National Middle Schools’ Forum Newsletter

Minutes of the Steering Committee Meeting held on 16th November 2010

National Middle Schools’ Forum


Minutes of the Steering Committee Meeting held on 16th November  2010

1 Present

Sue Kennedy (Herts), David Doubtfire(Worcs), Gary Booth (I.o.W), Phil Hill(Somerset), Michael Clark (Cambs), John Kime (Staffs), Paul Hugall (Newcastle) Nigel Wyatt (Associate Officer).

2. Apologies

Apologies were received from Barbara Reseigh (Northants), Iain Clarke (Dorset), Ann Payne(Central Beds)

3. Minutes

In the absence of Barbara Reseigh, Gary Booth kindly agreed to chair the meeting.

The minutes of the last meeting on 8th June 2010 were agreed.

4. Matters Arising


No matters arising

5. Election of Officers

Barbara Reseigh will continue as Chair for a further year. Sue Kennedy has agreed to continue as Treasurer.

6. Steering Committee meetings

It was agreed to hold over the discussion of the start time until the next meeting when Barbara Reseigh will hopefully be present to speak for the proposal.

As agreed at the recent AGM the committee discussed the agreement that steering committee members be able to claim travel expenses from the Forum. In some cases the local organisation has an arrangement to meet the travel costs of their representative attending Steering Committee meetings – but for many this is not the case.

It was agreed that committee members may claim travel from NMSF in the event that costs are not met locally. Claims should be by invoice to the Treasurer Sue Kennedy.

7. Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer reported that the accounts stood as follows on 20th October:

Business Account:    £10,632.47

Community Account:  £4,396.33

Total funds £14,686

There are currently £3914.57 in uncleared cheques.

2010 Subscriptions received so far £12225.00

The 2010 conference accounts had not yet been finalised but currently the deficit on the conference stands at £2355.87, with some further bills yet to be paid.


Nigel Wyatt to liaise with Sue Kennedy and Lesley Judge over the creation of invoices for subscriptions for 2011.


8. Executive Officer's report

Nigel Wyatt reported on the end of the joint National Strategies/NMSF APP project. The work of the schools concerned had been disseminated at conference and is available to all schools through the NMSF website

Support has been given to four schools in North Yorkshire facing reorganisation proposals and a paper written commenting on the LAs proposals.

Nigel Wyatt will be attending the launch of the World Class Curriculum on Wednesday 17th November to represent the Forum.

To avoid having too many surveys at once the proposed survey to collect benchmarking data for Year 8 in all subjects had not yet taken place – and will be circulated shortly.


Nigel Wyatt to attend World Class Curriculum launch and circulate a report.


Nigel Wyatt to devise a survey to collect Year 8 levels attained in all subjects for the purposes of benchmarking.


9. Conference 2010

The evaluations of conference delegates were very positive – showing that all felt the conference to have been successful – and good value for money. The speakers had made an important contribution with thoughtful and stimulating presentations, while the contribution of the children to the celebration of 40 years of middle schools education was superb.

10. Day Conference 2011

The day conferences held in the last two years were very successful –and the survey of members showed that these had been valued.

It was agreed to hold a further conference, repeated at two venues, on the theme:

Academies, Trusts, Federations – The way forward?

Proposed that the conference would be an opportunity to invite interested heads and governors from first, middle and high schools – and as we anticipated larger numbers should be repeated twice – once in London and once in the midlands.


Nigel Wyatt to arrange two venues and explore possible speakers.

Members to extend invitations to first and upper school colleagues.


11.National Conference 2011

It was agreed by at that on the basis of the feedback from members and the success of the conference this year that the Forum should hold a two day residential conference in 2011.

The NCSL venue is not available at the equivalent time in 2011 – and so the committee considered quotes presented by Nigel Wyatt for possible venues in the midlands and London.

It was agreed to explore two of the venues further – Dunchurch Park and The Stratford Manor Hotel. 

The dates agreed were Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th October, 2011.

It was agreed to hold a conference planning meeting of members of the Steering Committee able to attend on Tuesday 11th January, 2011 – at St Saviours, Pimlico.


Nigel Wyatt to liaise with members and make a booking for the preferred location.


9. Area News

·         Worcestershire – the Head of Children’s services and the leader of the County Council have both given their support to the continuation of the remaining three tier areas – the later saying that there was no visible difference between the outcomes for the two tier and three tier areas at age 16.

·         Somerset – The LA has been working with schools on the provision of first class services in the hope of minimising the number of schools seeking to become academies.

·         Isle of Wight – Year 5 are now being taught in the new primary schools with the middle schools due to close at the end of this academic year.

·         Staffordshire – the schools in Leek are exploring ways of working together on a more formal basis than the current loose federation.

§         Herts – The schools in the Royston areas are considering the possibility of hard federation, with chairs of governors meeting regularly.

§         Cambs – The future of Gamlingay is under consideration with the LA.


12. AOB


13. Future meetings

Steering Committee Meetings arranged for the coming year:

·         Tuesday 8th March 2011

·         Tuesday 7th June 2011

At 11.00 am – St Saviour’s Church, St George’s Square, Pimlico, SW1V 9AL

The meeting closed at 1.00 p.m.