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Rushmoor Schools Plus Steering Group Notes of meeting at Rushmoor Borough Council – 14th September 2011 Mark Sammes (MS) - Manor Junior School (Chairman) Jane Armstrong (JA) - Farnborough Grange Infant School and LCP Chair Amanda Rowley (AR) - Wavell School Jo Riglar (JR) - St. Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School Fiona Hodgson (FH) - St. Mark’s CE Primary School Liz Beckwith (LB) - The Linden Education Centre Corinne Martinez (CM) - Cove Junior School Tony McGovern (TM) - Rushmoor Schools Plus Mark Saunders (MSRS) - Hampshire County Council Property Services Part Two 1. Welcome and introduction MS chaired the meeting and welcomed Mark Saunders (MSRS). MS outlined the background to the PIER project and the use of the Blenheim Building. The involvement of Rushmoor Schools Plus is due to the wish to find a home for the PIER, and the bid invited by County to that respect. He reiterated that a Management Committee will be established to move the Blenheim Buildings collaboration forward, and that this meeting was partly to establish clarity of understanding of the latest version of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), in order that he could sign the agreement confidently on behalf of Rushmoor Schools Plus. MSRS provided further background from the County’s perspective. He outlined the complexity of a situation caused by the move of Samuel Cody school to the vacant Oak Farm site, the future need of the Blenheim Building (the site vacated by Samuel Cody), and the Aldershot Urban Regeneration (AUR) development that is gathering pace. MSRS confirmed that this sort of project is not County policy, more a coming together of several unique elements, and that mid term the Blenheim Building will be included as part of the secondary school provision requirement for expansion caused by AUR. MSRS confirmed that the collaborative use of the Blenheim Building by Rushmoor Schools Plus and the Rushmoor LCP will be for at least 3 years. It is important to be clear though that this arrangement will end – however, should the use of the building be a success, County will help as early and as far as possible to find alternative arrangements. MS then clarified that there are specific requirements from County about the use of the building. To ensure that Schools Forum funding can support the site, the facility is primarily available to support children, not to support staff. There is no definitive statement available though, about where the line is drawn about these two contrasting but complementary uses of the building. MSRS outlined the importance of the Responsible Manager role in securing a robust agreement. There is no capacity within County to do this role, and MSRS is very grateful that AR agreed to carry out the role. (This was seconded by JA on behalf of the LCP). 2. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) - General MSRS reported that the MOU is not the finished article, but generally represents the decisions made in working group meetings. The MOU defines: Some areas of use by Wavell School full-time Some areas of use by Wavell for a secured amount of time, and by the LCP at other times One classroom for use by Wavell for a small number of timetabled classes, as a consequence of the SBLD requirement at Wavell A science lab facility to support primary school science delivery Some areas of use by The Pier exclusively (Rooms A, B, C, D and E), although Food Tech room D could be used by primary schools (there is no leased equipment in the room) Hall for use by Wavell across the lunchtime period. There is uncertainty about the use of the upstairs room currently, although Wavell will be using Room L for their ‘Drop-in’ facility. There will be appropriate, timely reviews of the spending arrangements for the Blenheim Building to check whether Forum funding meets costs. MSRS suggested that the revenue capability of vacant rooms needed careful consideration bearing in mind that the PIER will be accessed by vulnerable children. JA confirmed that use of these rooms would require a formal process through the LCP. AR confirmed that the Campus has a hiring policy in place that protects against the misuse of the building. MSRS believed that the next meeting date for the working group was potentially the 4 th October, followed by a meeting in November. 3. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) - Detail The draft MOU was considered item by item by all present. MSRS produced a revised draft on 16th September (attached to these Notes). Edited notes of the changes considered: 1.d. – Manor Junior School has yet to formally agree to be the ‘Fund Holding School’. A budget has been set aside for the operational costs of the building, however Manor, whilst in agreement with the process outlined by County, would require further clarification from County about liability if costs outstrip the agreed budget. Telephones – Samuel Cody took their digital system to the Oak Farm site. MSRS working with Wavell to provide a system that provides the minimum required. Data Charges – Wavell is investigating IT coverage. The infrastructure is in place but there is a question about the cost of connectivity, and maintenance, that needs addressing. Security – There is a key holder service in place. 7.a. FH suggested that the funding criteria for use of the Building determined by County would be useful as an appendix. MSRS to investigate. 7.c.2. – Add ‘outside PIER hours’ to use of the Food Tech room. 10.b. – MSRS confirmed that the contents of the PIER / LCP rooms would not be insured as a matter of course. Query from MS about whether equipment bought and provided by individual schools would be insured? 4. Other Considerations PIER rooms work is currently out to tender. MS asked to kept in the loop so that he and others could have involvement in some of the details. This work should be completed during the October half term. Training for Jennifer Hill starts next week. Good turnout expected for the SEN staff training at Autodesk. MS provided an outline of roles connected to the PIER. An advert has gone out for PIER support staff. The closing date is 30 th September.
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