SCIE minutes of the meeting of the Board of Trustees

Held on Thursday, 12 September 2002, 13.30 - 16.30 Goldings House, 2 Hay's Lane, London, SE1

Items 1-3 of the Agenda were dealth with in a private meeting held immediately before the Board meeting.

4) Attendance:

Board: Jane Campbell (Chair), Shokat Babul, Geraldine McDonald, Diana McNeish, Gilbert Smith, Roy Taylor, Michael Oliver, Gail Tucker.

Staff: David Gilroy (Acting Chief Executive), Anthony Land (Acting Company Secretary and Acting Head of Corporate Services), Victoria McNeill (Head of Corporate Services and Company Secretary) Amanda Edwards (Head of Knowledge Services), Enid Levin (Staff Representative), Gwen Rosen (SCIE staff member and project lead on the Listening Exercise) and Yvonne Davy (minutes).

Guest: Paul Martin (Chief Inspector, Social Services Inspectorate of Northern Ireland)

Apologies: Ratna Dutt, Terry Philpot, Susannah Walker.

Welcome:

Victoria McNeill as Head of Corporate Services, Amanda Edwards as Head of Knowledge Services and Enid Levin as first staff representative at Board meetings. The Chair encouraged Enid Levin to make any point that she felt was relevant on staff issues.

5) Identification of any other business:

None.

6) Minutes of the Board Meetings held on 1 August 2002 were approved by the Board.

Matters arising (paper):

7) Chair's report:

There were no questions on the Chair's report.

8) Chief Executive's report:

9) Listening Exercise: overview and recommendations: (paper):

The Chair welcomed Gwen Rosen to the meeting to present the findings of the Listening Exercise. Gwen Rosen thanked the Board Members involved for their contribution to the Exercise.

She said the clear message from the Exercise was that service users wanted participation in our Work Programme and were now waiting to see the extent to which and how SCIE involved users and carers.

David Gilroy commented that, following the Listening Exercise, some projects in the Work Programme already incorporated user participation.

Action:

Gwen Rosen would circulate the full report to Board Members

10) Corporate and Work Planning (paper):

David Gilroy introduced this paper which comprised (i) a Progress Report for presentation to DH at the six monthly review scheduled for 1 October and (ii) a timetable for the 2003-2004 Business Planning process. The aim was to get feedback on the content and priorities in the Progress Report and to establish a steering group of Board Members to assist in the Business Planning process.

The Chair noted the important connection between the Policy Groups established at the Board meeting on 1 August and the wider business planning for the next financial year.

Action:

The Chair, together with Diana McNeish, Geraldine Macdonald and Mike Oliver, would form the Business Planning steering group.

Gail Tucker would join the Policy Forum on Social Education and Management, Geraldine Macdonald that on Foster Care and Roy that on User and Carer Participation.

11) Quality Assurance for SCIE's work programme: (paper):

Amanda Edwards asked the Board to agree the principles for a QA process for SCIE and to set up a committee to develop the QA and oversee its operation within SCIE. The Chair confirmed that the Board was happy with the principle of the QA process and recommended that the same group contributing to the business planning process would oversee the QA.

Action:

This recommendation was agreed (see Minute 10).

12) Terms and Conditions of staff: overview and process: (paper):

David Gilroy asked the Board for authority to take forward the development of a SCIE policy for terms, conditions and pay. He explained that some issues would be easy to settle whilst others would possibly be contentious and may be referred for consideration by the Board.

Action:

David Gilroy would report progress, including changes made, to the 21 November Board meeting.

13) Equal Opportunities in Employment: (paper):

This paper, originally circulated in draft in May, was generally agreed. The recommendation to use the disability symbol in recruitment advertising was not supported.

Action:

David Gilroy would develop action plans and in particular assess whether relevant legislation such as the DDA and RRA had been taken into account in preparing the report.

14) Membership of the Audit Committee: (paper):

The Chair asked for 4 volunteers for the Audit Committee. Shokat Babul and Gail Tucker volunteered.

Action:

The Chair would seek additional volunteers ahead of the next board meeting.

15) Financial Report (paper):

Pearl Sebastian reported no significant change in the financial situation as at 31 July 2002 other than confirmation of an 80% rates reduction because of our charitable status. A fully revised forecast for 2002/2003 would be produced in October and presented to the 21 November Board Meeting.

Discussions continue with DH about the need for a 3 year rolling funding agreement.

Action:

David Gilroy would take this forward with DH.

16) Dates of meetings 2003/04:

Board members were given dates for next year's Board meetings and to indicate dates they were unable to make

Any other business:

Victoria was nominated as the new Company Secretary by Gail Tucker and seconded by Geraldine Macdonald

The Board discussed whether they needed to elect an Hon Treasurer and a decision was taken to elect an Hon Treasurer, even if it was subsequently found to be unnecessary and the appointment revoked. Mike Oliver proposed Shokat Babul and this was seconded by Gail Tucker.

17) Next meeting

21 November 2002 1:30 - 4:30 at Goldings House