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Governance Charter - Section 10: LC Minute Book & School Visits

Introduction

This Guidance is intended to assist in ensuring the Locality Committee Minute Book and Public Copy are kept in good order and ready for Ofsted and audit purposes.

What is the Minute Book?

The MB is the folder that holds the required account of the meetings of the Locality Committee.  The MB may take different forms.  It may be two folders, one with all confirmed and signed whole LC minutes in and the other for the signed minutes of committees or it may be a series of folders, one for each committee and another for the whole LC.  It is for the LC to determine their preferred structure. 

Where and how long for should the Minute Book be kept?

The MB contains confidential information and should be kept securely by the Academy Head.  The MB should be kept indefinitely as they are a record of the business carried out by the Locality Committee.

What goes in the Minute Book?

At the very front of the current folder for the minutes of the whole LC meetings there should be:

  • A copy of the Scheme of Delegation from the Governance Charter and any relevant procedural aspects relating to LCs;
  • An up-to-date copy of the Committee Structure and Governors including their terms of office dates;

Meeting Agendas and signed LC minutes and related documents should be filed in date order. 

Once a document is in the MB it is important that it is not taken out however, documents can be flagged to bring them to the attention of an Inspector or Auditor. 

Pecuniary Interest Declarations should be kept in a separate folder. 

How are documents placed in the Minute Book?

Papers should be filed in the MB so that the Agenda and papers from the most recent meeting are on top.  Each entry should start with the agenda, followed by any minutes that were signed at that meeting and then all other documents that were considered by the LC at that meeting.  Therefore, the signed minutes are filed with the agenda of the meeting at which they are signed and not with the corresponding meeting agenda!

For example:  a LC meets on 4 February, 23 March and 15 May. 

The minutes for 4 February will be signed and filed with the agenda for 23 March

The minutes for the meeting on 23 March will be signed and filed with the agenda for 15 May. 

Any documents that the LC considers at the meeting should also be included, 2 copies of each document should be provided to the clerk (one copy for the MB and one for the Public Copy) either before the meeting via the Area Office, or at the beginning of the meeting. 

All confidential information should be in a separate document and ideally copied onto pink paper, so that it is clearly identifiable as confidential.  This includes confidential items in the Headteacher’s Report.

Meetings of the Governing Body which are not clerked by the Clerk

The LC minute book should contain documents relating to all Locality Committee meetings.  If your school has a meeting which is not clerked by your usual clerk, it is important that the Chair ensures that copies of the agenda and all other items that are considered by the LC at that meeting are filed appropriately.

Strictly speaking, minutes should be approved from one meeting to the next (as detailed above). It is important that the Chair has two copies of any minutes that are taken so that they can ensure that their formal approval is recorded and signed copies are maintained in the MB and the Public Copy.

The Public Copy

The Public Copy is a file of the meeting Agendas, signed Minutes and papers, without the confidential sections and should be kept for a minimum of six years.  This file may be kept in the School Office and should be available for any interested party to view. 

School Visit File Set Up

The Locality Committee Visit File is the evidence of LC monitoring and involvement in the School.  All visits should be directly related to delegated activities.

The file should be easy to review.  It is suggested that it is structured in the following way:

  • 6 dividers:
  1. School Evaluation Framework (SEF)
  2. School Development Plan (SDP)
  3. Monitoring schedule
  4. Autumn Term Visit Reports
  5. Spring Term Reports
  6. Summer Term Reports
  7. Previous Academic Year Reports
  • It is important that the SEF & SDP are included within the file as a reference point for those reviewing the file and those that are completing the visit reports
  • Filing in a termly manner enables a quick reference as to how many visits have been completed that term and against which priorities within the SEF & SDP.
  • Maintaining access to previous academic year visit reports ensures that there is progress monitored over time.

The file should be retained by the Academy Head at each site.

Copies of reports should be provided to the Academy Head, who should date and sign the report and file it in the appropriately within the LC Visit File.

It is advisable for blank versions of the forms to be held in the folder so that handwritten reports can be submitted at the end of a visit if appropriate to do so.

All Locality Committee Visit Reports should be uploaded to the Trust’s Accountability Overview Document (AOD) Platform by the Chair or Academy Head.

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