Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room - 2nd Floor West Wing, Guildhall

Contact: Julie Mayer
tel. no.: 020 7332 1410  Email: julie.mayer@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

There were no apologies.

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

2.

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

Minutes:

There were no declarations.

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

3.

Annual Financial Return to the Office for Students pdf icon PDF 114 KB

Report of the Principal, Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

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

Minutes:

The Committee considered a Report of the Principal concerning the Annual Financial Return to the Office for Students.

 

RESOLVED – that the Committee commends the return for approval by the Governing Board.

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

3a

Audited Financial Statements for the eight months to 31 March 2021 pdf icon PDF 450 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered a Report of the Principal concerning the Audited Financial Statements for the eight months to 31 March 2021.

 

Officers confirmed that, given the departure of Lynne Williams, the finalised statements would be submitted under the name of the newly appointed Principal, Jonathan Vaughan.

 

The Chairman asked that reference be made about the grant provided by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in support of the school’s ‘Music for Social Impact: practitioners’ contexts, work, and belief’ research project.

 

In response to a query around the nature of the “delays to national decision making” referenced on page 13, officers confirmed that this referred to areas such as undergraduate fee levels and a return to in-person teaching at the School.

 

The Chairman proposed that the wording under the Board of Governor’s sub-heading on page 14 be amended from ‘….. and who bring expertise to the Board from the arts and education sectors’ to ‘… the cultural, education and other sectors’.

 

Referring to the first main paragraph on page 16, the Chairman proposed that the wording should insert “taught” before degree, i.e. ‘Following granting of taught degree-awarding powers in 2014…’ this was to in order to clarify the School’s degree courses provision (the School does not offer research degrees).   

 

The independent auditor confirmed that pages 19 – 22 still needed to be finalised as it currently included references to the previous financial year. Whilst some checking was still to be undertaken, no material changes were expected.  

 

Officers reiterated that, as the employer of staff at the School, pensions liabilities sat with the City of London Corporation.

 

In response to a query, officers confirmed that both an update for the Access and Participation plan and the associated spend were reported to the Board and the Office for Students (

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

3b

Management Letter from the External Auditors regarding the Financial Statements

Minutes:

The Committee considered a Report concerning the Management Letter from the External Auditors regarding the Financial Statements.

 

The auditor confirmed that whilst the School is listed as having charitable status on page 8, this is incorrect, and the wording would be amended.

 

RESOLVED – that the Committee endorsed the Management Letter to the Board.  

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

3c

The Annual Financial Return setting out the School's results for the last two years and Forecasts for the following five years pdf icon PDF 698 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered a Report concerning the annual financial return.

 

Officers clarified that the template was, unfortunately, one-size-fits-all, which all universities in England were required to complete. Several areas did not apply to the School which led to error and warning messages being recorded on the template. Members should not be alarmed as these would be resolved as the verification process was completed.

 

Officers confirmed that the five-year forecast was consistent with the forecast approved by the Board in November 2020.

 

RESOLVED – that the Committee endorsed the annual financial return to the Board.

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

3d

A commentary covering the main year on year variances contained within the Annual Financial Return pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Minutes:

The Committee considered a Report concerning the commentary on variances.

 

Noting that the narrative in the commentary was fuller in last year’s return, Members asked officers to expand on the narrative in the commentary for this year’s iteration.

 

The Chairman pointed out that the details for the grant listed on page 85 should be amended as this was not a Research England grant.

 

The Chairman queried the wording ‘…. while maintaining the highest possible academic

Standards’ and suggested that this should be amended to give greater emphasis to the quality of provision.

 

The Chairman queried the wording ‘….sweating our assets’, he suggested that ‘making optimal use of our assets’ would be more appropriate.

 

The Chairman was concerned that the last sentence in comment 3 on page 87 (of the agenda pack), namely; ‘we are also working closely with colleagues in the City of London to ensure that they are aware of the risks, including the potential need to reduce our footprint in the event that we cannot generate sufficient revenues going forwards’.. was too negative and did not give enough emphasis to the School’s primary aim of protecting quality and numbers.

 

RESOLVED – that the Committee endorsed the commentary to the Board.

 

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

4.

Internal Audit Annual Report and Opinion pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Report of the Head of Audit and Risk Management.

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

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a Report of the Chamberlain concerning the Internal Audit.

 

RESOLVED – that the Committee noted the Report.

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

5.

Annual Report of the Audit and Risk Management Committee pdf icon PDF 247 KB

Report of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Governors of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

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

Minutes:

The Committee considered a Report concerning the Annual Report of the Board of Governors and the Principal for the year ended 31 March 2021

 

Officers confirmed that the moderate assurance rating for internationalism was incorrect, as per the Schedule of Internal Audit Projects informing the Guildhall School Annual Audit Opinion 2020-21, appendix 1, page 95, the rating should be amended to substantial.

 

RESOLVED – that the Committee approved the Report for submission to the Board.

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