BASG Executive Minutes 1st February 2021



Date & Time: 1 February 2021 at 5.00pm


Location: Virtual meeting via Zoom





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

Joanne Marchant, Peter Learner, Bernadette Allison, Jo Pearce, Martin Baxter, Andrew Brown, Gwyneth Langley (Secretary)



Agenda Item




1. Apologies for Absence  



There were no apologies for absence


2 Notification of Any Other Business  

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

–       BASG Website

–       Clerks Well-Being

–       BASG Bank Accounts


3 Declarations of Interest  



Gwyneth Langley – BEP

4 Approval of Minutes From the Meeting Held on 11 January 2021  



The minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2021 were approved.


Matters arising within the minutes including follow up actions are covered within this agenda.








5 Local Networking Groups  





Aylesbury Group

The Aylesbury networking group had met on 20 January 2021.  This had been Chaired by MB and AS / PR had attended.  There had been a useful and wide ranging discussion which had included:

–       BASG

–       Lack of face to face contact with schools

–       The difficulties of parental engagement with home learning in some cases

–       Lateral flow tests


PR had received feedback from a Chair that the meeting had provided very useful support.


It was agreed that all schools were doing remarkable work in the area of home learning. The importance of blended learning was discussed as the amount of screen time could be an issue for all age groups.     It was agreed that schools needed to do what was right for their community.

–       AB shared his experience of secondary home learning where a shortened timetable had been introduced on one day in the week to support students and teacher well-being.

–       MB shared messages from a seminar recently attended and highlighted the importance of considering learnings from this period and what should kept, lost and developed going forwards.

–       PL shared experience of the Working Group on Covid-19 at his school. Communication was acknowledged to be key as well as thanks and encouragement to staff.


AS highlighted the implications for governors and monitoring. It was important that governors understood what was being done, what elements of the curriculum were currently being delivered and the impact of this.


Jordans Networking Group

The group would meet on 6 February 2021.  25-35 attendees were expected.


Chesham, Amersham, Great Missenden and Wendover Group

The group would meet on 17 February 2021.  17 people had confirmed attendance so far.   AB would be using breakout rooms during the session.


It was agreed that a strong communication flow from local networking groups to the Local Authority was essential to ensure that issues were captured and raised.



























6 Governance Consultative Board  

PL gave an update on the December 2020 meeting of the Governance Consultative Board.  There had been good discussion and interaction between governors and members of the LA.  Progress appeared to be being made in a number of areas and it was important that this continued.


The next meeting of the Consultative Board would be on 17 March 2021 and potential issues to raise would be discussed at the next BASG meeting (1 March 2021)


It was noted that there was no direct link with Schools Forum on either BASG or the Consultative Board. PL had raised this at the Consultative Board and there was likely to be a report from Schools Forum at the next meeting.


It was noted that there had been no national decision as yet whether local elections scheduled for May 2021 would take place or would be postponed to the Autumn 2021.    MB raised concerns that schools may be asked to close for a day to act as a polling station.  JM highlighted that they did not need to close if they were able to operate safely during an election but schools may not be aware of this.










Agenda 1  March ‘21

7 BEP  


GL gave a brief update on BEP services going forwards:


–       The Key would now be offered as an option as part of BEP subscriptions.

–       BEP would be recruiting for an additional Governance Adviser for Bucks services and this may be an opportunity for a Governor or Clerk in the County.


A number of concerns had been raised by Chairs and Clerks around the quality of investigations, particularly HR investigations, some carried out by members of the LA HR team.   In some cases there appeared to be a lack of clarity around the role of governors in these processes.


Concerns around HR investigations were discussed.   Poor investigation processes and lack of understand regarding the role of governors could put all parties into difficult positions and be extremely expensive to resolve.


It was agreed that this issue should be raised at the Consultative Board.  PL proposed a paper to summarise key issues. AS had already progressed a draft paper and would speak to other members of the group to seek input on this.


















  The minutes of the BASG AGM held on 14 January 2021 were approved.


AS had sent an Amazon voucher to Emma Knights thanking her for her participation at the event. Emma had kindly donated this back to Bucks governors. It was proposed that this be spend on a number of books.  Potential mechanisms for distributing the books were discussed and this would be progressed.






9 Communications with Bucks Council  



This has been discussed under item 6.


PR considered it positive that Gareth Drawmer had sought the views of BASG during the decision making period on school re-opening at the beginning of January 2021.







10 BASG Newsletter  


The aim was for this to be circulated by February half term.   JM and BA continued to work on this.   The newsletter would be circulated to all those who have signed up via the BASG website.  Hazel David would also be asked to circulate this to Chairs and Clerks.


AS would forward details of a recommended book for inclusion.


MB would forward a handout on governance of SEN.


AB and MB would forward mini-biographies to JM / BA for inclusion within the newsletter and on the BASG website.


The frequency of the BASG newsletter would be discussed at the next meeting on 1 March











Agenda 1 March ‘21


11 AOB  
  BASG Bank Account

The issue with bank account signatories had now been resolved.   JP / PR would arrange to make any outstanding payments.


Clerk Well-Being

The importance of including Clerks within discussions on well-being was highlighted.  This was suggested for possible inclusion within the BASG newsletter.


BASG Website

It was noted that some items on the BASG website were hard to find due to the stacking arrangements.  PR would ask Tomas Pukalski about this.













12 Dates / Times of Future Meetings  




Dates and times for future meetings were agreed as follows:


Monday 1 March 2021 5pm

Monday 19 April  2021 5pm


To note next meeting of the Governance Consultative Board 17 March 2021