LFI Tokyo Board Meeting Oct 11th 2019 Summary
- Olivier Brochet, AEFE Director (by videoconference)
- Gilles Almonsnino CDAEFE Asia Pacific region delegate.
- René Carraz & Pierre-Francois Vilquin for FLT.
The CA was held in a good atmosphere, the new LFIT management team has now settled in its role. Typhoon No.19 prevented Mr Brochet, Director of AEFE, to attend; but Mr Almonsino, the new CDAEFE for the Asia-Pacific region was here. Mr Brochet chaired the meeting by videoconference.
The main topics discussed were the following:
- validation of the list of new staff, approximately 25 people ;
- validation of the program for 2019-2020 school trips; There are about 15 trips, none of them exceeds the agreed budget limits (50,000 yen for domestic trips and 100,000 yen for overseas trips) ;
- the creation of an American International Section (SIA) in high school was unanimously approved but the vote regarding its tuition fees is postponed to the next CA. The Management team highlighted that it is necessary to complete a study of the fees for optional curriculums before making a proposal for SIA fees and discussing about potential adjustments. The principle of a SIA with additional fees in high school has already been presented during the CA and remains valid, fees will be presented during the next CA.
The headmaster also presented the main budget guidelines for school year 2019-2020, without providing financial data. Priority projects are the following :
- reviewing digital tools for LFIT ;
- rationalizing the management of some Foreign language certifications and exams;
- rationalizing the management of overtime work ;
- reviewing the policy for bonuses and allowances ;
- reviewing the salary system.
This will be done while AEFE has reduced the PFC (Participation Financière Complémentaire, contribution paid by LFIT to AEFE) from 7.5% to 6%, effective January 1st, but while new investments have to be anticipated for the project of new school buildings.
Your representatives requested explanations regarding the issues of the Financial Department that led to the departure of the CFO. Mr Almonsino explained the key points for attendees and informed them that a written summary will be sent through the headmaster. To summarize, there were issues with the communication of budgetary and financial information. This resulted in governance issues, whereas the current project for school buildings requires a high transparency in its budgetary follow up and scenario analysis.
The Accounting department also noticed an inappropriate use of some cash. The person involved is no longer employed by LFIT and a refund of these expenses has been planned. (Clarification) Financials controls setup from the school year start 2018-2020 surfaced an inappropriate use of cash over 10 years. The amounts have been recovered directly from the salary of the employee in question. Upon request from the DAF, head of HR and with the approval of the management team, the employee has been invited to resign, in compliance with the LFI Tokyo internal regulations.
The headmaster has received a petition signed by approximately forty families to question the limit of 100,000 yen that has been set for school trips outside Japan. The headmaster stated that a discussion shall be opened about that limit, but shall be well prepared: he therefore proposed (after informing the President of FLT-Fapee) to launch a working group about this matter in November, in parallel to the existing working group with LFIT staff about organization of these trips. The topic will be discussed again during the next CE, with if necessary a vote about a new limit, then put on the next CA’s agenda.
We mentioned that the topic of budget limits for school trips has already been raised during other LFIT council meetings and it is wise to have a reasonable limit set for trips outside Japan. 100,000 yen, about 850 euros, is for many families a heavy burden.
We also highlighted that the limit for trips outside Japan has already been increased in 2015, from 70,000 to 100,000 yen. If we accept this request, there would be an 84 % increase in 5 years. We have no doubt that overseas trips or sports games in the Asia region are precious experiences for pupils. But a reduced budget does not imply a reduced teaching value. Financial accessibility remains one of our key priorities as members of the Parents Association (FLT-Fapee).