MINUTES of the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the
PETERHOUSE PARENTS’ ASSOCIATION
Friday 22nd May in the Fieldsend Hall at Peterhouse Boys
Present: Chairlady: Mrs Nyasha Mbofana
Vice-Chair: Mr Ben Mushavi
Secretary: Mrs Fran Lagesse
Rector: Mr Howard Blackett
Apologies: PHG Mrs Tracey Blignaut
SVH Mr Graham Peebles
WELCOME & OPENING PRAYER
Mrs Mbofana welcomed those present. Mrs Lagesse opened in prayer.
Mrs Mbofana presented her Report as attached.
Mr Blackett presented his Report as attached.
PHB Dormitory lockers – Safes have been provided for each boy to lock away valuables like phones or computers. The new lockers have no padlocks because pupils inevitably lose keys and then force the fittings open. Petty theft is negligible.
PHG Communications – PHG parents are concerned about poor communications in comparison with PHB. Parents feel isolated in matters relating to Tutors, Heads of Houses and general activities. Mrs Blignaut was not present to address this matter. She will be appraised of these parental concerns.
PHB & PHG Colours Awards and Disciplinary Code – Parents requested that a uniform Colours Awards and Disciplinary Code be utilized at PHB & PHG. Mr Blackett stated that these issues were being addressed. The target is to have similar policies by year end.
Water treatment – Mr Blackett commented that in the wake of the gastro-enteritis outbreak, all surfaces had been scrupulously cleaned and sterilized during the holidays and all water was being treated with a UV filter and chlorine.
Mrs. Nyasha Mbofana Chairlady PHB & PHG
Mr. Ben Mushavi Vice Chairman PHB
Mr. Terence Chaparadzwa PHG
Mrs. Lynne Green PHG
Mrs. Trevlynne Manuel PHB
Mr. Kezito Makuni PHG
Mr. Harold Muvuti PHB
Mrs. Lyndsay Rendell PHB & PHG
Mr. Oscar Johnson SVH
Mr. William Whaley SVH
Mrs Mbofana thanked Mr Ben Mushavi, Mrs Fran Lagesse and Mr Patrick Chidakwa for their contributions to the PA Committee. The 3 Committee members stepped down with effect 22 May 2015. Special mention was made of dedication to service shown over the years by Mrs Lagesse. She has served on various Committees and as Secretary of the PA Committee, giving her invaluable time and expertise consistently. Her unwavering commitment and support is greatly appreciated and will be missed.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Mrs Mbofana thanked the Parents for their continued support of the Peterhouse Group of Schools. She also thanked the Rector and his staff for providing a “caring, friendly and dedicated community for the growth and development of our children” (Peterhouse Website – Welcome to Peterhouse Boys).
There being no further business, the Annual General Meeting was adjourned at 10am
RECTOR’S REPORT TO PARENT’S ASSOCIATION
AGM TRINITY 2015
1. INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
I would like to thank members of the Parents’ Association committee led by Nyasha Mbofana for their support over the past twelve months – the school and the PA have a very healthy and constructive working relationship and the parents are well represented by the PA on EXCO; parents’ concerns and aspirations are regularly raised at these meetings.
It my hope that over the years ahead the Parents’ Association and the School will continue to work well together for their mutual benefit and, above all, for the benefit of pupils at Peterhouse. As I said last year’s AGM the Parents’ Association does have a number of specific responsibilities/tasks, which are laid out in the Parents’ Association constitution, but in general terms the Parents’ Association should be seen as a useful conduit between the School and parents and as a body which will support the School; it should not be seen as a mechanism for raising complaints and interfering with the management/leadership of the School.
The Peterhouse Group operates as efficiently as possible and the Business Director, Mark Whitaker keeps a very close eye on expenditure during the financial year.
The school’s Top Management (three Heads and the Business Director) together with Members of EXCO are highly sensitive to the difficulties parents face in meeting their school fee commitments and do all they can to keep fee increases to a minimum.
The expansion of PHG, which has now reached its conclusion, has been financed in part by surpluses generated by the Peterhouse Group but mainly by a loan taken out with PTA Bank, Kenya. The loan will be repaid over the next five years.
3. MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS
3.1 Peterhouse Boys School
In the recent past the following work has been done:
• The refurbishment of Paget (completed)
• The refurbishment of Grinham (almost complete)
• The installation of a new stained glass window in the chapel’s north wall, financed by Petreans (almost complete)
• Upgrading of the rugby stand by the Jubilee pavilion, financed by parents (almost complete)
• Upgrading of the estate (NB improvements to all playing fields)
• Further work to classrooms
• Further improvements to playing facilities
• The refurbishment of Malvern and Snell
3.2 Peterhouse Girls School
The expansion of PHG has reached its conclusion. In the recent past the following work has been done:
• Expansion of the chapel
• The building of the new Dining Hall and kitchen
• Renovation of the old DH and kitchen into alternative use (not yet decided)
• Renovation of the PHGHM’s office/entrance area
3.3 Springvale House
In the recent past the following work has been done:
• Phases 1 and 2 of the new pavilion
• Phases 3 and 4 of the new pavilion
In addition to the planned projects the Group’s Top Management Team (Rector, Business Manager, HMPHG and HMSVH) is in the process of drawing up a list of other major projects and planned maintenance work.
4. PUPIL MATTERS
4.1 Public Examination Results
Last year’s public examination results were as follows:
• A Level PHB/PHG combined: overall pass rate was 99%. (2013 pass rate – 94%)
• IGCSE PHG The overall pass rate was 88% (A*8%; A 22%; B 31%; C 27%). (2013 pass rate – 82.5%)
• IGCSE PHB The overall pass rate was 83%. (A* 4%; A 15%; B 36% and C 28%) (2013 pass rate – 81%)
4.2 Pupil Discipline
The overall standard of discipline remains excellent, but there have been some incidents of ill-discipline, one of which was drugs related (occurred at Far and Wide during the A Block post IGCSE level visit) and led to the exclusion of a PHB pupil.
A new disciplinary code is being constructed in anticipation of the abolition of the use of corporal punishment.
4.3 Pupil activities
The breadth of opportunity within the Peterhouse Group is outstanding and it is good to know that so many pupils achieve so much – all reflected in this year’s excellent school magazine. Under the general heading of pupil activities I would like to highlight the great value/importance I place on the following:
• The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award
• Leadership training
• Outward bound activities
• The Group’s Infinity Programme led by Andrew Shoesmith
4.4 Pupil recruitment/marketing
Interest in all three schools remains healthy but there is no room for complacency. I spend a great deal of time, together with the other two Heads and Catriona Borman, marketing the school. In the recent past the following has been done:
• Recruitment visits to major feeder schools (Ruzawi, Lilfordia, Bryden, Hippo Valley, Triangle etc.)
• Recruitment cocktail parties in Harare
• Recruitment visits to Botswana and Mozambique
• The school web site and other marketing literature has been updated (including the publication of a new prospectus) and presented with a corporate identity
5. CHISZ (The Conference of Heads of Independent Schools in Zimbabwe) and ATS (Association of Trust Schools) matters
5.1 New CEO
CHISZ has a new CEO, Tim Middleton, ex-Headmaster of Gateway School; I am confident that Tim will be an excellent representative for CHISZ/ATS
6.1 Development Plan
The Development Plan is available on the Group’s website.
Our new contract caterer, Introwise, has made a good start at all three schools.
Last term PHB had a serious outbreak of gastroenteritis. In response to the problem the following steps have been taken:
• UV filters and chlorination units have been fitted to the water system
• More regular testing of water is taking place
• Old pipelines have been replaced
• Water reservoirs have been enclosed
• Milk supplied is now pasteurised/long-life
• The kitchen was given a very thorough clean during the Easter holiday break
The celebration of the 60th anniversary (PH60) is in full swing. We have an exciting programme of events, which has been circulated to parents and is available of the school’s website. I would like to thank the PH60, expertly led by Simon Philp, for their energy and commitment. The next two big events are the Jubilee Dinner (UK) in Oxford and the Jubilee Dinner (Zimbabwe) which dovetails in with the Falcon w/e.
I am delighted to report that the Peterhouse Group remains in excellent form. There is, of course, always room for improvement and we have ambitious plans for future development, but the quality of education which pupils currently receive is very good indeed.
Thank you for your continued support.
Howard Blackett MA (Oxon)
CHAIR'S REPORT TO PARENT’S ASSOCIATION
The 2014-2015 PPA Committee came into office on the 12th of May 2014. Our aim this year was that every block in the boys and girls school have a parental representative on the Committee. This has largely been achieved. Springvale House is represented by the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Springvale House PTA. The Rector, Head of Peterhouse Girls and Springvale House are ex officio members of the PPA. The Rector has fully supported the work of the committee. He has ensured that he has attended every meeting we have held in Harare. I must commend him for his efforts.
A warm welcome to Mrs Tracy Blignaut the new Head of Peterhouse Girls. She has implemented several policies in consultation with all stakeholders. These have been appreciated by both girls and parents.
Mr Fungai Mungoni stepped down as the Vice Chair due to work commitments. He was replaced by Mr Benson Mushavi. Mrs Fran Lagesse has diligently served the Committee for four years and is also stepping down. As the Committee, we are very grateful for the opportunity we had to work with such committed, diligent members.
I would like to thank the Committee for all the time and effort they have put in this year. The names of the members are listed on the School website.
The PPA Constitution can be found on the school website. The objectives of the Committee are listed therein. The current committee has worked tirelessly to ensure that these objectives are met with the exception of levying members. No levies have ever been charged and as such there are no Financial Accounts to present.
All Committee meetings were held in Harare. Fee meetings and AGMs were held at Peterhouse. Parents are represented on the Executive and Finance Committes of the Board of Governors (EXCO and FINCO) by members of the PPA. This in compliance with the Education Act, and ensures that as stakeholders of the Peterhouse Group of Schools, parents are represented in decision making at a macro level. Our role at these meetings is to give constructive criticism and credit where it is due from a parental perspective.
On behalf of the Parents Committee, I would like to extend our most sincere gratitude to Servcor for the service they gave to the school over the years and especially during the hyper inflationary period. They have been replaced by Introwise.
Unfortunately there was a gastroenteritis outbreak last term. I am happy to advise that the outbreak has been contained and no new cases have been reported this term. The school learnt a lot from this unfortunate incident and has taken many measures to avoid a recurrence of such outbreaks.
Introwise, has had a good start across the Group. The children are currently very happy with the quality and quantity of food being served. It is our hope as a Committee that the catering challenges that have taken the spotlight at many AGMs and Fees Meetings are now a thing of the past. Over the past year Committee members have made unannounced visits to the school dining halls to check on the food being served. In all cases, the food was of an unquestionable standard. The Committee will continue with these spot checks.
Parents must note that there is always a member of staff on duty in the dining hall. In the event that a child is unhappy with a meal, each school has a system in place to address the grievance. Our children should be encouraged to use the grievance procedures in place so that all matters can be dealt with timeously.
A fees meeting was held in December 2014 to discuss the proposed fees increase. This meeting was open to all parents for voting purposes. The parent body voted in support of the fee increase. As the Committee we are cognisant of the huge sacrifices we make as parents to give our children a Peterhouse Education. No further fee increases are anticipated this year.
Peterhouse is celebrating 60 years since it was founded in 1955. The Committee had planned to fundraise through the sale of indigenous trees which would be planted to commemorate the 60th anniversary. Although considerable ground work had been done, it was agreed to shelve this proposal for the moment.
Comprehensive details of academic results for examinations taken in 2014 are found on the website. The Rector and his staff have made great strides over the year to improve the academic standards across the group. Curriculum support is available for students who require it and a robust tutor system is in place. The Rector has assured us of his and his team's unrelenting commitment to continually improving academic standards within the Group of Schools.
SPORTS AND CULTURE
The school has a wide range of sporting disciplines and cultural activities for students of all ages, gender and ability to take up. Our children have represented their province and our country Zimbabwe in many fields. I want to encourage all parents to read the Parents Code of Conduct for Sport that is on the website. It is always a pleasure to see the tremendous effort parents make to support their children whether they are participating at Peterhouse, around Zimbabwe or Internationally. Your commitment is greatly appreciated by both students and the school.
The PPA was instrumental in the participation of the first ever Peterhouse Team in the Two Oceans Half Marathon in Cape Town, South Africa. It is our hope that this will become an annual event and that more students (and parents) will participate next year. It is one of the few sports that we as parents can participate and/or compete with our children.
The internet has become an important tool for Schools to communicate with parents, and the Peterhouse website has made maximum use of this. A snapshot of all aspects of the group of schools is available on the school website. I encourage you all to visit it. It is very informative and showcases the various opportunities that are available to our children ranging from Archery to the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
The School Policies found on the website are an absolute must read for parents. These policies have been put out as a guideline of school standards/expectations. I recommend termly reviews of these policies with our children.
It is always important to read (to the end) the School Newsletters and any other mail that the school sends. Newsletters are not only informative but well written and interesting to read.
All grievances pertaining to your child/children should be channelled via the school Tutors, Teachers, Housemasters/Housemistress and if possible, in writing. The PPA is there to address issues from a global parental perspective. We will however channel any written compliments or complaints that you channel through our Committee to the Rector and his management team.
It is my hope that the Parent Body will continue to be supportive of Peterhouse. As a Committee we will endeavour to make decisions that enhance the goals and objectives of the of Peterhouse Group of Schools and to be a conduit for efficient and effective communication between the School and Parent Body.
Thank you for your support.
Peterhouse Parents Association