Governance Monthly Bulletin - April 2019
For all governors, trustees, clerks and school leaders
Welcome to the April 2019 edition, which is aimed at keeping Governors, Trustees, Clerks and School Leaders informed of the latest educational developments.
Please ensure this bulletin is a regular item on Full Governing Board and Committee agendas.
Department for Education updates
DfE have provided information and guidance which will help those who are their own admission authorities, and therefore involved with school admission appeals; the guides include:
- Advice on roles and responsibilities for both Clerks and panel members
- who should not be appointed as appeal panel member (involvement could raise doubts about impartiality)
- the role of the Clerk to make all the necessary administrative arrangements for the appeal and give advice on procedure and admissions law
Updates have been made to ASP, the DfE’s data analysis tool for school leaders. Governors and Trustees can now view a ‘Prior attainment of pupil by year group’ report for the 2017/2018 school year. The DfE has also changed how the ASP website can be accessed; previously, school leaders have used the Secure Access portal, they will now need to use the new DfE Sign-in website (having migrated their account to the new service); DfE have produced a step by step guide on how to do this.
Governors and Trustees are reminded of the importance of scrutinising school data, and how it can help fulfil the core functions of Governance.
Your attention is drawn to statutory guidance in relation to Governors’ duties in relation to:
- 2019 early years foundation stage: assessment and reporting arrangements (ARA)
- 2019 key stage 1: assessment and reporting arrangements (ARA)
- 2019 key stage 2: assessment and reporting arrangements (ARA)
Are you undertaking best practice by a governor visiting your school to observe and ensure compliant procedures for the KS1 and KS2 test administration?
The DfE has released an update to the Governance handbook, this vital resource for Governors and Trustees provides a detailed breakdown of roles, responsibilities and legal duties, with signposting to useful resources. Updates can be found on pages 6 to 8; the updated edition includes amongst other things, greater emphasis on parental engagement, updated signposting to resources such as the new DfE workload reduction toolkit, updated information on Analyse School Performance and a new subsection on executive pay.
The Governing Board are responsible for the provision of school food, Governors play a crucial role in creating and embedding a great school food culture. School food standards: resources for schools includes an NGA information sheet which contains questions for Governance Boards to ask, along with further information links.
Does your Board ensure that its statutory responsibility to ensure the School Food Standards are being met? Is your Board aware that Ofsted are putting a much greater focus on how schools are creating a culture and ethos of healthy eating?
Top 10 planning checks for Governors/Trustees together with school resource management information, tools and guidance are available to help schools and multi-academy trusts with financial planning and resource management.
Is your Board making full use of these financial planning resources?
A guide for maintained secondary schools, academies and free schools; this document explains how secondary accountability measures are calculated and provides information on announced policies that apply to accountability measures in 2018 and 2019.
The DfE has produced practical advice and tools for school leaders (including Governing Boards) and teachers to help review and reduce workload.
How is your Board supporting workload reduction in school?
How is your Board reviewing and streamlining its own practice to reduce the Board’s workload?
National Governance Association (NGA) updates
Produced in partnership with Inspiring Governance, the guide gives practical advice on how the recruitment service can support Boards from searching for volunteers by skills to the free support offered to appointees. Updates from the previous edition include a greater focus on how to create a diverse board and importantly, new ideas on how to promote governance vacancies, along with a practical look at interviewing volunteers and why it is important.
Does your Board have a recruitment and succession planning strategy? How regular are the Board’s skill sets reviewed? Has your Board agreed its own induction of new members process?
Don’t miss this opportunity for fully funded training.
Delivered by members of our Governor Services team working in partnership with the NGA, this DfE funded Leading Governance development programme is for Chairs, Vice Chairs and aspiring future Chair, click for Please click for funding information and book your place. Two references will be required, Governor Services can be a referee.
Has your Board considered both current and future Governance Leader development?
At this year’s annual conference, Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System, provided a video message to Clerks and governance professionals in which he noted the importance of Clerks’ development and fair remuneration; he also acknowledged that boards, trusts and LAs should “invest proportionately” in Clerks, stating that the role should not be an “add on” to existing roles in the school, but a separate profession; he also cited Ofsted’s findings that Clerks are pivotal to improving the effectiveness of governing boards’ work. Click here to see the Lord Agnew's video clip .
When was your Clerk last appraised? How does your Board develop and invest in your Clerk?
The Education People, Governor Services updates
A new guide has been produced, it is designed to offer a quick way to the high-quality evidence EEF makes available to all schools; its aim is to promote better-informed Governing Board discussions about how the school can improve. The guide offers practical next steps and tips for further reading framed around three key questions for governors to ask:
- How well are pupils achieving in your school?
- How effectively is your school spending its money?
- How does your school support effective teaching and learning?
The EEF guide to becoming an evidence-informed school governor and trustee includes key questions to ask before schools think about buying in resources, plus 4 tips on making the most of your Pupil Premium.
FFT (Education analysis & research charity) has launched a new comparison tool; Schools Like Yours (for mainstream KS2 and KS4 schools) enables the identification of similar schools in order to define what similar means - similar size, pupil/teacher ratios, funding, absence or a combination of all of these factors and many more, bringing together a wide range of publicly available data including:
- School context - school type, pupil numbers, FSM, EAL, Ofsted rating
- School performance - attainment, progress, prior attainment
- Pupil Absence - absence, persistent absence
- School workforce - number of teachers, pupil-teacher ratio, QT status, age, average salary, staff sickness
- Finance - per pupil funding
As you may know, the Local Authority has a statutory duty to record LA Maintained school Governor details. Governor Services are currently transforming and updating how this duty is undertaken via the use of GovernorHub; the standard element of Governorhub will be free of charge to all LA Maintained schools.
IN ADDITION, AND AVAILABLE TO ALL SCHOOLS AND ACADEMIES - the full version of GovernorHub will be available to purchase via the Governor Services Service Level Agreement (SLA) at the much-reduced cost £150 +VAT (purchased directly, £400 + VAT); for academies, the standard element will be included free of charge (i.e. within the price of £150+VAT).
Do you have vacancies on your Governing Board? Have you registered with Inspiring Governance (IG)? IG connects skilled volunteers interested in serving as school Governors and Trustees with schools in England. It also provides free, expert support for volunteers and Governing Boards, as well as for employers wanting to run programmes for their staff serving as school Governors. IG advise that there would appear to be very few Governor vacancies in some areas of Kent – this does not reconcile with LA statistics, the vacancies. Any potential Governance volunteer will also be directed to register with IG
The Education Safeguarding Service has created this Self review tool to assist Governing Bodies and Headteachers in reviewing arrangements for carrying out their functions to safeguarding and promote the welfare of children. Is your Safeguarding Governor making using of this valuable Monitoring and Evaluation tool?
More than a million saplings have been sent out to schools and communities as part of the Woodland Trust’s free trees initiative. for trees to be delivered in November 2019. Schools can apply now.
The Clerking Service is recruiting new Clerks to expand the service and meet growing demand. Currently there are a number of Clerks who are also Governors, the knowledge and understanding within each role benefiting the other. For successful applicants training and support is provided both prior to and after assignment to schools.
For more information on the role and to apply please contact the Clerking service: [email protected]
From April 2019, the [email protected] mailbox will be changing to [email protected]. Any emails you send to the old address will currently still arrive safely and securely but please begin using the new address. We are in the process of updating our documentation.
On behalf of the all in the governor services team, I would like to wish you all a Happy Easter and thank you for the work you do and impact you have in improving the life chances for the children in the schools you serve in.
Suzanne Mayes, Governor Services Manager
Governor Services Manager
Suzanne Mayes: [email protected]educationpeople.org
North Kent (Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks)
Jude Johnson: [email protected]
South Kent (Ashford, Dover, Folkestone & Hythe)
Tina Gimber: [email protected]
East Kent (Canterbury, Swale, Thanet)
Lorraine Monkhouse: [email protected]
West Kent (Maidstone, Tonbridge & Malling, T.Wells)
Julia Durcan: [email protected]