The College of West Anglia Minutes of Performance Review and Quality Committee 5 March am Board Room, King s Lynn

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1 The College of West Anglia Minutes of Performance Review and Quality Committee 5 March am Board Room, King s Lynn Present Sandy Willatt Governor (Chair) Scott Leadley Governor (Vice Chair) David Pomfret Governor (Principal) Gordon Boyd Co-opted Non-governor Attending Arlene Clark Andrew England Mark Reavell Richard Bradley Executive Director, Curriculum and Learning Head of Organisational Development and Quality Executive Director, Partnerships (part) Head of Faculty Business, Humanities, Science & Computing (part) Rochelle Woodcock Clerk to the Corporation Yorien De Boer Work Placement Student 1 Apologies Gary Webb, Stephen Jones Executive Director, Finance & Resources. 2 Declaration of Interests Scott Leadley declared an interest in Item 5 and undertook to withdraw from the meeting during any discussion on the Travel and Tourism area. 3 Minutes of the previous Meeting 4 December 2013 The Minutes of the meeting of 4 December 2013 were agreed as an accurate record and signed by the Chair. 4 Matters Arising Progress against matters arising from the meeting were summarised in the report for item 4 and all actions reported had either been resolved, or, where appropriate, an update had been provided. In addition, the Principal reported that: Page 3, Item 5.7 Curriculum Area Update: Technology - the 0.5 FTE Curriculum Support Manager has now been appointed to post. Page 3, Item 5.9 Curriculum Area Update: Technology the staff survey, which is considered the best measure of a positive staff culture, has just been launched for this year, the results will be reported to the Employment Policy Committee. 1 PR&Q rdw

2 5 Curriculum Area Update Business, Humanities, Science and Computing 5.1 The Head of Organisational Development and Quality introduced the presentation and outlined the SAR grades for the different areas in the faculty. Richard Bradley joined the meeting at am 5.2 The Head of Faculty gave a presentation supported by a power point presentation. He noted the very wide range of provision delivered by his faculty, which includes the delivery of maths and English across the whole of the college. All areas, with the exception of Business and Travel and Tourism had been graded 2 (good) in the SAR for Business and Travel and Tourism had been graded 4 (inadequate). 5.3 Current Retention Rates range from 94% in Business and Humanities to 99% in Hospitality, Travel and Tourism. 5.4 Faculty strengths: Good retention on Level 1 and Level 2 courses Practical activities, involving a variety of projects across a range of areas are offered to engage students Good performance on Level 3 Access to HE courses with a good progression rate to HE (80% last year) Provision of ESOL courses with good progression outcomes; also noted by Ofsted. 5.5 Faculty challenges: The large scale delivery of maths and English across the college for all year olds who have not achieved a grade C in these subjects The inability to recruit maths staff across the sector The lack of a Programme Manager at the start of the year Improving the performance of Business, Travel and Tourism and some AS levels Improving Value Added performance at Level Specific challenges: Business Areas for Improvement: Success rates were lower than the national benchmark in 2013 Improve student retention in this area Improve planning and delivery of student assessments Current Level 3 provision does not meet the needs of 19+ learners, many of whom do not stay for the full 2 year programme Business Actions taken: Personal Tutor appointed for students Successful Year 2 students mentor Year 1 students Access to Business course for 19+ students validated; seen as being more relevant to this group. The course will commence in September 2014 and has 16 applicants to date. Staff peer observation introduced Assignment and IV calendars introduced for staff and students 2 PR&Q rdw

3 More rigorous initial advice and guidance undertaken on entry Business Progress to date: Improved assignment marking and turnaround (15 days) Improved use of Learn for marking and to record grades Retention rates are currently: 90% Level 1; 100% Level 2; 88% Level 3 Year 1, and 89% Level 3 Year 2 Teaching and Learning observations in November 2013 were: 4 x grade 1; 2 x grade 2 and 1 x grade 3 (new member of staff). Scott Leadley withdrew from the meeting at am Travel and Tourism Areas for Improvement: The success rate was lower than the national benchmark in 2013; retention of 19+ students on a two year course adversely impacted on this Travel and Tourism Actions taken: Early intervention with students Student forum established half-termly to help address issues Work placements extended to 3 weeks Learning Support Officer to support students on Level 1 and Level 2 programmes Visits to other colleges to review good practice Travel and Tourism Progress to date: Retention rates are currently: 100% Level 1; 100% Level 2; 96% Level 3 Year 1, and 92% Level 3 Year 2. Governors discussed further aspects of this provision including the low numbers of students involved, the better integration of the small staff team in this area into the wider team and the general progress made to date. Scott Leadley re-joined the meeting at am 5.7 Computing Actions have been taken to improve Value Added in this area. Aspirational targets to achieve a merit have been set at Level 3. Assignments have been re-written to avoid staged tasks and to stop limiting attainment to a pass grade only. Feedback is provided to students to encourage them to work for higher grades. Problem solving, enquiry-based learning has been introduced. 5.8 A Level Programmes Some areas returned poor AS success rates in Work is on-going with the whole team and regular meetings are held to monitor progress and share good practice. Last November a very successful recruitment event dedicated to A Levels was held at the college. Governors noted that CWA is unusual in the sector in offering A Level provision - a distinct strength; the more that can be done to ensure the rigour of this provision would be for the good. 3 PR&Q rdw

4 They recognised the value of fortnightly team meetings and asked how students doing more than one subject at A Level were assisted. The Head of Faculty advised that each student had a personal tutor. Learn is used to record progress across all their subjects and management focus is across all areas of A Level delivery. The Executive Director, Curriculum and Learning added that provision at A2 is good and the focus is currently on improving AS. Visits to two colleges with successful A level programmes are to be arranged. 5.9 GCSE Maths and English Governors expressed concern at the high numbers of students who, not having achieved a grade C, are to re-take maths and English GCSE qualifications and asked what happens if they do not achieve a grade C at this attempt. It was noted that the re-taking of GCSEs is a matter currently under wider debate and that Functional Skills might be more relevant to some students. In the new academic year students who have achieved a grade D in the past will be tested. If it is not felt they will achieve a grade C they will undertake Functional Skills as an alternative to a GCSE programme. This approach is now supported by the funding guidance. The Head of Faculty advised that he is also looking at the possibility of offering international GCSEs and is liaising with colleges who already offer them. Richard Bradley left the meeting at am. 6 Committee s Terms of Reference and Performance Annual Review The committee completed the proforma to review its terms of reference and performance. It was agreed that a reference to monitoring performance and benchmarking against other colleges in the sector should be added to section 1a (monitoring and reviewing the academic performance of the college). It was also recognised that E&D targets had not been sufficiently SMART last year and that these had been improved in the current plan; progress against these will be monitored by Governors. The reference to ISO9001 would also be removed from the terms of reference as this is no longer relevant. Following its review the committee agreed to recommend to the Board that these minor amendments to its terms of reference be incorporated into the Corporation s Governance and Financial Regulations (standing orders). 7 CWA Publication Scheme (FOI) The Principal presented the Publication Scheme and related guide for approval. Minor updates had been made to include recent changes advised by ICO regarding what information should be made available and to reflect changes in titles and names of funding agencies. The committee approved the updated Publication Scheme and related guide and agreed to recommend them to the Board for approval/adoption. 4 PR&Q rdw

5 8 Review of SARs (i) Outcome for Learners The Executive Director, Curriculum and Learning reported that the overall success rate for long qualifications had improved by 1% to 84% in Destination data provided in the report indicated a three year rising trend in the % of positive destinations with a decrease in the % marked as unknown. This improvement in destination data had been recognised by Ofsted. Areas for improvement included the success rates in some programme areas at King s Lynn which were lower than those at the Isle campus, notably in construction and engineering and hair and beauty. Retention is a key issue particularly for 19+ students who leave mid-course to take up employment. A working group is looking at strategies to improve retention. The success rate for Others at Level 3 is poor compared with White British. The latest benchmarking data from FE Choices ( ) had been provided for comparison. Governors noted the improvement in tracking destinations. The Executive Director, Curriculum and Learning advised that the college is getting better at tracking destinations; the key issue is tracking 3-4 years after a student leaves. This is an area that the government is likely to take on. It is expected that the number of unknown destinations will reduce again this year. The Principal noted that he is to bring a proposal to SMT for CWA to participate in the New Anglia LEP economic impact survey, which will add a further dimension to the data. (ii) Leadership and Management The Principal advised that a draft version of this report had been brought to the last meeting of the committee, which had now been further updated. Two key areas for improvement had been identified which included some inconsistency in leadership and management across the college and the performance of students on advanced level programmes. The action plan had also been completed. (iii) Employer Engagement: Workplace Delivery The Principal advised that the Finance and General Purposes Committee review the management of partnership provision bi-annually. This is a strong area of provision and has been graded 1 (outstanding) for the past three years. The PHLLAB peer reference group has reviewed its members approach to partnership delivery and CWA s approach is seen to be leading the way. Ofsted was also complimentary about the way this provision is managed. The Head of Organisational Development and Quality added that at a recent meeting of the PHLLAB group it was felt that the culture of quality assurance, tracking and quality improvement in this area mitigated the high risks associated with this type of provision. Governors asked whether good practice in this area was shared across other others. It was confirmed that good practice was shared where relevant. The reports were noted 5 PR&Q rdw

6 9 Strategic Targets Progress Review The Clerk presented a summary of progress against the targets being monitored by the committee. The following were noted: 1.8 apprenticeship success rates to be at least 85% - these are currently showing as 76% but there is confidence that this will be improved upon ensuring outstanding and good observation grades are in excess of 83% - assisting hourly paid staff to improve their observation grades is an area currently being targeted. Proobserve software allows tracking of observations by curriculum area. It was suggested that a presentation on the software be made to Governors as part of the teaching and learning observation agenda item at the next meeting. Action HoODQ % of students to have an exit interview recorded on Learn currently only 12% have been recorded. The issue is that exit interviews are being conducted but not being entered onto the system. 10 Technology Faculty Progress Report This item was deemed Confidential. Mark Reavell joined the meeting at am 11 Safeguarding SAR Progress Review The Executive Director, Partnerships advised that there has been a significant increase in the number of safeguarding and child protection incidents this year. Social Services referrals have risen from 11 in to 43 in to date. He believes that Raising the Participation Age (RPA) has had an impact on this causing young people, who would have previously been identified as NEET, entering post-16 education bringing additional safeguarding and child protection issues. Staff have to spend an increasing amount of time dealing with problems and it is important to consider how these challenges can be met. 15 additional staff are to be trained as designated Safeguarding Officers by the end of the year. The Executive Director, Curriculum and Learning noted the emotional drain on staff involved in dealing with the practicalities of the situation. A diversifying community brings with it a broad range of issues which staff are not well enough prepared to deal with and back-up services are not always able to provide full information. Training additional staff will help to spread the burden but staff need to be aware of when enough is enough and to pass the situation on. Governors noted the concerning trend. Mark Reavell left the meeting at am 6 PR&Q rdw

7 12 Ofsted Post Inspection Action Plan Progress Review The Head of Organisational Development and Quality reported that progress against the action plan is slightly behind, with some areas progressing faster than others. A lot of work has been undertaken to date, specifically in teaching and learning and session observations. 13 Complaints November 2013 to February 2014 The Head of Organisational Development and Quality reported that 30 complaints had been received during the period with the majority (63%) from the largest campus in King s Lynn. Complaints regarding on course management administration remains high and this concerning trend will be raised with faculty managers again. Of the 3 complaints outstanding from the previous period 2 are now closed and 1 is awaiting a response from the complainant. 14 Interventions Annual Review This item was deemed Confidential 15 FE Choices The Head of Organisational Development and Quality presented a report benchmarking CWA s performance against other local colleges and selected grade 1 (outstanding) colleges using FE Choices data from the survey for Due to the delay in its release the data is relatively out of date, but indicates that CWA is average to good compared with the sample. More more work remains to be done to improve performance. 16 Value Added The Head of Organisational Development and Quality explained that Value Added (VA) is the difference between the level of attainment a young person arrives with and what is achieved whilst at college, ie what difference the college has made to their education. He talked through the graphs provided which indicated that the college s overall VA performance as at January 2014 is average. Vocational qualifications are below average and it is an area that is being targeted hard currently to improve. The Extended Diploma in Health Studies has a VA performance below the national average with a significant number of students just passing the course. Understanding VA has improved and a lot of work is being done to add value. The college has introduced a Gradebook process to record the grades of students on arrival and through the year. This will also be available to parents. The Principal added that the aspirational belief that a pass in not enough is the key to adding value. 7 PR&Q rdw

8 17 Any Other Business Relevant teaching and learning reports for presentation to the Board it was suggested that the May briefing for the Board should include an item on Value Added/raising aspirations. Action HoODQ/Clerk 18 Chair s items for briefing to Corporation Curriculum area update Business, Science, Humanities and Computing Technology Faculty progress report Post Inspection Action Plan progress is being made although behind currently 19 Date and time of next Meeting - Wednesday, 21 May 2014 at am: Room A106, Isle Campus The meeting closed at pm 8 PR&Q rdw

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