Governance Monthly Bulletin - November 2019
For all governors, trustees, clerks and school leaders
Welcome to this November edition of the Monthly Bulletin. 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 updates
Information requirements relating to your careers programme, details for young people and parents, and the publishing of a statement setting out your arrangements for provider access can be found at section 12 of Statutory policies for schools and academy trusts
From September 2020, relationships education will be compulsory for primary schools. This guidance provides information, advice, tips and case studies on how to carry out effective parental engagement, together with the role Governors and Trustees can pay in this process.
Guidance and practical resources for school leaders and teachers to help reduce workload have been produced by school leaders, teachers and other sector experts together with DfE.
Governors and trustees are strongly recommended to look at their schools IDSR which provides an independent assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the school; this should enable further questions, challenge and the exploration of other sources of information from school leaders.
The DfE IDSR Primary guide provides an overview of the data contained in the primary schools’ IDSR together with information on how to interpret the charts.
T Levels are to be phased in from September 2020; the 2-year courses will follow GCSEs and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels; they have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses to ensure the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for the world of work. This introductory guidance provides information on how T-levels will work, funding, support for providers and a timeline for phased introduction.
This checklist was released in October and should be returned by 14th November; Prior to sending, Boards should ensure they discuss the document and that it is signed by Chair of Trust.
The Academies Financial Handbook sets out the requirement for all academy trusts to provide a direct email address for their Members and Trustees via the governance section of Get Information About Schools using your DfE sign-in account
The DfE has launched 3 new GOV.UK pages, in response to feedback from Governors, Trustees, Chairs and Clerks. The pages are designed to help those working in school governance to more easily navigate governance content online, please see Important news and communications from the DfE relating to governance in maintained schools and academy trusts in England
If you did not receive an email directly from the DfE, it’s because they do not hold an up-to-date email address for you. To ensure you receive future updates directly, please ensure your school admin team updates your contact details on the Get Information About Schools (GIAS) national database.
Further to (Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector) Amanda Spielman's speech in June 2019 and recent Ofsted inspections in Kent, we have obtained the following from Ofsted which makes mention of the monitoring of the Single Central Record:
Governing Boards have a duty to ensure that the school meets its statutory responsibilities and ensure that the children and young people attending the school are safe.
- carry out their functions with a view to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children; and
- have regard to the statutory guidance issued by the Secretary of State in considering what arrangements they need to make for the purpose of that section.
KCSIE places statutory requirements on all Governing Boards; they must make sure their school has policies and procedures in place and take into account any statutory guidance issued by the Secretary of State, any Local Authority guidance and locally agreed inter-agency procedures.
Governing Boards will decide for themselves how they organise their strategic and monitoring functions.
Although they may decide to allocate individual Governors to be responsible for specific areas, e.g. Safeguarding or Child Protection, it is not statutory that they do so. However, the advice from both Governor Services and The Education Safeguarding team is that the DfE guidance in KCSIE says they “should” have a designated Safeguarding Governor. When the guidance stipulates “should” the narrative is “unless there is a good reason not to”.
Although not a requirement, it is helpful if all Governing Board members have training about safeguarding, whether the Governing Board acts collectively or an individual member takes the lead. This would make sure they have the knowledge and information needed to perform their functions and understand their responsibilities.
Governors must satisfy themselves that the school policy and procedures (including the SCR) are in place and meet requirements – but it is their choice how they do this.
A suite of 7 short videos - has been produced by Ofsted to assist Governors prior to inspection.
Your process is likely to be well underway however, NGA have produced a step-by-step Practical Guide to support the Performance management of your Headteacher, you may find it helpful.
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?
* 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.
The Education People - Governor Services updates
Your attention is drawn to our information posted to GovernorHub on 18th October where you will find a summary of this year’s changes together with Local Authority Advice to Kent Maintained Schools and Schools’ Personnel Service Guidance for Schools.
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
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:
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 their new Headteacher/Head of School is able to take advantage of these essential development opportunities:
Northfleet Technology College
Five Acre Wood School
The Beacon School Folkestone
Folkestone and Hythe
Cobham Primary School
This process has been updated and streamlined; all Clerks, Chairs and Governing Bodies are reminded to familiarise themselves with the LA Governor Nomination Pack which can be found under the resources tab of GovernorHub.
Please note that invitations to continue and reminders for approaching ends of terms of office will no longer be sent, GovernorHub provides advanced notification. Governing Bodies and the Clerk should ensure that this is an item for discussion and familiarisation alongside Membership on the full Governing Body agenda.
Chairs of Boards that purchase the Clerking Service should have received a Chair’s questionnaire and access to an accompanying webinar, explaining what should be expected from a Clerking Service Clerk. The questionnaire is for the Chairs’ completion and should be forwarded to their Clerking Service Clerk and copied to the Clerking service by 22nd November; full instructions for completion have been 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.
Thank you for your contribution in making our service to you, the best possible.
Governor Services Manager - [email protected]
Area Governance Officers:
- North Kent (Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks): Jude Johnson [email protected]
- South Kent (Ashford, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe): 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]