Click here to download the KH Minutes 7th June 2014
Patron: Lord Adonis of Camden
Subject to ratification
Minutes of the Meeting of the Kingham Hillians' Committee held at 10:30am on
Saturday 5 June 2014 in the Archive Room.
Present: Harriet Dearden (Chairman), Simon Briggs, Brian Dean, John Hughes, Mike Kent, Leo Smith, Ken Wingfield, Eddie White.
In attendance: Nick Seward (Headmaster).
1. Apologies: Jon Montgomerie, Simon Howlett (Kingham Hill School Days), David Ware.
2. Minutes of the meeting held on Saturday 22 March 2014
These were approved as an accurate record of the meeting.
3. Matters arising
a. Mind the Gap: HD has contacted all Hillians who live overseas, for whom we have contact details, with information about the Mind the Gap initiative. Any Hillian who is able to host a gap year traveller for a night or two should register their interest with Tim Lofts, who lives in New Zealand, and has kindly offered to co-ordinated the programme.
Details will be available to pupils taking a gap year when leaving KHS. Tim Lofts will liaise with the school.
b. Plaque in Kingham churchyard: MK stated that due to pressures of preparing the accounts, he had had little time to progress this, but that he intended to make further enquiries regarding costs and materials for the plaque. The church and diocese had agreed the idea in principle but plans and specification are now needed and would require approval by the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) and the correct faculty from the Diocese.
It was noted that it may prove to be prohibitively expensive to pursue the project but that a list of pupils who are buried in the churchyard was an important part of the school's history and should be undertaken if possible. MK suggested contacting Doug Ainsley in the school's DT department to ask if the school has the appropriate equipment to create the plaque in house to keep the cost down.
Action: MK and HD to continue to pursue.
4. Headmaster's report: safe guarding of pupils and marketing
NS reported that not much had changed since his AGM report in April so he would take agenda items four and five together. The school Octagon Society (academic society) had recently had a very interesting talk from author Roger Ellory (Hillian 1991-82) who has now established an international reputation for his crime novels.
NS talked briefly about the two LEA pupils who are supported by Westminster Council. Both are doing very well in their studies: one is taking his GCSE exams and is showing he is one of the top pupils and expected to do well.
NS stated that with the rise of the use of computers and other electronic facilities, the school still feels that it is important to maintain the standard of handwriting, grammar and spelling. It is essential that all pupils should retain the basic knowledge of writing and being able to communicate by letter writing, and this is something that will continue to be a priority in the years ahead.
In addition to his report, the Headmaster also went on to speak about two additional topics.
Safe-guarding of pupils
NS expressed that we need to ensure that all adults who visit the school site are permitted to do so. Staff are expected to challenge anyone who is not wearing identification about who they are and the purpose of their visit.
Ideally, Hillians coming to visit the school should contact HD in advance but this isn't always possible so all visitors must always register at Reception on arrival. Visitors must also be escorted on the site at all times. Unfortunately, we cannot allow Hillians or other visitors to wander around the site unaccompanied. It is an identified part of the Development Officer's job description to undertake tours for Hillians and other visitors and we do encourage people to visit, but it is much easier when we know to expect guests.
BD asked about control on events. NS replied that risk assessments are carried out for individual events and we know in advance who we are expecting. Events are usually contained to one part of the school which can be managed effectively.
NS then spoke about marketing and the important role to be played by everyone who knows the school to speak out about the good qualities of Kingham Hill. A verbal recommendation through conversation can be stronger than printed publicity.
As an example, NS mentioned the diagram that BD bought along to a previous meeting that compared KHS with other non-selective schools in Oxfordshire with A Level results where KHS came top. This was achieved by excellent staff and a happy set up of small boarding houses that can provide a high level of pastoral care. This sort of message is very important for KHS.
NS emphasised that a good reputation is hard to gain and so easy to let slip. As one of the school committees, the Hillians' Committee needs to ensure that they are sharing good news stories, whether in the pub locally after meetings or further afield.
MK remarked he spends much time helping people with CVs, business letters, and reports; handwriting and presentation can say a lot about the character of the author. He fully supported the aim of encouraging handwriting skill and the importance of basic knowledge of spelling without the use of a tablet or laptop.
SB asked questions on two areas:
o How does the school deal with discipline? NS replied there is a clear structure in place for both reward and sanctions. For sanctions, different levels of detention are used, the more serious misdemeanours result in a Headmaster's detention, which takes place under close supervision.
o SB remarked that on several occasions, he had noticed school bags and books left outside buildings. NS replied that the Senior Management Team is aware of this issue and it is a problem for which they are currently trying to find a solution.
EW stated that he had read the latest set of Kingham Hill Trust accounts. He remarked that he was surprised to find only a brief comment on the new building and no account of this capital expenditure. He felt more detail about the building project was required. NS thanked EW for his observations and stated that he would take his comments to the Trust Secretary for further clarification.
There being no further questions, NS thanked the committee for their support. The Headmaster was thanked for his report. NS left the meeting.
HD said that shortly before the meeting in March, she had sent out 63 letters to members of the association who did not have an email address asking if they wanted further correspondence by post. To date there have only been sixteen replies: 10 requesting further mail by post, three providing an email address and three asking to be removed from the mailing list altogether. It was agreed that those wishing to receive mail by post would be requested to pay £5 a year towards the costs.
Furthermore, since the AGM in April HD had circulated a survey to get members' feedback about the day and to views for future AGM formats for the day. On the whole the comments were favourable and all who responded had enjoyed the format of the day and the introduction of the speaker. LS stated in all his years coming to the AGMs, he felt it been a very enjoyable day, with a positive and constructive attitude by all those who attended.
6. Chairman's report
HD stated that one of the main reasons for an extra meeting this year was to discuss in full the plans for the next academic year 2014/15 and to fix dates for meetings. HD spoke of her intention to publish a brochure over the summer which will include all events for parents and alumni. However, she is mindful that it is important to get the 'branding' of the alumni association clear before going to press.
Following a long discussion by the committee, it was agreed that subject to seeking advice from David Ware, KHA and its members would be known informally as Kingham Hillians but for legal purposes would continue to be called Kingham Hill Association. The heading and title would be amended to reflect this.
Proposed by LS, seconded by EW, voted unanimously.
Action: HD to seek advice from David Ware.
7. Treasurer's report
MK spoke to his report (appendix 1). He highlighted one alteration to the Ruffer account figure (amended on the published version).
MK reported that from September 2014, the Centenary Trust Fund will be supporting five pupils with bursaries.
LS asked the Treasurer and the Chairman to clarify the procedure for making decisions about who receives funding.
It was agreed that now that the moratorium has been lifted and with a new Chairman in place the procedure would be as follows:
Any application for funding is brought to the Chairman's attention by the Headmaster and Bursar, who share the case for support and level of assistance required.
The Chairman then liaises with the Treasurer, who assesses whether:
o the case meets the funding criteria;
o sufficient funds are in place to support the prospective pupil for the time required.
Skeleton details are sent to the Committee for ratification.
MK brought to the Committee's attention that one amendment from the revised constitution was omitted, namely, "that any elected committee member can become a trustee of the Centenary Trust Fund". It was agreed that this oversight would be amended and that the modification would be brought to the AGM next year for ratification.
8. Kingham Hill School Days
No report from the KHSD team. SH hopes to be at the next committee meeting.
It was noted that the KHSD site is now reporting visitor numbers, rather than hits, which gives an indication of how many people are visiting the site on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
HD reported that she is meeting with Tony Middleton in July and is hoping to arrange a visit to another school archive to share ideas and experiences.
MK asked about publication of house lists of former pupils on KHSD so that they could be cross matched with team and school photo. HD replied that she has been advised that due to data protection issues, we are unable to do so without the permission of each individual, which would be virtually impossible, so unfortunately this cannot be pursued.
10. Forthcoming events
HD is working on a programme of events for next year. The outline for the year is as follows. Further details to be published over the summer.
Friday 5 September 2014 - Young Hillians and Sixth Form Barbecue
An event for Hillians under the age of 30 in the Sixth Form bar.
Saturday 27 September 2014 - Kingham Hillians' Committee meeting
Archive Room 10:30am.
Sunday 28 September 2014 - Rohilla Day (annual autumn reunion)
11:30am – 4:00pm.
Saturday 24 January 2015 - Kingham Hillians' Committee meeting
Archive Room 10:30am.
March 2015 - London event
To include a tour of St Paul's Cathedral and lunch. (Details to be published.)
Saturday 21 March 2015 - Founder's Day service, meeting and quiz night
Daylesford churchyard 09:45am followed by Kingham Hillians' Committee meeting
Archive Room 10:30am
7:30pm Hillians' and Sixth Form quiz night.
June 2015 - Kingham Hillians' AGM
Details to be published by KHS
Saturday 4 July Speech Day – Hillians vs KHS matches
Saturday 18 July - excursion to the Royal International Air Tattoo
(details to be published by KHS)
SB reported that HD had been approached by several school leavers for a Kingham Hillians' tie or scarf. The committee agreed that it was an excellent proposal and instructed SB to liaise with HD to organise the leaving presentation.
Action: SB to let the committee know when he needs new stock.
MK asked SB if he could send him details of any direct debits in relation to the 200 Club to help distinguish between donations to the fund and those entering the draw.
KW reported that he had attended the new sports awards event the previous evening and it had been a most enjoyable occasion.
HD passed around a draft document about the legacy society, asking for opinions on the content and layout. Those who have left a legacy to the CTF are eligible for membership of the legacy society if they desire.
Decade representatives: To help encourage participation of younger members, the concept of decade representatives has been suggested. BD suggested that a letter could be drafted by HD and signed by EW and LS to all previous Heads of School encouraging them to consider becoming a member of the committee. HD said that she would draft an appropriate letter.
Action: HD to pursue
13. Date of next meetings: Saturday 27 September 2014, Saturday 24 January 2014, Saturday 21 March 2014.
Minutes prepared by Ken Wingfield MBE