ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES MINUTES of the AoC BOARD MEETING
Held at 9.30am on Wednesday, 9 July 2014 in Rooms 9 – 10, Radisson Blu Edwardian Kenilworth, 97 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3LB.
Present Attendance (from 4/12/13)
Carole Stott 3/3 John Allen 3/3 Colin Booth 2/3 Peter Brophy 3/3 Norman Cave 3/3 Kim Clifford 3/3 Anne Constantine 3/3 Sally Dicketts 2/3 Martin Doel 3/3
Mary Hunter (from Item 5) 1/1
Asha Khemka 2/3 Paul Phillips 2/3 Di Roberts 2/3 John Short 3/3 Michele Sutton 3/3 Mark White 3/3 Andy Wilson 3/3 Apologies Meredydd David 1/2 Roger Morris 2/3 John Widdowson 1/3 In attendance
Richard Atkins (AoC President elect) Gill Clipson (Deputy Chief Executive)
Andrea Jones (Senior Communications Manager) – Item 15 only David Smith (Director of Worldskills Engagement) – Item 16 only Nathan Lucas (Company Secretary)
Carole Stott formally welcomed Board members to the meeting noting that Richard Atkins was joining the Board as an observer today as AoC President Elect. Richard would become a full member of the Board with effect from 1 August 2014.
2 2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Peter Brophy declared an interest in Item 2.1 as a Director of British Colleges Sport.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 13 March 2014
were approved. 4. MATTERS ARISING
There were no matters arising that weren’t otherwise on the agenda. 5. CO-OPTION TO THE BOARD
Carole Stott introduced a paper requesting that an additional Sixth Form Colleges representative be appointed as a co-opted member of the Board.
RESOLVED: The Board agreed that Mary Hunter, Principal, Xaverian
College would be co-opted from 9 July 2014, for a period of three years, as a member representing sixth form colleges. 6. BOARD ELECTIONS 2014
The Board were asked to note that annual Board elections would be held for the London, North East and South East Regions this year and that a call for nominations would be sent to all member colleges in early September.
Carole Stott asked the Board to note that Peter Ryder, Principal of Tameside College and North West Regional Representative had tendered his resignation from the Board with immediate effect.
The Board also noted that John Allen, Principal of Lincoln College and East Midlands Regional Representative would retire with effect from 31 July 2014.
RESOLVED: The Board agreed that each of these two regions would be
permitted to send an observer to the September Board meeting and that both regions be included in the annual election process in September to elect new representatives. The Board acknowledged the contributions made by both Peter and John during their time as Board members and wished them both well for the future.
The Board noted also that Michele Sutton would complete her term as AoC President on 31 July 2014 and expressed their thanks for the positive contribution she had made to both the Board and colleges more widely.
ACTION: Nathan Lucas to update Companies House register to
reflect the resignations from the Board of Peter Ryder on 9 July 2014, John Allen on 31 July 2014 and Michele Sutton on 31 July 2014.
7. RECOMMENDATION TO ESTABLISH AOC SPORT LTD
Richard Atkins, Chair of AoC’s Sports Steering Group and Chair of British Colleges Sport (“BCS”) updated the Board on progress made in establishing AoC Sport Ltd (“AoC Sport”) and presented a Business Plan including a budget for the first year and indicative budget for years two and three.
RESOLVED: After careful consideration, the Board agreed to the
proposal for AoC Sport Limited to fully commence trading from 1 August 2014, taking on the work of British Colleges Sport and AoC’s Sports Policy Team subject to review of the funding agreement from Sport England by Martin Doel and Carole Stott.
8. MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES
The Board considered a paper emphasising that only bodies created under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 and the Education Reform Act 1988 be permitted to be “members” of AoC in accordance with AoC’s current Articles of Association.
The Board also considered the creation of a further category of “Associate Subscriber” to capture those bodies that did not fall within either the full member category or existing “Affiliate Subscriber” category but who would benefit from being associated with AoC.
The Board were reminded that Affiliate Subscribers are those commercial organisations which provide support or supply services to colleges and have an interest in the further education sector but are not in competition with colleges. The Associate Subscriber category could include bodies such as adult education institutions, UK crown dependency area colleges, colleges in Wales subscribing to HR services only, colleges in Northern Ireland, Natspec-member colleges, Universities and specialist residential colleges.
RESOLVED: The Board agreed that only those bodies created under the
Further and Higher Education Act 1992 and the Education Reform Act 1988 be permitted to be “members” of AoC.
RESOLVED: The Board further agreed to the creation of a further
category of “Associate Subscriber” as detailed above.
RESOLVED: The Board further agreed to create an individual
subscription category to allow for retiring senior college post holders to remain engaged with AoC. AoC “fellowship” would reward contributions to the sector and would be reviewed at a later date.
9. SUBSCRIPTIONS REVIEW
The Board considered proposals on the phasing of subscription increases recommended from the Subscriptions Review completed in 2013.
RESOLVED: The Board agreed to implement the recommendations of
the Subscriptions Review for the 2014/15 subscription year. 10. FINANCIAL ISSUES
10.1 Group Management Accounts to 31 May 2014
The Board received the Group Management Accounts to 31 May 2014 and noted that overall projections across the group were in line with budget expectations. 10.2 Group Statutory Accounts to 31 March 2014
Peter Brophy introduced this item and advised that although the auditors were tidying up a few minor points in the Group Statutory Accounts he was happy with the accounts overall as drafted.
Di Roberts and Mark White confirmed that they had had a conversation with the auditors to confirm that the Statutory Accounts were in order and that there were no major issues raised in this year’s audit.
RESOLVED: The Board agreed for Carole Stott to sign the Statutory
Accounts subject to any minor amendments from the auditors.
10.3 Revised Group Budget 2014/15
The Board considered a revised Group Budget for 2014/15 which included provision for the LPFA deficit contributions.
10.4 Audit Findings Report and Regulatory Update
Received: Audit Findings Report from Baker Tilly.
Received: Regulatory Update and Audit Plan.
11. FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE
Mark White advised that the focus of the Committee at the last meeting had been on scrutinising the proposal to create AoC Sport as a trading company. Martin Doel commended the Committee on their challenge to the proposal.
Received: Minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee
meeting held on 4 June 2014. 12. AoC CREATE LTD
John Short commended the officers and staff of AoC Create on the work they had done over the past twelve months highlighting that the business was forecast to increase income by £1.3m in 2014/15.
Received: Minutes of the AoC Create Ltd Board meeting held on 4
13. EMPLOYMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Sally Dicketts thanked Marc Whitworth and the Employment Team at AoC for the work they have done on negotiations.
Received: Minutes of the Employment Advisory Committee meeting
held on 11 June 2014. 14. AUDIT COMMITTEE
Di Roberts highlighted that whilst the Committee recognised how well the Group had done over the past twelve months they were keen to see forecasting added to the Internal Audit Plan for review. The Committee also agreed that a Conflicts Policy would be drafted and implemented across the Group.
Received: Minutes of the Audit Committee meeting held on 11 June
2014. 15. COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY
Andrea Jones, Senior Communications Officer, provided the Board with an outline of AoC’s revised Communications Strategy highlighting that key priorities to this point had been to roll out the new website and build AoC’s social media presence. Andrea advised that there was always room to improve and asked the Board for any feedback before the final Strategy was presented to the next meeting.
The Board advised that there was generally positive feedback on AoC communications. In regard to the website specifically, the Board highlighted that some governors had had difficulty locating the governance section of the website initially and that some users may have had difficulty in receiving briefings on the switch over from the old to the new website. The Board suggested that it might be useful to remind users to re-register to ensure receipt of all relevant briefings. The Board also advised of the need to ensure we were properly using social media channels. Andrea Jones advised that AoC has a Social Media Strategy and the team were always looking for future improvements. Michele Sutton suggested that the team could consider the use of Apps, advising that colleges were full of talented students who could assist. There is a need to ensure that all members can access new communications channels and it was highlighted that some members couldn’t read guidance quickly enough to get ahead of announcements coming out. Martin Doel advised that AoC was careful not to overcommunicate but acknowledged that there was a balance to be struck in terms of issues which could be more locally focused.
The Board agreed that Communications would be added as a standing item on future Board agendas with the intention that the item would be used to agree five key messages for AoC to focus on communicating for the following quarter.
ACTION: Nathan Lucas to ensure Communications is added as a
standing item on Board agendas. 16. LOCAL ENTERPRISE PARTNERSHIPS
David Smith, Director of Worldskills Engagement introduced a paper detailing current AoC activity supporting members in their relationship with Local Enterprise Partnerships. The Board noted that David was the lead for AoC on this issue and agreed to provide David with feedback from regional meetings as it arose.
17. POLICY UPDATE
The Board considered current policy issues affecting colleges and in particular noted the contents of the Higher Education – Breaking the Mould publication to be launched at AoC’s Summer Reception.
7 18. RISK REGISTER
There were no additional risks to add to the Risk Register following the meeting. 19. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There was no other business. 20. DATE OF NEXT MEETING