BASG Executive Committee Minutes: Monday 13th December 2021



Date & Time: Monday 13 December 2021 at 6.00pm


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)

Agenda Item




1. Apologies for Absence  



Jo Pearce (JP) and Peter Lerner (PL) had sent apologies for absence.


Andrew Brown (AB) advised that he would need to leave the meeting at 6.30pm


2 Notification of Any Other Business  

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


–       School places in Burnham


3 Declarations of Interest  



Gwyneth Langley – BEP


4 Approval of Minutes from the Meeting Held on 8 November 2021 and Review of Actions  



The minutes of the meeting held on 8 November 2021 were confirmed as an accurate record and approved.




5 Communications with Bucks Council


There had been limited communication with the LA over the past two weeks due to the ongoing Ofsted inspection.


It was noted that the LA had consulted BASG members about governance issues and structures.









6 Local Networking Groups  





The following dates were planned for the Spring Term 2022


Aylesbury Group – Monday 24 January 2022

Chesham, Amersham, Wendover and Great Missenden Group – February date (before half term).  AB would confirm this.

Jordans Group – February date (after half term). AS would confirm this.


The inclusion of governors / Chairs from across the LA, regardless of geography, was discussed.  There were some pros and cons of this but the issues facing Governing Boards were similar throughout the County.


Jordans Group – Feedback


The Jordans Group had met on 20 November 2021.


A concern had been raised within the discussions about the current SEN consultation.   There had been very little awareness of the consultation amongst networking group attendees.    A key change proposed was that services recommended within EHCPs would no longer be provided directly but would be replaced by advice to teachers.  It was thought that there were many questions around how this new arrangement would be supported, managed and monitored.


A number of the meetings at which the consultation would have been discussed had been postponed due to the current inspection of Children’s Services.   MBL confirmed that the consultation had not been raised at the Education Select Committee meeting in November 2021.


The consultation was due to end on 19 December 2021.


Following discussion it was agreed that MBL would contact Hero Slinn to express concern about the limited awareness of the consultation and inform her of the discussions at the Jordans Networking Group and  BASG.  There would be a request that the consultation be extended.








































7 BEP Update  
  GL updated the group that BEP continued to support multiple Boards with panel processes to the end of term.  Concern was expressed about the number of issues that schools were currently dealing with.  



8 BASG Newsletter  

PR had provided content for inclusion within the BEP end of Autumn Term newsletter and was thanked for turning this round within the tight deadlines.





9 Buckinghamshire Challenge Group  

MBR updated the group on the activities of the Buckinghamshire Challenge Group.


There had been two communications sent to Chairs w/c 6 December 2021 with information on current plans.    MBR noted that much of this information had been available since June 2021 and expressed frustration at the delay.


There had been a meeting of the Challenge Group on 17 November 2021.   Marc Rowlands had not been present at this meeting.   A new Headteacher, Jo Divers, had joined the group.        The attendees had provided challenge to Gareth Drawmer on all aspects of the plans.   Katherine Wells had presented a useful set of slides. It had been requested that these be made available to circulate to governors.


Andrew Brown left the meeting


It was noted that the budget for the Challenge Group was £34,000, of which £15,000 was committed to consultancy fees.


MBR expressed concern that the overall vision for the programme had not been shared with the Challenge Group.


Governance of the Closing The Gap project would be through the Buckinghamshire Challenge Group going forwards.  MBR shared detail of the Terms of Reference as follows:


The Challenge Board will:


–       Review of the implementation plans and monitoring and evaluation of milestones. 

–       Take final decisions as they arise in relation to the implementation of the programme.

–       Quality Assure the delivery of the programme.


It was currently unclear who would be undertaking the quality assurance work and whether there was a budget to do this.


It was highlighted that small schools were struggling to release staff to attend the planned sessions.


A Challenge Group newsletter had been sent to Chairs w/c 6 December. 2021.  Concern was expressed that not all Chairs had received this.  PR would forward the newsletter to the group and would contact Hazel David to highlight the distribution issue.


There had been a literacy session held on Friday 10 December 2021.  MBR had attended this and considered it to be very good and practical input.   It would be helpful if this could be made available to all schools and governors via a recording.


It was noted that the BEP / EEF presentation on developing evidence based Pupil Premium strategies (12 November 2021) had been well received. Recordings of this had been made available on request.


There would be another Challenge Group meeting w/c 20 December 2021. MBR would feedback to PR after this meeting.


MBL would ask questions relating to the work of the Challenge Group in advance of the Education Select Committee meeting in January 2022

































































10 Side by Side Board  

There had been a meeting of the Side by Side Board on 16 November 2021.   There had been a number of useful slides shared at the meeting but there had been no follow up and no future meeting dates had been set despite the Terms of Reference for the Board.   PR would pick this up.


PR expressed concern that it was difficult to hold the LA to account on the Side by Side work due to the structure and last minute nature of the meetings.


The group discussed that the reports and meetings held as part of the Side by Side programme were of variable quality.   Some were very helpful and others were much poorer.  The QA process was unclear. It was unclear how the impact of the work was being measured.


MBL would ask questions on the programme at the meeting of the Education Select Committee in January 2022.





















11 Schools Forum  

There was no update on this occasion.




12 Governance Consultative Board  

The meeting of the Consultative Board scheduled for December 2021 had been postponed. The next meeting date currently planned was in March 2022.  It was thought that this needed to be brought forward. PR / PL would pick this up.








13 AOB  



MBL highlighted that a working group was currently looking at non-selective school places in Burnham.   This had become an issue since the closer of Burnham Upper School.    There was concern that the Burnham Upper School site would be redeveloped for housing. Parents in Burnham were currently incurring costs to send their children to school in Slough, Maidenhead or to Bourne End Academy.


A member of the working group had attended the Education Select Committee meeting in November 2021 and had been allowed 5 minutes to speak on the issue.  This had not been sufficient time for him to explain the issue thoroughly unfortunately.


There was a concern that there would be a shortage of non-selective school spaces in Burnham in the future – particularly as Maidenhead was experiencing a boom as a result of Crossrail.  Anita Kramner was thought to be aware of the issue.


It was agreed that this should be raised at the next meeting of the School Governance Consultative Board.






















14 Dates / Times of Future Meetings  




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


Monday 17 January 2022 5pm