Governance Monthly Bulletin - March 2019
For all governors, clerks and school leaders
Welcome to the March 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
This updated guidance informs how the payments will be released for the rest of the academic year. The guidance also clarifies how you should use the premium and what it cannot be spent on; published requirements and model template. By 31 July 2019 details must be published of the spend including: the amount of premium received; full breakdown of how it has been spent; the impact on pupils’ PE, physical activity, sport participation and attainment; how the improvements will be sustainable in the future; the percentage of pupils within your year 6 cohort in the 2018 -19 academic year who met the national curriculum requirement to: swim competently, confidently and proficiently over at least 25 metres; use a range of strokes effectively; perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations. Is your website compliant for PE/Sports premium published requirements? How does your PE document compare to the model template for information? How does your Board monitor the PE/Sports premium budget for impact?
This updated guidance informs how the payments will be released for the remainder of the academic year. The guidance clarifies how to identify the pupils who need the support, including the use of Analyse School Performance as a tool; how it can be spent and published requirements. Examples of the spend include individual tuition; intensive small-group tuition; external services and materials; summer schools that help students catch up over a short period of time. How does your school use the spend? How does your Board monitor how the spend made a difference to attainment? Is the school website compliant for details of how you spend your year 7 catch-up premium funding?
This T Levels capital fund guidance provides an overview of the capital fund and how to apply for the Buildings and Facilities Improvement Grant for delivering T Levels in the academic year 2020 to 2021. As part of the application a copy of the minutes confirming governing board approval for your project, needs to be submitted. How is your School planning for the implementation of T levels? How is the Board informed of plans and strategically monitoring?
This strategy sets out the steps the DfE will take to support headteachers to drive down unnecessary workload and pressure so that they can ensure schools are brilliant places to work, freeing teachers to focus on teaching great lessons. Key areas of focus are: School accountability with unintended consequences that drive teacher workload; Headteachers and teachers managing significant change; Challenging pupil behaviour; Headteachers with additional support to meet specific challenges. The DfE is working closely with Ofsted on the Inspection framework taking into account teacher workload and data assessment. How does your culture ensure your behaviours and values reflect teacher workload and wellbeing?
This guidance informs the DfE buys copyright licences for all state-funded primary and secondary schools in England – covering schools for almost all their copyright requirements. The licences mean you can copy, re-use and share content from a wide range of sources within your school for non-commercial, educational purposes. The guidance states the head and chair of governors needs to make sure that: all intended activities are covered adequately by the licences; all staff follow the terms and conditions. Has your Chair asked the Headteacher for evidence of compliance? Is this covered within the Headteacher report annually?
This guidance outlines the support available for those schools below floor standards, coasting or double requires improvement judgements. All eligible schools will receive funding by the end of the 2020 spring term. Is your school eligible? How will the Board monitor the impact of any support given, including any action plan?
This guide is for both trusts and maintained schools considering joining a Multi Academy Trust. Due diligence must provide both stakeholders with the necessary information provided about the trust and incoming school to understand the current educational, financial and premises position. It is only by identifying risks, mitigation and the associated costs that a maintained school or an incoming trust can make a fully informed decision on whether to proceed. KCC maintained schools should contact [email protected] for support and guidance when considering academisation.
The Department for Education (DfE) has published its consultation response on new Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education in England guidance. The new guidance, which is to be implemented in all schools from September 2020, highlights some of the content that will be taught in schools to pupils. This includes mental health; physical wellbeing; online safety; LGBT+ issues; respectful relationships; consent. It is expected that all content should be delivered in an age appropriate manner and that appropriate content, reflecting British values and society. Essential reading for governors, leaders and staff. How will your Board monitor compliance with the legislation?
The Consultation proposes on how Ofsted inspects schools takes effect from September 2019. Consultation ends April 5th. Have you replied? What are the implications for your school? How does the board ensure a broad curriculum is delivered?
This blog details how Ofsted have used the cognitive load theory (CLT) when looking at learning sciences. It gives some useful insight into Ofsted research, though makes it clear this evidence is only one part of the broader evidence base looked at, which included research from school and teacher effectiveness, research on leadership and research on school effects on physical and mental health. What are your views on the above? Have you responded to the consultation?
This edition for members of the NGA contains articles on the SEND support funding crisis; MAT leadership - Clarifying the CEO's role; Ofsted's new inspection framework and Looking to the Future - Succession planning guidance.
Would you pass up £500 of DfE funded free training? The Leading Governance development programme is for Chairs, Vice Chairs or future Chairs. Cohort 3 is starting with pre reading in August 19 with the facilitated training session at Holiday Inn Wrotham in late September. Please see here for funding information and reserve your place. Two references are required. Governor services can be a referee. Ofsted will recognise this development opportunity - do you? Can you afford to refuse this offer? Has your Chair or Vice Chair signed up?
Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System, sent a video message to clerks at this year’s NGA Clerks Conference. Lord Agnew praised the role of the clerk and their position in supporting high performing school governance. He highlighted that strong governance is one of his “top priorities” and described the vital nature of the clerk’s role in “ensuring that the governing body operates effectively and meets its statutory obligations”.
The Education People, Governor Services updates
Our Chairs’ Conference is focused on ‘Chairing for the future’. Clare Collins MBE, Head of Consultancy at the NGA is the keynote speaker on “Strategic Vision”. Other speakers include Munya Badze on preparing young people for the world of work, with Matt Dickson focussing on the wider curriculum and how to hold the leadership to account and monitor effective curriculum provision. First place free with the SLA, with additional spaces £125. Non-SLA participant costs are £150 per person. For Chairs, Vice Chairs and future Chairs. Book via CPD online. Who is attending from your board? How will the messages received be relayed back to your board?
Reminder, it is a statutory requirement for the Board to have completed and approved, at an FGB meeting, the SFVS by 31st March 2019. See February bulletin for full details. Click the 2018/19 SFVS support tool. Is the SFVS on your March Board agenda? How do you plan to follow up on any actions? Were last year’s actions completed?
Has your board received a report from the DPO? Good practice is to receive a report seasonally. Reports should contain compliance, systems, privacy notices, training, policy, breaches and improved procedures, strengths and areas for development. Has your Board received a report? Are you aware of breaches at Board level?
It is the role of the board to review only statutory policies, the rest are for information only. Does your Board approve more than the statutory policies? Is the impact of policies regularly reviewed at meetings or when monitoring?
The full version of GovernorHub costs £150 +VAT from governor services, £400 direct from GovernorHub, the standard element will be included free of charge as part of the Governor Services SLA as this will be the mechanism for recording Governor details, fulfilling the Local Authority statutory duty. There is currently a free trial March for the full version. Clerks, please ensure CPD Online details are correct for when we merge systems.
As we get nearer to the date that the Government has determined we leave the European Union, schools need to plan for the possibility of disruption that might follow our departure. This KCC guidance gives you clear information. What steps have been taken to ensure your school will be in managing any challenges to maintain a full service to your students. Is your Board ensuring appropriate plans have been put in place? Has the Board reviewed the Business Continuity plan? Is the BCP on your agenda?
Suzanne Mayes, Governor Services Manager:
North Kent (Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks):
South Kent (Ashford, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe): Tina Gimber:
East Kent (Canterbury, Swale, Thanet): Lorraine Monkhouse:
West Kent (Maidstone, Tonbridge and Malling, T Wells): Julia Durcan:
Governor and Clerking Service Business Support Officer: Tom Winek