The Board met at the REC offices and all members bar James Holt and Emma McVitie were present. Before the substantial business was discussed, potential conflicts of interest were recorded. The minutes of the meeting on 9th March were then agreed and a few action points discussed as matters arising.

Trevor Cooling gave an oral report as Chair of the Council. In this, he noted the forthcoming term ends for the Officers and the elections that would, therefore, take place for these roles in 2017 and 2018. He informed the Board that he and Dave Francis intended to stand again as Chair and Vice-Chair, but that Peter Ward would stand down as Company Secretary having served nine years on the Board. Richy Thompson is still considering whether to stand for a second term as Treasurer. Trevor also commented on the heavy workload carried by the office team given the everyday demands of the REC and the additional work created by the Commission. Finally, he invited comments on the recent AGM and suggestions for improving this event as an experience for members. He then reflected on:

  1. The long-term question of the financial sustainability of the REC and the forthcoming seminar with the CAF.
  2. The implications for RE of the recent terrorist atrocities in London and Manchester.

Rudi then spoke to his written CEO’s report tabled in advance of the meeting. This covered his diary and his work on the Commission, the PR group response to the General Election announcement, the risk management policy of the REC, succession planning for Board membership and the forthcoming round of staff appraisals.

Richy then gave a report on the finances of the REC, noting that there were no immediate issues for concern and that performance this year was on budget. There was a brief discussion on the recruitment of schools for REQM in the West Midlands.

As company Secretary, Peter introduced a brief item to regularise recording of changes of Board membership. This was followed  by a discussion of subscriptions. It was decided to keep subscriptions at 2016/17 levels, but to encourage members to consider thinking adding to the basic subscription with a voluntary additional payment.

The Board has recently adopted the practice of holding an open-ended discussion of an item of contemporary importance for RE. At this meeting, the question of the nature of a minimum entitlement statement for RE was discussed. Each Board member was invited to contribute one/two sentences in turn. This was followed by an open discussion which included members sharing their experience of the Big Ideas project based at Exeter University. No decisions were recorded as the purpose of these items is “reflective chewing the cud” rather than decision making.

The final hour of the meeting consisted of consideration of matters arising not previously covered from the tabled minutes of the PR group, the Governance Committee, the Finance and Fundraising Committee and the Education Committee.  Key issues were:

  1. A report from Deborah Weston on various data that has been gathered as part of the State of the Nation report and other activities.
  2. A report on the planned activity for the political party conferences early next term.
  3. The worrying data on recruitment for RE ITE courses.
  4. Risk management.

Finally, Trevor thanked Sylwia for her work for the REC and wished her well as she starts her PGCE course at Canterbury Christ Church in the new academic year.

Trevor Cooling