Minutes March 2014 - Huddersfield New College

ON MONDAY 31st MARCH 2014 AT 5.30pm
Present :
Mr J Dawson (Chair) Mr G Craik, Mr P Cropper, Ms J Pryce,
Ms A Williams
In attendance :
Mr A Shaw, Mr M Atkinson (for agenda item 4 only)
Mrs C Coupland
1. Apologies for absence / Declaration of interests
Apologies were received from Mr P Hume.
There were no declarations of interest.
2. Minutes of the meeting held on 2nd December 2013
That the minutes be accepted as correct records
3. Matters arising
Salendine Nook High School Land Deed
Mr Shaw advised the Committee that there had been no change in circumstances
since members last met.
4. Health & Safety Report – Mid Year Update
Mr Atkinson, the Colleges H&S Consultant, presented his report to the Committee
which covered the period from August 2013 to February 2014.
Members were reminded of the major incident which happened on College premises
on 12th February 2014, when the neighbouring school’s swimming pool roof blew off
in hurricane weather conditions with debris causing minimal damage to college
property. Governors and college management were thankful that no one was injured
as a result of the incident.
Mr Atkinson confirmed that the College’s Compliance Calendar was regularly
reviewed and updated at both the premises and health and safety meetings. Monthly
health and safety audits continue to also take place with the Caretakers and Safety
Manager. Furthermore minor issues identified from a full fire evacuation at the start of
term have been added to the college’s fire action plan to be addressed and
The Committee was also made aware that the Health and Safety Executive
(HSE)visited the college to undertake ‘spot checks’ on compliance with regards to
the major constructions projects on going at that time. The HSE representative was
satisfied with the compliance checks undertaken in respect of standards of health,
safety and welfare.
The Governors considered the seven accidents which had taken place between
October 2013 and January 2014 which had been reported to the HSE under
RIDDOR – Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations
2013. It was noted that 3 had related to sports injuries and that officially these types
of injuries need not be recorded, however, it is deemed prudent to do so especially
should there be an injury claim at a later date. Mr Atkinson confirmed that there is an
ongoing concern with regards to the number of puncture wounds to fingers whilst
using sewing machines. He can however confirm that from his perspective, as an
independent consultant, there is a robust system in place for induction and for
ongoing safeguarding checks. He confirmed that this issue is not exclusive to the
college but is a sector wide concern. The matter continues to be closely monitored to
limit further instances. The Governors were satisfied by this response.
The Committee when reviewing the overall analysis for all types of accidents noted
that there is a high number of accidents recorded which take place outside of the
college whereby injuries have been caused at home or on the way to College or
through non-college related activities. Governors acknowledged that by reporting on
this type of accident the number of overall accidents significantly increases however
it was agreed that this type of information was useful and should continue to be
included in reports. It was however agreed beneficial for future reports to also include
bench marking data to enable governors to compare the college’s performance
overall to that of other establishments within the sector.
Mr Atkinson was thanked by the Committee for his comprehensive report.
That the report be received
For future reports to include, where possible, bench marking data.
5. Management Accounts – February 2014
The management accounts were presented by Mr Shaw enabling Governors to
compare actual with budgeted for year to date and forecast for income and
expenditure account, balance sheet, cash flow statement and capital expenditure.
The Committee’s attention was directed to the page of the report that highlighted
progress to date with regards to the Key Performance Indicators. The Governors
were satisfied that all financial targets are expected to be met by July 2014.
Mr Shaw advised the committee that the Colleges’ cash forecast for July 2014 has
now increased to £2128k (£49k above budget). The Committee was informed that an
extra item being absorbed within this figure is the receipt of £30k Youth Fund Grant.
The reasons for the variance from the budget of £2079k were therefore accepted by
the Committee.
Mr Shaw advised members that the Income and Expenditure Account shows that the
surplus is expected to be slightly above the budget of £458k, at £522k (3% of
The Committee reviewed the contingencies summary (£425k) and were satisfied that
the contingencies are still required to meet planned Development and Restructuring
That the report be received.
6. Capital Projects Update
Mr Shaw confirmed that a building condition application was made to the EFA,
designed to bring remaining areas of the college up to the ‘Category b’ (Good)
Condition. The budget cost for these works is £1,797k.
The Committee anticipate that any grant awarded will be much less than the amount
applied for; however notification was yet to have been received at the time of the
The Committee endorsed the priority for works as outlined by the Senior
Management Team:
- Business block
- Guidance Block
- Early Years Block
- English Block
- Sports Block
Members were advised that the final budget costs also included £200k for ILT
Infrastructure works intended to future proof the College’s infrastructure and allow the
college to install a ‘Cloud’ Wi-Fi system to enable students to bring their own devices.
Governors were advised that maximum grants for such works are up to £100k. The
committee was assured however that the remaining monies were available within the
costed ITL plan for 2014-15 thus this plan of spending fits in with figures included in
the draft budget for 2014-15.
Mr Shaw confirmed that following notification of any grant awarded, the building
condition project will go out to tender on 10th April as per the draft project programme
for the tender return on 7th May 2014. In preparation for this, it was agreed essential
for the Clerk to clarify the role of Governors within the tender process.
The Committee acknowledged that the annual condition survey will be completed on
Wednesday 2nd April 2014 to determine further works to be completed over the next
year. As per the draft budget £100k has been set aside for these works.
Furthermore, Members were advised that the catering function is being tendered. A
shortlist of companies will be invited to submit a full tender return by the end of term.
Presentations will then be made to a panel, including Governors, SLT, Students and
Staff. A date is yet to be confirmed.
Mr Shaw also confirmed that the first phase of bus bay / entrance drive project - to
improve vehicular and pedestrian access and safety to and around the college site,
was undertaken during February half term and within budget. The next phase of
works will take place over Easter.
That the report be received
For the Clerk to advise the committee on appropriate governor
involvement within tender processes as soon as possible.
7. EFA Funding Allocation 2014-15
Members were advised that the student numbers as at Day 42 was 2366, however
the college has since received confirmation that 2014/15 lagged funding is to only be
for 2364 students. The total funding is therefore slightly below the £10508k estimated
in the 2013-15 forecasts.
Ms Williams explained that the dip in funding allocation has resulted from the EFA
experiencing system failures in December 2013. Individualised Learner Record (ILR)
funding returns were therefore re-requested in February 2014 and funding was
calculated on this return. Ms Pryce confirmed that she and Mr Shaw are to make a
complaint to the EFA given that HNC’s original IRL funding return of 2366 was
returned complete and correct and should therefore be awarded. The Committee
endorsed this action.
Other points brought to the Committees attention included:
- Transitional protection funding ends in 2013 -14 (resulting in £226k less for
- No formula funding protection is due, as the College is favoured by the new
study programme methodology
- No 18 + protection funding is due, because a cap only applied if Colleges
were 2% worse off
- Bursary scheme funding for 2014-2015 is at a similar level to the current year
(£323k was received in 2013-14)
- There is to be free school meals funding for 2014-15.
That the report be received
8. Financial Targets – Proposal Paper
The Committee was reminded that the current financial targets for the college, as set
by the Corporation in July 2013, are:
To maintain cash levels at or above £1.4million
To generate operating surpluses of at least 1%
To maintain staff costs at or below 70% of income.
To maintain ‘Outstanding’ financial health as defined and monitored by the
Members were advised however that a number of factors were prompting a review of
the above financial parameters:
College ‘sustainable’ (annual surpluses) financial health is now assessed by
cash flow based surpluses rather than income and expenditure surpluses.
College total income is set to decrease further from its peak of over £12million
in 2012, towards £10.5million
College borrowing repayments are decreasing from a peak 4% of income in
2008 to 1.7% in 2016
The continued EFA funding squeezes announced for 2014-15, which are also
expected to continue over the next few years
Other costs increases, such as the estimated £115k increase in employer
pension costs from 2015-16, announced on the 19th March 2014 budget day.
Mr Shaw also informed the Committee that a draft forecast is being prepared for
2014-17 and that if no action is taken to address the financial targets in light of the
above, cash levels would decrease below the £1.4 million, by 2016-17 there would
be an operating deficit of 3.5%, staff costs would increase to 76% of income and the
financial health would decrease to ‘Good’.
The Committee agreed that the existing financial parameters are no longer
appropriate for the economic outlook faced by the College and should be changed to:
Revenue expenditure not to exceed income
Maintain the minimum criteria required for ‘outstanding’ financial health, as
defined and monitored by the Education Funding Agency.
To maintain sufficient cash at the current level to be consistent with
‘outstanding’ financial health (currently £2.1m, the sector average).
Mr Shaw confirmed to the Committee that a number of cost reduction schemes are
currently being looked at, including Senior Leadership Team restructure, revised
pastoral structure, review of overstaffed areas, not renewing fixed term contracts or
staff who leave, moving to term time only support contracts, re-considering all non
staff costs.
To recommend to the Corporation the approval of the following financial
- Revenue expenditure must not exceed income
- Maintain the minimum criteria required for ‘outstanding’ financial
health, as defined and monitored by the Education Funding
- To maintain sufficient cash at the current level to be consistent
with ‘outstanding’ financial health (currently £2.1m, the sector
9. Any other business
There was no further business
10. Determination of confidentiality
The proposed changes to the financial parameters are to remain confidential until
approved by the Corporation.
The Management Accounts for February 2014 (item 5) are to remain confidential.
11. Date of next meeting – Monday 30th June 2014 at 5pm.