National Middle Schools’ Forum Newsletter

Minutes of the Steering Committee Meeting held on 12th June 2012

National Middle Schools’ Forum


Minutes of the Steering Committee Meeting held on 12th June 2012

1 Present

Phil Hill (Somerset), John Kime (Staffs), Zoe Linington (Herts), Julie Michael (Herts), Iain Clarke (Dorset), Paul Hugall (Newcastle), Caroline McGuckian (C. Beds), Nigel Wyatt (Associate Officer).

2. Apologies

Apologies were received from Sue Kennedy (Herts), David Doubtfire (Worcs)

3. Minutes

The minutes of the last meeting in 6th March 2012 were approved

4. Matters Arising


No maters arising

5. Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer reported that the accounts stood as follows:

Business Account:    £2,418.10

Community Account:  £10,972.54

Total funds £13,390.64 – less an outstanding cheque of £4,402.50 for the deposit for the October Conference hotel. This will be refunded through conference delegate payments.

Signatories for the Forum bank accounts with HSBC

Following the retirement of Sue Kenney and John Kime it was agreed that signatories for the accounts should be any two from the following four:

·         Phil Hill, Chairman

·         Zoe Linington, Treasurer

·         Laura Flitton, Committee member

·         Lesley Judge, Administrator

Nigel Wyatt will make arrangements so that this will come into effect following the October National Conference.

A proposal to increase member subscriptions to £100 will be put before the next AGM at our October conference.


Nigel Wyatt to discuss with Sue Kennedy the future of the administration of the Forum business.


6. Executive Officer's report

Day Conference 22nd June 2012 - there are currently 20 bookings for the Day Conference. With three or four additional bookings the day should break even. The lower than expected take up may be due to the timing in the summer term.

The day will focus on Behaviour and on Performance Management requirements in inspections.


Middle School Funding – New proposals were published just before Easter. Nigel Wyatt discussed these with Natalie Patel, DfE – and then produced a briefing paper for schools. There has been progress in that it is proposed that there will now be a flat rate element for funding of all schools. The representation for middle school interests on the Schools Forum clearly varies by LA – and will be of central importance as new formula arrangements are agreed. The period form consultation has now closed and we await the outcome.

7. Conference 2012

A draft plan for the conference was presented and agreed. Phil Hill has been able to negotiate an agreement for Apple to fund the Keynote session and workshops for the first day. Lord Baker has confirmed that he will speak on the second day, together with the existing agreement that Gill Jones from Ofsted will speak about the new inspection requirements which will com into place in September 2012.

It was agreed to explore:

Some other workshop sessions suggestions:

Iain Clark – Establishing international partnerships through Comenius Paul Rushforth - Headteacher as Ofsted Inspector Esafety requirements Keeping school data secure

The possibility of a motivational speaker for the Monday Afternoon

It was agreed that Phil Hill and Nigel Wyatt will arrange the full conference programme.


Nigel Wyatt to agree with Phil Hill the full conference programme.


8. Key Stage 3 Benchmarking 2012

It was agreed to repeat the KS3 benchmarking data collection which schools found so helpful last year with the following changes -

To split the English level into two separate levels for Reading and Writing.

To retain just a single MFL level.

To retain the NOR and ask in addition for the %FSM and %SEN (taken to be all those in the SEN register at either SA, SA+ or Statemented.

It was agreed to retain the system used last year whereby schools that contributed data received the full school level data. Other schools would have access to overall average levels.


Nigel Wyatt to send data collection forms to schools in July and then compile data for distribution to schools.


9. Area News

·         Bedfordshire – In Central Bedfordshire msany schools are seeking to develop collaborative arrangements. Biggleswade Academy is hoping to develop a 2 to 13 service through a multi academy trust.

·         Northumberland – Meadowdale Middle School has finally succeeding in converting to an academy.

·         Staffordshire – Churnet View Middle School and Westwood High School in Leek have formed a federation with a single governing body.

·         Somerset – The partnership with South West One has not delivered on some promised services. The Somerset Compact of schools looks set to become a trust to commission services for schools.

·         Dorset – Purbeck reorganisation – It looks as though the LA will incur much higher levels of redundancy costs than was originally envisaged.

§  Herts. – The local authority has consulted over the closure of Bridgewater and Thomas Coram Middle Schools – and looks set to reorganise the system. This would leave 4 middle schools in Hertfordshire.

§  Combs – Gallingly Middle School has now become part of the Stratton School Academy and is being run by the deputy Head of the Stratton School who as become the Head of School.


12. AOB


13. Future meetings

The room at St Saviours will not be available on Tuesdays in the coming year – so it was agreed to move the Steering Committee meetings to Wednesdays in the coming year 2012/13

Steering Committee Meetings – date of next meeting:

o    Wednesday November,w3 7th 2012

o    Wednesday March 6th, 2013

o    Wednesday June 12th, 2013

At 10.30 am – St Saviour’s Church, St George’s Square, Pimlico, SW1V 9AL

The meeting closed at 12.20 p.m.