BOARD OF GOVERNORS, COAL HILL ACADEMY
Minutes of the meeting held on 23 October 2016
Ref. No. BoG/547
1. Minutes of the meeting held on 23 September 2016 (BoG/546).
The minutes of the meeting held on 23 September were confirmed, subject to the following corrections:
Under item 5, for “250 reams of A4”, read “2500 reams of A4”.
Under item 6, for “3570 HB pencils”, read “3750 HB pencils”.
Under item 8, for “HMS Seaspite in 1972”, read “HMS Seaspite in 1982”.
Under item 10, for “Confession Limiter”, read “Compression Eliminator”.
2. Matters arising not addressed elsewhere on the agenda.
The Chair reported that, in response to the concerns about adverse local and media coverage raised at the last meeting, successful Drinks Events had been held on 25 September, 7 October, and 21 October. The Board minuted thanks to the Chair and the external caterers for their industry in this matter.
3. Conflict of Interest Policy.
The Board noted and approved its revised Conflict of Interest Policy (Appendix 1).
4. Public Sector Equality Duty.
The Board noted that, at future meetings, all tabled items would include a summary of Public Sector Equality Duty implications (template included as Appendix 2) , in order to establish improved consistency going forward with the provisions of the Equality Act 2010.
5. PREVENT Duty.
The Board minuted its continuing unease with Section 58 of HMG’s Revised Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales, and reaffirmed its commitment to the good governance of Coal Hill Academy according to the provisions of the Education (No. 2) Act 1986, the Human Rights Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010, and Conventions 34-38 of the Shadow Proclamation.
6. Building Projects.
The Board noted that the Statuary Garden project had been placed on hold, pending selection of new contractors. Arkwright Construction Ltd., despite their competitive offer at the tendering stage, had pursued a policy of moving the statues in at erratic intervals during school hours which had given rise to some unfortunate misconceptions amongst the more travelled members of the staff, and had therefore been released from their contract. Arkwright Construction’s initial threats of legal action against a member of the Physics Department had been dropped, in the wake of a Drinks Event organized by the Chair for the workmen concerned once they had left hospital.
7. Triangle Internships.
The Board noted, with regret, its decision not to proceed with the Triangle Internships that had been mooted at previous meetings (see BoG/544, item 6, and BoG/545, item 4). Despite the attractiveness of the financial packages associated with the Internships, and the likely advantages in terms of Personal Statements for the purposes of UCAS to the students concerned, it was felt that association with Messrs. Frines, Costerdane, and Ablemarch would not be to the long-term benefit of the Academy, as being likely, amongst other considerations, to invite robust push-back from the former Head of Domestic Maintenance.
The suggestion was made that transmission of the Board’s decision in this matter to the representative of Messrs. Frines, Costerdane, and Ablemarch should be outsourced to the external caterers. At least one of the caterers was, by her own account, always eager to renew her acquaintance with the representative concerned, and would be delighted to impress upon Ms. Kitzinger in the strongest possible terms the Board’s views on the necessary limits to the rôle of big business in guiding the course of secondary education. This proposal met with general approbation.
AP: Chair to convey the Board’s decision, and Ms. Kitzinger’s current co-ordinates, to the external caterers.
8. Students of Promise.
The Board minuted its delight at the gold medal performance of Ms. Tanya Adeola in the 2016 Schools Maths Olympiad. Statistical analysis of results across the Academy had revealed no sudden rise in mathematical competence amongst the general population, and chemical analysis had confirmed that the composition of the chip-fat for Big Fish Fridays remained unchanged. There was consequently no clear and present need to enact Special Measures.
It was unanimously agreed that Ms. Adeola should be the inaugural recipient of the Danny Pink Mathematics Scholarship. A letter of congratulation had already been prepared, and also a press release for the East London Advertiser.
9. Health and Safety.
The Board reviewed the Incident Log. The decision at the previous meeting (BoG/546, item 14) to trial moving the Incident Log away from the main agenda to the SharePoint site was adjudged a success, particularly in terms of reducing Coal Hill’s carbon footprint.
It was noted that, as a consequence of the Autumn Prom, its aftermath, and the unscheduled reappearance on the premises of the former Head of Domestic Maintenance, it had been necessary to arrange Drinks Events for 39 parents, 458 local residents, and almost all of Years Twelve and Thirteen (twice). The Chair observed that the external caterers, upon whom the Board relied heavily for the provision of Drinks Events, were not in general sympathy with the Board’s philosophy of education, although they shared its sense of the importance to the Academy of image management in a media-sensitive age, and that their goodwill going forward could not be taken as a given. In addition, the external caterers had commented, on the basis of their former catering experience in Wales, that repeated attendance at Drinks Events over an extended period might have long-term consequences for the health, freedom from psychosis, and likelihood of attaining 5+ A-C grades at GCSE of the target population.
It was agreed to keep this issue under review.
There was no other business.
There were no apologies.