Date & Time: Monday 8 November 2021 at 5.00pm


Location: Virtual meeting via Zoom





Paul Randall (PR) (Chair), Anne Sheddick (AS) (Vice Chair), Maggi Bull (MBL), Bernadette Allison (BA), Andrew Brown (AB), Gwyneth Langley (GL) (Secretary), Martin Baxter (MBR), Peter Lerner (PL)

Agenda Item




1. Apologies for Absence  



Jo Pearce (JP) had sent apologies for absence.


2 Notification of Any Other Business  

It was agreed that the following item would be discussed under Any Other Business:


–       Memorandum of Understanding with Buckinghamshire Council (circulated in advance by PR)


3 Declarations of Interest  



Gwyneth Langley – BEP


4 Approval of Minutes from the Meeting Held on 11 October 2021 and Review of Actions  



The minutes of the meeting held on 11 October 2021 were confirmed as an accurate record and approved.


Actions from the meeting were reviewed as follows:


Minute 6    AS advised that the Jordans networking group would next meet on Saturday 20 November 2021.


Minute 6    AS had written a communication regarding Headteacher Performance Management processes and MBR had forwarded this to the Aylesbury networking group.


PR joined the meeting




5 Communications with Bucks Council


PR / AS gave an update on the BESST governor training programme.   Current take up of the programme was relatively low.   It was thought that the booking processes were clunky and there had been some communication and organisation issues. The requirement for governors to seek permission from their School Business Manager / Bursar before booking a course was thought to be a barrier.   It was also difficult to book multiple places on courses.


PR / AS would meet with Katherine Wells on Friday 12 November 2021 to discuss how things would be taken forwards.


PR / AS had fed back on the proposed job description for the Governor Support Officer but it was not thought that this role had been advertised as yet.


It was discussed that while training and input from Bucks Council trainers was extremely valuable to governors, a robust infrastructure was required to run a training programme at any scale.  GL explained that BEP had offered to support LA trainers with BEP infrastructure to run courses  – and a couple of departments were engaged with this – but generally there was not an ongoing dialogue relating to this.


The meeting with Councillor Patricia Birchley on Thursday 4 November 2021 was considered to have been positive. AB was thanked for setting this up.  It was hoped that contact with Cllr Birchley would raise the profile of governance at Bucks Council and that engagement with BASG would give Cllr Birchley some additional questions to ask.


Cllr Birchley’s invitation to BASG to raise questions at the Children and Education Select Committee was welcomed.  There would be a need to consider appropriate questions in advance of the Committee meeting on 20 January 2022 so that these could be submitted in advance.


PL raised concerns about the lack of engagement of Councillor Julie Ward.   Councillor Ward had been invited to attend the School Governance Consultative Board meeting but had declined this three times without adequate apologies. She has responsibility for education and SEND but there was little indication that she was engaged in these areas and this was a concern.


MBL highlighted that a number of papers on SEND had been circulated in advance of the Children and Education Select Committee meeting on Thursday 11 November 2021 and these were available online.





































6 Local Networking Groups  





Jordans Group


The Jordans Group would next meet on Saturday 20 November 2021. GL would circulate details via GovernorHub.


Chesham, Amersham, Wendover and Great Missenden Group


This group met on Monday 1 November 2021.  Approximately 20 Chairs had attended.


There had been discussion about the Bucks Challenge Group and the events organised by this group.  A number of Chairs were unaware of these activities.   Those that were aware suggested that short notice of event meant it was very difficult for some schools to send representatives. This was particularly the case for small schools.     There had been positive feedback from schools that had managed to attend.   Other schools would be interested in the output or feedback.


Discussion at the networking group meeting had been positive and valuable.  A number of new Chairs had attended. This included Chairs from standalone Academies – who were thought to be quite isolated in some cases.


The next meeting would take place in January 2022. AB would circulate the date when this was agreed.


It was noted that some Chairs from the Marlow area had attended the meeting.  It was understood that a group of Chairs in the Marlow were meeting regularly but they were keen to keep the group small.

































7 BEP Update  

GL updated the group that there had been a number of discussions with Boards about succession planning.  There were a number of Boards that did not have natural successors for the position of Chair at the beginning of the Autumn term.   These Boards were being supported and options discussed with them.   BEP would be raising the profile of succession planning at courses and briefings over the next few months to reinvigorate work in this area.


It was thought that a shortage of Clerks was a national issue and there had been recent discussion of this at NCOGS and ERCOGS.   The importance of the clerking community was agreed by the group.


A number of schools were finding it harder to attract parent governor nominees than in previous years.  This had been a surprise to a number of Boards where there has not been an issue historically.












8 BASG Newsletter  

GL confirmed that the next BEP newsletter would be at the end of the Autumn term 2021 and GL / PR would discuss this nearer the time.






9 Buckinghamshire Challenge Group  

MBR explained that the Challenge Group plans should have been rolled out to schools in the Summer Term 2021. There had been a delay to this and the plans had not yet been made public.


The next meeting of the Challenge Group was planned for Wednesday 17 November 2021.  It was thought that the plans that this group had developed may take up to five years to implement. The issues would not be quick to fix.


It was noted that there had been positive feedback on the Pupil Premium planning session held recently.






10 Side by Side Reference Group  

PR had followed up on meeting dates. The next meeting of this group was now planned for Tuesday 16 November 2021.   PR would remind the reference group that meeting dates should be set for the year in advance in line with the Terms of Reference.  Dates would need to dovetail with those set for the School Governance Consultative Board.









11 Schools Forum  

There was no update on this occasion.




12 Governance Consultative Board  

PL would be meeting with Simon James in advance of the next meeting of the School Governance Consultative Board.


There would be a reminder of some of the issues previously raised to ensure that they did not slip off the radar. These would include HR support and information that was outstanding from Gareth Drawmer.


PL asked that any issues to be raised be sent directly to him.












13 AOB  



PR had drafted and circulated a Memorandum of Understanding between BASG and Buckinghamshire Council and this was reviewed by the group.


The following additions were proposed:

–       Bucks Council will circulate BASG information

–       Bucks Council will ensure that the views of school governors are made known to elected members who are making decisions on school related matters.


It was agreed that BASG representative on committees and working parties would not be limited to members of the BASG Executive Committee.


PR would make the amendments discussed and circulate this to PL and Simon James in advance of their meeting on 17 November 2021.



















14 Dates / Times of Future Meetings  




A date / time for the next meeting was agreed as follows:


Monday 13 December 2021 6pm