MINUTES OF THE GENERAL AND COMMITTEE MEETINGS 6th NOVEMBER, 2001.

Apologies

Jeremy Gibbon, Susan Brown, Liz Freeman, Sahb Dehl.

Not quorate as a General Meeting: Opened as a Committee Meeting.

Minutes

Agreed

Matters Arising

Are all on the agenda.

Reports

School Holidays

John Howarth reported on the proposal for the 2002/3 holiday schedule, which restore the 6 week summer holiday. Today is the closing date for comments. It is expected that the draft schedule will be approved with only minor changes.
In future the LEA may want to move to a six term year, but this depends on other LEAs also agreeing and public exams being held earlier. The Government is not very keen on this model because of potential disagreement with the Church over a fixed 'Easter holiday'. There is a need to take Eid into account. We will continue to deal with this through OJC.

Visitor Hamayun Arshad, Chair of Black & Asian Governors' (BAG) and Governor at Westbourne and Iqra.

He reported as follows:-

BAG has a dual strategy:-
1. to recruit more Black and Asian Governors - some success - more and more Asian professionals are coming on board.
2. to affect achievement through wider community links.

In response to OFSTED criticisms the LEA initiated the Bradford Achievement Forum (BAF) as the Ethnic Minority Achievement Forum - a fait accompli planted on the community.

BAG widened it to include all communities whose pupils underachieve, but then the LEA left it in their lap. Councillors have now allocated them 30,000. The main aim is to include parents in their children's education. Failure of pupils is significantly due to lack of parental involvement.

SERCO said they would extend EAZ provision into all areas but are now watering this down. Bradford South has 17 parental involvement officers. BAG want the same support Authority wide. The Forum meeting organised by BAG in Keighley showed that parental understanding of how education works is low.
Despite the fact that BAF was initiated by the LEA they have been reluctant to receive their advice. Now SERCO are saying that Multi Disciplinary Teams will turn things round, rather like sending in the SAS. SERCO seem light on ideas about links with the community. BAF are asking for Parental Involvement Officers but are finding SERCO hard to pin down when it comes to action.

Hamayun Arshad took issue with Mohammedd Ali of QED's analysis that the supplementary schools are the problem. Some are improving rapidly. BAF want them to be more closely linked to schools.

Need time involvement - parenting skills. There is lots of money that can be bid for for this kind of project, but the question is how to access it. Many little projects are not the answer: there needs to be a coherent strategy.

A discussion followed.

Pupils need to see their culture reflected in the curriculum. The National Curriculum is not flexible enough, but even the flexibility that is there is not being used. Interested teachers need release time to develop this area.

Security will improve if schools become community resources. This will lead to a sense of ownership as well as to their being in use for longer each day. Making places like Fort Knox can be counter productive.
The Police have a policy of not responding to calls about public disorder from schools.
The LEA is not happy with this and is following it up.
It was decided that we should contact the Police Authority directly if they do not come to the OJC, and urge the LEA to repair damage promptly. One problem with this is that SERCO are likely to have very little money for emergencies since their bid was economical and they are committing themselves to increased spending on Managers.
SERCO Director has been appointed on 125,000 - Mark Pattinson.

Other Business.

Agreed to write off old equipment from the list presented.
Agreed to endorse the decision of the President and General Secretary to organise a retirement function and to present retirement gifts to Frank Jones, Eileen Narey and Steve Goodfellow.
Next Social Harmony meeting 20/11/01 - 4.30pm

Meeting closed 6.45pm

 

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