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27 November 2018
By Governor Services

Governance Monthly Bulletin - November 2018

For all Governors, Clerks and School Leaders

Welcome to the November Monthly Bulletin 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 an agenda item as part of your Governing Board and Committee meetings.

Department for Education Updates:

Secondary- 16 to 18 Accountability measures

A Guide for schools on new accountability measures in the 2017 to 2018 performance tables. The 5 new headline measures in the performance tables are: progress; attainment; progress in English and maths; retention; destinations. There’s also information about 16 to 18 progress score bandings in the school and college performance tables. Are performance tables on your agenda for discussion? How does your school compare? Where are the reasons behind the data score?

Secondary- 16 to18 Introduction of T Levels

This document informs what T Levels are and what they will mean for you when they are  introduced from the academic year 2020 to 2021. How is your school planning to implement the T levels? Will implementation bring with it staffing and budget implications?

Mental health and wellbeing provision in schools

This report summarises a research project on the information schools provide to support their pupils’ wellbeing and mental health. The report uses a sample to evaluate activities and approaches in different schools, including: what policies schools currently publish and how policies can help schools promote pupil wellbeing. Though not statutory, this report would be a good starting point for comparison and impact monitoring discussions. How do you monitor and report on mental health and wellbeing? How do your school approaches compare? Is your school inclusive?

Performance and destination statistics

Read the national and local statistics for Early Years Foundation Stage ; Destinations of KS4 and KS5 pupils. How do your results compare to national and local data?  What is the reasoning behind the data? How does it match the progress and attainment within the rest of the school? How are you tracking the progress from their KS2 results in secondary?

Schools financial efficiency: metric tool

This tool for headteachers, school leaders, school business managers and governors allow schools to gauge their efficiency based on pupil attainment and the money the school receives for pupils with an indication of their efficiency compared with similar schools. There are separate tools for primary and secondary schools. How does your efficiency compare? Is this an agenda item when you next discuss finance? Do your Board financial discussions focus on the value of the budget in driving outcomes?

Primary- sports premium funding 18-19

The updated guidance informs the amount of funding for 18-19 academic year and conditions of spend including expected outcomes for swimming and website publication requirements. Schools must follow the terms and conditions of the specialist funding. How does the Board monitor the spend and impact of the sports premium? Are you compliant on how the money is spent and website information?  Look out for the new Sports Premium training on this coming soon.

School website published requirements

Updated guidance for both academies and maintained schools in the requirements for school websites with reference to Special Educational Needs. The Governing Board is strategically accountable for the website being accurate, up to date and compliant with the above guidance. Websites are a key component of the Ofsted Pre Inspection focus. Is your website compliant? Is website compliance a regular agenda item? Has a member of your Board undertaken website training? See CPDonline for website training for Governing Boards.

Guidance for managing staff and employment issues

This non-statutory guidance replaces the previous statutory guidance for maintained schools and academies. It is for school leaders, school staff and governing bodies, local authorities and academy trusts to help with managing staffing and employment issues and making decisions. In delegating functions, the Governing board must not lose sight of the fact that it continues to retain overall accountability for the decisions made by those to whom the function has been delegated. As a result it is important that local procedures are reviewed regularly by the governing body. Essential reading for governors. Have you read this guidance? How does the Board regularly review local procedures? Where is this evidenced?

Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation

This statutory guidance must be read by academy and maintained school governors, headteachers and school leaders as well as other agencies. The Governing Board in its accountable role should ensure the guidance is followed where the word ‘should’ is stated. How is the Board informed of safeguarding compliant practices within the school? How does it know this is accurate? Will the guidance inform the safeguarding designated governors monitoring visit?

National Governance Association Updates:

Many resources have been updated, click here for further details. All free to members. Sign up here.

New edition of The Chair's Handbook published

The NGA Chair’s Handbook, now in its seventh edition– is a valuable resource for current and new chairs alike. It is given as a resource at both the governor services chairs training and the NGA Leading Governance chairs programme or can be purchased from the NGA.  Have you booked Chairs training to receive your free copy?

Governing boards and clerks invited to enter national awards to recognise their achievements

Please click here for information on the categories and to see how to nominate governing boards and clerks for their outstanding practice in the NGA’s biennial Outstanding Governance Awards. Closing date 3rd December 2018.

NGA Leading Governance - DfE support development for Chairs and Aspiring Chairs-

The DfE funded development programme for all in a Chairing role or aspiring to be as part of succession planning cohort 2 is starting in February at the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, Ashford. Places still available. Free training worth £500 if your Board has not undertaken the DfE funded Chairs programme in the last 12 months. The course in developing your leadership skills and confidence includes: three face-to-face workshops focusing on leadership development: 360-degree diagnostic to evaluate strengths and development needs: access to interactive e-learning modules and resources; mentor support with creating a school-based project and action plan. Please see here for funding and click here to book your place. Two references are required. Governor services can be a referee. Lead and support your governing board to have impact on school improvement!  As Chair or Vice Chair have you signed up?  Do not miss the opportunity for funded training.SIGN UP NOW!!!

The Education People, Governor Services Updates:

Section 128 checks for governors

Please read the following DfE advice for section 128 checks for governors. The requirements in relation to the checks which need to be undertaken in relation to maintained school governors are different from those for independent schools and academies. A section 128 check is a requirement for an academy and independent school governor. The regulations relating to governors of maintained schools mean that being a governor is not regarded as a regulated activity therefore there is no expectation or obligation on governing bodies to undertake more than a standard enhanced DBS check.  The DfE does though recommend that governing boards of maintained schools undertake a barred list check for new governors, but this is not a specific requirement as being a maintained school governor is not a regulated activity.  There is no expectation on boards to undertake a barred list check in relation to existing governors, though they could choose to do so. Checks can be carried out by logging onto the Secure Access Portal.

Designated Safeguarding Lead

The Designated Safeguarding Lead in school must be a member of the Senior Leadership/Management Team. They are the accountable operational lead for safeguarding and the person who will be able to answer all related questions. Staff governors, elected or otherwise, as best practise should not be allocated the safeguarding governor role on the Board for purposes of transparency and accountability when monitoring and challenging the DSL.


From April 2019, the statutory database for maintained school governance records will be moving to GovernorHub. More information will be released later. It is vital CPDonline is up to date with governor appointments prior to the change. In preparation for understanding how the new system will work, there will be training for clerks via a live webinar on 4th December at 6pm. Please book to attend via CPDonline.

Chair and Vice Chair positions

All Governing Boards must ensure there is a chair and vice chair in place. There have been instances when the governor term of office for the chair has ended prior to the next meeting. In these cases, the Vice Chair is the Acting Chair until the governing board meets to re appoint the governor and then re-elect as Chair. It is the Board as well as a clerk’s responsibility to ensure understanding of term of office deadlines as part of succession planning.

Would you like to be a Clerk?

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 [email protected]

Suzanne Mayes, Governor Services Manager:

[email protected] 

North Kent (Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks): Jude Johnson

[email protected]

South Kent (Ashford, Dover, Shepway): Tina Gimber

[email protected]

East Kent (Canterbury, Swale, Thanet): Lorraine Monkhouse

[email protected]

West Kent (Maidstone, Tonbridge and Malling, T Wells): Julia Durcan

[email protected]