill and Alan Conway re. oral report back from the 18.04.2013
Remuneration Committee ( ref. Minute BC 25.01.13 ).
BC.03.13Apologies for Absence
Received from Margaret Alexander, Philip Badman, Severine Campos, Ruth
Hawthorn and Ivy Simmonds.
BC.04.13Nominations and Election of Officers of the Corporation
Following nomination from Nigel Franklin, the Board unanimously
elected Tom Schuller to be re-appointed as Chair and unanimously
elected Margaret Alexander, Kate Bell and Lucy de Groot to be reappointed as Vice Chairs.
BC.05.13 Minutes of the Corporation Meeting -12th December 2012
The Minutes were Approved and then signed by the Chair.
BC.06.13Matters Arising not included elsewhere on the Agenda
There were none.
Search Committee had met immediately before the Board meeting and the
Chair reported back its recommendations:
BC.08.01.13 Two Nominated Student Governor positions
Severine Campos and Michal Sasadeusz were nominated and elected with the
most votes. The Board Approved recommendation from Search
Committee that Severine Campos and Michal Sasadeusz be appointed.
They were also appointed to the Quality and Standards Committee.
Michal Sasadeusz has been attending WMC since 2010 and is also a Student
Rep. He has studied political science and has a particular interest in
College PR matters. The Committee Requested that the Clerk bring this
interest to the attention of Isabelle Portier ( Marketing Manager ).
BC.08.02.13 Emeritus Governor
The Board Approved the recommendation from Search Committee that
Martin Jones be appointed to the position of Emeritus Governor
( Fellow of the College ) for a term of six years. He was a governor for
eleven years from 2001 and had previously worked at WMC in a senior
position.. He was Chair of Audit Committee for several years. He has
extensive knowledge and understanding of FE Finance, resource and audit
matters and is a very valuable source of advice and support.
BC.08.03.13 Board Vacancies – Appointed Governors
In addition to two current vacancies, a further two will occur at the end of the
academic year / calendar year; Barbara Burman and Ruth Hawthorn having
indicated they will be standing down. The Board Approved Search
Committee’s recommendation that vacancies be advertised with a view to
appointing up to three new governors, whilst leaving at least one position
vacant to retain flexibility to respond to needs that might unfold. The
advertisement will be circulated to Morley College, Mary ward and City Lit.
The areas where skills and experience would be sought included arts, advice
and guidance for adult learners, buildings and educational technology. The
Board Requested that a the advertisement be circulated to governors.
The Clerk also undertook to circulate a list of current Board skills /
competencies to governors. Governors were also encouraged to pursue
any networking contacts and in this respect the Chair was continuing
discussions with Roger Madelin, Chief Executive of Argent who are
developing the Kings Cross site.
The Board Approved Search Committee’s Recommendation that Kate
Bell succeed Barbara Burman as WMC representative on the RFSA when
Barbara Burman stands down from the WMC Board.
BC.08.04.13 Audit and Quality and Standards Committee vacancies
The Board Approved the appointment of Michal Sasadeusz as a member
of Audit Committee.
The Board Noted that a vacancy remained for an Appointed Governor on
Quality and Standards Committee.
The Board requested that the Clerk circulate to governors the current
Committee membership.
BC.09.13To Receive the Principal’s and Chair’s Report
BC.09.0113Ofsted Inspection:
The Ofsted inspection was very successful.
The results, subject to OFSTED moderation were:
Outcome for Learners
Quality of Teaching and Learning
Leadership and Management
Areas for Improvement
The official report will be published by the end of April. WMC was the first
London college to be graded Outstanding Overall, and for ESOL, and only the
third nationally, to be so graded, since the New Framework came into
operation in September 2012.
This success will provide a basis to build PR; It was expected that the College
would receive the finalised report by Friday 26th April. The Principal
confirmed that a press release will be prepared for dispatch early in the
following week. Circulation will include local and national press, Council,
local partners, staff, students and governors. Governors felt media coverage
would respond to College PR that covered the local, London, national and
ESOL angles and that it would be helpful to highlight profiles and personal
stories of individual students, staff and governors encompassed within the
wider College story.
Governors also recognised how students and community partners had spoken
very highly of their experience of WMC as a caring and welcoming place that
celebrated diversity and upheld high teaching standards.
Tighe Twomey confirmed that the paired observations had gone well and that
these had demonstrated the quality of Observation of Teaching and Learning
process at WMC. James Cupper stressed that ESOL, like other departments,
had effectively fed back to staff comments from Inspectors during the
inspection process and thus been able to take speedy action to provide
evidence to inspectors. Irina Staneva further underlined how students
enthusiasm for, and appreciation of the College had shone through, as did the
College’s support for equality diversity and the friendly supportive
atmosphere. All agreed the quality of displays in particular showing student
success had also been important and governors appreciated that it was
important to maintain the quality of the physical learning environment.
Theresa Hoenig underlined how the staff had risen to the challenge of the
The Board wished to record its congratulations to all the staff for their
hard work and to the Principal and the senior management team for their
excellent leadership over the long term. The result had been exceptional
and an outstanding success.
The Principal confirmed that a celebratory event which will include
invitations to the College’s local partners, including educational
institutions and community groups, will be held in the early autumn.
The Chair pointed out that Ofsted were focused on teaching and learning and
it remained the case that the College needed to uphold the very high standards
achieved and for management and governors to continue to work together to
develop strategic thinking and take the College forward accordingly.
The Principal confirmed that the Ofsted Report would be analysed and
mapped as appropriate into next year’s QIP. Analysis would also
encompass comments from inspectors during the inspection week.
Strategy Day
To take full account of the implications of the OFSTED Report, Strategy Day
scheduled for May 11th was cancelled with a view to the next Strategy Day
being held early in the autumn term. The Clerk will inform governors. The
Board agreed such timing will allow for work to be commissioned on
researching the market regarding the external environment; in
particular, where fee-paying demand for WMC provision can be tapped
into. This will help provide a base for developing strategic thinking.
Possible areas to focus on at Strategy Day included:
-Identifying alternatives where there was demand / a market as against
reliance on ESOL
-Consideration of long term strategy (up to 10 years) with a view to updating
strategic objectives
-Broad consideration of diversification of income streams
-Consider alternative methods of teaching and learning including use of new
learning technologies
3 year Strategic Plan and Progress
The Principal underlined some salient points on progress in 2013/14:
-Development of organisational culture includes at least four major events for
students that celebrate excellence and achievement, including the Student
Awards Ceremony; and presentation of medals to students by HRH The
Princess Royal in January; and the presentation of prizes to students for the
best entries in the Inspirational Women competition in March.
- Analysis of individuals targets showed the appraisal process was more
rigorous this year.
- Analysis of lesson observations shows that all teachers are making progress
towards first class teaching, learning and assessment. The lesson observation
process had been improved which was recognised in the Inspection.
-Development of alternative methods of curriculum delivery had seen the
creation of additional learning clubs; albeit that there was little other further
development of alternative.
-Provision of learning opportunities to those who find education hard to reach
includes ongoing negotiations on new provision including vocational delivery
at St Mungos; and vocational tasters at Richard Cobden and Netley schools.
-Liberal arts course had been expanded with new titles being delivered;
however, class sizes have fallen in the face of recession and competition.
- The Employer Engagement manager (EEM) has been appointed for two
days a week, and targets were agreed, including meeting with employers and
identifying businesses whose employees might enrol on WMC courses.
- Work on develop partnerships included active participation in Camden ACL
providers’ group/community learning trust developing new progression
pathways which the Principal will report back on in July.
-The Principal indicated that initial movement towards a closer relationship
with Mary Ward had become becalmed, which may reflect the need for time to
build relationships with Mary Ward’s new senior management.
-Diversify income sources, including increasing fee income, particularly from
Arts and Humanities programme, is very difficult because of the recession and
fierce competition and expansion of provision by City Lit. WMC Arts
provision has grown, but far less than would be needed to reduce dependence
on ESOL. For every extra 100 fee paying learners recruited, WMC must
recruit an extra 40 concessionary learners in order to maintain overall income.
-The Chair underlined, and governors agreed, that the target 25%
increase in income over three years ought to be reviewed and further
developed to encompass non-SFA funding, via grants and contracts, as
well as fee income.
-The Principal reported an enquiry from Blake College, a small Arts College
based in W1, with regard to the possibilities of WMC taking on their SFA
contract and engaging in a leaseback to them of programme delivery.
Governors emphasised that any involvement required serious due diligence
being undertaken. The Principal will report back on any developments
should there be any exploratory discussion with Blake College.
- On premises initiatives talks with the developer, Argent, concern operating
jointly a classroom space in their Job Shop with provision for Job Skills and
Literacy. The Principal and Chair reported that meeting with the Kings Cross
Developer had produced an improved offer to take premises rent free with
only a reduced proportion of the rates to pay that limited risk. However, the
premises were at the back of the development. A more attractive possibility
regarding taking premises next to Central St Martins, also rent-free, was also
under discussion. The Principal undertook to liaise with Councillor Tulip
Siddiq with respect to further exploring the Council’s employment
initiatives and any possibilities they might offer to the College.
Funding 13/14
Latest information tends to confirm initial estimates that funding for
accredited ESOL work will reduce by 50%.
-The Principal met with the SFA, AoC and other colleges and an interim
provision for funding on ESOL was agreed for 13/14. This will allow colleges
to deliver next year the same quantum of ESOL as being currently delivered in
12/13, and for about the same money including the delivery of non-regulated
(non-accredited) ESOL. If colleges face any loss the SFA will be able to
make some adjustment to the funding. This is a very attractive deal.
Meanwhile colleges are expected to agree with Ofqual, the exam boards, QCF
and other relevant regulators and examiners a funding rate for ESOL that fits
into the matrix and implement it from the following year, 14/15. Colleges are
not expected to significantly change their existing mix of provision between
regulated and non-regulated ESOL and they are not expected to increase the
quantum of non-regulated ESOL. Colleges are expected to prepare for a full
implementation of the ESOL funding changes in 14/15. Hence, the Principal
envisaged significant restructuring within ESOL teams in line with that
already taking place in other colleges. The senior Management Team will
consider how re-structuring of ESOL should be accomplished. The Head
of ESOL confirmed that the department will need to ensure staff flexibility
and be able to react to meet changing demands on the configuration of
provision; not least, in connection with changes to the basis of funding.
-19+ funding allocation 13/14 - SFA: The proposed funding allocation for
13/14 is better than expected. Most colleges have lost 8-10% but WMC have
lost about 5% excluding the loan facility. If the loan facility is used, WMC’s
loss could be down to 2.5%.
24+ Advanced Learning Loans:The Loans Facility for 13/14 is for up to
£80,732 and we have also been allocated a Bursary amount of up to £20,600.
16-19 year olds – EFA: The allocation totals £312k which confirms the new
increased allocation of learner numbers, from 32 to 92, following the College’s
representations to EFA.
Fee increases ;The Board Approved the Principal’s proposal that all fees be
kept the same for 13/14; and that he have the flexibility to reduce them in
some areas in order to make sure we remain competitive; which may entail
reconsidering in relation to decisions by Mary Ward Centre and City Lit.
Camden Arts: The College expects £80k from Camden ACL and similar
funding in 13/14. In 2014/15 Camden will be tendering all its ACL provision.
Other income; WMC is a partner in an EIF bid led by Learning Unlimited.
This could bring in funding of £120K per annum for 2 years to deliver
innovative community ESOL provision. Management also hope to generate
some income from our Employer Engagement pilot if successful.
Arts & Humanities curriculum strategy & restructure;The Restructure was
considered in detail and Approved by Finance Committee in June. The
Committee approved the proposal to launch a new Visual Arts offer in Media,
to move out one art area to Kentish Town to free up space for Media and to do
the necessary restructuring of the curriculum managers in arts & humanities.
Planning is underway for the necessary alterations at Kentish Town site for
printing to move there for September 2013.
Four curriculum managers were interviewed for the posts in the new
curriculum management structure and appointed to 3 of the posts:
Proposals for deployment of the fourth current curriculum manager will
be put to Finance Committee.
Staffing bonuses;Given inspection success the Board Approved the
Principal’s proposal for a bonus of £500 for all full time staff and pro
rata for others.
The Principal has been in discussion with the Chair of Finance and the
Corporation Chair with respect to bonuses for Senior Managers. Because of
potential impact on remuneration for senior post-holders this matters was also
considered by the Remuneration Committee ( see Confidential section ).
Bank resolution re NS&I :The college recently identified an account held by
National Savings and Investments (NS&I) with a balance at the start of this
year of £7,797.47. New signatories to the account are needed:
The Board Approved the Principal’s Recommendation:
That the Governors of the Working Men’s College Corporation (the
Corporation) RESOLVE, under and subject to Articles 47.2 and 51.2 of
the Corporation’s Articles of Association, that
(1) Satnam Singh Gill (Principal and Director of the Corporation) and
Stewart Cross (Vice Principal of Working Men’s College) be signatories
of the Corporation’s Investment Account number 138407202 at National
Savings and Investments (NS&I)
(2) Previous arrangements with respect to the previously named
signatories be terminated forthwith so that the foregoing at paragraph (1)
above shall take effect.
(3) As soon as is practicable, the said NS&I Investment Account be closed
and the funds transferred into and integrated with the Corporation’s
existing bank accounts.
Risk Management: The Risk Register amended by the Risk Management
Group on 4th February was approved at Audit Committee on 20th February
2012. Copies of the Risk Register are available from the Clerk..
Operating Plan: The Plan, updated to end Term 2, was appended to the Report.
College performance 11/12 and 12/13;Information on Funding, student
numbers and fee income was set out at pages 9 and 10 of the Report.
The Board Approved the Operating Plan which showed good progress to
date. The Committee Noted the Principal’s Report
BC.10.13Student Governors’ Feedback
Outgoing 2011/12 Student Governors were unable to attend.
The policy has been updated with some minor amendments. The Board
Approved the updated Safeguarding Policy.
BC.12.13Safeguarding Annual Report
The Board Noted the Annual Report on safeguarding activities and measures.
BC.13.13Health and Safety Policy
Amendments to the Report were considered in detail by Finance Committee.
The Board Agreed Finance Committee’s Recommendation to Approve
the Health and Safety Policy.
BC.14.13Emergency Procedures Policy
The existing policy has been thoroughly reviewed following completion of the
building works, and amendments considered by Finance Committee. The
Board Agreed Finance Committee’s Recommendation to Approve the
Emergency Procedures Policy.
BC.15.13Quality Improvement Plan 2012/13
The Quality Improvement Plan 2012/13 Progress update indicated good
progress overall. The QIP is for information and had in large part been
superseded by the OFSTED Inspection report.The Board Noted the Report.
BC.16.13Curriculum Links and College Visits
The Chair encouraged governors to continue in their productive involvement
through the Curriculum Links scheme.
BC.17.13Building Prog.ramme – Phase 2 Completion
The VP Resources will provide a more substantial update for the July
Board covering the completion of the project.
Following legal opinion being sought on settlement of the dispute with
Fanshawe, it is proposed to instruct them to prepare the final cost statement for
the work with BGBS. The College does not expect, but will await, any claim
from the administrators of Killby & Gayford.
A project review will be undertaken and reported to the next meetings of
the Finance Committee and Board, together with the final report on costs.
The college has been considering a bid in the current round of Skills Funding
Agency capital funding, to fund double glazing work on its south- and eastfacing windows. An interim development team was appointed to prepare the
expression of interest, which was submitted by 1st March. All work on the bid
has now stopped as college management felt the costs of college
contribution were too high; as was agreed with the Chair of Finance
The Board Noted the progress that has been made with the completion
works project.
BC.18.13Monthly Management Accounts to February 2013
The Board Noted the Management Accounts.
BC.19.13Reporting Business Performance
The sole red indicator reflected the adverse impact on fee income of the
closure of the Foundation Degree. The Board Noted the Dashboard
BC.20.13Disaster Recovery Plan
The Board Noted that copies were available from the Clerk.
BC.21.13Search Committee - 12.12.2012
The Minutes were Noted.
BC.22.13Audit Committee-20.02.2013
The Board Ratified the appointment of TIAA as Internal Auditors, the
appointment being for a period of three years from August 1st 2013.
Accordingly, in discussion with college management, a strategic plan will be
BC.23.13Finance, Personnel and Dev. Comm -27.02.2013
The Minutes were Noted.
BC.24.13Remuneration Committee-12.12.2012
See confidential section of the Minutes.
BC.25.13Remuneration Committee 18.04.13- Oral Report
See confidential section of the Minutes.
BC.26.13Any Other Urgent Business
There was none.
BC.27.13Date of the Next Board Meeting – 17th July 2013 at 6.30pm
Chair: _______________________________________ Date: __________________