QPC Minutes 04 02 2015


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Minutes of the Meeting of the Quality & Performance Committee held on Wednesday 4th February 2015 at 12.15pm Held in S4.01 in the South Building

Present:

Stewart Fergusson Russell Moseley (Chair) Steve Logan (Principal) Carl Pearson Haly-Mat Saidi Sandra Smith Steve Stewart

In Attendance:

Jim Edwards, Clerk to the Corporation Clare Hatton, Assistant Principal MIS Jo Lawrence, Assistant Principal Student and Learning Services Andrea Ragdale-Blurton, Head of Quality Improvement Anna Richards, Head of Teaching and Learning Donna Thorp, Vice Principal Curriculum and Quality

Q1/15

Apologies

Apologies were received from Charlotte Bosworth and Maggie Galliers. Q2/15

Welcome and Introductions

Stuart Brand, Stewart Fergusson and Steve Stewart were welcomed to their first meeting, and introductions were made. Q3/15

Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest made.

Minutes of the Last Meeting held on 5th November 2014

Q4/15

The minutes of the last meeting held on 5th November 2014 were approved as a true record, Q5/15

Q6/15

Matters Arising from the Meeting i)

Under Q63/14, 4, Draft College Self-Assessment Report 2013-14, it was reported that an abridged version of the self-assessment report 2013-14 had been produced, and will be published shortly.

ii)

Under Q64/14, 7, iii) Equality and Diversity Annual Report 2013-14, it was reported that an analysis on success rates achieved by students from the most deprived backgrounds was being taken to the Equality and Diversity Committee meeting on 9th February 2015. It was reported that, so far in 2014-15, the retention levels of students from the most deprived backgrounds were at or above the current overall College retention rate. Support had been put in place for these, and for at risk groups identified in 2013-14, and a priority focus group had been established to monitor progress. It was suggested that these measures had impacted positively on this performance indicator. Student Performance and Student Experience 2014-15

1. The Vice Principal Curriculum and Quality presented Governors with the College dashboard for 2014-15, which summarised the latest data for student performance and experience. A supplementary dashboard, which provided more detailed data by School, was also presented, and it was noted that specific reports on attendance and retention would be discussed later in the meeting. Summary Dashboard 2. It was noted that, as requested, the summary dashboard had been revised to include data from 2012-13, thus providing useful trend information for Governors. 3. It was reported that retention rates for each category of student were currently above College internal targets. Overall Apprenticeship success and timely success was below target, but it was confirmed that this was usually the case early in the academic year. The situation would improve as the year progressed. 4. In terms of overall attendance, it was reported that performance was still below the target of ≥90%, and was slightly below performance at the same point in 2013-14. This was a cause for concern that continued to be the subject of targeted intervention measures. 5. Governors noted the positive improvement in lesson observation grades showing that 83% of recent observations of teaching, learning and assessment had resulted in ‘good or better’ grades against the in-year target of 80%. Of these, 20% were Outstanding.

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6. Turning to student satisfaction it was reported that 95% of students felt that teaching on their course was good. 7. The low level of employer satisfaction (82%) in 2013-14 was queried by Governors, and it was noted that the response rate had been very low, thus skewing the results. It was hoped that the work being undertaken with the Employer Boards would address this. 8. The Chair noted that Michael Wilshaw’s recent comments at the Select Committee had confirmed that employer engagement would be used as one of the success measures under Ofsted’s new Common Inspection framework. Supplementary Dashboard 9. The Assistant Principal MIS tabled the supplementary dashboard, and the Chair confirmed that it had been developed so that Governors would be able to identify areas of concern but also areas of good practice. It was suggested that RAG ratings should be added to enable Governors to do this more readily, and to allow Governors to see the areas where most progress was required. 10. In addition, it was suggested that A*-C grades for GCSE English and Maths achievements needed to be reported, rather than A-E grades. 11. Apprenticeship numbers would also be useful rather than just percentages to provide Governors with a sense of scale. 12. The relatively poor performance in maths and English was raised by Governors, and the difficult context within which the College was operating was noted. In 2013-14, 47% of students had left Coventry schools without GCSE maths and English A*-C, and, as most of these students were likely to have moved on to further education provision within Coventry, essentially colleges were inheriting significant problems. The College had, nonetheless, made some improvements, and was continuing to focus on this important area. 13. Governors resolved:i)

to note the current headline performance for 2014-15 against internal and national average targets;

ii)

to note the content of the supplementary dashboard;

iii)

that the supplementary dashboard should be amended to include RAG ratings;

iv)

that A*-C grades for GCSE English and Maths achievements in the supplementary dashboard needed to be reported, instead of A*-E grades;

v)

that apprenticeship numbers should be provided in the supplementary dashboard to support the percentage figures;

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vi)

Q7/15

that maths and English should be a standing item at future Quality and Performance Committee meetings, and that relevant practitioners should be invited to attend. Termly Attendance Report

1. The Head of Quality Improvement presented Governors with the latest attendance report by School and equality and diversity strands. It was confirmed that, although a wide range of actions and interventions had been put in place, attendance was below the target of ≥90%. The profile of attendance across the College was inconsistent, with some curriculum areas performing better than others. 2. The Senior Management Team monitored attendance and the impact of the various interventions on a weekly basis. 3. Governors resolved:i)

to note the termly attendance report;

ii)

to agree that in future a quarterly report showing attendance trends should be produced for each meeting of the committee;

iii)

to agree that managers should continue to monitor attendance closely and put the necessary actions in place, working with staff closely.

Q8/15

Termly Retention Report

1. The Head of Quality Improvement presented Governors with the latest retention report. It was confirmed that all retention rates were currently above College internal targets, with overall retention standing at 96.78% against the College target of 94%. 2. It was noted that Long Level 3 programmes had the lowest level of retention compared with other categories, although it was still above target. 3. A number of actions were in place to ensure that retention rates continued to remain above target. 4. The correlation between poor attendance and student withdrawals was noted, and Governors were informed that the College regularly undertook checks to ensure that retention data was accurate and up-to-date. 5. In terms of equality and diversity, Governors were informed that the retention rate for the significant minority of Chinese students was 92.31%, which was below the College target. A Priority Focus Group met monthly to identify students with protected characteristics who were at risk of withdrawing. 6. Governors resolved:i)

to note the generally positive retention position; 4

ii)

to endorse the actions in place to maintain retention levels;

iii)

that the College should continue to monitor this closely and report back at each committee meeting.

Q9/15

Withdrawal Analysis

1. The Assistant Principal MIS presented a summary analysis of the reasons behind student withdrawals in 2013-14, as previously requested by Governors, and a breakdown of the data by age group, ethnicity, gender, and learning difficulty/disability (LDD). 2. Course-related issues, personal problems, and obtaining employment were the reasons for over 50% of student withdrawals in 2013-14. 3. 22% of LDD student withdrawals were because of ill health compared with 7% of those students who did not consider themselves to have a learning difficulty or disability. 4. Proportionately, more 16-18 males leave their study programme to take up employment than adults, but it was noted that some of these were transferees to apprenticeships. Governors suggested that these students might perhaps have been guided onto apprenticeship programmes in the first place. It was stated that the College was seeking to support students, who wanted to leave to take up employment opportunities, by tailoring their studies so that they would be able to continue on their programmes whilst still holding down a job. 5. Turning to the current situation in 2014-15, it was reported that Creative Industries’ provision had the lowest proportion of withdrawals, while Engineering and Business Development; and Business, Professional, Access and Science were the highest. 6. Governors noted, in particular, the relatively high number of withdrawals in vehicle maintenance Level 1 and 2 programmes so far in 2014-15, and it was reported that a number of students had enrolled with different expectations about the balance of theory and practical work and had found the subject challenging. There had also been some behavioural issues. 7. Governors resolved:-

Q10/15

i)

to note the analysis of withdrawals in 2013-14 and the current position in 2014-15;

ii)

to endorse the actions being undertaken to address particular reasons for withdrawals, particularly course-related. Special Measures 2013-14

1. The Head of Quality Improvement presented Governors with a report on the impact of actions taken under the Special Measures’ process on poorly-performing programmes in 2013-14.

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2. 38 courses had been placed in Special Measures, and, of those, 11 had improved against all criteria (attendance, retention, achievement). Two of the three apprenticeship programmes improved to above the national overall success rate. Other programmes had seen patchy improvements. Where provision had not improved at all, programmes had been either withdrawn for 2014-15 or their delivery modified. 13 programmes fell into this category. 3. In response to a Governor query, it was reported that ten programmes remained in Special Measures going into 2014-15. 4. Governors resolved:-

Q11/15

i)

to note the impact of the Special Measures’ process in 2013-14;

ii)

that future reports should be colour coded for ease of reference.

Special Measures 2014-15

1. The Head of Quality Improvement presented Governors with a report on the progress being made in improving achievement rates via the Special Measures’ process in 201415. 2. Governors were informed that the Special Measures’ process had been reviewed and revised for 2014-15, and now the focus was on those Schools where provision had been judged as inadequate and/or where pass rates were below the national average. Heads of School met with the Head of Quality Improvement on a monthly basis to monitor the impact of intervention strategies, and, as part of this process, gaps in learner performance by protected characteristics were also reviewed. 3. It was reported that, generally, progress had been slower than hoped for inadequate provision eg Engineering and Construction. Attendance and retention, whilst improving, was not as high as anticipated. In particular, the delivery model in Construction had adversely affected attendance and retention on Level 1 provision. 4. Governors resolved:-

Q12/15

i)

to note the intervention strategies and actions in place as part of the Special Measures process in 2014-15;

ii)

that the list of courses in Special Measures should be RAG rated in future reports. Termly Lesson Observation Report

1. The Head of Teaching and Learning presented Governors with a report on the outcomes of the lesson observations undertaken in November and December 2014, and provided a trend analysis of performance as well as a summary of key strengths and areas for improvement.

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2.

145 out of a possible 149 formal lesson observations were undertaken in the autumn term, and, of those, 83% were judged to be good or outstanding. This was compared with the internal target of 80%.

3. 24% (35) of teachers had been judged as outstanding, which was a 10% increase on the 2013-14 figure. However, the number of inadequate lessons had increased to 6% (8), although it was noted that these were confined to three Schools; namely, Construction; Engineering and Business Development; and Maths and English. 4. Attendance during the lesson observation process had been patchy, with Maths and English and Construction consistently below target, but with ESOL, SLDD, Music and Media being above target. 5. The impact of the implementation of the revised lesson observation policy, and the mentoring and support for teachers, who had been previously judged as requiring improvement or inadequate, was summarised. A generally positive picture was evident with the majority of re-observations resulting in improvements. 6. The relatively poor performance of agency staff was noted, and Governors were reassured that swift and decisive action was taken where their teaching was judged to be requiring improvement or inadequate. 7. The Teaching, Learning and Assessment Action Plan was presented, and the key actions in place were considered and noted. 8. Governors resolved:i)

to note the generally positive outcomes of the autumn term lesson observations;

ii)

to note the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Action Plan, and to endorse the actions being taken by College management;

Q13/15

Learner Voice Report

1. The Head of Quality Improvement presented Governors with the autumn term learner voice feedback report, which noted that there had been a slight decrease in satisfaction percentages in the First Impressions Survey. 2. It was noted that the question ‘I feeI safe at College’ had scored lower than in previous years, and it was reported that the senior management lead for safeguarding was currently investigating this. 3. Similarly, the Equality and Diversity Priority Focus Group was investigating the gaps in satisfaction among protected characteristics’ groups. 4. Governors resolved:i)

to note the Learner Voice autumn term report, and the slight reduction in overall student satisfaction in the First Impressions’ Survey; 7

ii)

to note and endorse the actions being undertaken to investigate the levels of satisfaction below benchmark;

iii)

to agree that the Mid-Course Survey questions should relate to the College KPIs.

Q14/15

Higher Education QAA Report

1. The Principal presented Governors with a report on the findings of the Higher Education QAA Review, which had taken place during November 2014, and the resulting draft action plan. These had previously been discussed by the College’s HE Committee, which was now chaired by the Principal. 2. Of the four aspects reviewed, two ‘meet UK expectations’ and two ‘require improvement to meet UK expectations’. The integration of provision for the 2+2 programmes with Warwick University was identified as ‘good practice’. 3. It was reported that the QAA report would be published on 2nd April 2015, by which time the HE Committee would have finalised the action plan. A considerable amount of work was required to improve the HE provision, but the College was confident that this would be achieved. 4. It was stated that the College was seeking an external member to join the HE Committee to enhance the levels of expertise and knowledge on that group. 5. Governors resolved:-

Q15/15

i)

to note the outcomes of the Higher Education QAA Review;

ii)

to endorse the actions being taken to address the areas for improvement raised in the review. Safeguarding Update

1. The Assistant Principal Student and Learning Services presented Governors with the latest safeguarding update as at 22nd January 2015. 2. It was reported that 99 safeguarding referrals had been made so far in 2014-15 compared with 70 for the whole of 2013-14. This increase was not seen as a particular issue, but rather evidence that awareness of safeguarding reporting processes among staff and students had significantly improved. 3. The reasons for referrals were summarised for Governors, and it was noted that there did not appear any particular issue that was affecting students. However, there had been a significant increase in the number of online bullying cases. 4. Most referrals had come from Level 1 students, reflective of the increase in Level 1 provision in 2014-15, and there had also been an increase in issues among Looked After Children and unaccompanied asylum seekers. 8

5. It was reported that the retention rate for this group of students was 86%, compared with 73% in 2013-14. It was confirmed that support structures were in place and were working effectively. 6. It was noted that the College was working closely with the Local Safeguarding Board, Henley College and Hereward College to develop a model safeguarding policy across the city. To complement this, staff and governors were undergoing safeguarding refresher training 7. Discussion turned to the PREVENT agenda, and it was confirmed that the College had been part of Coventry’s PREVENT team for a number of years. A strong working relationship existed with West Midlands Police, the City Council, Henley College, Hereward College and the two universities. PREVENT training had been delivered to staff recently in order to raise awareness of radicalisation and violent extremism, and further training was being planned. 8. Governors recognised that safeguarding was everyone’s responsibility, and were therefore pleased to see the rigour with which this priority was being managed and reported on. 9. Governors resolved:-

Q16/15

i)

to note the latest safeguarding update;

ii)

to note the safeguarding and PREVENT training that had taken place and that was also being planned for staff and for Governors.

Publication of documents

The publication of documents was approved without exception, subject to sensitive information being redacted in Document 9 (Termly Lesson Observation Report). Q17/15

Date of the Next Meeting

The date of the next meeting was confirmed for 22nd April 2015 at 12.15pm. Meeting opened 12.15pm Meeting closed 2.20pm JE

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