Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: VIRTUAL MEETING - ACCESSIBLE REMOTELY

Contact: Polly Dunn  Email: polly.dunn@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor William Russell, Deborah Knight and Ruby Sayed.

 

The Chair welcomed Shravan Joshi to his first meeting of the Board.

 

The Chair stated that she would take for information items as read unless a Member of the Board had a specific question. Items for discussion would be opened up for comment.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.

2.

Members' declarations under the Code of Conduct in respect of items on the agenda

Minutes:

Shravan Joshi had a non-public declaration which was granted exemption from the public by the Comptroller & City Solicitor in his capacity as Monitoring Officer.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.

3.

Public Minutes pdf icon PDF 228 KB

To agree the public minutes and summary of the meeting held on 23 July 2020.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 3.

Minutes:

The public minutes and non-public summary of the meeting held on 23 July 2020 were approved as a correct record.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.

4.

Public Outstanding Actions pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Report of the Town Clerk.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 4.

Minutes:

Members received a report of the Town Clerk regarding outstanding actions of the Board. The following matters were raised:-

 

·         Item 1 was considered well bedded into practice and the Board agreed to remove it from the actions list.

·         On item 3, Members discussed meeting the skills requirements of COLAT LGBs. The Chairs of the LGBs were due to provide the City’s Education Unit with information regarding skills requirements. Whilst many of the skills requirements were covered by current governors, there was a lack of diversity which needed addressing. Vacancies were shared with the Court of Common Council and with Governors for Schools. Governing Bodies would also themselves manage advertising at a more local level.

·         Item 7 related to the work of the Tomlinson Review which was ongoing.

 

RESOLVED, that the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Education Board Budget Update for 2020/21 Financial Year pdf icon PDF 198 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 5.

Minutes:

Members received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services regarding the Education Board’s budget update for the 2020/21 financial year.

 

A question was raised on the reported underspend, specifically regarding why the savings were spend and what on. It was confirmed that the funds were repurposed to achieve similar or the same ends as originally planned. For example, some events were still held virtually, which incurred different costs to meet the same objectives.

 

RESOLVED, that the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Education Activities Update pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 6.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services regarding the Education Activities update. The following matters were raised:-

 

·         Whilst the HeadStart programme had been successful (and necessary due to the impacts of COVID-19), Members of the Board were keen to adopt a longer-term strategy that would mitigate the need to make additional summer provisions. Members requested a strategy proposal be drawn up to address the disadvantage gap in its schools, but that a strategy should be presented with a budget. This was something that the City of London Corporation Academies Trust (COLAT) might take forward.

·         On skills, it was noted that the London Careers Festival (LCF) resources were immensely valuable and available all year round.

 

RESOLVED, that the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

COVID-19 Update

The Director of Community & Children’s Services to be heard.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 7.

Minutes:

Members received a verbal update from the Director of Community and Children’s Services regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the City’s Family of Schools.

 

All the City’s Family of Schools had now reopened. Overall, the return had been positive with staff and pupils excited to get back. The recovery curriculum was both broad and balanced, with extra resources directed to wellbeing and behaviour. There had been an extraordinary effort from staff and teachers to return in a safe and timely manner. The frontline workers had been under a lot of pressure and the Board noted its huge thanks to all those who had been working both on the return to school but throughout the pandemic.

 

Attendance rates were close to normal although there had been a slight decline in recent weeks with some students and staff self-isolating.

 

Dining facilities in some schools remained an issue.

 

Members discussed flu vaccinations and that teachers did not fall into a priority group unless they also fell into a different category (e.g. those with long-term health conditions such as asthma). There was no COLAT budget to provide flu jabs for teachers, it would be up to the individual academy if this was something they wished to explore. As the City of London independent schools were formally part of the City of London Corporation, those employed by them would qualify for the City’s flu jab scheme. The same benefit could not be readily extended to the academies within COLAT as they were a separate entity. The Chamberlain advised that to fund such an activity would likely need the formal approval of Resource Allocation Sub-Committee. On recommendation from the Chair, the Board agreed to seek informal soundings on the matter.

 

RESOLVED, that the update be noted.

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Tackling Racism Taskforce Update

The Chair to be heard.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 8.

Minutes:

Members received a verbal update regarding the work of the Tackling Racism Taskforce.

 

The Chair invited Shravan Joshi, as a member of the TRT, to address the Board. The TRT had established a number of key areas that required their consideration including, but not limited to: staff, culture, governance and education. Ultimately it is the aim of the Taskforce to bring to Policy and Resources Committee and the Establishment Committee, a number of recommendations on their findings.

 

Members were invited to send any thoughts or considerations they wished to share with the TRT, to the Clerk for collation.

 

It was noted that the Education Unit held diversity data across the schools, based on the Department for Education’s approved groupings.

 

RESOLVED, that the update be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Tomlinson Review Update

The Chair to be heard.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 9.

Minutes:

Members received an update from the Chair regarding the Tomlinson Review.

 

The Board were informed that the Education Grants Working Party had not met as planned as there had been no capacity to draw together a funding model that reflected Sir Mike Tomlinson’s recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was hoped that this would be ready for the end of October 2020. It was noted that the funding model should be allowed for within the forthcoming budgeting exercise and the Board agreed that a resolution should go to the Resource Allocation Sub-Committee to ensure that this was not overlooked.

 

Members were pleased that a number of Sir Mike Tomlinson’s recommendations had been captured in the City’s Governance Review conducted by Lord Lisvane.  The Board agreed that, in light of the Governance Review, the Tomlinson Review should be made public even though the City’s responses to the recommendations were not finalised. This action would be followed up by the Town Clerk.

 

RESOLVED that,

 

·         The update be noted; and

 

·         The Resource Allocation Sub-Committee be given formal, advanced, notice of the proposed new funding model for schools (which is hoped to form part of a new policy on the balance of funding between the City’s academies and independent schools), so it can be included in the City’s next budgeting exercise.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

Governor Appointments Update pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 10.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services regarding an update on Governor Appointments.

 

RESOLVED, that the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Review of Sixth Form Provision pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 11.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services regarding a Review of Sixth Form Provision.

 

Dr Jane Overbury, author of the review, gave a brief introduction to her findings.

 

Concern was raised by the Board over the viability and sustainability of Sixth Form provisions.  It was felt that smaller Sixth Forms could not provide the breadth of opportunity the City would like to offer.

 

The Board discussed the need for a strategy in its Sixth Form provision and whether this should focus on academic excellence or whether the City might strengthen its technical provision to provide an alternative pathway to its students. A number of ideas were shared, including:

 

·         the benefits of Sixth Forms collaborating in such a way that would provide an academic and technical/vocational ‘hub’.

·         a division of subjects, e.g. a STEM focussed provision and a Humanities focussed provision.

·         a two collegiate Sixth Forms, one north and one south of the river.

·         increased engagement beyond the City’s Family of Schools, with Livery schools etc.

 

Any decisions would need to be informed by the various excellent provisions that were already in place and to utilise the City’s unique Family make-up of academies and independent schools. Equally, the Board recognised the need for robustness with schools if there was no demand for Sixth Form.

 

Members requested a strategy paper outlining the City’s options for Sixth Form provision, to be considered by COLAT and the Education Board.

 

RESOLVED, that the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

Education Services Company Feasibility Study pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 12.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members considered a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services regarding the Education Services Company Feasibility Study.

 

It was noted that a decision from the Board was being sought on this item.

 

Whilst the agenda on Fusion Skills was deemed right, the Board was very supportive of the recommendation to not support the establishment of the Education Services Company. Members commented on the existence of a number of relevant and good enterprises on the City’s doorstep that could be used. It was suggested that this might be something that would benefit from a pan-Livery initiative, to be considered by the Livery Committee.

 

A number of Livery Committee Members were on the Education Board and agreed to take this matter up with their colleagues after the meeting.

 

RESOLVED, that

 

·         The City does not invest resources in the creating of an Education Services Company;

 

·         The City prioritise the consolidation of relationships and practices within its existing family of Schools; and

 

·         Endorse the recommendations a)-d) in the report.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Parental engagement in Learning pdf icon PDF 271 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 13.

Minutes:

Members received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services regarding Parental engagement in learning.

 

The Board commended the report which covered an area of great importance, particularly in light of COVID-19. Early on in the pandemic it was felt that the provision of technology would improve engagement in remote learning, but it had since become apparent that parental support was even more key.

 

The Family of Schools had already come up with a number of imaginative ways to engage with parents and to help them cope. It was suggested that some sort of audit take place to learn of just what provisions had been made in this area so best practice could be shared. An audit at this time would take a lot of resource from schools which were, understandably, already stretched. A lot was already being shared at a local level within communities.

 

The Chair noted that Achievement for All had done a substantial amount of work to provide support to children with disadvantage. The Board supported proposals that they might be invited to present to the Board at its next meeting about actions they had taken to address parental engagement.

 

RESOLVED, that the report be noted.

 

 

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.

14.

Adult Education, Skills and Apprenticeships Update pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 14.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 

RESOLVED, that the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.

15.

London Careers Festival 2020 Evaluation Report pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 15.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services regarding an Evaluation of the London Careers Festival 2020.

 

The Board congratulated officers and the Deputy Chair on the success of the virtual event.

 

RESOLVED, that the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Cultural and Creative Learning Update pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 16.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services regarding an update on Cultural and Creative Learning.

 

RESOLVED, that the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 16.

17.

Questions on Matters Relating to the Work of the Board

Minutes:

There were no questions.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 17.

18.

Any Other Business that the Chairman Considers Urgent

Minutes:

There was one item of urgent business.

 

The Chair asked Members for their view on a change to the Board’s meeting schedule from six to five meetings a year. This proposal was met with support and the Chair requested that any further comments to be fed back to the Town Clerk.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

Exclusion of the Public

MOTION - That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 19.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act.

 

Under Standing Order 40, the Board agreed to extend the meeting until such a time that all business on the agenda had been considered.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Non-Public Minutes

To agree the non-public minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2020.

 

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 20.

Minutes:

The non-public minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2020 were approved as a correct record.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

Non-Public Outstanding Actions

Report of the Town Clerk.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 21.

Minutes:

Members received a report of the Town Clerk regarding the Board’s non-public outstanding actions.

 

RESOLVED, that the report be noted.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Un-validated 2020 Results Data for the Family of Schools

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.

 ...  view the full agenda text for item 22.

Minutes:

Members received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services regarding the Un-validated 2020 results data for the Family of Schools.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

23.

Non Public Questions on Matters Relating to the Work of the Board

Minutes:

There were no questions.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 23.

24.

Any Other Business that the Chairman Considers Urgent and which the Committee Agree Should be Considered Whilst the Public are Excluded

Minutes:

There was one item of urgent business.

 

In light of the resignation of Deputy Clare James as the Chair’s nominee on the City of London Academies Trust Board, Members considered proposals for her replacement.

 

The Chair had put forward Alderman Robert Howard as her nominee and information regarding Alderman Howard’s educational experience had been shared by e-mail. This appointment was met with unanimous support.

 

RESOLVED, that

 

·         The Board endorse the Chair’s nomination of Alderman Robert Howard to the City of London Academies Trust; and

 

·         Formal thanks be noted by the Board on behalf of the previous Chairman and current Chair, for Deputy Clare James’ contribution to COLAT.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.