AGM Minutes 2011

TBS Annual General Meeting 15th June 2011 – Minutes

Board Members present: Beatrice Murray (Secretary), Bas van Doesburg (Vice-Chair), Larry Robertson (Chair), Lonim Dixit, Prem P Khetan, Rainer Jedinat, Sandj Wilderspin (Principal),Tony George (staff representative), Tumika Sthapit (Bursar), Vikas Dugar

Apologies: Reg Naylor; Ujjal Rajbhandary (Treasurer)

1. Welcome and introduction to the Board

Larry welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave apologies. He reminded those present that the purpose of the AGM was to give parents the opportunity to raise questions in relation to the Annual Report which they had received access to two weeks earlier. The second purpose was to hold elections should there be any Board vacancies. There were four vacancies for Parent Board members and four nominations (for the four co-opted members of the Board). Thus the co-opted members had been elected as full Board members unopposed.

2. Minutes of last AGM

Alan Reid asked for two corrections to be made to last year’s minutes. The following amendments were accepted: last sentence of penultimate paragraph in Item 3 add ”Alan and another parent asked if the Principal could provide further details”; end of first sentence in penultimate paragraph of Item 4 add “especially given the schools income in excess of some £1.6m”. Bas van Doesburg proposed to accept the minutes with the agreed amendments, seconded PP Khetan. There were no further objections and the amended minutes of the 2010 AGM were accepted.

In addition the new Board were asked to consider circulating the draft Minutes of the 2011AGM to the parent body early in the upcoming Academic Year after agreement by the Board to facilitate communication and parent input.

3. Report from the Chair

Beatrice provided a brief overview of the main points of the report from the Chair, which included the Principal’s report and reports from the committees. The full written report had already been made available to parents.

The following questions and points were raised.

Hilary Oatley asked about the relationship between the school and fund raising events for charities. In particular: what was the rationale for selection of certain school events as fund raising events, how were pricing decisions made for tickets and refreshments at an event, and how were charities selected?

Sandj explained that decisions were often made by the School Council (ie the pupil representatives), and/or by particular classes or groups involved. The Board thanked Hilary for raising this issue, but it must be remembered that internal day to day management decisions were the responsibility of the SMT and not the Board. The concern would be passed to the SMT.

Alan Reid raised the question of the timing of completion of the new building. In the 2010 AGM, it was stated that the likely completion date would be after two years, ie summer 2012. Larry responded that this optimism had been misplaced. The process of consolidating the land was still ongoing, and boundary marking was underway. Once building starts, it will take an estimated 18 months to completion.

Josie Whelan asked who is on the Site Committee and whether there was a project manager. Larry named the members of the site committee: Vikas Dugar, P P Khetan, Reg Naylor, Larry Robertson, and Bas van Doesburg. A project manager had been employed for the preparation of the plan, which was almost complete.

4. Budget report

Tumika Sthapit presented the Budget report as the Treasurer was unable to be present. Estimates were deliberately kept conservative. The fee increase would be 10%; the capital fee would also be raised.

Stephen Keeling asked whether the assets given in the Financial Statement that had been circulated included the new site. Bas responded that the assets included all school assets and the landholdings, but the loan amount had not been deducted. The Treasurer was working on a better separation of the financial statements for the school and the greenfield site. In future these will be reported separately with greater breakdown. The Financial Statement that will be issued in September will already be more detailed.

The Budget Sheet presented by Tumika only showed the costs for day to day running of the school; the capital fee was shown as transferred income as it was transferred to the land budget.

Alan Reid asked whether the capital fund balance had been audited and whether it will be shown in the next set of audited accounts. He also asked whether there had been any losses. Bas explained that the balance had been audited and would be shown in the final audited account. There were no losses.

Hilary Oatley asked why, if classes were being split, no extra pupils were shown in the budget. Bas replied that the actual numbers were still unclear. The budget was conservative, additional planned costs were included but not additional pupils. Sandj thought there could be between 30 and 40 additional pupils, but some of the classes might be smaller than planned, it was very difficult to predict numbers.

Alan Reid noted that the commitment made in the 2010 AGM to send the delayed auditor’s reports to parents in September together with a postal voting slip to parents had not been kept. It was explained that the delayed reports were sent to parents on 4 October 2010, but in place of an actual voting slip, parents were given the option of commenting. Bas noted that the auditor’s report for 2010/11 should be available by September/October. The summary report would be sent around and parents would have full access to the audited accounts.

Tony George asked whether in light of the increase in fees, teacher’s remuneration would also be reviewed. Sandj replied that notwithstanding the freeze on teachers’ pay in the UK, a cost of living increase based on the UK index would be considered; possibly around 2.8 to 3%.

6. Any other business

The land and financial issues tabled by Stephen Keeling had been addressed within the above items. It was reiterated that a breakdown of the school and site assets would be available when the audited accounts were presented in September/October. Parents were welcome to come to the school office if they wished for further details. Stephen also mentioned that many parents would like to know what is going on with the building but didn’t ask. Was the process documented? Larry explained that the process was documented, and that it had been a big learning process for all concerned. The main problem had been not having people with solid local knowledge on the Board.

Stephen asked further whether there was a link between the school and Vibor bank, noting that Vibor properties had offered sites for sale to parents. Larry explained that Vibor properties is separate to Vibor bank (a subsidiary) and the school did have a link with Vibor properties in the land purchase.

Stephen Keeling had also raised the issue of increasing the number of interschool sports competitions within Kathmandu, as against out of country. Larry replied that this would be referred to the Senior Management Committee. Beatrice added that parents were encouraged to provide details of possible events, leagues, and similar as they were more likely to have this knowledge than the UK recruited staff.

Stephen commented on the low turnout. Larry remarked that in many ways this was a positive indication that parents were satisfied. Alan Reid suggested that it would be useful to publicise the AGM and circulate the draft agenda earlier.

Hilary Oatley asked what sort of issues could be raised and discussed. Larry replied that generic issues were discussed at the AGM, and specific issues usually referred to the appropriate committee or persons. However, parents should feel to raise any issues, the Board would decide which could be discussed in Open Forum and would communicate this, or referral, to the parent.

Closing

Larry drew the meeting to a close thanking Sandj and all the staff for their hard work this year, all the members of the Parent Teacher Association for the work they had put into organising events, and finally all the members of the Board for the consistent way in which they voluntarily gave their time to support the school.