09/19. 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.
M. Willmot declared an interest in Minute No. 12/19 (Committee Vacancies and Succession Planning- Update). He took no part in the item.
10/19. Minutes of Meeting Held 13 February 2019 (Appendix – Agenda item 3).
Resolved: That the Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 February 2019, were approved and signed as a true record, subject to the following amendment –
Minute No. 04/19 – Committee Vacancies and Succession Planning – Update
‘At the last Board meeting, R. Rosson’s Term as an Independent Governor was extended to the end of September October 2019, as was his Term as Vice-Chair.”
11/19. Committee Vacancies and Succession Planning Update (Appendix – Agenda Item 4)
The Committee reviewed the current position regarding current Governor Terms, vacancies and opportunities (previously circulated). After extensive discussion, the Committee agreed that the Board Chair, as part of his annual discussion with every governor, should review their contribution, their development needs and aspirations. This feedback will be used to develop succession plans.
The Committee noted that:
- Meg Chandler, the 16 – 18 Student Governor, resigned with effect from 31 March 2019, in order to concentrate on her forthcoming A levels. Following a Notice of Vacancy, one Valid Nomination was received from McKenna Wood (a First Year A Level student) and no election was held. The Board will be recommended to appoint her at its next meeting.
- The Clerk was working with the Student Governor (HE) and Curriculum Leader - HE Education ＆ Counselling on succession planning for the HE Student Governor vacancy which would arise from September 2019. The Clerk was also preparing to recruit to the Parent Governor (London Road) vacancy which would occur from July 2019.
- At the last Board meeting, R. Rosson’s Term as an Independent Governor was extended to the end of October 2019, as was his Term as Vice-Chair. At the Committee’s request, the Clerk has canvassed current eligible Board members regarding interest in the forthcoming Board Vice-Chair vacancy. The Chair reported that he would be meeting informally with a governor who had expressed an interest in the position.
Further to S&G Min. No. 04/19, the Committee considered those governors whose terms were ending by mid-year 2019, and who had indicated that they would consider an extension to their terms for a period of one year. In order to develop effective succession planning, it was appropriate to recommend an extension of terms.
Resolved: It was RECOMMENDED TO BOARD that:
- McKenna Wood be appointed as Student Governor (16 – 18) for a Term to be determined by the Board, with effect from 09 July 2019;
- Having considered the current Board skills set, the Board’s Succession Plan and the performance, contribution and skills base of the individual, Christine Davies’ Term of Office as an Independent Governor be extended for one year beyond 19 July 2019;
- Having considered the current Board skills set, the Board’s Succession Plan and the performance, contribution and skills base of the individual, Mike Willmot’s Term of Office as an Independent Governor be extended for one year beyond 12 October 2019.
The Committee will consider committee membership 2019 – 2020 at its next meeting to recommend to Board in October 2019. The Post-16 Audit Code of Practice 2018 to 2019, contains a footnote stating that "Corporations should consider whether staff-governor members of an audit committee meets good practice standards of independence and objectivity, for both the members and broader committee." This is a departure from the 2017-18 version, which stated that the Audit Committee "should not include staff governors".
Following discussion, it was further agreed to recommend to the Board that, in view of the revised Audit Code of Practice guidance, appropriately qualified staff governors should be eligible to be members of the Audit Committee, provided they do not work in the Finance Department, nor are significant budget holders. This may help give reassurance to staff that College resources are being appropriately deployed and satisfactory safeguards are in place.
12/19. Governor Development - Update (Appendix – Agenda Item 5)
Learning Walks Programme
The Learning Walk Schedule for the remainder of 2018 – 19, would conclude before the end of the Summer Term as follows –
- English Bridge Campus – Media, Film and English; and
- Welsh Bridge Campus – Psychology/Sociology and Business Studies.
Mandatory Development Modules
Governors were required to undertake several mandatory development modules to support both their understanding of their role and to appreciate the importance of issues crucial to the College. The target was 100% of governors undertake and evidence completion. To date:
- Safeguarding and PREVENT – 95% compliance with the on-line Mandatory development Module, with the expectation of 100% completion, as newly-appointed governors completed the module as part of their Induction targets;
- The updated ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ Guidance came into effect 3 September 2018. 100% compliance with a signed Declaration that Governors had read and understood Part 1 of the Guidance;
- Equality Essentials – 90% compliance with the on-line Mandatory development Module, with the expectation of 100% completion as newly-appointed governors completed the module as part of their Induction targets;
- Health & Safety - 95% compliance with the Mandatory development Module, with the expectation of 100% completion as newly-appointed governors completed the module as part of their Induction targets;
- GDPR – the Clerk had issued the Mandatory development module to all governors over Easter 2019. The Committee directed the Clerk to require all governors to complete the module by the end of June 2019.
13/19.Governance Self-Assessment (Appendix – Agenda item 6)
Action Plan 2018 – 2019 – Progress
The Committee reviewed the Board’s plan (previously circulated) and noted that all actions had been achieved by deadline. The Committee directed the Clerk to update the report to reflect that the Learning Walks would be completed by the end of Summer Term.
Governance KPIs 2018 – 2019
The Committee noted that progress against the 2018 – 2019 Governance KPIs (previously circulated).
14/19. Committee Self-Assessment and Committee Evaluation 2018 – 2019 (Appendix – Agenda item 7)
The Board has agreed that self-assessment is of most benefit when boards promote the use of more high-level, developmental approaches that encourage a clear journey ‘towards excellence’, as compliance should be a ‘given’.
At the end of the 2017 – 2018 governance cycle, the Board and each committee completed an evaluation exercise and governors were requested to undertake an individual self- assessment in July 2018. These informed the Board’s self-assessment return and improvement action plan 2018 – 2019.
The Committee duly completed the committee evaluation process for 2018 – 2019.
As part of the discussions on the College’s Risk Register and Board Assurance Framework agreed (Board Min No. 67/17 refers), the Audit Committee had requested that each committee, at each meeting, examine those risks within its remit and ensure that they had either been identified or adequately discussed at the meeting.
The Committee concluded that the risks identified were adequate and that there had been sufficient discussion of the issues at the meeting.
16/19. 2019 – 2020 Schedule of Meetings
It was, currently, proposed that the Committee meetings for 2019 – 2020, be held as follows. However, this is subject to Board approval, following consultation.
Wednesday, 27 September 2019
Welsh Bridge Campus
Wednesday, 12 February 2020
Welsh Bridge Campus
Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Welsh Bridge Campus
The meeting concluded at 7.15 p.m.