REC Board Meeting:  5th March 2020

By Professor Trevor Cooling: Chair of REC

The Board met at the REC offices from noon to 5pm on 5th March 2020

Apologies were received from Sushma Sahajpal and Philip Robinson. The other ten Directors were present, including Deborah Weston who was present by video link from her home.

The Board formally recorded the co-option of Rosemary Rivett as a Board member on 5th December and thanked her for stepping in as acting Treasurer.

The initial formalities were to note potential conflicts of interest and loyalty, to formally record changes to the Board and to receive, correct and then accept the minutes and to review matters arising from the meeting of 5th December 2019.

The Chair congratulated Rudi on his appointment as CEO of the Independent Schools Association and paid tribute to his work as the REC CEO for five and a half years. He notes that Rudi will finish at the REC around the end of June with his contact formally finishing on 31st July. The Chair gave a brief report in which he reported on his plenary address at the SW SACRE conference and on his work in informing stakeholders of Rudi’s resignation. He again emphasised the hard work of the executive staff and the continuing pressure on them.

  1. CEO’s Report

The CEO went through his previously circulated report, during the course of which there was discussion of the Worldview Project, the Welsh Government recent announcements, the LAN Pilot Project, the forthcoming AGM and Board elections, the terms of reference for the Education Committee and the REQM Committee and requested approval of the REQM Development Plan, which was agreed. Finally the Board agreed the three level response plan that the CEO tabled for the Coronavirus crisis.

  1. Treasurer’s Report and 2019/2020 Budget

The financial report for the first six of the 2019-2020 financial year was reviewed. A number of risks to estimated income were noted. It was reported that the auditors were still checking the 2018-2019 accounts. It was also noted that the incorrect subscription request to members had been corrected. Further discussion of the financial report was deferred to the Reserved item.

  1. Company Secretary’s Report

The membership application from The Independent Schools Christian Alliance (TISCA) was approved unanimously for presenting to the Council at the AGM.

  1. Reserved Item: Responding to the CEO’s Resignation

The Chair invited each of the staff to comment on their proposals given the resignation of the CEO. The staff then left the room.

The Board then reviewed the appropriate action in the current circumstances and agreed to set up a transition steering group consisting of the Officers and other Board members who are available to serve. Board members were asked to let the Chair know if they wished to participate. The Steering Group was given delegated authority to act on behalf of the Board.

The Board also decided to contract a bid writer to work on funding application for 2021.

The Board agreed to appoint an interim Executive Officer to ensure that the REC fulfilled its current obligations whilst the Board were reviewing the longer term response.

  1. Committee Minutes

The minutes from the Policy Unit, Governance Committee, Finance and Fundraising and Education Committees were reviewed. The Board accepted the safeguarding policy tabled with the Governance Committee minutes.

The next meeting of the Board is 21st May 2020.