«The Working Men’s College Corporation Draft Minutes for THE Meeting of the WMC Corporation held on Wednesday 15th July 2015 commencing at 6.30 p.m. ...»
The Working Men’s College Corporation
Draft Minutes for THE Meeting of the WMC Corporation held on Wednesday 15th
July 2015 commencing at 6.30 p.m. in Room 802 at the Working Men’s College, 44,
Crowndale Road, London, NW1 1TR.
Members ( Appointed Govs ) Governors Attending ( Nominated )
Philip Badman Jean Esnard Nominated Staff
Barbara Byrne Helen Hammond Principal
Lucy de Groot Alison Hall Nominated Staff
Nigel Franklin In Attendance:
Abdul Quadir Joan Brunt Head of HR Alexi Marmot Charlie Coles Director MIS David Offenbach Theresa Hoenig Deputy Principal Peter Ptashko Martin Jones Finance Director Tom Schuller ( Chair ) Lisa Potter Ass. Principal Operations Paula Whittle Alan Conway Clerk BC19.15 Introduction Bill Barker (Clerk Designate) was welcomed to the meeting as an observer.
Newly appointed senior staff, Charlie Coles, Lisa Potter and Joan Brunt, introduced themselves and briefly spoke about their backgrounds.
BC19.01.15 Declaration of Interests There were none.
BC20.15 Apologies for Absence Nigel Franklin, Laily Thompson, Layne Comarasawmy, Kate Bell and Cllr Douglas Beattie ( LB Camden nominated ) had given apologies. David Offenbach, Alison Hall and Jean Esnard had indicated in advance that they would need to leave early.
BC21.15 Minutes of the Corporation Meeting held 25.03.15 The Minutes were Approved and signed by the Chair.
BC22.15 Matters Arising not included on this Agenda Ref. Min.BC.08.02.15 - Studio Classes: Members thought it helpful to further consider the financial impact of Studio Classes within the wider curriculum;
including in terms of issues around cross-subsidy.
Ref. Min.BC.08.02.15 – Camden funding: The Deputy Principal confirmed that this funding was for work on employability and attracting hard-to-reach learners.
BC23.15 Chairs of Committees and Membership 2015/16 The membership of Committees as set out in the paper was Agreed.
BC24.15 Membership re. Appointments The Board Approved the Recommendation from Search Committee that Cllr Douglas Beattie be appointed as an Appointed Governor and LB Camden’s nominated representative on the Board. Cllr Beattie was Chair of the Council’s Cultural and Environment Committee and he provided a strong link with the Council. He also brought extensive experience as a journalist, expanding the skill-set of the Board.
The Board Ratified the appointment of Kate Bell to Audit Committee made under Chair’s powers. There were now no vacancies on Audit Committee.
The Board Ratified the appointment of Paula Whittle to Finance Committee made under Chair’s powers. There were now no vacancies on Finance Committee.
The Board accepted the resignation of Alison Hall and thanked her for her contribution. The Board Noted that a Teaching Staff Governor Election will need to be held in the autumn term, prior to the December 2015 Board.
The Board Noted the resignation of Tulip Siddiq, who had become MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, and will give further consideration to steps to fill up to two Appointed Governor vacancies; with meetings of the Search Committee to be held as and when needed accordingly.
BC25.15 Appointment of Clerk to WMC Corporation The current Clerk to the Corporation, Alan Conway, retires on August 31st 2015 after twelve years in post.
The Clerk Designate, Bill Barker, withdrew from the discussion as appropriate.
The Chair’s Interview Panel were unanimous in advising that appoint Bill Barker be appointed. Bill Barker knew the College and the FE sector very well.
He had accepted the position, which was subject to Search Committee Recommendation and Board approval.
The Board Approved the Recommendation from Search Committee that Bill Barker be appointed Clerk to WMC Corporation with effect from 1st September 2015.
BC26.15 To Receive Principal’s and Chair’s Report:
Student Demographics 2014/15: Percentages had been added to the breakdown of student numbers by gender and ethnicity, which helped further clarify how the College had been responsive and that the College’s student profile was broadly reflective of the community it served.
Staffing Changes: The focus of since January 2015 has been to review and recruit to senior management posts of the College to ensure the necessary management infrastructure for the college. Thus, a clear line management structure has been place whilst also providing clarity for the roles and responsibilities of the middle management tier.
The new Executive Management Group had been established. The new wider, College Management Group has helped facilitate communication and ownership of developments at middle management level. The Report sets out the main staff appointments. A related aspect has been the work the Finance Director has done on arrangements to devolve budgetary responsibilities to Curriculum Managers from September 2015, beginning with managers costing of new courses.
Finance Committee has agreed an increase in the sessional staff pay rate in order to ensure that WMC rates of pay are more competitive. Sessional staff pay is now linked to the second point on the AoC qualified teachers 8 point pay-scale which is currently equivalent to £ 28.21 per hour including holiday pay.
Staffing at all levels has been reviewed and updated in line with the new structure charts. Job descriptions and person specifications have been standardised and the work in this area will continue with the introduction of new standardised contracts of employment to ensure we are consistent and that we fully comply with pension law. The Head of HR will be overseeing consultation and implementation of new contracts for staff during the next academic term.
Funding and Finance: The College is on target to exceed its funding allocation for mainstream delivery. There is uncertainty regarding the JCP mandated funding. It is unlikely that there will be clarification before the end of the year as to whether the SFA will permit offset of the JCP mandated shortfall against the mainstream over delivery. For 2015/16 the SFA has identified only £100k of the Adult Skills Budget (ASB) for JCP mandated ESOL and converted the other £500k into the mainstream ASB allocation If the year-end position against allocation is just taken in total, then it will be possible to offset under-delivery of JCP mandated ESOL against over-delivery of other ASB activity. This would result in not only achieving the £208k budget value but exceeding it with further additional income recognised in the accounts.
However if the official line is enforced and no offset is permitted, then the shortfall on JCP mandated activity will be clawed back and the other activity capped at the £3,351k budget value. This is the cautious position adopted in the accounts forecast.
These and further details are covered under the Budget Item ( Ref.Min.BC29.15).
The AoC has recommended a 0% pay award for 2015/16. The Board Approved the Principal’s proposal of settlement for all staff of 0% from 1 September 2015, as assumed in in the 2015/16 Budget paper (Min.BC.29.15).
Studio course enrolment : Studio classes fees are £ 7 per hour with no concessions. These classes have enabled a return to some 10 week arts courses.
Enrolment to date has been very encouraging. Learner numbers have been similar with a very significant increase in fee income.
E-Learning developments: Liz Proctor has just taken up her post as E Learning Development Manager to lead a major area of development. The E Learning Hub has been opened for one-to-one help, group training and support sessions. Moodle has been re-branded I-Learn. E Learning will be the theme for the staff conference in September.
New opportunities: The SDI group has agreed to work more closely together to promote the importance of Adult learning. Together with the Principal of City Lit, Helen Hammond will be attending the Conservative Party conference in the autumn as representing ‘Educating Adults: the SDI group’ and is in the process of arranging meetings at Conference to highlight the SDI’s role; including with Nick Boles BIS Minister. Other SDI Principals will attend the Labour Party Conference.
Work is underway to create the All Party Political Group which will be chaired by Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central.
The Principal represents the SDI Group on the AoC Regional Committee and she has met with the Deputy Mayor and representatives from the London LEP.
London LEP is currently conducting a skills audit and in particular has highlighted the skills needs of the 50-plus population.
WMC has been approached to join the partnership of Westminster Kingsway and City and Islington College with regard to joint bidding for ESF funding.
The College management is exploring several opportunities to work with the Crick Institute. This includes providing skills training for their support staff and delivering learning at the Crick’s Living Centre for wellbeing. This is an initiative that Philippa Law ( Head of Vocational and Employability Skills ) will take forward in 2015/16.
Governors welcomed these partnership developments.
The Chair confirmed that he will be writing to staff to express the appreciation of the Board for the tremendous job that they had done, during a time of significant transition in terms of management arrangements and the introduction of a new staffing structure; and where there had also been significant vacancies to cover. The Teaching Staff Governor welcomed the appreciation shown with regard to the efforts of the staff during a difficult period..
However, she felt it to be very unfortunate that it was not felt possible to give the permanent staff a pay rise at least equivalent to the 1% rise received each year for the last several years. The Principal underlined that 0% was the recommendation from AoC, given the very constrained financial circumstances for the sector. Also, that the College had begun to address pay issues by increasing for 2015/16 the hourly rate for sessional staff to bring them in line with relevant AoC pay-scales.
The Chair emphasized that pay constraints made it all the more important that in other areas such as staff training and development the College provide excellent support and opportunities to its staff.
The Principal confirmed that Finance Committee had requested a report from the HR Manager that brought pay within an HR Strategy that would cover other issues around recruitment, comparability and affordability.
2. Financial Matters The Director of Finance introduced the Management Accounts and Budget.
These papers were greatly appreciated by the Board as a major step forward in the coherent presentation of financial information. The Board looks forward to the continuation of this consistency.
BC27.15 Management Accounts to May 31st 2015 The College’s management accounts for the 10 months to 31 May 2015 identify that overall performance remains in line with budget. Income is down against budget as previously reported, primarily as a consequence of the JCP mandated ESOL activity not reaching budgeted volumes. Compensating staff cost savings have been achieved to offset these and non-staff costs are in line with budget for the year to date. Budget income at year-end is forecast at £ 5.2m.
A review of the SFA Adult Skills Budget Funding confirms that the College will exceed its funding allocation for mainstream delivery although it is unlikely to be clarified before the end of the year whether the SFA will permit offset of the JCP mandated shortfall against the mainstream over delivery. A cautious approach is being taken whereby budget assumptions are that JCP funding will be clawed back.
The full year forecast outturn is for a breakeven position compared to the budget of £164k, but that does assume that the entirety of the £250k contingency is applied by the year end above the revised forecasts which is extremely unlikely;
and so a surplus of between £4k and £250k is anticipated. Should the JCP funding not be clawed back then the surplus would be up to £ 563k greater.
The balance sheet remains strong and the College held £2.7 million of cash at 31 May 2015.
Governors were very supportive of the prudent approach being taken. Governors recognize the uncertainties very clearly set out by the Finance Director; and also.
appreciated that the papers were much improved in terms of format and clarity.
The Board Noted the Management Accounts.
BC28.15 Reporting Business Performance Progress was generally good. The one ‘red’ indicator referred to 24 years- plus loans facility income. There was very limited take-up by learners. To compound matters a poor performing CIOB Construction Management course was withdrawn for 2014/15 and some affected 2013/14 students who had taken out loans were reimbursed.
The Board Noted the business performance dashboard indicators.
BC29.15 College Budget 2015-16 The budget for 2015/16 takes account of current performance in 2014/15, the forecast full year position as shown in the management accounts, known funding allocations for the year and staff and non-staff cost plans; and discussions and approvals at the Finance Personnel and Development Committee that met on 1st July 2015. The main changes to the budget presented at Finance Personnel and Development Committee meeting are to move to the assumption of a 0% pay award payable from 1st September 2015, to increase the budget for contract cleaning and to defer refurbishment of flats at 48 Crowndale road..
Overall budget income is £5.692 m. for 2015/16; an increase of £489k over the current year; the vast bulk remaining the SFA allocation.
Forecast outturn is a result of more mainstream and less mandated ESOL activity in the funding allocation and because of fee increases.
For 2015/16 only £ 100k instead of £ 500K is allocated to JCP mandated ESOL.
Thus, £ 400k of JCP ESOL is re-allocated to mainstream ESOL but could be clawed back. Camden ACL funding has increased from £ 80k in 2014/15 to £ 270k in 2015/16; albeit that the successful Camden bid will entail additional staff to deliver the funded provision.