YW ran through the finance reports. She explained that whilst some areas look overspent, it is important to understand that curriculum resources are front loaded, whereas the reports are divided by 12 and flatlined. This will be reviewed in future years so that a more accurate picture is provided.
She reported that Calveley is currently showing a deficit of £6834, and Acton a surplus of £765.
A discussion took place and it was noted that the differences are due to the top line GAG funding. Pupil numbers are low and therefore funding is reduced. Funding is also lower as BDs NLE incomes lower due to less time at Bridgemere. However, there will be a contribution from Ofsted for the secondment period, and funding is due in from SIP work.
Q: Is there a minimum number of pupils to ensure a school remains viable?
R: There are schools that are smaller.
YW highlighted that one of the bonds expired in December, and sought permission to transfer in to a new bond.
Outcome: Directors agreed to invest in a one year bond.
Quotes for the mini bus had not been received, and will be postponed to the March Meeting.
Nursery development: This will be moved to the March meeting to enable more research and also the chair of the AC’s to be involved.
BD reported that the school is seeking to purchase 7 clever touch screens, and are asking FOAS to match fund but no update at this point. DFC funding will be used for this.DS explained that if the purchase was within BD's financial limit they didn't need to be tabled with the Directors, BD can approve following the scheme of delegation.
Auditors - YW declared that she may have a conflict
Q: Have the Auditors been contacted and engaged?
R: BD will check
A discussion took place on GAG pooling and Directors reviewed the Pros and Cons. Directors concluded that this is something that they were not supportive of, and that the cons outweighed the pros
Outcome: Directors agreed that they did not want to consider GAG pooling
Pupil numbers were still a concern, despite the marketing that has been done. Numbers for Acton are not a concern, as the new estate is filling spaces. However Calveley numbers are low.
Q: When do we get to know the CWAC pupils.
R: This is later and we don't get to find out until April.
Action: An update will be brought to the March meeting
indicative budget forecasts
BD informed the board that the Schools Forum had reported to the cabinet, and that a member of school staff had attended.
A discussion took place on school funding levels and who sets a minimum figure and what is needed for a school to be viable. The school is proactively seeking to establish a nursery, to boost funding and pupil numbers coming through. The school is also looking into the possibility of providing a bus service.
Q: Can we involve the parents in this research to ask if there is need?
R: Parent and student surveys are going out, and the Academy Committees will also be involved.
Outcome: The board asked BD to continue her research and bring a proposal to the March Board meeting