The Board met at the REC Offices from 12 noon until 4.30pm.
Formalities were first conducted, including:
- Noting of apologies for absence from Peter Ward who was unwell. Best wishes were extended to him. Deborah Weston participated via Skype for the whole meeting
- The correction and then approval of the minutes of the 7th December 2017 meeting and discussion of a few matters arising.
- Declaration of potential conflicts of interests
Then I gave my oral report of my activities as Chair. This included reference to the EGM that took place on 9th February and at which the new Articles were formally adopted. I thanked the Governance Committee and the Company Secretary on behalf of the Council for their hard work in bringing this process to a successful conclusion. This now means that the new process for Board elections can be implemented at the forthcoming AGM on 10th May. Much of the rest of my activity since the last Board meeting has been related to supporting the work of the RE Commission as part of the Secrtetariat.
The CEO commented on his previously submitted written report, particularly the Secretariat work in supporting the Commission on RE. He also drew attention to Fiona Moss’ resignation from the Education Committee and gratitude for her outstanding contribution was noted. Once the new Board is in place, he pointed out that the composition of the REC committees would need reviewing. He also reported that Naomi Dalton had resigned from her post as REC Communications Officer with effect from March 9th. The Board noted their gratitude for all Naomi has contributed to the Council over many years. A review of REC staffing needs will be undertaken in the light of her departure. Finally the CEO reported on the extensive and largely helpful media coverage of the recent press release on teacher recruitment. He also tabled information on a YouGov study that had revealed worryingly negative attitudes to RS, particularly amongst those who deemed themselves to be non-religious.
The Treasurer then presented his report monitoring the budget in the first five months of the financial year. All is as expected at this point. The Treasurer aklso tabled a proposal for the reserves policy for the next 12 months which was unanimously approved.
The Board then discussed the Company Secretary’s report which focused on a) the outcome of the EGM on February 9th, b) the nomination and voting arrangements for the Officer and Board elections that will take place at the AGM and c) three applications for membership of the Council, all of which were approved for tabling at the AGM.
The remainder of the meeting was devoted to four items.
- A discussion of the preliminary results of the review being undertaken into the RE Quality Mark Scheme by Dr Linda Rudge.
- Discussion and approval of a policy paper on ethical fundraising.
- Long-term sustainability of the REC. This was entailed an extended discussion of the Treasurer’s paper that reviewed the financial position for 2018/2019. This highlighted the importance of the work being done by the Sustainability Group that next meets on March 23rd.
- The arrangements for the AGM including notification that the speaker will be Mark Evans, the Ofsted lead for RE and the documentation and procedures for the election of Officers and new Board members.
Finally the minutes of the four REC committees were received. The only items not covered elsewhere related to the discussion of the presence at the political party conferences at the Policy Group meeting and the implications of the new Data Protection regime at the Governance Committee. It was agreed this was important in 2018 given the proposed publication of the Commission Final Report in September.
The next meeting of the Board will take place on 23rd May 2018.