12 December 2019
By Governor Services

Governance Monthly Bulletin - December 2019

For all governors, trustees, clerks & school leaders

Welcome to the final edition of the Monthly Bulletin for 2019. Please ensure that this bulletin, which is also published on GovernorHub & The Education People website, is a standing agenda item for both your Full Governing Board & Committee meetings.

Department for Education update

Academies - accounts return - action required

The deadline for external auditor submissions of trust accounts is Monday 20 January 2020. You are required to ensure that your external auditors are registered and set up to use the financial returns online forms. Please note that the deadline for the trust’s financial statements is Tuesday 31 December 2019.

IDSR (Inspection Data Summary Report – Primary and Secondary - information reminder

This guidance provides an overview of the data contained in both the primary and secondary phase IDSRs along with information to help interpret the charts.

Information for 16 - 19 IDSR  report users is also available.

Character Education Framework - information

This Non-statutory guidance on character education and development for pupils is for school leaders and teachers considering the rationale for character education and personal development, the practicalities of provision and delivery; it is based on recommendations from the advisory group on character established in April 2019, members included headteachers and the leaders of teaching trade unions NAHT and ASCL.

Ofsted updates

  • 7 short videosreminder Produced by Ofsted, these short clips are intended to assist governors prior to inspection.
  • Deep Dives – Inspecting the Quality of Education – this 5-6 minute clip explains how and why during inspection, Ofsted undertake ‘Deep Dives’ to gather information and evidence to support the quality of education judgement.

National Governance Association updates

NGA updated resources                        Membership packages and sign up

Leading Governance Programmes – action required

Available for booking now - Chairs and Clerks

  • Chairs - Kent Cohort 5 - Thanington Neighbourhood Resource Centre, Canterbury, CT1 3XE
  • Clerks - Kent Cohort 2 - Eastgate,141 Springhead Pkwy, Northfleet, Gravesend DA11 8AD

We are delighted to be able to offer further courses to be delivered in Kent by Governor Services in partnership with the National Governance Association.

Please be sure to include these very cost-effective development opportunities in your training & development plans whilst the support funding is available! Please book directly with the NGA.

What Governing Boards and School Leaders should expect from each other - information - updated publication

A 5th edition, written and backed by the National Governance Association (NGA), the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Institute of School Business Leaders (ISBL), aims to improve the effectiveness of governance by developing mutually supportive and respectful working practices between those leading and those governing schools.

Updated Publication – Exclusions: A guide for governing boards

The management of behaviour in schools is an operational role for the senior leadership team, however governing boards have a statutory duty to consider certain aspects of pupil exclusion. Accessible to NGA members, this updated guidance from NGA explains the legal obligations and limitations that surround exclusion decisions. It also provides practical advice on how to prepare and the things to bear in mind if you are called on to consider an exclusion decision.

Learning Link – information

NGA has launched a new Learning Link module to help governing boards understand the importance of succession planning and how to go about it effectively to ensure that there is:

  • Continuity within the board
  • The right people in the right place at the right time
  • Planning for the appointment of a new chair (and vice chair) – not a last-minute decision, but someone who wants, or is the best person for, the role/s.

Modules on Safeguarding, Ofsted and the Arts and Cultural Education module have been updated.

Educators on Board – Governor Recruitment – information reminder

Teachers, middle leaders and senior leaders can make a valuable contribution to the governing board of a different school or trust to where they are employed.

NGA are encouraging educationalists to find out more about the benefits of this professional development opportunity.

Could your board take advantage of this educational expertise? 

How does your school support this aspect of staff development?

Kent Governance Association – information

Aims, objective, meeting minutes and information can be found on KGA’s page on Kelsi; The next assembly meeting is scheduled for:

Monday 2 March 2020, 7pm - 9pm, Park View Suite, Mercure Great Danes Hotel, Maidstone, ME17 1RE

The Education People, Governor Services updates

GovernorHub – statutory compliance action required

All Maintained school Governors should have registered with GovernorHub; an email regarding access to the website, registration & password setting will have been sent to you by GovernorHub, your clerk and/or by whoever has assigned admin rights to the system. GovernorHub is:

  • The Local Authority database portal, used for statutory information i.e. your contact details & email address
  • Used by Governor Services as the main gateway for communication and your access to resources.

If you have not yet registered – Please do so urgently.

Attention clerks - Please check GovernorHub regularly to ensure your GB is compliant and if not, please include this as an agenda item for urgent chair's action and the next FGB.

Governing bodies should ensure via regular monitoring, that GovernorHub, the school’s own website and GIAS (Get Information About Schools) website display consistently up-to-date Governance information.

Schools’ Personnel Service model - HR policies for schools’ updates – action required

Change happens everywhere and HR is no exception. It is important to keep your HR policies and procedures under regular review to ensure they continue to effectively support the management of staffing issues.

The Schools’ Personnel Service (SPS) provides and maintains a suite of model HR policies for Kent Schools on behalf of the Local Authority, these can be found at the SPS website

SPS have recently launched 2 substantially revised new policies:

  • Redundancy and Restructure
  • Capability

A number of other model policies were revised at the start of the Academic year and as part of a rolling programme are reviewed throughout the year – please remember to check the SPS website regularly to ensure your school is working with the latest version.

All model policies have free access for Kent Maintained Schools; the Local Authority expects that all KCC Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools will use the model documents as the basis for their HR policies.

The documents are also strongly recommended for consideration for adoption by Foundation and Aided Schools.

Academies may wish to adopt these documents in their entirety or adapt these for use.

If you are uncertain what HR and other policies are required in your school setting please check the DfE Guidance Document ‘Statutory Policies for Schools’ Statutory Policies for schools and academy trusts

The SPS consultancy team are happy to provide support and guidance to Kent Schools regarding the adoption and implementation any HR policies.

Induction of Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) – action required

Academy and LA Maintained Boards’ attention is drawn to the DfE  Statutory policies for schools and academy trusts;

You will find that an NQT policy is required to be in place; there is also the recommendation for a scheduled annual review. Information, guidance and a model policy from the NQT Induction and Support team can also be found on Kelsi.

LA Governor Vacancies – action required

For those Governing Boards with a Local Authority (LA) Governor vacancy, have you considered looking to your existing membership for the solution? With the additional LA nomination guidelines to be considered (see nomination pack, GovernorHub resources), it can often be challenging to find the appropriate candidate/nominee to put forward for consideration by the LA; could a governor from another category, such as co-opted or foundation, be considered for nomination to the LA category? If so, this could release a co-opted position to which the board could readily appoint whilst also resolving the LA Governor vacancy.

DfE funding has been awarded to Inspiring Governance and Governors for Schools (previously SGOSS) for governor recruitment activities and therefore it is important, if not essential, that you register all your vacancies, including the LA Governor vacancy, with both organisations.

To assist governing bodies locally in Kent, a more streamlined nomination process (and therefore facilitation of more swift governing body formal appointment) has been put in place, this includes more frequent nomination panel meetings.

Should you wish to talk through your local situation, please contact your Area Governance Officer (contact details below).

Prevent and Channel Awareness Training – action required

Governors and clerks often enquire about both the required frequency and availability of Prevent/Channel training.

The Prevent within Schools team would encourage you to review the Home Office resources; participants are able to select their role as a governors to make the training role-specific:

Visit www.educateagainsthate.com for guidance and resources to help protect young people from radicalisation

New Headteachers – Support from Governing Boards – action required

Governors’ attention is drawn to their duty to support new headteachers/heads of school. Details of the Headteacher Induction Programme is provided below; boards should ensure that their new headteacher/head of school is able to take advantage of these essential development opportunities:

  • Session 3 – Governance & Curriculum Development (Maths & English) - SCH 20/252 - 16/01/2020, Northfleet Tech. College, Gravesham
  • Session 4 - SEND and Inclusion - SCH 20/253 - 12/03/2020, Five Acre Wood School, Maidstone
  • Session 5 - Wellbeing Developing Good Working Relationships - SCH 20/254 - 23/04/2020, The Beacon School, Folkestone
  • Session 6 - SEFs, SIPs and Professional Development - SCH 20/255 - 18/06/2020, Cobham Primary School, Gravesham
Clerking Service Clerks Performance Management – reminder of action required

Chairs should have completed and returned the chairs’ questionnaire to their clerk, copied to the Clerking Service, by 22nd November; full instructions for completion were included within the accompanying email.

Completion forms part of the terms and conditions of the Clerking Service, Service Level Agreement (SLA) and will enable us to ensure that we are providing you with at least our expected standard.

Schools Financial Services Newsletter – Information

The latest edition can be found at The Education People website

Link Governors – Statutory Requirements - information

Governors and clerks should check the links below regarding the statutory requirement to have link governors/committees for both SEND and safeguarding; there are currently no requirements beyond these 2 areas:

LA Governor Nomination Process – information reminder

The closing date for the submission of nomination documentation for the next panel meeting is 01 February 2020. The LA Governor Nomination Pack can be found under the resources tab of GovernorHub.

Please note - invitations to continue and reminders for approaching ends of terms of office are no longer sent, GovernorHub provides advanced notification.

The Governor Services team wish all governors, clerks and school leaders a peaceful Christmas break and a prosperous New Year. 

We look forward to supporting and working with you in 2020.

Suzanne Mayes

Governor Services Manager - Suzanne.Mayes@theeducationpeople.org

Area Governance Officers: