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Minutes of AGM – 19th November 2016

Hertfordshire Governors Association – Annual General Meeting

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting

Held at the Oak Room, Hertfordshire Development Centre, Robertson House, Stevenage on Saturday 19th November 2016 at 11:55.

1)  Welcome and apologies

Mike Scandrett welcomed everyone to the AGM.

There were apologies from Paul Rosen and Andrew Boakes.

2)  To review & approve the minutes of the last AGM 14th November 2015.

Minutes of the meeting were approved.

3)  Matters arising from the minutes

None

4)  HASG Chair’s report – a comprehensive written report was circulated prior to the AGM.

Mike Scandrett offered these words in support of the paper report:

  • The executive committee lost several members throughout the year, owing to personal reasons, which made it difficult to maintain momentum. The Committee is considering if it should engage the services of someone who could offer professional educational support.  Claire Lanni, our administrator, is due back from maternity leave shortly.
  • The Chair/Vice Chair maintained communication with several HCC/HfL officers to discuss key issues affecting governors.
  • It has been agreed that the HASG will run the election to fill the current two governor vacancies in the Schools Forum. Closing date is 30th November and this is open to all schools.  Paperwork has been sent to all school via clerks.
  • The HASG Forums have been replaced with an additional Heads & Governors briefing held by Marcus Cooper and his team. Three of these briefings have been held with good attendance.  It is hoped they will continue in to 2017, with the March briefing booked.  Accommodation for these briefings to be paid for by HASG.
  • The Governor Awards were announced earlier in the day. The Chair extended his congratulations to the winners and runners up.  It is intended the awards will run again in 2017.
  • The funding for future annual conferences’ is not secure. It is hoped that an increase in the HASG subscription may cover this and would be covered later on in the AGM (under agenda item 6).
  • MS explained this would be his last term as Chair for the HASG and would indeed be stepping down from the executive committee altogether. He extended his thanks to the committee and Claire Lanni for their support.

There were no questions from the floor.

5)  HASG Treasurer’s Report for Year to 31st March 2015

A copy of the HASG cash balances year ended March 2015 and the HASG Income & Expenditure report year ended March 2016 were made available in paper copy previous to the meeting.

James Brown took this opportunity to talk through his written reports:

  • There has been a rising balance brought forward over a number of years.
  • The income we receive is a fixed amount based on the number of subscribing schools.
  • The amount of £3200 under Educational Materials was The Governors Handbook which was purchased and a copy sent out to all subscribing schools.
  • Forums/briefings – there is a rise in spend as we now have to cover the cost of the accommodation for three Heads & Governors briefings whereas previously when forums were held the cost was a lot less.
  • The amount spent on the Governor Awards is less than last year. The first year the awards were held a booklet was produced with all the nomination statements.  It was decided not to do this again, but details of runner-up and winners are printed in the Conference brochure.
  • Publicity – the HASG engaged the services of a company to produce new materials.
  • It is to be noted that the main income from schools does not arrive into HASG until mid-way through the financial year as it is collected for us by HfL and then transferred. Our budgeting each year needs to take account of this.

It was asked if it a coincidence that the amount HASG proposes to increase the subscriptions by is the same as the balance carried forward.   JB explained that this was, indeed, purely a coincidence.

JB was asked about the apparent high cost of website and email.  JB explained that we employ the services of a third party to keep our website up to date.  The HASG had also revamped their website in the last year.

JB was asked why the publicity costs were very significant.  Have the HASG planned to smooth those?   JB explained that the HASG had employed the services of a third party to revamp all of their publicity material and didn’t expect it to be that high again.

Terry Douris proposed and Charlotte Marson seconded acceptance of the accounts.

Mike Scandrett took the opportunity to explain that the HASG had made a contribution to the closing speaker of last year’s conference which is not yet shown on the accounts.  As HfL collect our subscription monies it was felt that this was a fair thing to do in return, as to invoice and collect our own subscriptions would be timely and costly.

MS also thanked two of the other sponsors of the conference – PI Accountancy (Paul Rosen)and Stage 2 (Terry Douris).

6)  To approve the HASG subscription for the year 2017-2018

The HASG executive proposed that the subscription for 2016-2017 to increase to £85 to secure annual conference funding.

Mike Scandrett explained that this was the first time in five years that we had proposed an increase to the subscription but to understand it is for a very specific purpose.  The conference was currently funded in a large part by a grant from HCC to HfL but with HCC funding reducing this was under real threat.  If HASG schools meet that cost themselves this will help secure the Conference year on year.   If the increase in the subscriptions is approved then for future conferences Governors from non-HASG members would be expected to pay the appropriate commercial rate to attend.

A number of questions and points were raised from the floor:-

  1. Whether the increase should be held as restricted funds? MS pointed out that there are further areas to consider surrounding funding this.  The HASG Executive did not intend HASG to hand money simply because it was there.  It needed to be paid out on the basis of need.  The money could be ring fenced for a specific purpose (funding the annual conference).
  2. There was an in-year spend of £10,000 and a balance of approximately £20,000, so have the executive committee considered upping the subscription by half the amount this year and looking at this again next year? In reply The Chair said out that if the executive committee wanted to pay for professional educational support then this could be covered by existing funds but this would not leave enough to contribute towards next year’s conference.
  3. How do the schools that currently subscribe they feel about the increase in the subscription fee? MS explained that a copy of the Chairs report has been circulated to all schools prior to this meeting and within the report there is talk of the increase in subscriptions to enable attendees to think about the issues beforehand.
  4. Terry Douris did raise the concern that if we ring fenced this money would we become reliant on this money and not look for more commercial funding. This is an item for the executive committee to consider.

The Executive through the Chair proposed to increase subscription fee to £85.00 which was agreed by the attendees.

A vote on whether the money should be restricted was then made and the motion defeated, but the point was well noted by the Executive to consider further how best to manage the funds.

7)  To elect the Officers of the HASG

The nominations for Officers were:

Chair – Paul Rosen

Vice Chair – Michael Taylor

Treasurer – James Brown

Secretary – Robert Smith

All of the above were elected unopposed.

8)  To elect the other Executive Committee members of the HASG:

Andrew Boakes

Rosemary Bolton

Joy Ferguson

Mike Scandrett asked that if anyone would be interested in being a member of the Executive Committee that they approach Claire Lanni with their contact details.

9)  To consider any other business

None

10)  The meeting Closed at 1240

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