PART I – OPEN ITEMS
05/20. Declarations of Interest
- A. Allen declared a Standing Interest as an employee of Harper Adams University.
- R. Heath declared a Standing Interest as an employee of Harper Adams University.
PART II – CONFIDENTIAL SESSION
It was agreed that Minute Numbers 07/20 and 08/20, be considered as confidential under Instrument 13 (5) and (9) and Standing Order 11.
06/20 Chair’s Announcements
The Chair announced that, due to the escalating concern over the spread of Covid-19, to protect the health of governors and officers, and to ensure the continuance of effective and robust governance, from this point, all meetings of the Board and its committees would be conducted on-line through Microsoft Teams. The Clerk to the Board had arranged for all governors to be connected to Microsoft Teams and had circulated to all members a remote meetings procedure and etiquette guide.
Resolved: That, due to the escalating concern over the spread of Covid-19, to protect the health of governors and officers, and to ensure the continuance of effective and robust governance, from this point, all meetings of the Board and its committees would be conducted on-line through Microsoft Teams.
07/20. Shrewsbury College’s Group OFSTED Report
The Board received a verbal report on the recently published OFSTED Report following a Full Inspection of the College from the Principal/CEO, Mr. Corke and the Chair.
The Principal/CEO provided a verbal update –
- The OFSTED Report had been published on Monday, 16 March 2020, with the overall Grade 4 confirmed, whilst Quality of Education and all provision types received Grade 2s.
- The College had been placed in formal intervention.
- The Education & Skills Funding Agency (EFSA) had now contacted the College and Chair in writing to provide guidelines on how it would approach intervention. This included setting out additional conditions to the College’s Funding Agreement, to which the Chair had to respond, including the requirement to have in place a Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP) and for the Board to put in place appropriate oversight arrangements for the implementation of the PIAP.
- The Further Education Commissioner (FEC) had also been sent the ESFA letter. However, the FEC had now suspended intervention work due to Covid-19.
Mr. Corke explained his role at the AoC and how he had worked with the College in its communications with OFSTED and the ESFA since the Inspection had taken place, as set out in a Confidential Minute. He took questions from governors.
Mr. Corke left the meeting at this point.
The Principal/CEO left the meeting at 7.00 p.m. after taking some questions from the staff governor on the inspection process and the results of the OFSTED Staff Survey.
In accordance with Instrument Instrument 13 (5) (a), the Principal/CEO left the meeting at this point.
The main points of discussion are set out in a Confidential Minute.
In accordance with Instrument Instrument 13 (5) (a), Staff Governors left the meeting at this point.
08/20. Communication from Education & Skills Funding Authority
The Chair provided a further verbal update to the Board. The main points of discussion and recommendations are set out in a Confidential Minute
09/20. Resilience in Governance
The Board considered measure to ensure the resilience and effectiveness of governance going forward.
Appointments to Board and Governors’ Terms of Office
Having considered the Board’s skills requirements considering the confidential verbal reports referred to in Minute Number 07/20, and the need to maintain cohesion and stability of the Board membership in the wholly exceptional circumstances presented by the public health emergency arising from the Coronavirus Pandemic, it was, subject to the views of the Search & Governance Committee, as required by Article 5.
Resolved: That Instrument 8(a) be suspended so that the Terms of C. Davies, C. Gore, R. Sartain and M. Willmot be extended to 31 December 2020, subject to the views of the Search & Governance Committee meeting on 18 March 2020 (as required by Article 5).
Changes to the College’s Standing Orders and Instruments & Articles
Whilst the existing governance procedures were robust, it was vital to continue effective governance going forward, as the College faced the prospect of disruption, it was
- Instrument 12 (1) and Standing Order 6.1 be amended as follows ‘Meetings of the Corporation and its committees shall be quorate if the number of members present is at least 30% of the determination 40% of the total number of members (including 5 governors from the independent category) determined according to clause 3.”
- Standing Order No. 5.1 be amended to remove reference to the Human Resources Committee (Committee disbanded by Board – Min. No. 49/19 refers); and
- Standing Order No. 23 be amended by the addition of the following “the signature either of the Chair or some other member authorised either general or specifically by the Board to act for that purpose may be obtained either electronically or separately from the application of the Seal”.
10/20. Date of Next Meeting – 30 March 2020. Location: London Road Campus. This meeting will be conducted by remote access.
The meeting concluded at 7.39 p.m.