DUNSTABLE COLLEGE CORPORATION
              Minutes of the meeting of the Academic Board held at 3 15pm on
                      Wednesday 16 January 2007 in the Boardroom

                                 Paul Bailey                      Will Howard
                                 Nicola Barratt                   Bhupa Patel
                                 Geoff Collins                    Charlotte Puddifoot
                                 Derek Condon                     Ian Raynes
                                 Ray Eaton                        Bob Shore
                                 Eamonn Egan                      Sally Thompson
                                 Jerry Goodwin                    Dorothy Tozer
                                 Rachel Halling                   Chris Vesey         (Chair)
                                 Andrew Hill

In attendance:                   Sue Young                        Minuting Secretary

 1.       Apologies for absence

          Apologies for absence were received from Andrew Hill, Charlotte Puddifoot,
          Dorothy Tozer and Tracey Sanders.

 2.       Meeting held on 7 November 2007

          2.1 Unconfirmed minutes: the minutes were agreed as an accurate record.

 3.       Matters arising: none, other than those included in the agenda.

 4.       Self-Assessment Report: update

          Mr Goodwin reminded Members of the rigorous validation process which had
          been undertaken over a two-day period. The College’s process was
          considered to be very effective and had been commended by inspectors at the
          last inspection.

          Membership of the validation panels had included senior managers,
          Governors and representatives from Bedford and Huntingdonshire Colleges.

          The Governors’ Standards Committee had reviewed the grades awarded by
          the validation panel and had subsequently moderated the self-assessed
          grades where appropriate. The graded SAR had been approved by the
          Corporation at its meeting held on 13 December 2007.

          Overall, Governors had considered that some of the SARs were very good
          and wished to convey their appreciation to those members of staff who had Principal/
          prepared them. The process would include feedback to managers, on a one- Dir Ac Stds
          to-one basis.


 5.       Ofsted Enhanced Monitoring Visit

          Members noted that Ofsted would be undertaking a two-day Enhanced
          Monitoring Visit on Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 January 2008. The visit
          would focus on the College’s progress in addressing areas for improvement
          identified at the last full inspection. An assessment would also be made on
          progress made to improve learners’ outcomes and on the broad accuracy of
          the College’s Self-Assessment Report. Consideration was given to the
          programme for the visit, to include briefing meetings in preparation.

          The Principal considered that the College should be proud of improvements
          achieved thus far. Discussion took place on all aspects of the College’s
          provision and issues highlighted by the last inspection.

 6.       Boards of Study: deferred to next meeting.                                         Next agenda

 7.       Analysis of Success Rates

          Members received updated data on retention, achievement and success
          rates, by College department. Variations on this analysis was available on the
          Staff Portal (ProAchieve). Mr Goodwin cautioned that, from September 2008,
          those courses performing below the LSC’s designated Minimum Level of
          Performance would not receive government funding. The Principal noted that
          the College continued to work to improve the quality of its provision and, for
          2006/07 had achieved its target of 74% in terms of success rates.

 8.       Performance Indicators for the Autumn term 2007

          8.1 Learning Observation Summary

                Ms Barratt addressed her report which analysed grades awarded with
                respect to observations (by Subject Sector Area) undertaken during the
                Autumn Term 2007. During. Of the 91 sessions observed, there was an
                improving picture, with an increase from 64% to 69% achieving “Good” or
                better. It was noted that this improvement correlated with the decrease in
                the number of “Satisfactory” grades awarded. Whilst the total number of
                observations had decreased from 123 compared to 91, any shortfall could
                be accounted for by observations undertaken by QIA advisers during

          8.2 SPOC induction report

                Ms Barratt addressed her report which focused on feedback from the
                most recent survey.       Analysis of outcomes would support the
                development of appropriate actions to improve the effectiveness of
                application and induction processes and so support continued
                improvements in learner satisfaction across the College.

                Ms Barratt was pleased to report that 855 learners had participated in the
                process (13% more than the previous year). The reports generated
                enabled the College to compare levels of satisfaction (measured by the
                degree to which learners agreed with the statements contained within the
                questionnaires) against year-on-year College data.

                 Each area would prepare an action plan to respond to issues highlighted HODs
                 by the process.

 9.       Marketing: league tables

          Members received government league tables which listed GCSE and A-level
          achievement in Bedfordshire and Luton. An analysis of trends indicated a
          significant improvement in Luton (50%+ A – C).

10.       Equal Opportunities

          The Principal addressed unconfirmed minutes from the Equal Opportunities
          Committee meeting held on 12 November 2007. Members noted, in
          particular, the recent successful staff development training day which had
          focused on equality and diversity. The Equal Opportunities Co-ordinator had
          reported that previous policies had been replaced by the College’s Equality
          Schemes (published on the website). An over-arching Equality Policy had
          been approved by the Corporation at its meeting held on 13 December 2007.

          The College had been accredited by Job Centre Plus as a Member of the
          “Two Ticks” initiative.  This symbol would be used on all College
          advertisements and headed stationery.

11.        Learner Voice

           Ms Barratt addressed her report which gave an overview of activity within the
           College relating to the Learner Voice initiative. A Learner Voice Group had
           been established in College to meet fortnightly in order to discuss the
           development of a Learner Involvement Strategy. This would include three
           key themes: representation; consultation and participation.

           Representation: by course representatives at meetings, outcomes from
           which would be fed back to the learners.

           Consultation: with learners on their experiences in College. SPOC forms
           provided a useful tool in this process.

           Participation: the enrichment programme and learners’ participation in
           cross-College events and the community.

           Staff and students were enthusiastic about the Learner Voice initiative which
           should develop and become embedded into the culture of all course teams as
           an essential part of good practice in teaching and learning. The two new
           Student Governors would be an integral part of the process.

12.        Policies and Procedures

           The Clerk reminded Members of the ongoing review of College Policies and
           Procedures. The Corporation had ultimate responsibility for ensuring that
           aspects of the College’s working were governed appropriately by a set of
           policies which were adequate and appropriate, both in number and scope.
           The Corporation’s Policy GOV022 had established a framework for the
           process. In most instances, the average period between reviews would be
           three years (five years, where appropriate). Reviews could be undertaken All to Clerk
           more frequently, however, if legal changes or good practice required. It was
           hoped that the review would be completed within the Spring Term 2008.

13.        Other business

           13.1      Virtual Learning Environment

                      The Principal noted the ongoing training programme and encouraged
                      HODs to support staff to utlise on-line resources.

           13.2      Not Engaged in Education or Training (NEET)

                      Mr Goodwin reported that NEET numbers (locally) had reduced to
                      6.6.%. This improvement had been attributed to the College’s
                      undertaking to keep some courses open until the end of September.
                      This had provided an opportunities for this cohort of disaffected young
                      people to be enrolled on a College course.

The Chair thanked Members for their attendance and for their contributions. The
meeting ended at 4:35 pm.

Chair ......................................................................... Date .............................................


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