Governance Monthly Bulletin - Combined edition December 2018 & January 2019
For all Governors, Clerks & School Leaders
Welcome to the Combined December and January Monthly Bulletin edition produced with the aim of keeping governors, clerks and school leaders informed of the latest educational developments as they happen. The most effective way of using this briefing is to have it as a standing agenda item as part of your Governing Board and Committee meetings.
Department for Education Updates:
Compare Performance 2017/18 data has been released for primary and secondary. Primary school performance tables have also been released. How are you analysing the benchmarking comparisons? What impact is this document having on your questioning, monitoring and holding to account against current school improvement priorities?
These national statistics show MAT performance for those MATs with primaries which have been in existence for at least three years. Do you know how your school performance compares to others both within your MAT; against other MAT’s and with the local and national picture? How are the Trust Action Plan and expected standards communicated to your local governing body or academy council and monitored?
The action plan for school leaders and governing boards gives an update on government’s progress in reforming technical education as set out in the Post-16 skills plan. This action plan includes, amongst others, updates on: Progress on deliver of T Levels in 2020 and T levels for delivery in 2021 and provider selection; Clarification on outstanding qualification design issues. How are you ensuring your school leaders are on track for the implementation of T levels in September 2020? Is your careers guidance designated governor discussing the implementation plans as part of their remit?
This guidance contains information on the subjects, qualifications, monitoring and impact required for the EBacc as well as an information leaflet for parents. How does your board monitor the governments aims of 75% of your pupils studying the EBacc subject combination at GCSE by 2022, and 90% implementation of the EBacc by 2025?
These updated statutory guidance documents are for Governing Boards to comply with when opening and closing maintained schools or making significant prescribed alteration changes. They set out how you can make those changes, and the areas where you must follow a statutory process.
This non-statutory guidance for school staff, leaders and governing boards advises amongst others on how to create a whole school culture, including promoting positive mental health and understanding the link between mental health and behaviour, including how to put support in place. How will your board monitor the mental health support and behaviour policy and provision in your school?
This statutory guidance has been updated to give greater clarity and transparency on the circumstances in which the RSC will intervene in schools. This no longer includes coasting schools unless they have an inadequate Ofsted judgement. Is your board aware of whether you meet the coasting criteria?
This policy paper informs of what the government is doing to reduce unnecessary workload for teachers and includes details of the workload challenge. It also contains the link to the joint letter sent to all school leaders in November; the workload reduction toolkit and the Teacher workload advisory group report on removing unnecessary workload associated with data management in schools. Do you focus on teacher workload and wellbeing in your meetings? Have you considered the workload reduction kit? Has this raised questions?
One of the objectives in this report published late November 18 focuses on how Ofsted will give due regard to equality, diversity and inclusion during inspection: In making judgements, inspectors will consider whether those we inspect comply with their relevant duties set out in the Equality Act 2010 and, where applicable, the extent to which they promote British values and promote equality and diversity. How does your board ensure your equality policy has impact, is implemented and underpins all that the school does? How does the board receive information and monitor British values? Are these values embedded in the school when you undertake monitoring visits?
This edition focuses on unlawful segregation with the key messages of: any school segregating pupils unlawfully will have this addressed in the inspection report: a school cannot be outstanding or good in their leadership and management where there is unlawful segregation of pupils. How does your board monitor unlawful segregation not occurring?
Ofsted’s annual report for 2017/18 was published in December. HMCI key findings of concern include; pupils in years 10-11 “dropped off schools rolls”, and not appearing on another school roll; A subsection of schools which have been persistently judged less than “good”, with over 490 “stuck in a cycle of poor performance” since 2005 dubbed as “stuck schools”. Does your board receive information on the number of vulnerable children who are “off roll”? Do you challenge as part of your safeguarding remit?
The Inspection data summary report and analyse school performance (ASP) documents are out for all schools. These should be agenda items at your next meeting where there is a focus on standards. All governors should have log-ins for the ASP. Ofsted have released guidance to aid understanding of the data. Ofsted inspections will focus on both the IDSR and ASP with the expectations of all governors having an understanding. How has your board evaluated both IDSR and ASP? Do all governors have an understanding? Do the areas for investigation on the IDSR correspond with your School Improvement plan? What are the trends? What is in place to reverse the downward trends?
The programme will include interactive sessions around the topic of curriculum and the RSC will be invited to deliver the keynote. Free to members. Click here for more information
This new module is to inform and empower those involved in school governance on how arts and cultural education can be used for school improvement and enhancing the school curriculum. Do you subscribe to NGA’s E-Learning link? Subscribe at a reduced rate via governor services. Email LeadershipGovernanceCentral@theeducationpeople.org
Do you pass by £500 of free training? Delivered by members of the Governor Services team working with the NGA. The DfE funded Leading Governance development programme is for Chairs, Vice Chairs or future Chairs. Cohort 2 is starting with pre reading in February, with the facilitated training session in Ashford in March. Some places are still available. Please see here for funding and click here to book your place. Two references are required. Governor services can be a referee. Is your Board looking at succession planning? Can you afford to refuse this offer? Has your Chair or Vice Chair signed up? Do not miss this opportunity for FREE funded training.
The Education People, Governor Services Updates
Our Annual Clerks' Conference is called Courageous Clerking. Rani Kaur, Interim Head of Advice at the NGA who leads on policy in the areas of Clerking and SEND will be focussing on how the role of the clerk should positively influence the effectiveness and impact of the governing board. There will also be the opportunity to attend 3 workshops including: Governorhub, Schools Financial Compliance, GDPR and Packtypes. This is a great opportunity for Clerks to come together with plenty of opportunity for networking, discussion, raising questions, sharing best practice and self- development. Has your clerk booked on? How does your board enable your clerks professional development?
The Clerking Service is recruiting for new clerks to add to our pool. There are many clerks who are also governors with the knowledge and understanding within each role benefiting the other. For successful applicants training and support is given prior to and after allocation. For more information on the role and to apply please contact the clerking service at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be marketing the full version of GovernorHub at £150 +VAT, the standard element will be available to all maintained schools free of charge as this will be the mechanism for recording Governor details and fulfils the Local Authority statutory duty. There will be a no-obligation, free trial of the full version during February and March to see the many benefits available to your GB. Further details around this will follow soon. Clerks, please ensure CPDonline details are correct for when we merge systems.
In our recent Governor Survey 46% of governors said they wanted opportunity for training at the District Governor’s Briefings. In response to this we will be piloting at the spring DGB’s some short taster sessions of the training available to you as a governor through our “in-house” and “bespoke” offer. All governors registered on CPDonline will have already received a flier and choice of venues and topics via email. We will continue to ensure you have high quality, informative briefings from our colleagues in KCC a “Topic Section” and we will continue to bring you “News and updates” from Ofsted, DfE and Governor Services. Who is attending from your board to cascade back the learning and information? Book now!!!
Do you have vacancies on your governing board? Have you registered your vacancy at Inspiring Governance (IG)? IG register governor vacancies nationally. From their database there are very few vacancies in some areas of Kent which does not reconcile with LA statistics. The recommendation is for all governor vacancies to be registered on IG with having registered recorded in the FGB minutes to evidence that the GB are aware and are addressing their governor vacancies. Any potential governors that express an interest in becoming a governor are also being directed to register here at IG.
As we get nearer to the date that the Government has determined we leave the European Union, it is prudent that schools, PRUs and Early Years settings begin to plan for the possibility of disruption that might follow our departure. The briefing you can access via the link here: KCC guidance, advises of the initial steps that should be taken to ascertain how ready you are to manage any challenges to your capability to maintain a full service to your young people.
It may be that there is no disruption but the suggested preparation would be beneficial in other areas of Resilience planning, not least of which is the possibility of disruption from extreme weather or flooding.
A further update to this will be presented by the AEO at the upcoming District Governor Briefings.Is your board ensuring appropriate plans have been put in place?
Suzanne Mayes, Governor Services Manager:
North Kent (Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks): Jude Johnson
South Kent (Ashford, Dover, Shepway): Tina Gimber
East Kent (Canterbury, Swale, Thanet): Lorraine Monkhouse
West Kent (Maidstone, Tonbridge and Malling, T Wells): Julia Durcan