BASG Executive Meeting Minutes 21st June 2021




Date & Time: 21 June 2021 at 5.00pm


Location: Virtual meeting via Zoom





Paul Randall (Chair), Anne Sheddick (Vice Chair), Maggi Bull,

Peter Lerner, Bernadette Allison, Jo Pearce, Martin Baxter, Gwyneth Langley (Secretary)



Agenda Item




1. Apologies for Absence  



Andrew Brown had sent apologies for absence.


2 Notification of Any Other Business  

The following items were tabled for discussion under Any Other Business:


–       Update from the Marlow Chairs Networking Group (this would be covered under item 5)

–       Bucks Council Traded Services Proposal / Focus Groups


3 Declarations of Interest  



Gwyneth Langley – BEP

4 Approval of Minutes From the Meeting Held on 10 May 2021 and Review of Actions  



The minutes of the meeting held on 10 May 2021 were approved.




5 Local Networking Groups  
  Chesham, Great Missenden, Amersham and Wendover Group


AB had circulated a summary of the networking group meeting that had been held on 24 May 2021.


Jordans Group


The Jordans Group had met on 12 June 2021.  The group had discussed a number of issues including:


–       Guidance on exam appeals.   It had been requested that the LA support on this when results were released.

–       Covid infection protocols

–       Support for disadvantaged pupils

–       Wellbeing

–       Safeguarding

–       Arrangements for governor meetings going forwards


The recent Ofsted review of safeguarding policies and peer on peer abuse had been discussed at length. This was a local as well as national issue.   There would need to be significant amount of work to understand the issue and consider how to address this in schools.


Marlow Group

GL gave a brief update from the Marlow Chairs Networking Group. This small group has been meeting since February and would meet again on 29 June 2021.


Sally Brooks, one of participants, had feedback that at their last meeting the group had discussed:


–       SEND and the challenges of securing support from the LA

–       Remote Learning

–       Pupil Premium

–       Arrangements for governor meetings going forwards.

–       Clerking – and concerns about recruitment and development of new clerks.



6 BEP 

The BEP Conference had taken place on Friday 18 June 2021.   GL thanked PR for representing BASG at the conference and contributing to the panel discussion.

There was positive feedback on the event. The topics covered were considered thought-provoking, relevant and timely.

The session on EdTech had highlighted the potential for identifying and sharing expertise in this area.  Many schools had strong EdTech strategies, but it was thought that others did not and may not have the

relevant experience to do this effectively.   It was not thought that there was an EdTech plan or strategy at the LA.




7 Communications with Bucks Council  

PR, PL and AS had met with Simon James on Friday 18 June 2021.  This had been a positive meeting.


Work was continuing to improve HR support following recent discussions on this at the Governance Consultative Board. Simon James would be circulating information on this.  It was felt that progress was being made with HR issues and policies.


PR considered that the Education Services team were recognizing the importance of governance and were moving things forwards. Processes were now in place to hold the LA to account. There was a need for BASG to continue to work with the structures in place and continue to raise and engage with issues.
















8 BASG Newsletter  

PR / GL would discuss this.




9 Buckinghamshire Challenge Group  

MB had circulated a summary of the Bucks Challenge Group meeting held on 14 June 2021, with details of attendees.


MB raised concerns about the effectiveness of the group and the strength of its leadership.


There had been a proposal to engage School Liaison Groups to deliver the work proposed by the Group.   MB expressed concerns about the ability of Liaison Groups to do this without appropriate support or training.


It was unclear how the work of the Bucks Challenge Group fitted with other strategies being pursued.  Concern was raised about coherence.


There had been positive feedback on the Closing The Gap sessions run by Marc Rowland on behalf of Bucks Council, but it was less clear what the impact of these sessions was having on disadvantaged children and schools requiring support.


Some concern about the commissioning process for consultancy work was raised.    Concern was also expressed that there had not been targeted invitations to the Closing The Gap sessions to ensure that schools most requiring support attended.      The importance of inviting Pupil Premium Governors or other governors with a specific interest or responsibility in this area was also highlighted, rather than limiting invitation to Chairs.







It was agreed that the School Governance Consultative Board was the correct forum for governors to raise questions about the strategies being pursued by the LA, even if these were challenging questions.  It was important that the strategy for School Improvement was understood. It was noted that the LA would be recruiting two new members of the School Improvement team and it was important to understand how these roles fitted within the strategy.


10 Side by Side Reference Group  

PR gave an update on the last meeting of the group.   Views had been sought as to the process and effectiveness of the group.  There had been some honest views expressed and there had been helpful, challenging discussion.


The agenda had been very packed, and the meeting been cut short.  The next meeting would be on Thursday 24 June 2021.






11 Schools Forum  

JP confirmed that the last meeting had been held on 23 March 2021. Another meeting was due to take place on Tuesday 29 June 2021.


JP would circulate the agenda for the meeting on 29 June, along with the reporting pack.  If there were any questions on this JP would be happy to take these to the meeting.


It was noted that the current Chair of the Forum was Kevin Patrick (Headteacher of Chiltern Hills Academy).  Draft minutes / notes of the meeting on 23 March 2021, plus a webcast, were available on the Buckinghamshire Council website.







JP / All


12 Governance Consultative Board  

The next meeting of the Consultative Board would take place on 8 July 2021.    PL had held a pre-meeting with Simon James.


Julie Ward, Anita Cranmer’s Deputy, had been invited to the meeting and it was hoped she would attend.


PL requested that any items for the agenda be sent to him.










13 AOB  



Bucks Council Traded Services Communications


It was noted that Bucks Council were holding two focus groups w/c 21 June 2021 to discuss possible future traded services. A survey and e-mail detail had been circulated with suggestions for potential new services, including governor support services.

Concerns were raised about the capacity of the LA and the expertise, resources and infrastructure required to run traded services sustainably.  Given the multiple issues requiring the attention of the LA currently this was not considered a priority.

The importance of retaining NGA membership and Learning Link for Buckinghamshire schools was agreed. The governor support services already available locally provided by the Bucks Education Partnership were also noted.   It was acknowledged that the decision to outsource services was often difficult.


JP, MB, AS and PR would be attending the focus groups w/c 21 June 2021 and would feedback views and concerns.














14 Dates / Times of Future Meetings
  A date / time for the next meeting was agreed as follows:


Monday 13 September 2021 5pm





The meeting closed at 6.55pm