- 1. Welcome and apologies for absence
Ken Wingfield (KW) welcomed everyone to the meeting and expressed thanks for making the journey to Kingham Hill School. He explained that over the last few months the committee had been involved in seeking a new direction and that a new positive move had been made to work closer with the school, by making the Development Officer part of the Kingham Hill School Association.
KW expressed that the committee are proposing a number of changes for members to vote on at this year’s AGM. The most important change is to vote on the appointment ex officio of Kingham Hill School’s Development Officer (currently Mrs Harriet Dearden) to the role of Chairman. This change is reflected in the amendments to the constitution, which the committee recommends ratifying at today’s meeting.
These were received from Nick Thompson, Bill Parker, and Jon Montgomerie.
KW passed chairing the meeting to Harriet Dearden (HD) as Temporary Chairman.
- 2. Minutes of previous AGM meeting
The minutes of the previous AGM, held on Saturday 18 May 2013, were presented.
Proposed by: Simon Briggs: seconded Brain Dean.
Minutes approved as an accurate record of the meeting.
- 3. Matters Arising
HD explained that at last year’s AGM a motion was carried for the committee to look into the possibility of reintroducing members’ subscriptions. Having discussed at committee meetings throughout the year, where the views of both the KHA and the school were considered, as well as a review of the survey carried out on the KHSD site, the committee came to the decision that the reintroduction of subs would create an exclusive section of former pupils, which had many negative implications. It was agreed that the membership should remain free and automatic for former KHS pupils to encourage more recent school leavers to join and get involved with the new structure of the association in the future.
John Timmins stated that he understood from the last meeting that the wider membership would be given an opportunity to vote again on this matter and that he was in favour of the idea to reintroduce subscriptions.
KW replied that Simon Howlett the previous Chairman of KHA had stated that it was a matter to be decided by the committee.
The committee informed the membership of its decision in writing in a statement published on KHSD on 3 February.
Matt Huber asked HD whether it was best practice to charge subs. HD remarked that there are some schools charging membership fees, but that it was not right for KHS. The school wish to have an alumni organisation that is as inclusive as possible, with any member able to attend events if they wish. The introduction of a subscription may cause confusion at a time when total clarity is necessary.
Andrew Morrison stated that some schools had the membership fee included as part of the school fees. HD replied that at the moment, the school has no plans to do this but she was aware that other schools used this model for funding.
Mike Kent expressed that by asking for a fee, members will expect something in return which at the moment we are not able to offer. Furthermore, past experience had shown him that you get little response when a fee is asked for.
Leo Smith commented that as the school did not want the KHA to pursue subs, the KHA should support them in that decision.
Simon Briggs said from his many years of collecting funds for the 200 Club, he knows that it is very time consuming and much time is spent chasing payment. In addition, there are lots of issues, for example setting up lists and methods of collecting. He felt that from the survey there was overall a negative response.
HD expressed on behalf of the committee that it had been agreed that subscriptions would not be reintroduced.
Over the last three months, the committee has been re-examining the KHA constitution and propose a number of changes. Details of these changes had been published on KHSD on 12 March. Members were asked to vote on the amendments to items, 2a, 2d, 4, 8, 9, 13 and 14 of the rules, as outlined below:
2a. To link together all members through the use of the Kingham Hill School Days website (KHSD) and by assisting the school with its organisation of events and reunions.
2d. To manage its registered charity, number 273416, being the Kingham Hill Association Centenary Trust, which supports the school mainly through fee support for individual pupils.
4. The committee shall be chaired ex officio by Kingham Hill School’s Development Officer. Other Officers and members of the committee shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting.
8. The following honorary officers of KHA shall be elected at the AGM - Deputy Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. In addition to the Chairman, these are the "Principal Officers". Further members may be elected to serve on the committee as appropriate. The website manager of www.kinghamhillschooldays will be invited to attend committee meetings. The President and Vice Presidents are elected by the committee for life.
9. The committee shall meet at least three times a year, to be called by the secretary, giving a minimum seven days’ notice in the form of an agenda. Minutes of an AGM shall be made available to all members at least twenty-one days before the succeeding AGM. Any proposed alterations to the rules should be submitted in writing, to the Secretary, 28 days before the AGM. An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be held whenever the committee think expedient, or whenever four members request, in writing to the secretary. Then giving all members, fourteen days, notice of such a meeting.
13. The KHS Development Officer will organise relevant alumni events including an annual reunion during the summer term.
14. KHA and KHS will publish a termly newsletter on the KHSD website which will also be available on request in printed form.
The forum was asked to vote on these amendments collectively.
Proposed by Simon Briggs; seconded by Mike Kent.
Votes in favour: 20
Votes against: 0
KW thanked all those who had worked on the new document over the last few months.
- 4. Reports and Accounts
The Chairman’s report can be found on page 2 of the Annual Report. In addition to this HD expressed that the school is delighted with the changes to the constitution and to be working closely with the KHA in this new chapter for alumni relations.
The latest financial reports had been circulated as part of the Annual Report. MK expressed his thanks to Andrew Morrison, a KHA member, for his time and expertise by producing formal accounts and acting as Independent Examiner to ensure with comply will Charity Commission legislation.
Andrew praised MK for his excellent work with the accounts, expressing that it made his job much easier.
In addition to his report, MK stated that he had met with the new Bursar, Catriona Thompson to outline criteria for future bursaries. He reported that the KHA Centenary Trust Fund is currently supporting bursaries for five pupils.
MK stated for the record that the KHA CTF is not in competition with fundraising efforts at KHS but that the KHA Centenary Fund will continue to receive donations.
Eddie White questioned whether the figure of £133,189 of the Ruffers accumulation account on page 5 of the annual report was before or after the transfer of £15,000 to the CTF general account. MK replied that the figure showed the balance after the transfer of funds.
The forum was asked to vote on the adoption of the 2013 accounts:
Proposed: Bill Collett; seconded: Eddie White.
Votes in favour: 20
Votes against: 0
HD thanked MK for all his hard work as Treasurer over the year.
Nick Seward (NS) spoke his to report published in the Annual Report. He said that the 2020 Vision strategy was progressing well and pointed out three areas:
- Viability: sufficient numbers attending the school;
- Improved academic reputation;
- Building new facilities
Stewart Brindley asked about current pupil numbers and the financial circumstances of the school. NS replied that the school roll was currently at 305, with 65% boarders and 35% day pupils. For the first time, there is a waiting list for new pupils who wish to join the school in Year 9 in September. Financially, the school is now generating a surplus.
NS emphasised the reintroduction of Clyde House, which will be the new junior day boys’ house. Andrew Morrison stated that he was delighted to see the name Clyde being reinstated at some time in the future.
NS reported that he had attended Ralph Mann’s funeral in Kingham church earlier that week and whilst there, he had seen the grave stones with names of old boys from the early 20th century which showed boys living in Stratford and Swansea. We hope to be able to reintroduce these names at some point in the future.
Matt Huber asked about the international numbers in the school. NS replied currently, about 16% of the school speak English as a second language.
Simon Briggs asked about the school’s inspections. NS said that as an independent school KHS is inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) and we do not come under Ofsted. Recent inspections have gone well and the most recent reports the school has received have been good.
John Timmins asked the Headmaster to elaborate on the school’s connections with the Buttle Trust. NS told the meeting about a new pilot scheme run by Buttle, who work closely with primary school head teachers to identify pupils who would benefit from a boarding education. Kingham Hill School is one of twelve schools in this scheme and has one pupil who is thriving at school and it is hoped that more pupils will come to KHS in the future under this initiative.
The Headmaster was thanked for his report.
- Kingham Hill School Days
A report from Simon Howlett, KHSD Administrator was published in the Annual Report.
Brian Dean asked for clarification of the phrase “working with school on something very exciting for the future”. John Timmins replied that this referred to some rebranding of the site in the near future.
Brian also asked about the independence remark made in the report. HD explained that the school and School Day team work closely together with the school contributing content but that the site remained an independent entity.
HD recoded thanks to Simon Howlett and his team for all their work on the KHSD site. She and NS had heard from relatives of Havelock Farm boys in Canada how useful they found the site and how helpful it was in their family research.
A report from Tony Middleton detailing the work undertaken in the Archives was published as part of the Annual Report. HD invited Tony Middleton to speak to the meeting.
Tony repeated his request of decent images of Headmasters: Mr Benfield and Rev Forrester.
He also had on his laptop in the Library various pictures which everyone was welcome to view during the afternoon.
Simon Briggs suggested perhaps we could approach the former official photographers Packer who took school photos for many years. John Timmins reported that he had done quite a lot research into the history of the school and during this he had discovered that Packer had moved to the Manchester area and has sold a lot of their material to the Salford council.
- 200 Club and Memorabilia
Simon Briggs’ report can be found at page 10 of the Annual Report. He stated that he has been running the 200 club for many years and asked for people to join. He reminded members that we have the draw each year at the AGM and the results are published on the KHSD site.
- 5. Appointment of Independent Examiner
Andrew Morrison of Morrison Associates was proposed to continue his excellent work as independent examiner of the accounts.
Proposed: Bill Collett, seconded by Eddie White. Vote was unanimous.
Andrew Morrison thanked the meeting and said his job had been made easier by the good book keeping of the treasurer. HD thanked Andrew on behalf of the committee for his work with Mike on the accounts.
- 6. Appointment of Officers and Committee for 2014/15
Deputy Chairman Ken Wingfield
Proposed: Mike Kent; seconded John Timmins. Vote unanimous
Treasurer Mike Kent
Proposed: John Hughes; seconded Brian Dean. Vote unanimous.
Jon Montgomerie: proposed Ken Wingfield; seconded Mike Kent.
Simon Briggs: proposed Keith Targett; seconded Matt Huber.
Leo Smith: proposed Mike Kent; seconded John Timmins.
David Ware: proposed Mike Kent; seconded John Hughes.
HD thanked all those who have stood again for the committee and for their on-going commitment and work.
- 7. A.O.B.
- Simon Briggs asked when the KHA started. He stated it was not as old as the school. John Hughes said the association started around 1933.
- Matt Huber asked HD about plans from communication and social media. HD said she felt broadening alumni activities was vital to the school. Former pupils use Facebook and whilst at moment there is no ‘official’ KHS alumni Facebook page, for the time being, pages already set up by former pupils are being used to advertise events.
- Simon Briggs asked about future AGM dates. HD said ideally a regular date will be set that works with the school. Whilst the AGM this year is earlier than it has been in previous year, there are very few Saturdays in the busy Trinity term when an event of this nature can take place. This topic will be on the agenda for the next committee meeting.
- Ken Wingfield reported that the quiz night was a success and it was good to see new members coming back for their first visit in 50 years.
With no further business the meeting closed at 12.00 pm.
Minutes prepared by Ken Wingfield MBE