Governance Monthly Bulletin - May 2019
For all governors, trustees, clerks & school leaders
Welcome to the May 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
Online form is open and ready for academy trusts to complete by Tues 21 May 2019; the online BFRO form and new arrangements for related party transactions can also be found at this link.
This information for education providers sets out how education providers can remain compliant with data protection laws when the UK leaves the EU.
This Best practice guidance for school complaints procedures 2019 provides information on what governing bodies of maintained schools should do; it sets out the legal duties with which they must comply.
It’s aimed at governing bodies in all maintained schools and maintained nursery schools in England, this includes community, foundation or voluntary schools, community or foundation special schools, nursery schools which are maintained by a local authority.
An updated Maintained Schools Complaints Policy can be found on KELSI
The DfE has provided additional clarification regarding sourcing of independent Governors, co-opted from other schools, including academies, to hear complaints at the panel or appeal stage.
For the purposes of convening an ad-hoc, informally arranged independent complaints panel meeting, schools only need to source suitably skilled Governors who can demonstrate their independence. Schools can approach Governors from any category of Governor or, if no Governors are available, an associate member of another Governing Body. This includes Local Governing Board members, Governors and Trustees from within academies or Multi-Academy Trusts.
- If an Academy Governor is asked to serve on a panel at a Maintained school, or vice versa, we expect them to approach the relevant Clerk for guidance and understanding on the different legislative framework that may need to be taken into consideration during the complaint’s hearing at the appeal stage.
- The exception to this is when a Maintained school wishes to appoint a standing committee to hear all the complaints they receive under the committee’s tenure. In this case, if a school wishes to appoint Governors from another school onto the complaints committee, they must enter into a formal collaborative arrangement with another maintained school.
The guidance and updated policy mentioned above are not intended for use by academies, free schools, further education or other post-16 institutions that are not attached to a maintained school, independent schools, private nursery schools
(Academies please see Creating an academy complaints procedure)
PLEASE ALSO SEE BELOW ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FROM THE EDUCATION PEOPLE – Role of the Complaints Co-ordinator
Ofsted are currently reviewing responses to the draft framework which sets out how Ofsted proposes to inspect schools, further education and skills provision and registered early years settings
National Governance Association (NGA) updates
NGA website has a new look, it has been revamped in recent weeks. Please be aware that the first time you log in as an existing member you will have to reset your password.
Can you afford to overlook £500 of free 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 or future Chairs.
Two references will be 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
Are you an ‘Aspiring Headteacher‘ or a member of the ‘Senior Leadership Team’ with an interest in career progression?
This new introductory session (GV 19 /111) will enable you to have a greater understanding of the strategic role of Governance and the importance of developing a professional relationship with your school’s Governance Board/s to ensure good, effective Leadership and Management of the school.
The aims of the session are to:
- Understand the Core Functions of Governance
- Know the features of Effective Strategic Governance
- Consider your role in supporting Effective Governance
- Know the purpose of Governor visits and monitoring in school
POLITE REMINDER - Your attention is again 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?
Now is an ideal time for Boards to evaluate how effective they are at ensuring delivery of their core role in ensuring clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction and at the same time, review the Board’s strategic vision for the mid and long term – the next 3-5 years.
Governor Services are able to assist with a facilitated Strategic Vision Planning session; please see page 5 of our Service Level Agreement, Bespoke In-house training courses.
The summer season District Governor Briefings commenced in Medway on 30th April, they are scheduled to run in all Districts across the County until the end of May. We have listened and responded to your feedback, individual briefings are now being held in the Maidstone District and Tonbridge & Malling District (Governors in these Districts will likely recall Maidstone/Tonbridge & Malling having had joint briefings).
District Clerk Briefings are scheduled at 4 locations across the county during June. Please see CPD Online for details and booking.
To ensure the complaints policy and procedure is practical and effective for all (school, GB/Clerk, complainants), the school & GB may consider it appropriate to assign a Complaints Co-ordinator as the first point of contact for a formal complaint; it is recommended that a member of school admin staff be assigned.
The new model policy for Maintained Schools contains an option for a Complaints Coordinator. Please ensure where appropriate, your school website reflects the agreed Complaints Policy including reference to the Complaints Coordinator as the first port of contact for any complaints.
There may be occasions when your Clerk is away and unable to facilitate the complaint and in all schools that engage with our Clerking Service, the school is expected to provide a Complaints Coordinator as the first point of contact to deal with formal complaints, they will also, subsequently be required to print hard copies of any documentation required (please see the Clerking Service SLA).
As mentioned above, it is recommended that schools ask a member of the school’s admin staff to fulfil this role (not the Headteacher); the complaints co-ordinator would not be permitted to do anything other than is listed below:
- Ensure confidentiality at all times
- Be aware of issues regarding shared third-party information and any additional support needed by the complainants
- Keep securely, records of correspondence.
- To receive and record the date of receipt of the formal complaint for the governing board, including by telephone
- Acknowledge in writing to the complainant receipt of the complaint within 5 working days and inform that the clerk will be in touch to organise the next steps
- Immediately contact the Clerk to advise a complaint has been received
- Immediately contact the Chair, unless the complaint is against the Chair, in which case contact the Vice Chair
- Immediately contact the Area Governance Officer if the complaint is against the whole Governing Board for advice
- Having been collated by the Clerk, print the hard copy documentation for the complaint meeting
Complaints Co-ordinators are welcome to access the Clerk’s Panel training; this is included in the Governor Services training package and is therefore free of charge to those Boards subscribing to the Governor Services SLA (see below). Please book via CPD Online
Governor Services Manager - Suzanne Mayes
North Kent (Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks) - Jude Johnson
South Kent (Ashford, Dover, Folkestone & Hythe) - Tina Gimber
East Kent (Canterbury, Swale, Thanet) - Lorraine Monkhouse
West Kent (Maidstone, Tonbridge & Malling, Tunbridge Wells) - Julia Durcan
Clerking and Governor Services - Tom Winek