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10 February 2020
By Governor Services

Governance Monthly Bulletin February 2020

For all governors, trustees, clerks & school leaders

Welcome to the February 2020 edition

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

DfE Integrated Curriculum and Financial Planning – Free Webinar – Action Required

Understanding Integrated Curriculum Financial Planning (ICFP) can enhance collaborative and informed decision making by your school’s leadership team. These free DfE funded 1- hour training webinars provide a broad understanding of the basics of ICFP; they have been designed specifically for school business professionals, Headteachers and Governors.

School Governance Updates – Action Required

New Year updates from DfE are available for both LA Maintained schools and Academy Trusts, please be sure to register for updates directly to your mailbox; items in this edition include consultation on the removal of the outstanding exemption, NFER/DfE survey, GIAS National Database requirements, compare how much your school is spending on agency supply teachers, Clerks’ voices required re The Governance Professional role.

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 (KCSIE) - Section 128 checks for governors – Action Required

Your attention is drawn to part 3 of KCSIE regarding safer recruitment and item 130 which explains that along with Academy, Free and Independent schools, a section 128 direction disqualifies a person from holding or continuing to hold office as a governor of a maintained school.

Schools Financial Value Standard (SFVS) – Maintained Schools – information

The DfE have updated the dashboard (and associated guidance) for the 2019/2020 SFVS to include additional RAG ratings for average teacher cost and spending on teaching staff as a percentage of total expenditure, to enable schools to benchmark different years of data.

Inspection Data Summary Report (IDSR) – Early Years to key Stage 4 – information

This DfE guide provides an overview of the IDSR along with information to help interpret the charts.

Copyright licences for state schools in England – information

The Department for Education (DfE) buys copyright licences for all state-funded primary and secondary schools in England which cover schools for almost all their copyright requirements. This updated guidance provides information on copyright licences and how copyright affects schools.

Pupil Premium – information

The government has announced that pupil premium and service premium rates will increase in line with inflation for the financial year 2020 to 2021 in April 2020.

Ofsted Updates

Ofsted are seeking views on the removal of the exemption for outstanding schools, colleges and other organisations delivering publicly funded education and training. The consultation closes at 5pm on 24 February 2020.

Ofsted Annual Report 2018/19: education, children's services and skills was published on 21 January 2020.

Key Stage 3, Making Decision in the Best Interests of Children, Judging the Curriculum

There has been speculation as to whether Ofsted has a fixed view regarding schools having a two-year key stage 3 (KS3).  Sean Harford HMI, National Director for Education, discusses how Ofsted will be judging the curriculum and whether length of key stage 3 matters.

National Governance Association Updates

NGA updated resources                     Membership packages and sign up

Click here for further details of upcoming NGA Conferences:

  • London Regional Conference, Saturday 21 March 2020 10am - 3.15pm
  • South East Regional Conference, Saturday 28 March 2020, 10am - 3.15pm
Creating the right dynamic: A guide to help governing boards work effectively as a team

This practical guide is designed to support Governing Boards work effectively as a team. It refers to the factors that can affect the dynamics of a Board and provides useful tips and strategies for building and maintaining relationships together with suggested approaches for creating an effective team dynamic.

Academies – information

Moving MATs forward: the power of governance is a comprehensive report by NGA which assesses the current context, oversight and practice of MAT governance; it provides recommendations for improvement to those governing MATs.

Governor Recruitment

NGA’s 'Everyone on Board' campaign aims to increase the participation of people from ethnic minorities and young people in school governance. Please also consider the development needs of your senior and middle leaders, deputy, assistance and aspiring Headteachers in gaining valuable Governance experience.

Learning Link – information

NGA has 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.

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

Education Endowment Fund (EEF) – Action Required

Two new EEF evidence reviews, Improving Behaviour in Schools and Using Digital Technology to Improve Learning have recently been published; access the reports and register here for future news and updates

EEFective Kent Project – What is this? Is your school involved?  Find out more!

Governor Allowances Policy – Action Required

To support this statutory requirement LA Maintained schools, an updated Model Governor Allowances policy is available on GovernorHub (resources tab/previously on KELSI). We recommend in line with DfE, that this policy is reviewed annually.

Key Stage 2 - Assessment & Reporting Arrangements Guidance for 2020 – Action Required

Do you have arrangements in place to monitor this process and ensure administration of the tests is correctly carried out? Governing Bodies are encouraged to evidence good governance and best practice by ensuring monitoring visits during SATS week, to be followed up with a brief written report.

Free Training - Secondary Teacher Training Programme – Action Required

Secondary school Governors – is your school taking advantage of the free training that is now on offer to teachers in every secondary school to help foster a more positive attitude to PE?

Website compliance - your shop window to the world – Action Required
  • When was the last time your Governing Board checked the school’s website for compliance?
  • How easy is it for parents or prospective parents to navigate your website?

We are looking to provide this training across the county and welcome contact from schools who have access to a computer suite, refreshment facilities and who would be interested in hosting the session.

Please contact – Joanne Hawker – [email protected]  03000 414489

Exclusions – Governor Training and Development - information

Our course ‘Responsibilities of the Governing Body in Pupil Discipline’ is being held in Ashford and Tonbridge.  This course explores in-school early interventions to alleviate exclusions, the responsibilities of the Governing Body discipline Panel in reviewing pupil exclusions and best practice to ensure that the Governing Body is not left vulnerable.

NGA Learning Link module entitled ‘Pupil Success & Wellbeing – Exclusions’ has recently been reviewed and updated.

Schools Financial Risk Register – Action Required

KCC Audit department has highlighted that not all Maintained schools are aware of, including the need for the recording of, the financial risks that could affect them; further information and a Schools Financial Risk Register template can be found on Kelsi. The risk register is not required to be submitted to the Local Authority but may need to be seen as part of a compliance visit.

Health and Safety Compliance Statutory guidance Community and Voluntary Controlled schools – Action Required

To assist school Governing Bodies and Headteachers in understanding the statutory and legal requirements of health and safety statutory compliance within the school environment, the Health and Safety Statutory Compliance for KCC schools document defines the roles and responsibilities of duty holders, responsible persons and contractor management arrangements.  The document is aimed solely at Community and Voluntary Controlled schools where KCC is recognised as the employer under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and does not apply to any other school status.

GovernorHub – LA Maintained Schools - Statutory Compliance Action Required

All Maintained school Governors are required to register 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, and can be re-sent if necessary.

GovernorHub is:

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

A Full Governing Body Agenda Item Is Required – Please ensure your Governing Body is compliant.

Schools’ Personnel Service model - HR policies for schools’ updates – Action Reminder

A number of model polices were revised at the start of the academic year including the SPS Redundancy/ Restructure and Capability.

All Kent Maintained Schools have free access to model policies; 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. As part of a rolling programme policies are reviewed throughout the year. Please remember to check the SPS website regularly to ensure your school is working with the latest version.

Induction of Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) – information reminder

Academy and 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 Reminder

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.

A Reminder to Clerks – for the need to ensure that the minutes confirming the formal appointment of a Local Authority Governor by the Full Governing Body are sent by email to [email protected]; should the case arise that the Full Governing Body decides not to appoint, the minutes should also be forwarded to Governor Services.

Prevent and Channel Awareness Training – Action Reminder

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 governor to make the training role-specific:

Visit for guidance and resources to help protect young people from radicalisation

New Headteachers – Support from Governing Boards – Action Reminder

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 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
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:

Governor Services Manager:  [email protected]

Clerking Service: [email protected]

Governor Services: [email protected]

Area Governance Officers:

North Kent & Medway (Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks) Medway: [email protected]

South Kent (Ashford, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe):  [email protected]

East Kent (Canterbury, Swale, Thanet):  [email protected]

West Kent (Maidstone, Tonbridge and Malling, T.Wells):  [email protected]