National Middle Schools’ Forum
Annual General Meeting
Monday October 22nd 2012
Statford on Avon
1. Chair's introductory remarks
Phil Hill introduced the meeting by reminding members of the work the Forum has undertaken over the last 12 months - organising two successful day conferences which moderately priced just to cover the costs of the days. The Forum has focused on issues which were either important developments affecting all middle schools such as the introduction of new formula funding arrangements, or issues which affected the survival of the middle school system.
Phil expressed the Forum’s thanks to Academia for their support for the conference.
2. Treasurer's Report
Sue Kennedy, NMSF Treasurer presented accounts covering the period 15th October 2011 to 31st August 2012 – a period slightly less than a full year which is designed to align the accounting period to the timing of the AGM in future years.
- Income during this period - £25,402.92
- Expenditure during this period – £23,284.27
In total the current balance in the two accounts Total £11,725.51
Balance as at 31/08/2012
HSBC Community £7430.31
HSBC Business Account £2418.46
The balance remaining is lower than last year, reflecting the smaller number of schools contributing subscriptions.
Sue Kennedy was thanked for her hard work as treasurer and for her contribution to the development of the work of the Forum.
3. Executive Officer's report
Directory of Middle Schools 2012 – The Executive Officer has produced a new directory of middle schools for 2012 which shows that there are currently 200 middle schools. The Directory can be downloaded from the NMSF website.
Support for Suffolk Middle Schools
Nigel Wyatt has attended a meeting of the governors at Bacton Middle School to offer advice and support as they face reorganisation proposals in the next phase of Suffolks plans to close all its middle schools. He has written a booklet, Middle Schools Reconsidered, which seeks to present current evidence countering some of the statements frequently made by LA officers. This, together with a PowerPoint version, can be downloaded form the NMSF website.
Support for schools in the Shelley Pyramid, Kirklees.
Shelley College, a 13 to 18 High School, is about to start a consultation on a proposal that it alter its age range to 11 to 18. This would clearly affect the two very successful and popular middle schools that currently feed into it. Nigel Wyatt has contacted the EFA and Office of the Schools Adjudicator to better understand the implications of these moves. There appears to be a democratic deficit here, in that there is no opportunity for any other party, such as parents or governors in the feeder schools, to make representations directly to those making the decision at government level.
The relationship with Ofsted that has been established through Gill Jones has been beneficial on both sides, and many schools report that inspectors are now much better informed about the importance of using school data to inform judgements about achievement and progress over the full four years of the schools’ programme.
5. KS3 Benchmarking Data
The final, corrected version of the data should be sent to schools in the next week after small issues in the data provided by schools have been resolved. The change this year, to split English into reading and writing, has meant that it has not been possible to provide a comparison with the 2007 national KS3 SATs as this data does not appear to be available.
6. Suggestions for the NMSF Development Plan 2013
Member’s views were sought on the future of the annual conference and the work of the Forum over the coming year.
- Recruitment – to examine the availability of routes to QTS through middle years courses, or on the job training in middle schools.
- Developing international links with middle school systems around the world to give a wider perspective for middle school development in this country.
- Research – sharing developments in middle school systems – academy status, teaching schools……
- Building on the success of the KS3 benchmarking work to consider similar developments at first/middle school transfer. One suggestion was to consider whether the use of CAT data might provide a vehicle
- Research to monitor the impact of the new funding formula on middle school systems.
These suggestions will be considered at the forthcoming steering committee meeting on London on November 7th.
7. Steering Committee Membership 2012/13
LA areas were encouraged to consider ensuring that they were represented at Steering Committee meetings in London, and for existing members to consider bringing a ‘friend’.
The were no items for consideration
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Dates for Steering Committee Meetings for the coming year
· Wednesday November 7th, 2012
· Wednesday March 6th, 2013
· Wednesday June 12th, 2013
At 10.30 - St Saviours Church, St George's Square, Pimlico, SW1V 9AL